While traditionally larger dog breeds such as Great Danes, St Bernards, Labrador Retrievers and German Shepherd dogs are considered most at risk from canine hip dysplasia (CHD), CHD can also affect your pug. In what follows, we will discuss what CHD is, how it affects dogs, what its earliest symptoms can be and the treatment options available for your dog in case it suffers from this debilitating affliction.

Canine hip dysplasia is when your dog’s hip joint is abnormally formed. The abnormal formation of both the ball and the socket prevent the joint from functioning as it should, which affects your dog’s ability to walk, causing severe pain, swelling, stiffness and eventually arthritis. CHD arises as a result of certain genetic propensities, improper nutrition, over-exercise when young and obesity. Genetic abnormalities may be inherited, causing your dog to be born with a greater possibility of exacerbating conditions leading to CHD. Over-exercise when young may place too much stress on a puppy’s hip joint affecting its growth. Obesity too may exacerbate a genetic propensity towards CHD, while too much stress on the hip joint may directly cause CHD.

Canine hip dysplasia symptoms start to appear when your dog in 5-6 months old. These symptoms include your dog developing a bunny hop walk, with both hind legs being dragged together in one step. Skinny hips, alongside increased shoulder mass, may suggest the front part of your dog’s torso is compensating for a weaker rear end, preventing the equal growth of muscular mass. Your dog may struggle performing activities which directly engage the hip joint’s surrounding musculature, such as jumping up or down stairs or getting up and lying down. Depending on a combination of factors, and the extent of the joint’s abnormality, CHD symptoms may not appear until later in your dog’s life. Arthritis of the hip joint is a common effect of CHD in most cases.