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Rabbit hobbling and hip swaying in dogs – what joint disease it indicates

Kaninchenhoppeln und Hüftschwung beim Hund sind nicht normal – auf welche Gelenkerkrankung es hindeutet, erfährst du hier.

Have you ever seen a dog that hops its hind legs like a rabbit at a trot? At first glance, this looks cute in any case. Similarly, the dogs that have a pronounced “hip swing”. The dog people usually find nothing special about it, because the dog has always done it that way. They interpret it as a habit. However, neither does the dogs any good and it has nothing to do with a habit.

Hip swinging and rabbit hopping are not good for your dog

Rabbit hobbling is a conspicuous feature of the dog’s gait, just like hip sway. Both are symptoms of a common joint condition that affects our dogs: hip dysplasia.

What is hip dysplasia?

In HD, the acetabulum and the head of the femur do not fit together perfectly. This incongruity of the joint causes instability and also osteoarthritis in the hip joint. Pain may occur.

And how does the hip swing and the rabbit hops come about?

The hip twist that dogs exhibit with hip dysplasia is called an LSÜ twist. This is caused by the twisting of the spine in the area between the last lumbar vertebra and the sacrum. In the forward movement, there is a sideways movement of the pelvis. While the LSÜ twist may well occur in young dogs due to the not yet fully formed hip joints, in an adult dog it is an abnormality in movement and not physiological. It is one of the most common symptoms of hip dysplasia.

Rabbit hops are not cute either?

“Rabbit hobbling” is another very common sign of hip dysplasia. Preferably at a trot – sometimes also at a gallop – the affected dogs push off with both hind legs at the same time, which then looks as if they are hopping like a rabbit. Sounds nice and fun, but it is not and should be taken seriously as a symptom of joint disease.

What you should do – my recommendation to you

If you notice that your dog is hopping his hind legs like a rabbit or showing a hip sway, it’s best to take him to a veterinarian so you can get to the bottom of the cause. HD should never be left untreated, as it will then progress and in the course of time the joint will become more and more damaged and the back and front legs will also be overloaded and affected. By the way, the hip swing can also be pronounced rather unilaterally. Always observe your dog’s tail position here as well. In addition to the two particularly typical signs, there are of course many other symptoms that can indicate hip dysplasia. I have summarized these for you in the article on “typical symptoms of hip dysplasia”.

All the love, your Tina


Rabbit hops with dog Rabbit hops with dog Rabbit hops with dog Rabbit hops with dog

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