Hip dysplasia is one of the most common orthopedic diseases seen in dogs. It is caused by poor development of the hip joint, resulting in looseness or laxity of the joint and poor fit of the “ball” of the hip into the “socket.”

Large breeds are genetically predisposed to hip dysplasia, but dogs of all breeds and sizes are susceptible. Obesity and nutritional factors may also play a role in the development and worsening of hip dysplasia.



Hip dysplasia is generally diagnosed by X-ray and/or physical manipulation of the hips resulting in palpable dislocation of the hip joint, called ortalani sign. Due to your dog’s anatomy and the painful nature of hip dysplasia, hip X-rays and orthopedic examinations are best performed under heavy sedation.


Hip dysplasia is best treated by medical management, which is geared toward: