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"We give pet parents the help they need to get their injured and aging pets PAIN FREE so they can KEEP MOVING and do the things they love"

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Do you think your dog might have hip dysplasia? Has your vet xrayed your pet and given you the news that your furry friend has hip dysplasia?Is your dog slowing down, slow to get up from sitting down or becoming reluctant to go on long walks? This is scary for a lot of owners? It sound like a devastating diagnosis. BUT we're here to tell you most times something can be done and they can get back to doing what they love.

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Hip dysplasia is a condition that affects dogs' hip joints, which are like the "ball and socket" joints in our own hips. In dogs with hip dysplasia, the hip joint doesn't develop properly, causing the ball (the top of the leg bone) and socket (the hip bone) to fit together poorly. This can lead to pain, lameness, and difficulty moving.

The main cause of hip dysplasia is genetics, but other factors like rapid growth, poor nutrition, and excessive exercise can contribute to its development. Large and giant dog breeds are more prone to hip dysplasia. It is also being seen more commonly in small dogs such as French Bulldogs.

When a dog has hip dysplasia, the joint becomes loose and unstable. Over time, this can lead to damage and inflammation in the joint, making it even more painful and difficult for the dog to move.

Signs of Hip Dysplasia

  1. Difficulty or reluctance to rise: Dogs with hip dysplasia may have trouble getting up from a lying position or may exhibit stiffness and slowness when standing up.

  2. Bunny hopping: Affected dogs may hop with both hind legs together instead of using a normal alternating gait.

  3. Decreased activity level: Dogs with hip dysplasia may become less active, avoiding activities that put strain on their hips, such as running or jumping.

  4. Lameness or limping: Dogs may display lameness or an uneven gait, favoring one hind leg over the other.

  5. Pain or discomfort: Hip dysplasia can cause pain and discomfort, particularly during physical activity or when pressure is applied to the hips.

  6. Loss of muscle mass: The muscles in the hind legs may appear smaller or less developed compared to the front legs due to reduced use.

A tale of three dogs with two sore hips

Hip dysplasia follows a similar pattern in many dogs as they age. 

In the early stage when pups have hip dysplasia the hips can be very loose in the socket and this laxity means the ball is frequently going in and out of the socket. This can be a very painful time for dogs with hip dyplasia and can greatly affect how they move and their mobility.

As the dogs age from anywhere from 1-2 years TO middle age the hips can stabilise. This occurs as the joint capsule tightens and there are boney changes. This often results in less pain and dogs seem to move better.

As they move from middle age to old age the changes in the bones and joint that occured secondary to the looseness in the hip joint finally catch up and cause arthritis and pain.

This all sounds doom and gloom but if treated with the right REHAB approach for each of these stages then this disease can be well managed for many dogs.

A certified canine rehab therapist can evaluate where your dog is at by looking at strength, pain, muscle mass and flexibility. We first address any pain using all the available tools we have including manual therapies, acupuncture, shockwave and laser. Then we look at building strength using a home exercise program.

How Can We Help Your Dog?

We have more useful information for pet parents in our latest newsletter on Hip Dysplasia. Download it below to get info on how rehab might be helpful for your furry friend.

Balance Vet Rehab Hip Dysplasia Edition Newsletter


Steve has been great with my three working border collies, especially with my senior dog whom has unilateral hip dysplasia and arthritis. I would definitely recommend him to dog owners whom are looking for alternative treatments for their dogs. Sally with Champ

Dr Steve has worked absolute magic with my two bulldogs & I will forever be grateful! We presented with a whole litany of ailments from debilitating cysts, severe joint disease, allergies, dry eye, hip dysplasia the list goes on. My boy Opi had suffered so much he had been put on a regular dose of steroid just to make the remainder of his life comfortable & it was heartbreaking watching the side effects then take over. After confiding in a friend she recommended Dr Steve & can I say only a couple of months in my boys are in the best health & more importantly happier than they’ve been in the past couple of years! Using a combination of laser, acupuncture, stretching & massage plus much kinder medication Dr Steve has literally given my boys a new life & I could never thank him enough. I highly recommend him & his nurses! When all traditional veterinary methods had been completely exhausted Dr Steve found a way. He truly is an incredible & kind vet with a genuine love & care for animals & we are forever grateful to have found him.

Kelly - Buddha and Opi's mum

My Labradoodle puppy was diagnosed with severe hip dysplasia at the age of 9 months and I was recommended Steve as a more holistic approach in treating such diagnosis’s as Stanleys, and keeping him as pain free as possible without having to go down the major surgery path.
Steve has always been honest, approachable and shown such care and compassion in treating Stanley. He has used manual manipulation, acupuncture and shock wave therapy, keeping Stanley pain free and happy, and me, a whole lot more positive and supported.
Thank you Steve for all your help and advice with conservatively managing Stanley’s condition. Lisa and Stanley.

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