Hip dysplasia in itself is not a fatal disease. Hip dysplasia simply refers to abnormal development of the hip joint that leads to arthritis. Now, in a big dog, it’s really important to be able to walk around and get up, go outside, go to the bathroom, all of that stuff because big dogs are not easy to pick up and carry around like a chihuahua. Hip dysplasia in a chihuahua, while it’s still a problem, it’s not as big a problem literally as it is in a big dog.
Hip dysplasia in itself will not kill the dog, a dog will not die of its own volition from hip dysplasia. However, hip dysplasia can so negatively impact a dog’s quality of life or a dog’s ability to get around or a dog’s ability to walk without pain that owners sometimes will elect humane euthanasia to stop the dog’s suffering. In that case, hip dysplasia does shorten the quality and the quantity of a dog’s life simply because their owner doesn’t want them to live in pain anymore.
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.