are curly coated retrievers hypoallergenic

All You Need to Know About Hip Dysplasia in Curly-Coated Retrievers

Do you want to learn more about hip dysplasia in Curly-coated retriever? As a dog lover, it’s always tough to hear about any kind of health issue that my pup might face. But when I first learned about hip dysplasia in this particular breed, it hit me especially hard. You see, curly-coated retrievers are some of the most athletic, energetic dogs out there – it’s why so many people love them as active companions. So to think that hip dysplasia could get in the way of their boundless energy level and joy was a bit disheartening.

Fortunately, with the right research and care, hip dysplasia in Curly-coated retrievers doesn’t have to be a major issue! And to help you better understand this condition, let’s look at some of the basics about hip dysplasia in curly-coated retrievers: what it is, how it’s diagnosed, and what you can do to ensure your pup stays healthy and active. So read on if you want to learn more!

What Exactly Is Hip Dysplasia?

hip dysplasia in curly-coated retriever

Hip dysplasia is a condition characterized by the abnormal formation of the hip joint. The condition can affect dogs and humans, and it’s prevalent in large dog breeds, such as Curly-Coated Retrievers. The hip joint is a ball-and-socket joint, where the ball at the top of the thigh bone fits into the socket of the hip bone. When a dog suffers from hip dysplasia, the ball and socket don’t fit snugly, leading to joint instability. Over time, this condition can lead to arthritis, pain, and lameness.

Curly-Coated Retrievers are prone to hip dysplasia due to their genetics and size. Being a large breed, their hips are under a lot of stress, and if not taken care of, they could develop hip dysplasia. Unfortunately, hip dysplasia can be challenging to detect early since dogs are good at hiding their pain.

For curly-coated retrievers, hip dysplasia can significantly impact their quality of life. Since as mentioned above, this breed is known for its athleticism and agility, so they excel in activities like hunting and retrieving. However, dogs with hip dysplasia often experience discomfort and pain during these activities, ultimately leading to a lack of enthusiasm for exercise.

On a more serious note, hip dysplasia can also lead to arthritis, making it even more difficult for dogs to move around comfortably. It is especially concerning for curly-coated retrievers, as they are a large dog breed and can weigh up to 80 pounds. The added weight can stress their already vulnerable hip joints even more.

Symptoms of Hip Dysplasia in Curly-Coated Retrievers

hip dysplasia in curly-coated retriever

So, what causes hip dysplasia in curly-coated retriever? I will share some of the symptoms to look out for so that you can be aware and catch them early if your pup develops hip dysplasia. Here are some of the most common symptoms of hip dysplasia in curly-coated retrievers:

👉Decreased Range of Motion

You may notice that your dog has trouble walking or running or has become less flexible in their joints. This can be caused by degeneration of the hip joint, which can lead to pain and stiffness. In some cases, your dog may also develop a limp or an uneven gait.

👉Decreased Activity

If your curly retriever dog is suddenly less interested in playtime or exercise, this could be a sign that they’re experiencing pain or discomfort. They may also have difficulty getting up from lying down or becoming less active in general.

👉Difficulty or Reluctance Rising

Various factors, including weakness in the hind legs, hip pain, or joint inflammation, can cause this. If your dog has trouble getting up on their own or seems reluctant to move around, it’s important to take them to the vet to find out what’s causing the problem.

👉Hind End Lameness

When our dogs experience hip dysplasia, their back legs will feel weak, and they may struggle to move around. You might also notice that your dog favors one leg over the other or limps. Another sign to watch out for is when your dog is unwilling to jump or climb stairs, which they used to enjoy. A lack of appetite and lethargy is also common when your dog feels pain.

👉Joint Grating

You might feel or hear the sound of joint grating while running your hands on your dog’s hip area. This is the second symptom of hip dysplasia to look out for. The joint grating sound is caused by the friction between bones that are not fitting well together due to the malformation of the hip joint. This symptom might be subtle at first, but as the condition progresses, the sound becomes louder, and you may also notice your dog’s reluctance to do specific activities.

👉Thigh Muscle Mass Loss

The thigh muscles are the key muscles that enable our dogs to walk, run, and jump. Hence, if our dog’s hip muscles are not functioning correctly, the thigh muscles will begin to shrink. You might notice that your dog’s hind legs have become more slender than usual. This symptom indicates that the condition has been going on for a while, and you must take proper steps to prevent further muscle loss.

👉Shoulder Muscles Noticeable Enlargement

Curly-coated retrievers with hip dysplasia tend to put more weight on their front legs to avoid bearing weight on their hind legs. Over time, this strains the shoulder muscles and causes them to develop extra mass.

👉Stiffness or Limping

Curly coated retrievers with hip dysplasia often show signs of stiffness or limping. It is because the joints in their hips grind against each other, causing pain and inflammation. If your dog limps or has difficulty getting up or walking, they might have hip dysplasia.


Hip dysplasia is a painful condition in curly-coated retrievers. They tend to show signs of pain, particularly in their hind legs. They may also start avoiding activities like running and jumping, which can indicate that they’re in pain.

