In hip dysplasia the head of the upper leg bone (femur) and the socket it fits into, in the pelvic bone, are malformed.
Generally symptoms are reduced activity, trouble getting up, reluctance to jump into the car or climb the stairs and back leg lameness or stiffness.
X-rays are necessary to make the diagnosis. These x-rays will generally require general anaesthesia as the back legs have to be accurately positioned to obtain quality x-rays.
There are medical and surgical treatments. In general the medical treatments don’t solve the problem, but just reduce pain and prevent the disease from progressing. In some cases young dogs with hip dysplasia ‘grow out of it’ as they get older. Medical treatment can consist of anti-inflammatory drugs, weight control and limiting exercise.