Golden Retrievers Hip Dysplasia Treatments

Golden Retrievers have been a family favorite dog. They are beautiful, kind-hearted dogs with the most lovable eyes. They rank as #3 out of over 190 registered dog breeds, according to the American Kennel Club (AKC).

However, all dog breeds will have health problems, Goldens Retrievers are no different. Because of the Golden Retriever size, there is often health problems that may occur, especially their joints. In this article, we are going to break down everything you need to know about hip dysplasia — from the symptoms of hip dysplasia in golden retrievers to how you can prevent and treat the condition to make sure your pup is happy well into their golden years.


Golden Retrievers Dogs


The Golden Retriever, an exuberant Scottish gundog of great beauty, stands among America’s most popular dog breeds. They are serious workers at hunting and field work, as guides for the blind, and in search-and-rescue, enjoy obedience and other competitive events, and have an endearing love of life when not at work. The Golden Retriever is a sturdy, muscular dog of medium size, famous for the dense, lustrous coat of gold that gives the breed its name. The broad head, with its friendly and intelligent eyes, short ears, and straight muzzle, is a breed hallmark.

Golden Retriever Hip Dysplasia


Just like in human hips, our canine pals have “ball-in-socket” hip joints. The “ball” is the femoral head in this case. The socket is where the femoral head fits and also articulates.  In unaffected dogs, the femoral head fits tightly into properly formed sockets. But as you can see in the image below, when hip dysplasia sets in, the femoral head will flatten and won’t fit properly into the socket. In severe cases of hip dysplasia in Golden retrievers, there can be partial dislocation and bone spurs present on the rims of the sockets and the femoral heads themselves.


Are Golden Retrievers Prone to Hip Dysplasia?

Unfortunately yes. As purebreds, golden retrievers are more affected by this condition because the genes responsible for predisposition get passed down. According to the OFA’s ongoing data collection survey, almost 20% of golden retrievers have abnormal hips.

Golden retrievers are among other large breeds like Great Danes, German Shepherds, and Saint Bernards as being dogs that are primarily affected by hip dysplasia due to their size and breed characteristics. In addition to this, improper feeding by pet parents can also lead to the possibility of hip dysplasia in Golden Retrievers. Like excessive exercise, poor nutrition, and damage to the joints.


Golden Retriever Hip Dysplasia Signs and Symptons

When your dog walks abnormally, you need to be familiar with the following symptoms of hip dysplasia in golden retrievers to determine whether your dog has hip dysplasia.

×Swaying or “bunny-hopping” gait particularly upstairs

×Stiffness and visible pain

×Trouble or slowness going from sitting to a standing position

×Laying or sitting in a “frog” position where one leg splays out

×General reluctance to play, run or jump

×Winces or whines when the affected area is touched

×Lame hind legs

×Narrow stance in back legs

As the symptoms of hip dysplasia in golden retrievers worsen, you can typically spot the following signs from your dog:

×Muscular atrophy in the hind legs

×Dog arthritis symptoms such as limping, stiff or swollen joints, lethargy

×Won’t want to be touched

×Aggressive behaviour.


Golden Retriever Hip Dysplasia Prevention Tips

So is there any way we can reduce the chance of Golden Retriever suffering from hip dysplasia? Here is a list of some hip dysplasia prevention tips, so you can be proactive in protecting your golden’s joint health.

Dog Joint Supplements

Since hip dysplasia can occur when joints don’t set up properly as your golden grows, incorporating a joint supplement into your golden’s diet can work to support healthy joint growth, reducing the chances of developing dysplasia later in life.

But make sure you consult your veterinarian before adding supplements to your golden retrievers’ diet, so you can choose the right joint supplement for them.

Low Strain Exercises

Golden Retrievers love to get outside when possible and are just a little extra prone to excited zoomies around the house. But giving your puppy too much hard exercise like jogging, bike riding, agility, or hiking can further increase their risk of hip dysplasia. When giving them exercises, you need to pay attention to the following:

  • Consistent and low-impact
  • Allows them to stay on a leash
  • Promotes the stretching of hip joints

Recommended exercises are:

  • Swimming

The duration is controlled to 20-30 minutes per session. It can relieves pressure on joints due to buoyancy, loosens tight ligaments and be good for rotational joint movement.

