What To Do When Your Puppy is Diagnosed with Hip Dysplasia?

When bringing a new puppy home, it is hard to imagine them experiencing Hip Dysplasia early into their life. Hip Dysplasia can affect dogs of any age and can develop in dogs as young as 5 months old. Watching for the signs in your puppy and catching it early is a great way to help pain management and help slow progression and lessen the issues your puppy may have as they get older. 

Puppy Breeds At Risk for Hip Dysplasia

canine hip brace

While the main reason Hip Dysplasia develops is due to genetics, it is not the only cause of Hip Dysplasia. Large dogs specifically are more prone to Hip Dysplasia, though smaller breeds are still susceptible. The environment your puppy is in as well as their diet and amount of exercise they receive are all elements that impact the potential level of severity of Hip Dysplasia; they are not the sole cause.

  • (American or English) Labrador Retriever
  • Golden Retriever
  • German Shepherd
  • Rottweiler
  •  Saint Bernard
  • Pug
  • Cocker Spaniel

Early indications that your puppy may have Hip Dysplasia

A puppy at-risk for developing Hip Dysplasia it is important that you know what the common signs are that can arise and are a cause of concern 

  • Their activity level abruptly decreases
  • They struggle to stand up from a sitting or lying position 
  • Wobbling on their rear legs when they walk
  • Hips are painful when touched 
  • Hesitancy to jump up on furniture or to use the stairs
  • Hopping on their back two legs, can look like a “Bunny hop” 

If you are noticing a large number of these early indications, now is a great time to start speaking to your vet and getting more information on what Hip Dysplasia is and how it can affect you, and your pets life overall. 

Walkin’ Wheels Dog Wheelchair
Walkin’ Wheels Dog Wheelchair
Hip brace for dog hip pain
Hip-EEZ Hip Brace
Support sling for dogs
Walkin’ Support Sling

5 Common ways to Manage Puppy Hip Dysplasia

While hip dysplasia in puppies is not reversible, or curable, is is possible to manage the hip pain and symptoms. If you think your puppy may be displaying signs of Hip Dysplasia make sure to have your vet check and diagnose them properly so you can start early on with pain and symptom management. 

Working with your Vet on Exercises, Physical Therapy

Working with your Vet or a Rehab Specialist they can assist in setting up a plan for pain management and promoting mobility. Low-impact activities like swimming or walking will help reduce some of the pain. These can help to increase tendon and muscle strength.

Joint prescribed diets and formulas

Vet prescribed Pain Medication and joint supplements can assist your puppy in dealing with pain and inflammation. This in tandem with exercise is a great way to manage their Hip Dysplasia.

Support your dog’s hips with a hip support brace

Sometimes your puppy may need a bit more support when it comes to their mobility. Especially if they are doing prescribed exercises from their Vet or Rehab professional. With their prescribed exercises and physical therapy a great additional tool to assist in both pain management and promoting proper movement is the Walkin’ Hip-EEZ hip support brace. A dog hip brace creates compression around the hip joints to help soothe potential hip pain. Along with supporting the hip joint there is also a feeling of lift on the joints to promote upwards mobility while being worn. This brace is a great addition to a prescribed routine from a professional veterinarian or rehab practitioner.

Create a dog friendly environment 

Making your home easier to maneuver as possible with ramps and easy steps is a great way to assist your dog. These steps and ramps can be utilized to make it easier for your puppy to get in the house, car, or even to bed. They will help to limit movement and time spent going up and down stairs causing more strain on their hip joints. Making sure they have a soft bed, or potentially a heated dog bed, especially in winter can be of great help and will promote their comfort. (Please note to be careful with regular heating pads that are not heated beds designed specifically for pets. 


Hip dysplasia surgery may be recommended for puppies with a deteriorating the quality of life, or as a preventative measure. Surgery isn’t right for every case. always discuss surgical options with your Veterinarian. Juvenile pubic symphysiodesis can potentially be done to try and prevent hip dysplasia in young puppies – specifically if they are highly common breeds to develop hip dysplasia. This could be done at the same time as they spay/neuter your puppy. Total hip replacement is a viable option for dogs with severe hip dysplasia. This can assist in greatly increasing their quality of life

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