Hip Dysplasia in Boxer Dogs: Symptoms and Treatment

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Regardless of their solid, athletic build, Boxers may possibly come to be affected with the physical condition called hip dysplasia. This hereditary condition is a progressive degenerative condition of the hip joint. It primarily has an effect on large breed dogs and generally initially shows up in puppies between 4 and 12 months old.

When a dog has hip dysplasia, the joints develop abnormally. The head of the femur, or thigh bone, will not fit correctly into the hip socket. These “ball and socket” joints turn out to be malformed and unstable, leading to inflammation and weakness.


Symptoms depend upon the level of joint looseness or laxity, the level of joint inflammation, and the degeneration present. It is essential to take note that the pain levels in a dog do not at all times corrolate with the disease’s development. Quite a few dogs with moderate dysplasia might experience severe pain. While dogs with severe dysplasia might seem to be dealing with it very well.

Typical indications of hip dysplasia consist of:

  • Exercise intolerance
  • Bunny hopping (especially up stairs)
  • Swaying gait (rear end moves back and forth in pronounced fashion)
  • Stiffness/pain
  • Difficulty getting up from lying or sitting positions
  • Sitting in “frog” position (one hip splays out)
  • Reluctance to run, jump, climb stairs
  • Evinces pain when touched
  • Hind-limb lameness, often worse after exercise
  • Back legs more close together than front legs (eg narrow stance)

As hip dysplasia advances the following symptoms may appear:

  • Muscle waste in the hind quarters
  • Arthritis (especially in later onset)
  • Very reluctant to be touched
  • Unexplained aggressive behavior (read more on sudden aggression, and the high probability of hip dysplasia)

Watch this video and learn how to recognize Hip Dysplasia in dogs:


There are several surgical procedures available to treat hip dysplasia depending on the dog’s age, body size, and the severity of the hip joint’s degeneration.

Medical management of hip dysplasia and osteoarthritis has greatly improved thanks to the introduction and approval of several new drugs. Because hip dysplasia is primarily an inherited condition, there are no products on the market that prevent its development. Through proper diet, exercise, supplements, anti-inflammatories, and pain relief, you may be able to decrease the progression of degenerative joint disease, but the looseness in the joint or bony changes will not change significantly.

Because of the high cost involved with corrective surgeries, medical management is many times the only realistic option for pet owners. Medical management is multifaceted. For the best results, several of the following modalities should be instituted.

  • Weight Management
  • Exercise
  • Warmth and good sleeping areas:
  • Massage and physical therapy
  • Making daily activities less painful

Oral Supplements, may also help controlling the symptoms:

  • Glucosamine and Chondroitin
  • Perna Mussels
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids
  • Avocado/Soybean Unsaponifiables
  • Duralactin
  • Methyl-sulfonyl-methane
  • S-Adenosyl-L-methionine

Other option is Anti-inflammatory Drugs:

  • Carprofen (Rimadyl), etodolac (EtoGesic), deracoxib (Deramaxx), firocoxib (Previcox), tepoxalin (Zubrin) meloxicam (Metacam)
  • Buffered Aspirin
  • Corticosteroids

To learn more about the treatments available for dogs suffering from Hip Dysplasia watch this video:

sources: Dog Heirs, Pet Education