Dog Hip Clicking When Walking: Causes and Treatment
Taking your dog for a walk is a great way to pass an afternoon with your furry friend, but it can be concerning if you notice a problem with your dog’s gait or behaviour as they walk. Something you may observe is your dog’s hip clicking when walking. So, if you hear a dog hip clicking noise, what should you do?
In this article, we’ll explain why your dog’s hip clicks when walking, whether you should be concerned, and what to do when your dog’s hip is clicking while walking. If you want to keep your dog mobile, happy, and by your side for many healthy years, you’re in the right place.
Causes of Dog Hip Clicking When Walking
So, what can cause dog hip clicking when walking? Here are some of the most common reasons why you might hear that unmistakable dog hip clicking noise while your dog is walking.
Normal Movement of Air in the Joints
In some cases, the clicking sound may be a result of harmless factors like the normal movement of air within your dog’s joints. When your dog’s hip joint moves, it can create a clicking or popping noise, similar to cracking your knuckles. Generally, this isn’t a cause for concern, but it can be hard to tell whether your dog’s hip clicks when walking are caused by harmless air, or something more serious.
Ligaments Stretching Across the Hip Joint
The ligaments that support your dog’s hip joints can sometimes produce clicking sounds as they move. When these ligaments stretch or move across the joint, they may cause a clicking noise. This can happen due to muscle imbalances or changes in your dog’s joint structure and may lead to discomfort, stiffness, or pain in your dog’s joints, particularly as they move.
Unfortunately, arthritis is very common in certain breeds of dogs. Arthritis is an inflammatory condition that affects the joints and can cause a dog hip clicking noise. Over time, the cartilage within your dog’s hip joint can break down.
This results in the two bones of the joint rubbing against each other and often causes a clicking sound. Arthritis-related hip clicking is commonly accompanied by other symptoms - if you notice a dog hip clicking and limping, lameness, or stiffness, arthritis could be the cause.
Hip dysplasia is another common joint condition in dogs and occurs when the hip joint doesn’t develop properly. This malformation causes the joint to become loose, leading to abnormal movement and potential dog hip clicking when walking. Hip dysplasia is more common among certain dog breeds like German Shepherds, Saint Bernards, Labradors, and Golden Retrievers, and can cause discomfort, pain, and reduced mobility.
OCD (Osteochondritis Dissecans)
OCD, or osteochondritis dissecans, is a condition that affects the cartilage and underlying bone in joints, including the hip. It occurs when a small piece of cartilage and bone separates from the joint surface, causing irritation, inflammation, and potentially a dog hip clicking and limping. OCD can be painful for dogs and may require surgical intervention to remove the loose fragment and restore joint stability.
Injury or Trauma
Dog hip clicking when walking can also occur as a result of an injury or trauma to the hip joint. A fall, collision, or excessive strain on the joint can cause damage to the ligaments, tendons, or bones, leading to unstable joints. Injury or trauma to your dog’s hip joint is often accompanied by pain, swelling, and lameness.
Infections within the hip joint, such as septic arthritis, can cause clicking sounds as your dog walks. Bacterial or fungal agents can invade the joint, leading to pain and inflammation. As well as a dog hip clicking noise, signs of infection may include swelling, heat, lameness, and an inability to put weight on their leg.
Is a Dog Hip Clicking Noise Cause for Concern?
In some cases, a dog’s hip clicks when walking because of harmless, normal factors. But of course, it’s important to learn how to distinguish between normal joint sounds and those associated with an underlying condition. Let’s take a look at how you can establish whether your dog hip clicking when walking is cause for concern or totally normal.
Distinguishing Between Natural Movement and Serious Issues
First and foremost, it’s essential to learn the difference between normal joint sounds and those that could be more serious. The occasional clicking sound, with no other symptoms, probably isn’t anything to worry about. However, if your dog’s hip joint is constantly clicking, and you notice other signs like discomfort, pain, lameness, stiffness, reduced mobility, or favouring one leg, it’s time to investigate further.
Seeing Your Vet for a Diagnosis of Hip Dysplasia, Arthritis, and Other Conditions
If your dog's hip clicking is persistent or accompanied by discomfort or other concerning symptoms, it’s best to talk to your vet. They will be able to conduct tests like assessing your dog's gait, joint mobility, and signs of pain or discomfort. They might also notice other, subtle symptoms, like a dog swollen joint front leg, or a dog swollen hock joint but no pain.
Your vet may recommend further diagnostic tests such as X-rays, joint fluid analysis, or blood work to help identify the cause of your dog’s hip clicking. Once you have a diagnosis, your vet can help you establish a treatment plan for your pup to help reduce their pain and discomfort.
