Hip Dysplasia In Dogs

Hip Dysplasia in Dogs

An improperly formed hip bone is a result of a condition known as Hip Dysplasia. The ball and socket joint of the hip do not properly meet each other which in other terms is malformed, which results in causing painful wear and tear as the joint rubs and grinds instead of sliding smoothly.

Sadly, hip dysplasia is the most common single cause of arthritis of the hips. There are methods of treating hip dysplasia, which can range from expensive surgery (to correct the joint abnormality) to supplements or medication to help lubricate the joint and help the pet deal with the discomfort. More information on treatment is below, but first it may be helpful to understand more about dysplasia and what causes it.

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Hip Dysplasia & Common Breeds:

Each case of hip dysplasia is different; it all depends on the dog. A puppy of five months old can begin to develop hip dysplasia and it can become worse with their age (although the symptoms of this condition start showing up in dogs in their middle or later years).

Hip dysplasia commonly affects larger breeds of dogs, such as, retrievers, Staffordshire terriers, mastiffs, bulldogs, rottweilers and St. Bernards. However, dogs of any breed can be susceptible to inherit this condition. Hip dysplasia can also affect small breeds such as French bulldogs and pugs (who are among the most likely, by percentage, to have hip dysplasia according to data from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals).

As the dog’s bone moves around because the joint is loose, it causes excruciating wear and tear. Dysplastic changes in a dog can be irreversible, once receiving a diagnosis for osteoarthritis. Dogs may receive medical management treatment. Around 76% of dogs suffering from secondary arthritis are able to live comfortable lives and function properly.

Understanding Hip Dysplasia

To understand hip dysplasia better, it is important to understand how it affects the joint. In a normal joint, the ball rotates easily and freely within the socket. The head of the femur is the ball portion while the pelvis has a socket located on it. The bones are shaped perfectly to facilitate each others' movements and to strengthen the joint. The two bones are held together by a strong ligament. The ligament attaches the head of the ball with the socket. Another strong connective tissue called the joint capsule also surrounds it, adding further balance. The articular surface is a cushioned and smooth surface of spongy cartilage where the bones actually touch each other. All these elements work together in a normal joint to function with stability and smoothness.


Original Source: WikiPedia

Watch Our Video At The Bottom Of This Article: My Dog Is Limping - Ask the Expert Dr David Randall

What Causes Hip Dysplasia in Dogs?

Did you know that hip dysplasia is the main cause of rear leg lameness in dogs? If your dog is suffering from lameness or other unusual change in activity he may be experiencing hip dysplasia. Hip dysplasia can end up limiting your dog's activity or causing pain if not properly treated. To understand and recognize the symptoms of this condition, it is important to know the causes of hip dysplasia in dogs.

Hip dysplasia is an inherited condition and has the highest-incidence rate in large breed dogs. The condition results in an improperly formed hip joint. Because the joint is improperly formed, the dog's leg bone moves around causing painful wear and tear. How does a dog develop this condition and why?

1. Genetics

If a dog's parents have hip dysplasia, the animal's offspring are at a greater risk of developing hip dysplasia. Just because a dog's parents have hip dysplasia, it does not guarantee that the offspring will get it, but it does pass along the gene. Therefore, even if an offspring does not develop the condition, they may also pass it along to their future offspring. This is one reason why it is more common in some breeds than others.

2. Inappropriate Exercise

Dogs that are genetically susceptible to the disease are at an increased risk of developing the disease if they are over exercised at a young age. However, exercise is extremely important for dogs and their health, especially when they are young. We recommend keeping a routine of moderate low impact exercise for your dog that is not hard on the joints. Running on pavement, jumping in situations where they land on their hind legs, and standing up on their back legs should be avoided.

3. Diet

According to peteducation.com, the amount of calories a dog consumes and in what stage of his or her life they are consumed, is the most important factor in determining whether or not a genetically susceptible dog will develop hip dysplasia. Obesity can also increase the severity of hip dysplasia in dogs that have the genetic predisposition for the disease. Not only can carrying extra weight put strain on the joints, it will also increase your dog's risk for osteoarthritis and other weight related conditions. It's also important to monitor your dog's daily diet for sufficient calcium and nutrients. A diet with too little calcium or other minerals could negatively impact the development of the hip joint.

