Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia (HD) is caused by the abnormal formation of the hip ball and socket joint. Normally the ball should fit snugly into the hip socket, forming a pivot point. Some dogs are born with a genetic predisposition for hip dysplasia; at birth their hips are normal but as they grow, the hip joint becomes a malformed structure so that the ball no longer fits snugly into the socket and cannot rotate smoothly.

Hip dysplasia is a fairly common problem in most breeds of dog; it can be a very painful and a terribly incapacitating disease, in bad cases requiring surgery and in worst case scenarios euthanasia.

If you are buying a puppy or dog that has been hip scored, ask to see their results. The higher the score, the worse the dog’s hips are, the lowest possible score is 0:0 = 0 and the highest 53:53 = 106.

Hip dysplasia cannot be caused by over-exercise. The genetic predisposition for abnormality of the hips along with a lot of exercise in a pup may exacerbate the condition but a normal healthy and well reared puppy with perfectly good hip joints will not develop hip dysplasia through exercise.