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How Long Can a Dog Live with Hip Dysplasia?

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If you suspect your pup is suffering from canine hip dysplasia, you might be anxious about how this condition might affect their life.

Many dog owners worry that early signs of hip dysplasia in dogs is a red flag for their health and could mean premature death.

The good news is that this orthopedic disease doesn’t necessarily affect life expectancy; however, if canine hip dysplasia is treated the wrong way, it can become life-threatening.

This is why it’s essential to be aware of the warning signs and take action once a diagnosis is confirmed.

In this article, we’re going to discuss the early signs of hip dysplasia in dogs and talk about the treatment options for reducing pain and inflammation in the hind legs and hips.

Before we jump into the details, if your pet dog struggles with bad joints you might want try one of our orthopedic dog beds.


What Is Dog Hip Dysplasia?

Let’s review what this condition is before we go into the signs, symptoms, and medical treatments. Unfortunately, some pups are born with this condition.

When the hip joints aren’t formed properly, which is more common in larger dog breeds such as German Shepherds, the hind legs can become lame.

As the dog grows up, this can cause instability or laxity in the ball and socket joints. Hip joint laxity can cause pain and is a telltale sign that your pup suffers from this condition. 

Although it can cause discomfort and pain, it’s good to know that your best friend will still live a relatively long life, and there are plenty of ways that you can make them feel more comfortable.

Simple lifestyle changes to their diet, daily routine, and sleeping arrangements can reduce stiff joints and prevent additional damage to the hips and hind leg joints.

Like most diseases, an early diagnosis and appropriate treatment management will make a world of difference.

Dogs diagnosed and treated early are far more likely to live a pretty normal and happy life than if the condition is only noticed when they are older. If you’ve only just recognized that your pup is in pain, don’t be too hard on yourself.

This condition is quite challenging to spot. Dogs that have a mild to the moderate condition often showing no signs until later on in life. 

Early Signs Of Hip Dysplasia In Dogs

Spotting the early signs of hip dysplasia in dogs is crucial and remember, early diagnosis is essential.

The sooner you’re able to identify the causes of your pup’s pain, the sooner you can get them the treatment they need.

All dog owners should be aware of the main signs of canine hip dysplasia since your pup won’t be able to tell you they’re in pain, only show you. So your job as a dog owner is to play detective and look out for the signs.

  • Hind leg lameness
  • Limping
  • Lack of coordination
  • Stiffness
  • Joint looseness or laxity
  • Abnormal or swaying gait
  • Audible “click” sound when walking
  • Bunny hopping
  • Reluctance to run, jump or climb stairs
  • Decreased activity
  • Exercise intolerance
  • Difficulty standing up
  • Trouble laying down
  • Difficulty squatting to pee or poop
  • Loss of thigh muscle mass
  • Pain in hip joints
  • Back legs too close together

These all are symptoms that are typically found in dogs with canine hip dysplasia.

Cute Dog

Prolong Quality Of Life

Your pup might have to go through surgery, but it all depends on the dog’s age and how severe their condition is.

Your veterinarian will give you the right advice about their condition and age but be prepared for the possibility of surgery.

Most canine hip dysplasia procedures will cost anywhere from $1500 to $4500+ depending on the type of surgery and your vet’s specialty.

In terms of quality of life, surgery might be the best option for younger dogs, but surgery and recovery might not be the right path to take for an older pup. As dogs get older, complications relating to surgery and anesthesia increase, so it might not be worth the risk.


Here are the medical treatments currently available to treat canine hip dysplasia:

Juvenile public symphysoidesis (JSP) 

This is a minimum invasive, affordable prophylactic procedure performed in young dogs at risk of developing arthritis associated CHD.

Complications are rare, and outcomes on both hips are said to be very good. 

Fermoral Head Ostectogy (FHO) 

An FHO, or femoral head ostectomy, is a surgical procedure that aims to restore pain-free mobility to a diseased or damaged hip by removing the femur’s head and neck (the long leg bone or thighbone).

This process involves replacing the tip of the femur with a fibrous joint. This canine hip dysplasia surgery removes most of a dog’s pain, but it won’t usually fully repair their mobility or range of motion.

Triple Pelvic Osteotomy (TPO)

This surgery is performed in moderate-to-large- breed dogs with early clinical hip dysplasia (HD). The procedure’s goals are eliminating coxofemoral joint laxity, improving hip congruity, and normalizing the hip joint stresses.

Total Hip Replacement (THP)

This is the most effective surgery for dog hip dysplasia and is a total hip replacement.

This surgery is reserved for fully grown dogs with severe hip dysplasia or osteoarthritis.

The good news is that dogs who receive a THP usually experience a total recovery and a pain-free life. Now that’s something to wag your tail about!

Holistic Treatments For Dog Hip Dysplasia

Treating canine hip dysplasia without surgery is possible.

Medication can reduce pain and inflammation and make your pup more comfortable by limiting their exercise routine, helping them maintain a healthy weight to reduce strain on the joints, and investing in high-quality bedding.

It is excellent to know that there are plenty of holistic treatments and lifestyle changes for your dog that you can do at home to relieve your dog’s hip dysplasia and help them live a long, healthy, and happy life. 

Below are some treatments you can do at home.

1. Weight Management

Weight control is a must, so try to put your dog on a healthy fresh food diet. This will mean less weight, pressure, and stress on their delicate joints. 

2. Use Natural Supplements 

Adding supplements and herbs to your dog’s diet is also an extremely effective and non-surgical way to treat canine hip dysplasia.

As an example, you can add omega- 3 fatty acids to their diet, as they will support their joints and reduce painful joint inflammation.

Adding herbs such as licorice, rosemary, and cayenne to your dog’s food will also help with inflammation and promote blood circulation.

3. Apply Heat To Sore Joints

Heat packs are another way to relieve pain and soothe canine hip dysplasia. Put heat pads over a thin blanket and close to your pup’s hips and hind legs.

You can even allow your dog to sleep with it close by overnight to be snug and cozy. 

4. Invest In An Orthopedic Dog Bed

One of the best ways to make your pup’s night more comfortable is to invest in an orthopedic dog bed, especially designs with your dog’s joint health in mind.

An orthopedic dog bed made from high-quality memory foam will support their aching joints, relieve pressure, and provide an extra thick layer between them and the floor.

Cushioning the head, spine, and hips, your beloved dog will feel rejuvenated come the morning. Feel free to check out our collection of high-quality orthopedic dog beds online now. 

Or if you like you can take a look at this post looking at dog hip dysplasia home treatment or this one asking how to prevent hip dysplasia in dogs?

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