How Can You Tell If a Dog's Hip Is Dislocated?

While an X-ray is necessary to confirm a diagnosis of hip dislocation in a dog, a dog suffering from a dislocated hip does not bear any weight on the injured leg and that leg may also appear to be shorter than the other three, according to the Veterinarian Information Network. Hip dislocation, or hip luxation, refers to the separation of the femoral head from the pelvic acetabulum.

Hip dislocation is a serious condition that must be treated promptly before scarring and fibrous attachments form, and cause the dog to have decreased range of motion and a limited ability to bear weight on the leg, according to the Veterinarian Information Network. Hip dislocation is treated by closed reduction, or the act of manually putting the bones back together without opening the joint, or with surgery when necessary. A veterinarian depends on an X-ray to determine the severity of the dislocation and decide which course of action is suitable. In most cases, the dog is confined with his leg in a sling for one to two weeks. Once the sling is removed, he is confined again for two to four weeks to allow for complete healing. Most dogs are typically able to resume normal activity within a couple of months after a hip dislocation with proper medical treatment.