These are just some signs to look out for if you suspect your curly-coated retriever may suffer from hip dysplasia. If any of these symptoms are present, bringing your dog to a veterinarian immediately is important for diagnosis and treatment.

Hip Dysplasia in Curly-Coated Retriever Diagnosis

Your vet will typically perform an x-ray to evaluate the hips during the evaluation. Typically, dogs with hip dysplasia have hips that aren’t formed properly; the X-ray will show this. Your vet may also perform a physical examination to determine the range of motion of your dog’s hips. This can involve gently moving your dog’s legs in various directions to see if there are any restrictions or pain.

If the x-rays and physical examination indicate that your dog does have hip dysplasia, your vet will likely recommend a treatment plan. It can range from pain management to surgery, depending on the severity of the condition. Pain management may involve medication or supplements to help alleviate your dog’s pain and make them more comfortable. Surgery can range from a femoral head osteotomy (cutting the femur bone to change its shape) to a total hip replacement.

In some cases, your vet may recommend taking further steps to diagnose your dog’s hip dysplasia. This can involve genetic testing to determine if your dog carries the genes for hip dysplasia or arthroscopy to get a better look at the joints. These additional diagnostic tools can help your vet develop a more targeted treatment plan for your dog to help them heal and get back to a normal, pain-free life.

Treatment Options for Hip Dysplasia in Curly-Coated Retrievers

hip dysplasia in curly-coated retriever

After diagnosis, your vet will likely recommend a treatment plan for your dog’s hip dysplasia. Depending on the severity of the condition, this treatment can range from pain management to surgery.

1: Weight Reduction:

One of the most effective ways to treat hip dysplasia in curly-coated retrievers is weight reduction. This is because carrying excess weight puts added pressure on the hips, exacerbating the condition. As such, if your furry friend is overweight, helping them lose some extra pounds could go a long way toward improving their quality of life. To achieve this, talk to your vet, and they will develop a tailored weight-loss plan that considers your dog’s specific needs and medical history.

2: Physical Therapy:

Physical therapy involves techniques such as massage, hydrotherapy, and stretching to help alleviate pain and improve joint function. These techniques help improve agility and flexibility, making day-to-day life less painful for your furry friend. Physical therapy can be performed by a licensed therapist or a vet, who can teach you how to do it at home.

3: Exercise Restriction:

While exercise is essential for your dog’s overall health, too much can exacerbate hip dysplasia. As such, restricting physical activity can be one of the best ways to ease pain and reduce the risk of further injury. Speak to your vet and develop a tailored exercise plan that takes into account your pet’s specific condition, needs, and lifestyle. Low-impact exercises such as simple walks or swimming can be ideal for dogs with hip dysplasia.

4: Anti-inflammatory Medications

These medications can help reduce inflammation and pain in the affected joint. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as Rimadyl, Deramaxx, and Metacam are commonly prescribed by veterinarians. However, it’s essential to know that long-term use of NSAIDs can have adverse side effects, such as liver and kidney damage.

5: Joint Supplements

Joint supplements such as glucosamine and chondroitin have been known to improve joint health in dogs with hip dysplasia. These supplements work by stimulating the production of new cartilage in the affected joint, reducing inflammation, and easing pain. In addition, omega-3 fatty acids are also recommended for dogs with hip dysplasia. Omega-3 supplements can help reduce inflammation and promote healthy joints.

6: Joint Fluid Modifier

Hyaluronic acid and polysulfated glycosaminoglycan are joint fluid modifiers that can help reduce inflammation in dogs with hip dysplasia. These supplements work by improving the quality of joint fluid, which, in turn, lubricates the joint and reduces friction. It helps reduce pain and stiffness and improves mobility in affected dogs.

7: Surgery

In severe cases of hip dysplasia, surgery may be the only option. Several surgical options include total hip replacement, femoral head osteotomy, and triple pelvic osteotomy. However, surgery should be a last resort and only recommended in severe cases where the dog’s quality of life is significantly affected.

8: Alternative Therapies

Alternative therapies, such as acupuncture and chiropractic, can help manage the symptoms of hip dysplasia in dogs. These therapies can help reduce pain, improve joint mobility, and promote healing. However, it’s essential to consult with your veterinarian before trying any alternative therapies.

As a curly-coated retriever breed owner, it’s essential to be proactive about your dog’s joint health and speak with your veterinarian about the best treatment for hip dysplasia. Together, you can ensure your dog is as comfortable and healthy as possible.

Preventative Measures to Avoid Developing Hip Dysplasia

Fortunately, there are preventative measures you can take to avoid hip dysplasia in Curly-Coated Retrievers.

✔️Screen Breeding Dogs for Hip Dysplasia

The first step in avoiding hip dysplasia is to conduct screening in breeding dogs to determine their condition. Breeding dogs should be screened for hip dysplasia by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA). The screening is a radiographic evaluation of the hip joint, where the dog’s hip joints are rated based on their normalcy. Screening breeding dogs can ensure they only breed dogs with hip joints rated normal-grade or higher. This can help prevent hip dysplasia from being passed on to future generations.

