How to Treat Hip Dysplasia

If your dog has been diagnosed with hip dysplasia (HD), you are probably wondering what to do next. In this webinar, I’ll review what dysplasia is and available treatments, both conventional and alternative.


Hip dysplasia (HD) is an inherited condition of the hip joints. Affected hip joints are loose, allowing the hip to rattle inside its joint. This causes cartilage damage, development of arthritis, and pain.


If you see a dog having difficulty getting up on his hind legs, or he is shifting his weight to the front, the hips should be checked. Extending the hip (pulling it backward) might tell you there is pain. If there is, it is time for a radiograph. I have some great examples of radiographs so you can see what the disease does.


If your dog has HD, we can treat it! Most of the time, medical management is all that is needed. This begins with weight control. We want these dogs lean. Just a 5% increase in weight over optimal can mean the difference between needing medication and drug-free. We want to feel the ribs and see a detectable waist.


Over three-quarters of dogs with HD can live quite well with just an anti-inflammatory. We can also use injectable medications like Cartrophen. This is like a super glucosamine and it relieves inflammation in the joint and nourishes the cartilage. Glucosamine can be given instead, and the therapeutic dose is 1500 milligrams a day for a 70 pound dog.


I tend to depend on laser. The one we used is a low level, frequency-specific laser. Used correctly, this tool can helps reduce the pain and promote muscle strength. I also add in back adjustments.


I use a combination of these tools in dysplastic dogs, and once improvement is evident, reduce the frequency or amount of whatever we are using.

Surgery is also possible. I’ve got information on a triple pelvic osteotomy (TPO), femoral head excision, and total hip replacement.


The key with HD is to find out the severity of the disease in your dog, then find a management program that suits YOUR dog.