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Hip Dysplasia

Hip Dysplasia is an inherited condition (in most cases) where the ball and socket of the hip joint do not fit correctly. More specifically the head of the femur (the ball) does not fit neatly into the acetabulum (socket).



The socket (acetabulum) is flattened rather than rounded and therefore the ball (femoral head) does not slot into it as it would do in a normal joint. In most cases the condition will be inherited but in others poor condition and environment can play a role in the development of this.


Larger breeds are more prone to this than others and it is often evident from a very young age; even if the dog is not showing symptoms other than gait irregularities. New bone growth will also form as the condition develops and will result in osteoarthritis in older age. The dog will also twist during movement as the hip luxates or moves out of the socket. In younger years the dog may seem relatively unaffected by the condition however as they age pain will begin to be a factor.


In some cases your veterinary surgeon may suggested surgery to stabilise the joint.



  • Reluctance to exercise
  • Reluctance to go up and down stairs
  • Stiffness after rest/in the morning
  • Intolerance to handling at the site
  • Swivel to the gait
  • Bunny hopping when moving at a trot
  • Incorrect stance when standing (hind feet held together)
  • Lameness
  • Built up front end (as front end used to power movement)


Massage Benefits 

  • Relieves pain
  • Increases natural Range of movement
  • Relieves tension in the muscles
  • Corrects gait imbalance
  • Assists with strengthening the muscles
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Increases flexibility
  • Enables appropriate exercise through relief to muscle tension
  • Reduces stiffness
  • Reduces lameness