Acupuncture and Hip Dysplasia in Dogs

Development, prevention and treatment of HD with acupuncture using needles or gold implantates

By Are S. Thoresen DVM
Veterinarian acupuncturist homeopath osteopath agronomist


Quote: -"Hip dysplasia (HD) is a serious, feared and widespread disease in dogs. Out of 32163 German Sheppard’s diagnosed in Germany in 2006, 21,9% of these dogs had developed HD. The numbers for Labrador-retriever was not so alarming; still 14,6% of 44009 investigated dogs showed a development of HD."



HD in its early beginning can be detected by the help of X-rays already between the 14th and the 20th week of life. Already then small irregularities in the calcification of the hip joint and the development of the interarticular tendon (Lig. accessorius) may be shown, and in dogs with such irregularities the chance of developing HD is 90%.

I have tried, by the help of needle- and gold (implant) acupuncture, to stop the development already at this stage, but that has been negative concerning X-ray changes. Concerning the symptomatic development, such an early treatment will be of great value. This is because the pain itself, deriving from the pathological changes in the joint, will lead to far more complications and problems than the changes in the hip joint itself. If we thus can stop the pain from the degenerating hip joint, many problems will be avoided.

How can the development of hip dysplasia be described?


The first step in this fatal development is, as far as I know, that;

  1. Acetabulum (the hip joint) is getting more shallow. This leads to that
  2. The hip joint head is forced outward. This will, in turn, lead to that the knee as well as the hock also will be turned outwards. In this position, the pressure on the lateral side of the knee become harder.
  3. The lateral part of the joint capsule and menisk will receive a greater strain.
  4. This will lead to a greater pain related to movements. The dog will minimise this pain by putting more tension to the muscles, especially Musculus multifidii. This will further lead to
  5. A lockage of the ilio sacral joint.
  6. Such a lockage or blockage in the ilio sacral joint, especially the right one because most dogs are right handed or dominant, will lead to a varying strain on all the discs along the spine. This will lead to a degeneration of these discs, which is shown by the help of MRI, and also a greater chance of prolaps of the disc.
  7. The muscles of the back will react to this increasing pain with an increased contraction, and this all will end in a progressive calcification of the whole spine (akylosing or spondylosing).
  8. At the end this will lead to that more and more weight will be put on the front legs, and a degeneration of the elbow will be the result.

We see by this that the HD eventually will lead to elbow degeneration. By the help of acupuncture or gold implants we can stop this development. The treatment will not cure the degenerative changes in the hip joint, but the development will be halted, and the described pathological development due to pain will be stopped.