As your dog ages it will be up to you to determine his activity and comfort levels. Conditions like hip dysplasia can limit their lives and create pain - situations we never want to see our pets go through. By educating yourself on the causes of hip dysplasia in dogs, you've taken the first step to giving your pets a more fulfilling life.

How to Diagnose Hip Dysplasia In Dogs:

Physical examination, manual tests on the hips of the dog and radiographs are included in the evaluation for hip dysplasia.


  • Bunny hopping
  • Reluctant to jump, run or climb stairs
  • Swaying gait (moving your rear end back and forth)
  • Stiffness
  • Soreness of hips
  • Standing on hind legs or limping
  • Hesitating to exercise


  • Weight control to reduce mechanical stresses to the hip joints is the key to medical management of arthritis.
  • Controlled exercise can help relieve or prevent inflammatory process that can lead to pain related to arthritis.
  • Exercise should be started with short walks and should be gradually increased until the desired level of activity of the dog is attained.
  • Swimming is a great exercise, for dogs who are able, in order to maintain muscle tone as swimming is non-weight bearing exercise and range of motion can also be maintained without placing strong forces on the joints.
  • The dog can be made more comfortable by exercises that help to improve joint range of motion and a dog’s intensity level to its maximum and cardio-vascular function without any pain, inflammation or stiffness to the joint.
  • Keep the dog in a warm environment by providing them with a well-padded, warm bed. The pain of arthritis from hip dysplasia can be controlled with the help of warmth, as the pain is worse in a cold and damp environment.
  • Several surgical options may be available.
  • Healthy diet is important.
  • Pain-relieving medication provided by the vet can help manage the condition, though many times dogs are better served by natural supplements.

If hip dysplasia is left untreated, dogs can often develop osteoarthritis. The dysplasia also continues to develop. which eventually causes the crippling of the ball and socket joint. In severe cases, the dog will eventually be unable to use his/her hind legs and can suffer from extreme pain. If the disease is diagnosed and treatment is started, then the dogs can live an active and full life.

Problems faced by dog owners whose dogs are suffering from hip dysplasia:

There are a lot of problems that dog owners face that are a result of the dog having hip dysplasia. Dogs having hip dysplasia need a lot of extra care and attention. Dog owners also spend a lot of money on treatment and surgeries of dogs. Dog owners cannot bear the pain of seeing their beloved dogs suffer, as they are a part of their family. As a result, they make sure the dog is treated and cared for - as we know they should. They do spend hours and hours on their dogs taking them for swimming and other exercises, keeping them warm, maintaining a healthy diet, etc. Ultimately, caring for a dog with dysplasia can mean a lot of extra time, energy, and expense.


Flexpet is produced by Flexcin International, the makers of the Flexcin joint supplement for humans. Founded in 2000, Flexcin originally made a supplement for humans with bad joints. It worked so well, that people started giving it to their pets suffering from inflammation, pain and joint conditions. As a result, Flexcin International created a formula exclusively for dogs.

For pet joint health, Flexpet is a great product with all-natural ingredients. It helps to reduce inflammation in the pet’s body as well as aid in the lubrication of its muscles and joints. This product supports better overall muscle health and better cartridge health. This supplement is available in a tablet form which is chewable and is loved by dogs.The product only contains natural ingredients, so there are no side effects with existing medications, and does not contain any artificial coloring or flavoring.


The active ingredients used are:

  • Cetyl Myristoleate
  • MSM
  • Proteolyytic Enzyme Blend
  • Chicken Collagen
  • Glucosamine
  • Bromelain

There is a full list of ingredients on the Flexpet product page.

Usage Directions:

Flexpet can be easily consumed by your pet, and comes in a chewable tablet form. In order for the product to be fully effective, it is important to give your dog the proper dosage for their size:

Small Dogs & All Cats
(under 25 lbs )
Give 1-2 
Flexpet tablets daily

Medium to Large Dogs
( 25 – 75 lbs )
Give 2-3 
Flexpet tablets daily

Larger Dogs
( 75 + lbs )
Give 3-4 
Flexpet tablets daily

Maybe your dog doesn't have dysplasia after all. There are a lot of issues that could be causing your dog to limp or have an irregular gate. We are asked this a lot, so we took the question to Dr. Randall, to have him talk more about why your dog may be limping and what to do about it.