✔️Exercise for Muscle Development

Keeping your fur baby active through regular exercise is an effective way to keep hip dysplasia at bay. Muscle development plays a crucial role in minimizing the effects of hip dysplasia. Exercise maintains the dog’s muscle mass, promoting its bone structure and sturdiness, which is beneficial for preventing hip dysplasia. However, it’s worth noting that over-exercising the dog can be harmful and result in injury. Therefore, gradually increasing exercise intensity at an appropriate pace is important.

✔️Proper Diet

A proper diet is essential in keeping your curly-coated retriever healthy and avoiding hip dysplasia. Feeding foods filled with nutrients that keep bones and joints healthy, like omega-3 fatty acids, glucosamine, and chondroitin, helps minimize joint damage and inflammation, hallmarks of hip dysplasia. You can consult a veterinary nutritionist to identify adequate diets for your dog.

✔️Consistent Vet Check-Ups

Regular veterinary check-ups are essential for diagnosing the early stages of hip dysplasia. Your vet can examine and identify any mild symptoms before they advance into a severe condition. It’s always recommended to visit the veterinarian at least twice a year to be on the safe side.

✔️Maintaining Appropriate Weight

Maintaining the appropriate weight for your dog can be crucial in avoiding hip dysplasia. Obesity often results in early onset of hip dysplasia in dogs. The joint’s function becomes weakened because the extra weight exerts more pressure, eventually disrupting its balance. Choosing the right diet for your dog and regular exercise can help control your dog’s weight.

Remember, your furry friend relies on your care and support to maintain their health and happiness.

Frequently Asked Questions

How successful are the surgical treatments for hip dysplasia in Curly-Coated Retrievers?

Hip dysplasia is a degenerative disease that affects the hips, causing pain, stiffness, and weakness in dogs. Surgery is usually recommended for severely affected dogs to improve their mobility and quality of life. In my experience, the success of the surgery depends on various factors, such as the dog’s age, severity of the condition, surgeon’s expertise, and post-operative care. Generally, younger dogs have a better chance of successful surgery than older dogs. My dog underwent surgery at the age of five and made a remarkable recovery. He could walk and play with less pain and discomfort than before the surgery. However, I had to follow strict guidelines for his rest, medication, and physical therapy for several weeks post-surgery.

Is hip dysplasia hereditary in Curly-Coated Retrievers?

Yes, hip dysplasia is thought to be a hereditary condition in Curly-Coated Retrievers and many other breeds. The condition occurs when the hip joint fails to develop correctly due to a genetic defect or improper nutrition. Therefore, choosing a reputable breeder who conducts health tests and ensures that the puppies’ parents are free of hip dysplasia is essential. It is also advisable to avoid breeding dogs with hip dysplasia to prevent passing on the disease to future generations.

Should I avoid breeding my Curly-Coated Retriever if they have hip dysplasia?

Yes, it is strongly recommended to avoid breeding dogs with hip dysplasia, as it can perpetuate the disease in the breed. Instead, you can opt for neutering or spaying your dog to prevent them from passing on the genes.

What is the expected lifespan of a Curly-Coated Retriever with hip dysplasia?

The expected life span of a Curly Retrievers with hip dysplasia is variable, depending on the severity of the disease and its management. Although hip dysplasia is not fatal, it can significantly affect a dog’s quality of life and lead to other complications, such as arthritis, hip dislocation, and nerve damage. With proper treatment and care, a dog with hip dysplasia can live up to 10-12 years or more.

Can hip dysplasia lead to other health issues in Curly-Coated Retrievers?

Yes, hip dysplasia can lead to other health issues in Curly-Coated Retrievers, such as arthritis, joint inflammation, muscle wastage, and mobility problems. These conditions can further worsen the dog’s quality of life and require additional treatment. Therefore, monitoring your dog’s condition regularly is essential, as providing suitable nutrition and exercise and seeking veterinary help if you notice any signs of discomfort or limping.

Final Words

After researching and learning about hip dysplasia in curly-coated retrievers, it’s clear that these adorable pups are, unfortunately, at a higher risk for this condition. It’s heartbreaking to imagine our furry friends experiencing discomfort, especially when it can be prevented or managed. As pet owners, we must do everything possible to ensure their health and happiness. By following the guidelines recommended by veterinarians, such as maintaining a healthy weight and participating in low-impact exercise, we can help reduce the likelihood of hip dysplasia developing. Let’s do our part in keeping our curly-coated retrievers as happy and healthy as possible.

About Tom Thorpe

Tom Thorpe has overtime interacted with different species of dogs mostly through breeding and training; according to him, man’s best friend is yet to find solace in the company of man, as they are continuously mistreated. He, therefore, runs a rescue center that provides shelter to stray dogs, and has been advocating for the rights of animals; the Golden Retriever dogs are among his favorites, the reason he came up with the extensive excerpts to help educate the society on the right treatment and care of the respective breed. Tom spends most of his time running his dog shelter; he is a husband and proud father of two boys and loves to go fishing during his free time.

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