Hip dysplasia does not necessarily cause any disease in front legs, so it does not cause any developmental problems in the formation of any of the joints in the front legs. However, with severe hip dysplasia, a dog does not want to use their hind legs at all because it hurts.
So, those dogs will use their front legs to pull themselves up, and a lot of times what I notice with dogs with hip dysplasia is that they’re really big and beefy like bodybuilders in the front half of their body. Then their back legs are just skinny because they’re not using them hardly at all. Sometimes you can get some overuse injury from them using their front legs too much, and in that case, hip dysplasia can cause problems with the front legs. But developmentally speaking, hip dysplasia only affects hip joints.
Author: Dr. Sarah Wooten
A graduate of UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, and a member of the American Society of Veterinary Journalists, Dr. Wooten has 16 years of experience in small animal general practice, and 9 years experience of writing and vlogging. You may have seen her speak at Fetch DVM360 conference, NAVC (or VMX), AAHA, AVMA, or WVC, or you may have seen her articles and videos on DVM360, Firstline, Vetted, Healthy Pet Magazine, The Bark Magazine, Vetstreet, Chewy. or PetMD.