How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. Deb Your Own Question
Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 10923
Experience:  I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.
Type Your Dog Question Here...
Dr. Deb is online now

I am concerned about the back legs of my 8 week old

This answer was rated:

I am concerned about the back legs of my 8 week old rottweiler puppy and worry that it might be early signs of hip dysplasia. She sways from side to side a bit and sits with one leg to the side. Am I worrying unnecessarily or is it early enough to tell?
She also seems to lack power in her hind quarters, meaning she is not negotiating steps very well.

Hello Scott, I'm Dr. Deb.

I recently came online and see that your question about Kira hasn't been answered. I'm so sorry that you've had to wait for a response,but if you still need assistance, I'd like to help if I can.

While hip dysplasia can be seen even at this early of an age, it's not a commonly seen problem. I can't entirely reassure you, of course, that she doesn't have this issue but more than likely, the way she walks and sits is not related to this condition. It's just her being a puppy.

She's still young and got quite a bit of growing to do. Her muscle tone/mass is still developing and many pups at this age have problems with stairs.

If she were my pup, I wouldn't be too concerned...not at this age anyway. You can always have x-rays taken but I'd probably wait until she matures more before considering this step.

I hope this helps although, again, my apologies for the delayed reply. Deb

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thanks Dr Deb
I notice also a few bunny hops and a rather narrow stance at the back which I have heard are symptomatic.
Is there anything we can do to help with the development or should we just let nature take its course?
Thanks for your answer.
***** *****on

You're welcome.

It's really difficult to evaluate the gait in a pup this age as to whether or not it's normal or secondary to issues with the hips.
If this were an older pup, then I might be a little more concerned but I've seen puppies outgrow bunny hopping. Her narrow stance may simply reflect that her rear still has catching up to do with the rest of her body (often the case in larger breed dogs).

At this point, I'd ensure that she's being fed a balanced food labeled for puppies (my preference) or one labeled for all life stages.
I'd not overfeed her but keep her on the leaner side (not too thin but not too fat either).
I'd provide non-slippery surfaces for her to walk on. Area rugs are good if you don't have carpet.
I wouldn't let her jump off and on anything higher than a stair riser.
I wouldn't take her for long walks. Exercise is important but she shouldn't go for walks longer than 10-15 minutes at a time.
Consider joint supplements such as Dasaquin or Cosequin or a product from Kemin, called Re-Flex Bone and Joint Maintenance (LINK).


Dr. Deb and 3 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you