Hip Dysplasia in Great Pyrenees Dogs

Hip dysplasia in Great Pyrenees and other large breed dogs is more common than most breeders like to admit, but it can be corrected with hip replacement surgery. 

Large breeds such as Pyrs, German Shepherds, Malamutes, Newfoundlands, Great Danes and other large breeds often experience severe hip dysplasia for a variety of reasons.

Our Lilly Belle was diagnosed with severe hip dysplasia as a puppy, and we elected for surgery in December 2008.


This video shows Lilly laying on the floor a few days before her hip replacement surgery. You can plainly see that it is not easy for her to rise from a prone position and as she approaches the stairs, she pauses as if she knows this action will hurt.

As she slowly climbs the stairs you can see how she compensates for the weak hip and uses a combination of hops and staggered leg dragging to reach the top.


Lilly was diagnosed when she was two and we were told to watch her carefully.  After she was about three and 1/2 years old, our veterinarian told us that if were were going to consider hip replacement surgery we should do it before she was much older.  Other complications could arise that could negate a hip replacement.  The stress to her knees could cause problems or the hips themselves might degrade to the point that a replacement would be out of the question. 

The Veterinarian we chose

Big Sky Animal Medical Center in Great Falls, MTOur local Vet told us that specialized surgical procedures were performed in two areas in this part of the country; Pullman, WA and in Great Falls, MT.  After consulting with Dr. Rick Scherr, founder of Big Sky Animal Medical Center in Great Falls, we decided to let his staff do the surgery. 

After the surgery

Lilly a few days after hip dysplasia surgeryThe entire staff at Big Sky Animal Medical Center is made up of professional and caring people.  They know that anyone who is willing to spend thousands of dollars on a pet's surgery is devoted to that pet and they share your concerns with compassionate attention.  They would call us every day and report on Lilly's progress and they even emailed us photos when asked.  The pic at right shows Lilly after the surgery; the towel is used to assist the dog when getting up and walking.

These x-rays show the new hip post-surgery (will open in a new window)

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