My Dog Is Limping – Ask the Expert Dr David Randall

My Dog Is Limping – Ask the Expert Dr David Randall

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1 Month Supply



Single Bottle
1 Month Supply


3 Month Supply


$26.63 / Bottle

Total Savings- $39.95
Total Cost- $89.90


Trial Pack



Try Flexpet Now!
12 Day Supply


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We know that Flexpet works, but understand that people can be apprehensive. So, we offer a full money-back guarantee.

Try a 90-day supply of Flexpet, and if you’re not satisfied with the results your dog experiences, simply return your first order (up to 3 empty bottles) for a full refund of the purchase price, less shipping and handling.

Comments 49

  1. Kelsey, 6yr. old, x-tra large male, full left hip replacement on 09/11/2015. Kelsey was dragging his right hind leg. He was operated for a blown knee on 04/16/2015. Kelsey’s knee was blown from over compensating for his left, deteriorated hip! At the time of the knee issue, the vet did not xray his hind quarters. Six weeks after the hip was checked, Kelsey showed a femur fracture, resulting from the hip replacement. He will see his vet on 11/12/2015, to determine if he’ll need addtional surgery to repair the femur fracture! 11/06/2015, Kelsey appears to have improved, walking. He has been hopping on three legs for the past two months. Kelsey has also been fighting an autoimmune disease, Perianul Fistula for the past 3yrs! This boy is a real “trooper”! We will continue to get him the best treatment available. Animal Planet’s featured vet, Dr. Kevin Fitzgerld has been treating his autoimmune disease. He has saved this German Shepherd’s life. Kelsey’s surgeries have been very expensive….he is priceless to us.

    1. You are not kidding a trooper he is! I know you are seeing the vet and what not, but would be worth it to check out our ingredients. https://flexpet.com/#collapse-1

      We have had a lot of dog owners with dogs that had autoimmune issues that benefited from Flexpet. The CM8 ingredient is really what sets us apart from the other companies. Just let us know if you need any more info and seriously keep us posted with Kelsey!

  2. My German Shepherd was diagnosed at 7 months with hip dysplasia, started immediately with supplements, lifted food and water bowls, fluffy bed near heat, she liked being in a covered bed for years, just a cardboard box did the trick. As she got older she slept on the bed, needed help getting up of course. Had to go down a flight of stairs so my husband built a ramp to make it easier. She was on meds. & supplements all her life as well as food prescribed by vet, but what she loved the most was the massages I gave her, our quiet time. She had arthritis from the beginning and that got so bad we had to have her put to sleep at 8.5 years old. Still miss her terribly, even after 5 years.

    1. Hi Cynthia. I’m so sorry to hear about your dog – I know it’s tough when something like this emerges.

      Of course, we always recommend talking to your vet for advice specific to your dog. However, about 1/3 of the way down this page under “treatment”, we have several recommendations of general aids for your dog that typically help hip dysplasia (such as swimming, healthy diet, etc.). Flexpet has often been very successful in helping pets with hip dysplasia as well. You can see information regarding samples and trying Flexpet risk-free here: https://flexpet.com/sample-offer/

      Please let us know if we can help any further!

  3. A neighbor’s dog had this. Despite loving the dog dearly, it was hard for them to keep up with the medicine cost and supplements they decided to give up the dog in the shelter. Lucky for the dog, one of the shelter’s aide took pity and adopted her. It wasn’t easy for the neighbor’s to do that. But they had to since it was hard to finance everything.

