English Bulldog Hip dysplasia and Surgery

Hello Dr, Kraemer.

I have a male English bulldog , he is 3 years old in January and we live in Switzerland.

hip dysplasia with arthritis in bulldog


The vets here are good but dont have much experience in the English bulldog breed. Here is where i would appreciate your opinion, a week age he had some pain in his left hind leg and screamed each time he put some weight on it so we took him to the vet and got X-rays done.


The vet here seems to think he has severe hip dysplasia and signs of arthritis, He recommends hip replacement surgery? If you could be so kind as to take a look at his X-rays and let us know your expert opinion so that we can do right by our boy.


Thank you very much and looking forward to your kind reply.


BamBams Mommy.


1 Answers
Dr. Roy Kraemer Staff answered 5 years ago

Answer for Bulldog Hip Dysplasia  Surgery

Dear bambam mom from Switzerland

Bulldog and French bulldog hip dysplasia are very common; nevertheless, most are subclinical with no evidence of discomfort.

Bulldog Hip Dysplasia  Pain and Arthritis

Bulldogs that have hip subluxation or total luxation frequently show no symptoms at all, including limping, sluggish walking, or slow lifting.

So even if “Bambam” does actually have hip dysplasia, I highly doubt that this is the cause of the pain he is experiencing.

Veterinarians sometimes mix up bulldog hip dysplasia with degenerative joint disease (DJD) and osteoarthritis, but it’s important to know they’re different.

hip dysplasia w arthritis bulldog

Hip dysplasia means the hip joint doesn’t fit together properly, like a mismatched “ball & socket.” On the other hand, DJD and osteoarthritis involve the breaking down of cartilage and wear and tear on the bone surface. Both can lead to painful and uncomfortable joints. So, while they might seem similar, they have distinct causes and thus might need different kinds of care.

If you notice your dog having trouble moving or showing signs of joint pain, it’s crucial to consult with your vet for the right diagnosis and treatment.

Bulldog Hip Dysplasia  Radiographs

The radiograph I shared is a prime example of the common diagnostic tunnel vision I often observe among my colleagues. When faced with striking radiographs, there’s a tendency to assume that the dysplastic or luxated hip is the sole cause of the bulldog’s orthopedic problem.

luxating dysplastic hips in bulldog puppy

In some instances, these radiographs are discovered incidentally during routine exams, and despite the absence of clear physical evidence and the bulldog appearing to walk without discomfort or a limp, some veterinarians recommend surgery.

bulldog hip dysplasia with severe arthritic MPL​ Caption Description File URL: https://vet4bulldog.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/bulldog-hip-dysplsia-with-severe-arthritic-MPL.jpg Copy URL to clipboard ATTACHMENT DISPLAY SETTINGS Alignment None Link To None Size Medium – 259 × 300 Selected media actions 1 item selected Clear Insert into post


For a more comprehensive understanding, I kindly ask you to request that your vet take spinal and knee radiographs as well. This broader perspective will enable us to assess and address potential issues more accurately.

Bulldog Hip Dysplasia  and ACL Tear

In Bambam’s case, as with any bulldog or French bulldog experiencing hind leg orthopedic issues, it’s crucial to perform a thorough examination. This should involve radiographs and an evaluation of the spine and knees.

ACL bulldog normal vs abnormal

I would be particularly watchful for potential knee problems like ACL injuries and patella luxation, as well as spinal issues such as radicular pain, nerve root compression, or lumbar-sacral disease. This comprehensive approach will help us pinpoint the specific concerns and tailor an appropriate course of action for Bambam’s well-being.

Bulldog Hip Dysplasia Surgical Options

I rarely, if ever, recommend hip surgery (FHO, triple osteotomy, etc.) for bulldog hip dysplasia. If your bulldog or French bulldog was suspected or diagnosed with some degree of bulldog hip dysplasia, I would begin some other non-invasive, non-traumatic safe and inexpensive preventive measures, such as


Joint supplements like Dr. Kraemer’s


V4B Total Joint Handout for English Bulldog hips

Bulldog Hip Dysplasia / Alternative Therapies

  2. MODIFIED ACTIVITIES: This included avoiding stairs that involved acute weight loading, twisting, and turning.
  5. PRP: platelet-rich plasma
  8. PEMT: Pulse Electromagnetic Therapy

Bulldog Hip Dysplasia RX

Pain relief and anti-inflammatory RX

  • Gabapentin
  • Tramadol
  • Etc.

Feel free to send me the radiographs I mentioned

bulldog joints 60+ - Essential

Best of luck to BamBam and you!
Dr. Kraemer Vet4Bulldog

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The information provided on this platform is for general informational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian regarding any medical condition. It's important to always consider professional medical advice promptly and not to delay seeking it based on information you've read on this platform. Any reliance on the information provided here is entirely at your discretion.

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