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Physiotherapy for Hip Dysplasia

What is Hip Dysplasia?​

Hip dysplasia is a progressive disease. However, the condition can be affected by external factors. Hip dysplasia leads to joint laxity, which results in changes within the joint, abnormal wear and subsequent osteoarthritis. For further details on the disease and treatment options, please see Hip Dysplasia - Fitzpatrick Referrals.

Physiotherapy plays an important role in managing hip dysplasia and drastically improves the dog’s quality of life. Physiotherapy is useful for surgical and conservatively managed patients and will drastically improve both outcomes.

Aims of Hip Dysplasia Rehabilitation ​

  • Reduce pain

  • Strengthen the affected muscles

  • Improve and maintain soft tissue flexibility

  • Improve and maintain range of motion

  • Enhance gait patterning

Physiotherapy Treatment for Hip Dysplasia​

  • Manual therapy techniques such as massage, mobilisations and stretches

  • Electrotherapies such as Phototherapy, Ultrasound and Pulsed Electromagnetic Field

  • Land-based exercises for balance, strengthening and spacial awareness

Hydrotherapy Options

Water-based therapy is an ideal environment for a dog’s suffering from hip dysplasia. The properties of water provide relief, allowing easier mobilisation of joints. Using the buoyancy of the water, the patient can move their hips easier and therefore strengthen specific muscle groups. It also helps maintain cardiovascular fitness, which is not as easy on land when exercise is restricted.

What can I do to help my dog at home?


A diagnosis of hip dysplasia can be a very confusing time for owners. Emma is here to guide you through the process with regular reviews and assessments, working together with your vet to ensure that your dog receives the best treatment. Emma considers every dog as an individual and their family circumstances, so they will work with you to ensure that all
treatment is achievable for you and your dog.

A specific home care exercise programme and walking advice will be given to you by your physiotherapist, and it will be uniquely designed to suit your dog’s needs. Emma will also be able to offer advice on activities in your daily routine, such as how best to assist your dog in and out of a car, the avoidance of slippery floors, the avoidance of high-impact activities such as jumping up or down from furniture, running up and down stairs. Think of Emma as your dog’s occupational therapist!

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