  • Leash Walks

The duration is controlled to 20 minutes per session. It can keep weight off to relieve pressure on joints.

  • Underwater Treadmill Walks

The duration is suggested by your canine rehabilitation expert. It can relieves pressure on joints due to buoyancy. Also, warm water soothes aching joints.

  • Agility Training/Games

The duration is controlled to 10-15 minutes per session. This exercise stretches dogs hip joints while allowing them to interact with their pet parents.

Healthy Diet


The amount of food a Golden Retriever eats as a puppy can determine their likelihood of developing hip dysplasia as they grow up. You need to make sure your golden retriever doesn’t overeat to keep weight down and to prevent their hips from growing too fast and getting malformed.

Injury Prevention

By reducing the number of ligament strains and injuries your pup experiences, you’re also reducing the likelihood of your pup developing hip dysplasia.

You can avoid injuries by doing some of the following:

  • Add mats and rugs.
  • Use ramps toavoid the harsh landing.
  • Keep them on a leash to keep them from running around when outdoors.


Golden Retriever Hip Dysplasia Treatment Options

Anti-Inflammatory Medications

One option for golden retriever hip dysplasia treatment is anti-inflammatory medications.

These medications offer our dogs the ability to get relief from their pain quickly, and reduce the inflammation inside the joint. Commonly prescribed options for golden retriever hip dysplasia treatment include:

  • Deracoxib·Carprofen·Metacam ·Firocoxib ·Grapiprant

Be careful — always consult with your vet if you notice something is off about their behaviour after taking these prescribed medications.

Joint Supplements

Joint supplements can also aid in the treatment of hip dysplasia. Different ingredients have different benefits for golden retriever with hip dysplasia.

Active Ingredient Benefit
Glucosamine Builds and repairs cartilage in the hip joint.
MSM Reduces pain and inflammation.
Chondroitin Prevents cartilage from further breakdown.
Hyaluronic Acid Helps with lubricating the joint and increases joint fluid viscosity.



Surgery is sometimes the best option when your dog has a severe case of golden retriever hip dysplasia. When it comes to surgery, there are different types, or levels, of surgical treatment for golden retriever hip dysplasia. Depending on your pup’s needs, your vet will determine which surgery would be better.

Physical Therapy

Whether your canine is undergoing one of the surgeries or is in the earlier stages of golden retriever hip dysplasia, physical therapy can be really helpful for easing your pup’s discomfort.

Common physical therapies include:


How to apply heat therapy at home? 

Heat therapy is an easy and medication-free way to relieve some types of arthritis stiffness and pain. And also, heat therapy works best when combined with other treatment modalities.

Hot packs

Something that’s very convenient to buy and bring anywhere are the hot packs or gel packs. Not only for the cold seasons, but they are best to apply on specific or targeted areas of the dogs’ body.

Disadvantage: The hot packs are not able to keep the stable heat, the temperate goes down fast. And it has to be hold by the owners’ hand during the therapy. It’s hard to use on an active dog.

Heating pad

Electric heating pads can also to used to provide heat on dogs. It comes in different sizes and convenient to put on the floor or bed for that warm and cozy sleep. Users have the option of increasing and setting the heat temperature

Disadvantage: It’s not able to provide targeted heating to the pain area. The heat can’t reach some common pain areas of dog, like hip, spine or shoulder.

Warm Towels

It’s already found in your linen closet can bring your pup a good relief. Simply dipping the towel into hot water, dry it and use on your dog. Convenient and suitable for all dogs.

Disadvantage: Same as the hot packs, it can’t provide stable heat, and have to hold by owners’ hand.

PetieTec heating therapy braces

PetieTec Targeted Heating Therapy Braces are specially designed for our furbabies’ joint issues. They can not only be used for easing the pain from arthritis and hip dysplasia, but also for relaxing and stimulate blood circulation after exercise.


√Veterinarian approved
√ Targeted Heating & 3 Temperature options
√ Different sizes for different breeds
√ Made of Graphene material without over heating
√ Totally safe with no sided effects
√ Work well with other therapies