Pet Symptom Checker

Hip joint malformation, degeneration

Medical name: Hip dysplasia


  • Bunny-hop style walking
  • Lameness
  • Muscle loss
  • Reluctant to move
  • Swaying


The deformity of coxofemoral joint that causes the femur to rub on the hip joint is a congenital disorder. While canine geneticists try to pinpoint the hereditary factors behind canine hip dysplasia (CHD) — and while veterinarians debate the merits of various tests, breeders strive to eliminate CHD from their breed’s gene pool, and agonized puppy owners watch for the first signs of this painful, crippling disorder — one thing became clear. Feeding a little less and keeping large-breed pups on the lean side of the scale during the critical first months of growth improves the chances for healthy hips. A university-based feeding study (sponsored, in part, by a major pet food company) focused on Labrador Retrievers with a known predisposition for CHD. In a control group of 24 well-fed young Labs, 16 developed CHD in the first two years and eight were normal. Of the 24 dogs on a 25-percent reduced diet, eight still developed CHD but 16 were normal. In other words, heredity has a strong role in life-long health but genes alone are not destiny. If your pet is diagnosed with hip dysplasia, medical therapy and surgery can help.

Zootoo does not provide veterinary medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding your pet’s medical condition.
If you think your pet may be experiencing a medical emergency, call your veterinarian or an emergency animal care facility immediately.

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