Hip Dysplasia

QMy question is on hip dysplasia. I’m currently seeking a Chow pup for my mother. This will be her fourth Chow. Our last one, the one I was most familiar with, died of old age (14) back in 1985. My folks always said she had hip dysplasia. It didn’t seem to bother her. She walked with a little bit of a wag in her butt. I grew up under the impression that dysplasia only barred dogs from shows because they walked funny. I’ve now read your web pages…how wrong I was!

Well, here is the question, how do I tell if a puppy has dysplasia? It seems that there are varying degrees of the affliction…my late dog on one hand that had a ‘cute’ wag to her stride, to dogs that need hip surgery. A puppy I checked out in San Jose yesterday had that ‘cute’ bounce in her butt that my dog had. This set off alarms in my mind and I didn’t buy the dog. The dog wasn’t crippled, and I’m not interested in showing the dog, but I don’t want to get attached to a dog that must be put away. Are there some easy tests to check a chow’s hips out?

AIt can be very difficult to notice in a puppy. Many times dysplasia happens during the time they are growing up. It is caused due to a malformed hip joint that results in the head of the femur bone not fitting perfectly into the hip socket. Often it will lead to pain, lameness, and arthritis. However, the good news is that this condition, though congenital, can be treated by surgery. The earlier it is done the stronger recovery with your Chow Chow.

The quickest and most common way to spot it is to look at their walk from behind. You can tell the difference between good stride and one that is off or limping. If the parent dogs are dysplastic then it can invariably lead to puppies with the same problem. When looking to adopt or acquire a puppy, inquire about the parents conditions and medical history, look for signs that might lead to future problems. Another option is to find a good veterinarian that has worked with Chow Chows and has a solid understanding about hip dysplasia. When you find a pup that you are interested in, get a trail period from the owners. Then take the pup to your local veterinarian to have him or her checked out.

Resources on Hip Dysplasia

For more information and help be sure to check the Health Discussion forums where you can seek input from the community.


Was this Q&A helpful for you and your Chow Chow? If you have additional information or advice on hip dysplasia, please feel free to share them in the comment below.


  1. Elenito R Montilla on April 16, 2018 at 4:17 am

    My chow chow dog was diagnosed with hip dysplasia thru X ray. Can you recommend an expert veterenarian who can treat him. Hr was diagnosed in mandaluyong by the staff of vets in practice.

  2. Cherie on June 25, 2018 at 3:07 am

    Hi there

    My name is Cherie and i have a beautiful male short hair cream Chow called Chubbie will be 5 this xmas. He was diagnosed with mild hip dysplasia around 18 months old and was in pain. I have been giving him a product called rosehip vital canine specifically for dogs since he was diaganosed and never missed a day mixing the powder with peanut butter. I cannot stress enough the amazing recovery and you would not think he has ever had hip dysplasia. It is not cheap but the result is worth every cent i saw a difference in 3 months. He shows no signs of discomfort and exercises without any hesitation.
    Thank you

  3. cherie on November 1, 2018 at 10:15 pm

    Hi there,

    I have a beautiful male cream Chow, he was diagnosed with slight hip Dysplasia when he was 12 months old. He is not desexed and I feel this has made a huge difference plus he has every day Rose-hip Vital for canines I cannot express enough how good this powder is, it’s not cheap but well worth it because he is one pain free, energetic happy dog. I think also not over excising them when puppies i.e. climbing stairs, jumping etc. does help too.

  4. Alba on December 23, 2019 at 9:47 am

    I need any helpful information about the best food for my 4 year old Willow , he has arthritis and we are giving him supplements for that. He is having the runs and we don’t know what could be the cause..

    Any idea we stopping the supplements for a week to see how that goes but I feel that’s not the issue because he was having issue before the supplement.

    Any ideas? Thanks

  5. morgan x lezai on May 7, 2020 at 4:16 pm

    looking for the best of the best for my pup. He is 11 month old chow chow pure breed. He dislocated his hip running up the stairs. We took him to 3 different dr. Near our location. They immediately wanted to operate before even looking at an xray. The only one that was greatband took the time to thoroughly evaluate him was the first vet. And after resetting his hip and waiting the 4 weeks with the bandaged his hip still dislocated. So we are at the point where we need to find a specialist to look him and reevaluate if surgery, what kind of surgery. Can anyone suggest the best of the best Dr.

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