Rabbit Hop Running

This forum is for dog lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your dog.


Hot Red
Barked: Tue Apr 10, '12 9:28pm PST 
Emily has been running with a rabbit hop lately. By that, I mean both her back feet move together at the same time. She is 5 years old and has never done this before. I really don't know what is going on. Could it be hip dysplasia? Both of her parents were OFA GOOD, so I don't think she could have hip dysplasia, but I guess it's not out of the question. I'm just wondering what could be going on with my girl. I'm very worried. She use to have such a beautiful gait. Now she rabbit hops every time she runs! cry

Do you even- lift?
Barked: Tue Apr 10, '12 11:45pm PST 
Unfortunately even dogs whose parents had good hips can get hip dysplasia.

Bunny hopping can be caused by something other than HD but any sudden change in gait like that should be checked out by the vet.

Barked: Wed Apr 11, '12 6:05am PST 
Doesn't matter how good a parents hips are, HD is still always a possibility in every single dog for a myriad of reasons. Obviously the testing is a huge help but it isn't just an affliction that comes on for genetic reasons. Previous injury, diet, exercising too much or too hard before maturity, not exercising enough so that the muscles end up atrophied and unable to properly support the bones etc etc. etc. can all cause it.

That said, as previous poster mentioned, there are also a lot of other reasons a dog might be showing pain in that area...back problems, pinched nerves, injury (did you check the feet for foreign objects or for any sore spots up through the thigh?).

A vet check is always best if you cannot find an obvious cause for any physical changes your dog begins to exhibit way to go


Cookie Monster
Barked: Wed Apr 11, '12 6:08am PST 
Bingley does that when his knees slip out of place. I don't know how prone your breed is to getting that problem. Usually, it doesn't cause him pain (at least he doesn't show it), but on occasion when he's playing and running like an idiot, he'll turn too hard and twist his knee, and that's when he'll squeak and come over to me to comfort him. My vet never noticed the knee problem until I pointed it out to him.

Got food? I- can be bought ya- know....
Barked: Wed Apr 11, '12 7:12am PST 
Pepper had a Luxated Patella on one knee and we repaired it. Then she tore the ACL and meniscus on the other knee. We repaired that. Both cases cause her to run with a sort of bunny hop. The ACL more so. Once the Meniscus is torn it's very painful, that's when they start running with the back legs always together.

Your Vet can tell with a brief exam.
Bam-Bam, CGC

Lil' Rubble
Barked: Wed Apr 11, '12 9:57am PST 
Bam-Bam bunny hops... His hips are in excellent shape, I've seen them myself. However, I do agree that a sudden gait change should be checked out.

Leader of the- Dog Gestapo
Barked: Wed Apr 11, '12 9:28pm PST 
Dingo has always run with a hop. He has shallow hip sockets - vet said most likely caused by poor early puppy nutrition in the shelter and a very, very early neuter - but our first clue wasn't the running; it was the way he sat. He'd either sit with one leg off to the side or when he sat "straight" his back thighs turned in and you could clearly see something was wrong.

The one time Yoopie had a luxating patella, he walked with his back leg straight out behind him - no hop there.