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British Veterinary Association (BVA) HIP TEST

Canine hip dysplasia is a common inherited orthopaedic problem where abnormalities occur in the hip joints.

Changes to the hip joint will begin at a young age as the puppy starts to become more active and will escalate with time. These changes can lead to excessive wear and tear of the joint, causing one or both hip joints to become defective. At this stage the joint(s) may be painful and can have serious effects on the health, behaviour and welfare of the dog.

Signs of canine hip dysplasia

Signs of hip dysplasia in dogs vary between individuals and breeds. Some observable signs include: 

  • Lameness

  • Stiffness after rest

  • Exercise intolerance

  • Groaning while resting or getting up

  • Difficulty in using the stairs 

However, a veterinary surgeon’s physical examination will provide a more reliable assessment and radiography is the only means of diagnosing the presence of hip dysplasia.


It is possible to alleviate some of the signs of pain and limitation of movement caused by hip dysplasia. Sophisticated medications and various surgical procedures are now available. Applied heat, massage, good bedding, exercise and weight management as well as nutrition and physiotherapy also play a part in caring for a dog affected by hip dysplasia. 

Common breeds at risk 

Hip dysplasia affects a range of breeds including crossbreeds.

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