When To Put A Dog Down With Hip Dysplasia

Finding out when to put a dog down with hip dysplasia could be very agonizing. And if you are asking this question, we cannot even begin to imagine what you and your dog might be going through.

When To Put A Dog Down With Hip Dysplasia
Image by Gabriela Neumeier from Pixabay

However, sad as it might seem, there are certainly times when euthanization is the better option for your dog and a chronic hip dysplasia might be one of those times. 

Nonetheless, the first sign of canine hip dysplasia does not call for a putting down. So, when exactly should one be thinking of this?

Signs That A Dog WIth Hip Dysplasia Might Be Better Off Euthanized

The following are signs that a dog with hip dysplasia might be better off euthanized:

  • Immobility
  • A generally negative dispostion

Now, allow us explain:


One very key aspect of a dog’s life that hip dysplasia affects is movement because, obviously, it is the hip and the hip is very important for movement.

So, a dog with hip dysplasia might find it difficult to jump and run (especially long distances). Some might even find it difficult to squat without howling in pain.

However, when it seems like your dog can barely stand talk more of move anymore, it must mean that the pain is almost unbearable.

This immobility is usually characterized by growling and/or howling in pain when anybody tries to move them from where they are. 

And this kind of behavior is especially worrying if said dog has been on some kind of medication, takes a proper diet and gets in the required amount of exercise.

Whatever the case, though, a dog who can no longer stomach the pain of a displaced hip,….

General Disposition

Some people say that they believe their dog will let them know when it is the right time to get them euthanized and there might be some truth to it.

Granted, your dog cannot talk and, delirious with pain, might not be able to send you the right signals. However, if you know your dog and who they are, you’ll know when they seem like they no longer have the will to live.

These things might seem very difficult to swallow but when it comes to euthanization, it is important that you stop thinking about yourself for a few seconds and think of your dog.

Do they seem happy? Do they still enjoy what they used to? Granted, the older one gets, the less one is inclined to engage in certain activities. 

However, if your dog doesn’t seem to enjoy anything at all and is just sad every day, maybe they just don’t want to do this anymore.

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Is My Dog Susceptible To Hip Dysplasia?

As far as breeds go, there haven’t been any breeds associated with hip dysplasia so far. However, more large dogs have been known to have hip dysplasia than small dogs. And this probably has something to do with the body mass.

That said, hip dysplasia is hereditary. So, if any of your dog’s parents had canine hip dysplasia, you ought to start preparing for such an eventuality.

What To Do About A Dog That You Suspect Has Hip Dysplasia

The following are steps that you can take if you suspect hip dysplasia:

  • Speak with your vet.
  • Work out an exercise schedule with your vet.
  • Adjust meals based on your vet’s recommendations.

Now, let’s explain:

The first thing you need to do if you suspect or if your dog has a parent with hip dysplasia is to visit your vet.

They will conduct physical exams and maybe recommend an x-ray to ascertain whether or not your dog has hip dysplasia.

If they do have it, pain killers are something that might be part of your dog’s everyday life. But seriously, your vet will probably recommend pain killers and it is better to stick with those instead of self medicating.

Your vet will also probably be recommending an exercise schedule because while a dog with hip dysplasia shouldn’t be engaging in particularly strenuous activities like long distance runs and power jumps, they need to get in their exercise to keep that hip moving.

Cheshire Animal
Image by AnjaGh from Pixabay

Something else your vet will be talking to you about is your dog’s diet. Too much weight will put too much pressure on the already sore hip joint. 

So, if your dog isn’t already on a healthy diet, you’ll need to consider putting them on one. And if your dog is obese or overweight, you’ll really need to work on that.

Euthanization is usually a last resort and even that would be a very difficult conclusion to get to.

However, let your dog’s well being be at the fore of whatever decision you make. Whatever the case is, please do what is right for your dog.

When To Put A Dog Down With Hip Dysplasia — FAQs

Can A Dog Live With Hip Dysplasia?

A dog with hip dysplasia can go ahead to live a long and healthy life as a hip dysplasia diagnosis is not a death sentence.

This is especially true if you’ve checked in with your vet, discussed the options available to you both and your dog has been put on a treatment plan.

How Early Does Hip Dysplasia Show Up In Dogs?

Since hip dysplasia is hereditary, your dog either already has it at birth or doesn’t.

If they do, you might begin to notice the signs as early as when they are pups or there’ld be nothing till they hit their senior years.

However, what’s more common is for the signs to begin to show when your pooch is an adult.

Should You Walk A Dog With Hip Dysplasia?

You should walk a dog with dysplasia as it helps strengthen the muscles around the hip. A bit of movement could also help reduce the pain overtime.

However, because of the sensitivity of hip dysplasia, be sure to discuss with your vet to come up with a workable exercise regimen for your dog.

Can Massage Help Hip Dysplasia In Dogs?

Massaging the hip of a dog with hip dysplasia could help bring temporary relief.

You’ll have to be careful when you massage in order not to aggravate the pain. Don’t go too hard as that could spike the pain and even make your dog aggressive.

However, sometimes, a massage is not enough and your dog might have to go in for a surgery.

How Much Is Hip Dysplasia Surgery For A Dog?

Hip dysplasia surgery usually involves a replacement of the affected hip. And for a hip replacement surgery we are looking at anything between 3000 and 7000 USD. If both hips are already affected, we’ll be talking about double that price bracket.

What Happens If Hip Dysplasia Is Left Untreated In Dogs?

If hip dysplasia is left untreated, the affected dog would be in increasingly more pain the longer the hip dysplasia is left untreated, especially if the dog is not mobile.

In addition to this, the hyp dysplasia could degenerate to a degenerative joint disease called osteoarthritis. And osteoarthritis can’t be cured yet.

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