Hip Dysplasia in Dogs

19 February 2018


Hip dysplasia is one of the most common diseases leading to osteoarthritis and lameness in dogs. Lameness and pain in young dogs (3-12 months) affected by hip dysplasia is typically secondary to joint laxity leading to joint subluxation. In mature dogs progressive osteoarthritis (OA) of the hip joint is the main source of pain and discomfort.

Typical clinical signs:

  • unilateral or bilateral hindlimb lameness
  • bunny-hopping,
  • difficulty rising after rest,
  • reluctance to jump or climb stairs,
  • exercise intolerance, or pain/soreness of the hindlimbs.


  • atrophied pelvic limb musculature
  • positive Ortolani or Bardens test (in juvenile dogs)
  • decreased range of motion of the hip joint
  • pain during hip extension


Diagnosis of hip dysplasia can be established by radiographic examination. In young dogs joint laxity and femoral head subluxation can be seen. Degenerative changes of the coxofermoral joint lead to typical radiologic signs in older dogs.

Radiographic signs of coxarthrosis:

  • Femoral periarticular osteophyte formation
  • Subchondral sclerosis of the craniodorsal acetabulum
  • Osteophytes on the cranial or caudal acetabular margin
  • Joint remodeling from chronic wear

full mobility, and suffer no lameness or muscle atrophy, overcompensation, or limitations of any kind

The only treatment to eliminate pain and fully restore life-long mobility is joint replacement therapy. THR has become the gold standard for treatment of dogs with end stage coxofemoral arthrosis.

Which dogs might benefit from a THR?

All dogs where conservative management of hip laxity or hip OA fails, are potential candidates for a Total Hip Replacement.

What is the mimimum age for THR?

In general a THR is recommended in dogs which have reached skeletal maturity. However, in selected cases, a THR is necessary much earlier and can be performed in dogs from 6 month of age.

At DWR Veterinary Specialists we offer total hip replacements using BioMedtrix cementless implants, which benefit from bone in-growth and geometric stabilisation.