Hip Dysplasia in dogs is a condition whereby the ball and socket joint in the hips fail to form properly. This condition can be hereditary and/or due to environmental factors such as bad diet or too much exercise. The disease can affect one or both hips and can start in puppyhood or as an adult.
Due to their rapid growth rate, Mastiff puppies should be given the opportunity to have plenty of rest. Do not allow puppies to jump up, go up and down stairs or jump in play as this can stress the joints and bones.
Symptoms can vary from no symptoms at all to any or all of the following:
- Intermittent or persistent hind-limb lameness, often worse after exercise, and pain in hip joints
- Difficulty getting up.
- Decreased activity and range of motion in the hip joints
- “Bunny-hopping,” or swaying gait
- Narrow stance in the hind limbs (back legs standing close together)
- Loss of muscle mass in thigh muscles
- Enlargement of shoulder muscles due to more weight being exerted on front legs
- Grating detected with joint movement
The Kennel Club and BVA's hip scoring scheme has been in operation since 1984 and the dogs x-rays are graded by a panel of experts.