Hip dysplasia is a painful, crippling disease that causes a dog’s hip to weaken, deteriorate and become arthritic. It stems from abnormal development of the hip joint – a ball-and-socket type joint – in which the head of the femur does not fit properly into the socket. Hip dysplasia can be mild and slightly disabling, or it can be severe and cause debilitating arthritis.

Hip dysplasia occurs more in males than females, and some breeds are genetically predisposed to the disease, including German shepherds, Labrador retrievers, golden retrievers, and Rottweilers. Environmental factors like type of diet, weight gain and rate of growth also contribute to abnormal hip development.

By definition, hip dysplasia develops in young growing dogs. The earliest age at which clinical signs may be noticed is usually around four months, but some dogs may not show any abnormality until they are adults or even in their senior years.

Diagnosis and Treatment Notes:


  • Hip dysplasia is diagnosed through physical examination and hip x-rays.
  • Treatment depends on the severity of the disease, your individual pet, and your veterinarian.  Medical treatments such as weight loss, moderate exercise and anti-inflammatory medication will help to alleviate the pain and inflammation around the hip joint.
  • If medical treatment does not alleviate the pain, surgical treatment might be appropriate. Young dogs might benefit from a triple pelvic osteotomy (TPO). Older dogs respond favorably to two other procedures: a femoral head and neck ostectomy (FHO) or a total hip replacement (THR). Discuss treatment details when your pet is diagnosed with this condition.


What to Watch for*:


  • Limping
  • Swaying or staggering
  • Discomfort or difficulty lying down or standing up
  • Painfulness when walking

*Please notify us if you notice any of the above signs or if you have any questions!

Dear Valued Clients

During these challenging times, there have been some unforeseen changes at The Big Easy Animal Hospital. I cannot express enough my sincere apology for any inconvenience you have experienced at The Big Easy during these times. As we strive to make the practice safe to protect everyone including you, your family, and our Big Easy team and their families, I’ve decided to make certain changes while we are under this pandemic. These changes will be temporary.


Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday:
Walk Ins: Check-in starts at 9:45am.There are a limited amount of patients we can accept. Our receptionists will be happy to assist you with options to help guide you and your pet(s).)


Saturday Hours

Saturdays will be TECHNICIAN APPOINTMENTS only. These will include boosters, bloodwork, nail trims, certain diagnostics, etc. There will not be a veterinarian on site. While I understand these changes can be inconvenient, I have listed local veterinary clinics that we have contacted and are open to see walk-ins throughout the week and Saturdays as well. For life threatening emergencies that occur outside business hours, please contact the following 24-hour animal hospitals below.

Please, be safe and healthy.

Thank you all for your understanding. -Aileen Ruiz, DVM


24 Hour Emergency Care:


Pittsburgh Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Center

807 Camp Horne Road
Pittsburgh, PA



4224 Northern Pike
Monroeville, PA

VCA Castle Shannon Animal Hospital

3610 Library Road
Pittsburgh, PA

Veterinarians Accepting Walk in Care:

Penn Animal Hospital

2205 Penn Avenue

North Boros Veterinary Hospital

2255 Babcock Blvd



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