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Early Signs Of Hip Dysplasia

August 1, 2023

Hip dysplasia can occur with any dog, but it is more prevalent in certain larger breeds, such as Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds, Great Danes, Saint Bernards, and Rottweilers. The disease can’t be cured, but there are now many different treatment options available. Of course, like any other medical issue, early diagnosis and treatment can make a huge difference here. A Hudson Valley, NY veterinarian lists some early warning signs to look for below.


Limping may be mild at first: you may only notice Fido seeming a bit stiff when he first gets up. In the beginning, that limp will go away as he gets warmed up. However, over time, that limp will become more pronounced.

Reduced Interest In Play

Pain can put a huge damper on Fido’s adorable theatrics. If your pup isn’t very interested in chasing after his favorite toys anymore, hip dysplasia could be the issue.

Change In Muscle Mass

As hip dysplasia progresses, your pooch may put more weight on his front paws to alleviate the pain in his back end. Over time, this will cause his chest muscles to bulk up. You may also notice a loss of muscle mass in his back end.


Another red flag is if Fido seems to have a hard time getting comfortable. He may get up or down more slowly, or sit in awkward positions.

Change In Gait

Hip dysplasia can also affect the way your furry buddy walks or stands. Fido may move with a bunny hop, or just move in an odd manner.

Difficulty Moving

Dogs with hip dysplasia may have trouble getting on and off furniture, or getting in and out of the car. (Note: pet ramps or stairs can help Fido get around more comfortably.)


Fido may seem a bit glum or sullen if his hips are hurting him. He may withdraw to his doggy bed rather than hang out with you. He also just may not be very interested in playing, walks, or exercising.


As mentioned above, there are treatment options. These include surgical options, medication, and proper diet and exercise. Of course, you’ll need to get a proper diagnosis. If you see any of these red flags, make a veterinary appointment right away.

Do you know or suspect that your canine companion has hip dysplasia? Contact us, your local Hudson Valley, NY pet hospital, anytime.