Hip dysplasia occurs when the hip socket (which is rounded in a healthy animal) flattens out, therefore making it difficult for the ball at the top of the femur (thigh bone) to rotate easily in the hip socket.
Dogs with hip dysplasia frequently have trouble getting up and changing positions. They may sit with their weight on their front legs to take the pressure off the hip joint, and may appear to “hop” on their back legs when running.
In mild cases, your vet can treat the condition with anti-inflammatory and pain relief drugs. Surgery may be an option for animals with serious hip dysplasia.
Although the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals estimates that 11% of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are afflicted with hip dysplasia, it is far more common in larger dog breeds.