Hip Dysplasia in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs

Hip Dysplasia in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs

Hip Dysplasia in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs

Hip Dysplasia in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs, is a common orthopedic condtion.  You might be able to dedect a bulldog with hip laxity if you see one walk or run while exhibiting what you might describe as an “exotic belly dancer side to side pelvis motion”. You also might have observed your bulldog preforming the  frog seating yoga position, both prefomances are associated with hip laxity in bulldogs.

How big of a concern this is?

Is your bulldog suffering?

Should you consider surgery?

Hip Dysplasia in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs ANATOMY

Bulldog hip joint articulation is often described as a “ball & socket” type joint, the femoral head is the BALL and the pelvis acetabulum is the SOCKET.  Bulldog hip laxity, subluxation, and dysplasia are noted when the femoral head coverage is inadequate. It can happen due to a shallow hip socket, to a short femoral neck, to an abnormal femoral head or/and due to abnormal soft tissue, and ligaments attachments.

GENETICS & ENVIRONMENT: Bulldog and French bulldog hip dysplasia are multifactorial and polygenetic, thus the disease outcome and severity depend on the interaction between your bulldog genetic susceptibility and exposure to environmental stressors.

PHYSIOLOGY: there are two common physiological conditions underlining bulldog hip dysplasiaHip Dysplasia in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs
1. Abnormal collagen and fiber development in the joint capsule and ligament of the femoral head.
2. Abnormal endochondral ossification of the acetabulum resulting in joint incongruency.

Hip Dysplasia in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs MAINTENANCE:

  • WEIGHT: Weight control is essential.
  • DIET: quality, nutritious low-calorie diet. Special “large breed” formulated puppy food (eng bull).
  • SUPPLEMENTS: to help prevent and control pain, inflammation, and arthritis. Chondroprotectants and Fish Oil like Dr. Kraemers V4B Bully Advanced Total Joint Advanced Formula, V4B Comfort Plus and V4B Fish Oil,
  • MUSCLE TONE & BLOOD FLOW: Controlled exercise to maintain muscle strength, to help protect and stabilize the hip joint, prevent arthritis and reduce discomfort and pain.
  • ACTIVITY: controlled activity over grass or in water. Avoid jumping, stairs, skateboard, quick turns, and hard turf.

Hip Dysplasia in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs RULE OF THUMB:

Non-weight-bearing lameness in bulldogs and French bulldog is rarely caused by hip dysplasia, it is more likely due to an injured cranial cruciate ligament (ACL Tear) or/and bulldog Medial Patella luxation (MPL)

Hip Dysplasia in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs TIPS & WARNINGS

Hip Dysplasia in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs Tip 1 / BREEDERS: carefully choose a reputable bulldog breeder. If you want to go the extra mile obtain a certificate from the Orthopedic Foundation of Animals to prove that the puppy parents do not have hip or elbow dysplasia or any other deformities.

Hip Dysplasia in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs Tip 2 / SURFACE: avoid slippery floors and surfaces.

Hip Dysplasia in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs clinical presentation: SEE MY COMMENTS UNDER “DO & DONT”

  • Stiffness
  • Difficulty climbing stairs and jumping
  • Crepitus and pain when the hip is extended or abducted
  • Disuse atrophy (Muscle mass loss) of the dysplastic leg
  • “Speedo Swimming suit” (skin hips, buffed shoulders) due to compensation and weight shifting to the front (shoulders, torso). (see comments below)
  • Decrease range of motion of the hip joint (see comments below)
  • Lameness or unloading of the dysplastic leg Exercise (see comments below)

Hip Dysplasia in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs DO & DONT

Hip Dysplasia in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs Don’t 1 / HIP ARTHRITIS: Though a high percentage of bulldogs have hip joint and hip laxity as often evident on palpation and radiographs,  you DO NOT want to confuse that with osteoarthritis and chronic pain. BULLDOG HIP DYSPLASIA should  NOT be synonymous with ARTHRITIS & PAIN.

Some of you have seen the dysplastic radiographs of your bulldog and have been told about the grave prognosis and the associated pain and disability. this erroneous statement is based on our experience with other large breeds.

In contrast to other large breeds, the majority of those findings are incidental in bulldogs, many bulldogs have no or minimal arthritis.  and if your bulldog is painful the hip dysplasia is not likely the cause of the pain.

Hip Dysplasia in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs Don’t 2 / HIP LIMPING: if your bulldog is limping and your veterinarian concluded after radiographing his/her hips that the cause is hip dysplasia and corrective surgery is recommended, DO NOT do it. Get a second and a third opinion, the radiographic findings are likely incidental, and the limp is due to a different injury (MPL, ACL tear.).

Hip Dysplasia in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs Don’t 3 / HIP SURGERY: In 20 years, out of thousands of bulldogs I seen for hind leg limp who had hip dysplasia, only a few were directly related to the dysplasia. I can count on one hand the ones who required hip/pelvic corrective surgery.

Again, if corrective hip surgery was recommended please seek additional opinion (seek a specialist experienced with the breed and the procedure).
Surgery often recommends for hip dysplasia are:

  1. Double or triple pelvic osteotomy (DPO/TPO)
  2. Femoral head ostectomy (FHO)
  3. Total hip replacement (THR)

Hip Dysplasia in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs Do 1 / DIET: Eng bulldog puppies should be fed a “large breed” puppy diet to prevent rapid premature growth

Hip Dysplasia in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs Do 2 / RADIOGRPAHS: A thorough physical examination with good quality radiographs that includes both knees are mandatory. At times sedation might be required in order to obtain proper positioning.

Hip Dysplasia in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs DO 3 / TREATMENT RX

NSAIDs, Gabapentin, Tramadol 

  • Positive: Pain control, Anti Inflammatory, Stress Relief
  • Negative: potential unwanted side effects
  • Other: Systemic, $$

Hip Dysplasia in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs DO 4 / TREATMENT REGENERATIVE MEDICINE:

Stem Cell Therapy, Cryobanking & PRP

  • Positive: Pain control, Anti Inflammatory
  • Positive: Healing regenerative properties
  • Positive: Can by cryobanked and called for additional treatment for the life or your bulldog
  • Positive: can be extracted during elective surgery like spay and neuter and cryobanked for future need
  • Positive: can help treat other medical conditions
  • Negative: Extraction of stem cells involved short anesthesia
  • Other: Systemic (Intravenous) & Local (joints, intrathecal, etc), $$$

Hip Dysplasia in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs DO 5 / NON- RX DEVICES:

tPEMT, Cold Laser Therapy

  • Positive: Pain control, Anti Inflammatory and Healing
  • Other: local only (at the site of the injury), $$

Hip Dysplasia in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs DO 6/ NON-RX SUPPLEMENTS:

Dr. Kraemer’s Suppluments:

V4B Total Joints Advanced FormulaV4B Fish Oil EFA Joints-Immune-Skin, V4B Comfort Plus Formula, V4B StressLess Chews

  • Positive: chews/treats easily to administer
  • positive: can help treat other medical conditions (V4B Fish Oil)
  • Others: Systemic, $ (low cost)

Hip Dysplasia in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs DO 7 / OTHER:

  1. CBD oil
  2. Physiotherapy
  3. Acupuncture

Ask Dr. K / Q & A Request an Appointment Email Us