German Shepherd Hip Dysplasia: Treatment, Surgery, and Prevention

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German Shepherd

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Origin: Germany
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German Shepherd Illnesses

As with other dog breeds, German Shepherds may also get sick with many different illnesses, be it a common cold or cancer. Sometimes, those illnesses are acquired, and in other cases – they may be genetically transferred. Anyhow, they have to be treated or at least the effects should be lessened.

One quite common problem in German Shepherds` bone structure is the “Hip Dysplasia”. This disorder sometimes even makes the dog almost immovable. Currently, it can’t be fully treated, although it can be lightened with surgical operations.

Hip Dysplasia

“What is this disorder all about?”, – you may also ask. As the name states, it is a hip bone misalignment, which negatively affects the dog’s movement speed, agility and stamina. It transfers genetically from parent to child, and cannot be fully treated, but can be fully prevented.

Also, if you don’t do anything about it, the dog may experience an acute amount of pain. That is surely not something you and your dog want, is it? So, if you (or your vet) identify this problem, immediately take action – perhaps you will stop the sickness from developing completely.


Let’s assume you (or vets at a medical clinic) have identified the problem’s presence. What should you do?

Well, obviously, unless you are a professional and/or vet, be sure to visit a vet clinic and listen to what the doctors say. They will analyze the problem and state a final verdict. Be it specialized training, medicine or surgery, if you want your pet to be healthy – follow every piece of advice and tip those people tell you.

If you are lucky – this disorder will slowly decrease in size and completely go off. But in case you are too late surgery is the solution.


Surgical operation is performed in limited cases, and only if there’s no other way to treat the dysplasia. It is also the most effective way to do so.

Basically, the surgeon displaces the hip into the correct place and removes any unnecessary tissue, thus decreasing the friction between bones and curing the dog. If the surgery is successful, your German Shepherd will be once again able to live his normal life, with little to no movement problems and other bad symptoms.

But in case you don’t actually need a surgery, but know for sure that the hip dysplacya may occur, you can prevent it.

We recommended you: to accept surgery only at the point, when nothing else is going to help.


Preventing a genetic disorder isn’t something like a vaccine – you can’t take it once and forget about it for one year. If your dog has hip dysplasya or can be susceptible to it – that means that you should always pay attention.

That attention should be in form of regular (even daily) physical training, a good nutritious diet, and a balanced weight (overweight causes a hip problem due to increased load).

If your German Shepherd has already developed a disorder, consider “suspended” exercises (exercises, in which the dog’s weight is not pushing on the hip, and the muscles are not bearing it). Additionally, with working out there has to be rest.

Ensure! That your dog is getting enough sleep, and that sleeping spot is comfortable. The dog has to be fully relieved, so a soft pillow or something of that sort would help.

How to Detect?

There are multiple ways to discover hip dysplasia in a German Shepherd:

  • The most obvious one would be a visit to the vet. Sometimes you can just feel the hip displacement by touching it, but mostly you will have to do an X-ray analysis.
  • On the more advanced stages of the disorder, you may see the hip being in the wrong place with an unarmed eye. Well, if that has taken you by a surprise, then the illness has been developing for a long time. In that case, you should immediately attend a vet clinic, or it might get worse.
  • When getting a puppy from a breeder/kennel. You should be told about the disorder right at that moment.

There are also some other less notable ways to detect this illness.

And finally, thank you for reading and good luck.

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Author of Silvia Brown
Written by Silvia Brown
Glad to see you my friends! I started this blog several years ago and continue to write articles about dogs. I'm dog lover and my purpose make their lives happier. One day I'll open animal shelter - it's my inspiring dream ✨

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