What to Do When You Notice Your Dog’s Hip Clicks When Walking
If you notice your dog's hip clicking when walking, it’s important that you act right away. So what should you do? Let’s take a look at the steps you should take if you notice your dog’s hips are clicking.
Watch For Secondary Symptoms: Limping, Difficulty Rising, Unusual Aggression, Appetite, etc.
After you hear your dog’s hip clicking, make sure you observe your pup for any other symptoms that may indicate that there’s an issue with their joints. Limping, difficulty rising or lying down, unusual aggression, decreased appetite, stiffness, and reluctance to play can be signs of joint discomfort or pain. Monitoring these secondary symptoms can provide valuable information for your vet and help them figure out what’s wrong with your dog’s joints.
Begin Implementing a Joint Supplement Protocol
If you hear your dog’s joint clicking (or even if you don’t), starting your dog on joint supplements is the best way to protect their joints and relieve the painful symptoms and discomfort that come with many joint conditions.
Find a high-quality dog joint supplement that’s formulated by vets, with ingredients like glucosamine and chondroitin to promote joint lubrication, reduce inflammation, and support cartilage health.
At Mighty Munch, we have the best Australian dog supplements for your dog’s joints. Manufactured in a human-grade facility, our supplements exceed Australia’s pet safety standards and were designed by vets with your dog’s joints in mind.
Packed full of ingredients your dog’s joints crave, and always free from artificial flavours, colours, or fillers, it’s easy to see why thousands of Aussie pet parents call us the best joint supplement for dogs.
As well as our protective joint supplements, Mighty Munch also has the best dog probiotics for your pup’s digestive health, top-rated dog collagen that will make your dog’s coat shinier than ever, and the best vitamins for dogs of all breeds, sizes, and ages. All Aussie-made, all vet-backed, and certified tasty by thousands of pooches across the country!
Other Dietary Changes to Manage Dog Joint Problems
As well as joint supplements, other dietary changes can play a key role in managing your dog’s joint problems. Make sure your dog is getting a balanced diet, with all the nutrients needed for good joint health. Consider supplementing your dog’s diet with fish oil, turmeric, and anti-inflammatory anti-oxidants.
Should I give my dog collagen as well? Yes! Collagen is an essential addition to your dog’s diet, and you can find the best collagen for dogs in Australia right here at Mighty Munch. Wondering when to give dog probiotics to your pup? Our probiotics are safe for dogs of all breeds and ages, so it’s never too early to start adding key supplements and vitamins to your dog’s diet - it will help to give them more playful years by your side.
Get Them Moving Regularly if Possible
Another key component of dog joint care is exercise. Many people wondering how to help a dog with arthritis think exercise will make their pet’s condition worse, but it all depends on the type of exercise your pup is getting. Non-weight-bearing exercises like swimming or slow walking can actually be beneficial in maintaining your dog’s joint mobility.
In fact, a combination of exercise and supplements is one of the best dog joint pain home remedy options, and it’s easy to implement at any stage in your dog’s life. Of course, if any type of exercise seems painful for your dog, stop and talk to your vet about alternative options.
Other Treatments: Injections, Physical Therapy, and More
Depending on the severity and underlying cause of your dog’s hip clicking, additional treatments may be recommended. Your vet might suggest joint injections of hyaluronic acid or corticosteroids to reduce inflammation and provide pain relief.
Physical therapy, including massage and hydrotherapy, can also be beneficial in improving joint function and soothing discomfort. In some severe cases, surgery might be necessary, particularly for conditions like hip dysplasia or injuries to ligaments.
Final Thoughts on Dog Hip Clicking When Walking
Hearing a clocking sound in your dog’s hip can be alarming, but it’s not always cause for concern. Just make sure you take the appropriate steps and consult your vet if you notice other symptoms, like pain, discomfort, or limping.
Remember, the best way to protect your dog’s joints is with specially-formulated dog joint supplements from Mighty Munch. Our joint supplements contain ingredients that protect your dog’s cartilage, reduce joint pain, and keep your furry friend living healthier, longer.
As well as our top-rated joint supplements, our dog probiotics will give your pup a welcome digestive boost - simply sprinkle the powder over your dog’s regular food! And for anxious pups, a dog calming bed can make all the difference. Ergonomically designed for joint health and with plush, furry fabric to snuggle up in, your dog will feel safe and sound in our best calming dog bed. Plus, for any accidents, our pet odour remover can remove even the most stubborn smells from your furniture and carpets.
Protecting your dog’s joints with supplements from Mighty Munch can help your pup live a longer, happier, and pain-free life. Extend your dog’s playful years - get your joint supplements today!