  4. My almost 11 yr old cockapoo/terrier ,Maizy,has been showing signs of hip dysplasia for a couple years now. Every time she does a lot of running or jumping.
    We try to keep her weight down and go for regular walks, but still goes through a few days of severe pain after every couple months.
    Right now, I have to carry her down stairs and she can barely squat to go potty. 🙁
    We give her extra bath time, she loves a warm bath! Lots of soft blankets and one baby aspirin every morning for 3-5 days.
    We can’t afford fancy medications, but this seems to work.
    I ak researching affordable supplements that we can give her to help slow down this disease.
    I love my dog so much, but could never afford fancy treatments,or even the $300 vet bill just to do blood work to find out more info about her disease.
    Just trying to love and care for Maizy to the best way I can.

  5. My 15 year old Labrador is having trouble walking she has hip dysplasia and a torn ligament in her right knee do you think this would help

    1. Yes, this should be helpful in reducing the inflammation, relieving pain, and lubricating the joints. You should see a difference in her movement after the first week or two. We recommend trying a full bottle to make sure you see the full effects. If after that time it doesn’t work (though it should), you can return the empty bottle for a full refund.

  6. Ready to get started. Max is a 7 yr old Shepard and is in need of help badly. Although not our dog, my boyfriend and I are going to help Max. Cannot stand to watch him suffer from the pain any longer. We love dogs and love Max

  7. I have a 8 month old Rottweiler that has been diagnosed with hip dysplasia and I don’t know if I want to put him through the surgery or if would even cure him. He is still growing any suggestions?

    1. Hi Rick. This sounds like a really good case to try Flexpet. If you want to try to avoid the surgery, Flexpet can help eliminate the pain and inflammation, and lubricate the joints making movement more comfortable. You should see results in about 1-2 weeks. We give a money back guarantee too, so if you feel like after a month or two, Flexpet isn’t working, you can just send us back the empty bottles (up to 3) for a refund. We’d suggest giving it a shot. However, this will not fix the actual bone structure issues, which is what dysplasia is. It just helps deal with the pain and movement so your dog is comfortable and can resume regular activity. We do have a lot of customers (especially Rottweiler and German Shepherd owners) that just give their dog Flexpet to help with dysplasia, and they’re very happy with it (and have elected not to go through with surgery as a result).

      Let us know if we can help you with anything else!

  8. I have a 5 month old St. Bernard. I know they are a cold weather dog but we got her in mid winter and it has been well below zero. We crate trained her and she is mostly in the house. She won’t stay outside for long. Lately she suddenly yelps for no reason. If she slips on our wood flooring she yelps at times also. Does this sound like hip dysplasia?

    1. It’s honestly really hard to say, Ken. It sounds like it’s definitely worth a trip to the vet to see what’s wrong. Typical warning signs of hip dysplasia have to do with the dogs movement and sitting positions. There may be something else going on here, but only a vet can say for sure. Sorry we can’t be of more help there.

  9. Can this happen right at birth? My American pit bull had 3 puppies with a great Dane-boxer. One survived the birth. Since day one he has been dragging his back side around his little feet are kicking out and trying to stand but he just usually falls over or flattens out on his belly he’s 3 weeks old now and seems the same. He’s a happy playful pup but something is not right for sure. Any help would be appreciated trying to find the cause of this.

  10. Have a9year old German Shepard female, about 70lbs. Last week and havle, been having trouble getting up. Once she gets up everything is fine, she runs and jumps playing with the grandkids.

  11. I have a 4 year old Doberman bitch. I have always walked her daily between 4 to 6 miles which has done witch she has happily done, but for the last 2 weeks she has been reluctant to go out. Each time after walking about 400 yards to the end of the street she seems to panic. Her tail goes between her legs and she seem to cower as if she is really frightened. When I turn around to go back home she nearly runs up the street. She has also started sleeping a lot more than usual. She is very lethargic with no appetite, which has always been very good, and wants constant attention, wanting to lay on me or my wife when I sit on the sofa, cuddling in like a small child. She doesn’t seem to be in pain. I have noticed recently when she is walking she seems to wobbly not her legs but her whole body from front to back

    1. Always consult a vet first, but Flexpet is an all-natural supplement so there should be nothing that will interfere with existing medications.

  12. Is Flexpet available in India also. I am from India and would like to know whether this medicine is available in India as well. If yes please share with me the contact information.

  13. I have a labador she is 1yr old…just before she turned a year old about 2mths prior I noticed a little bunny hop. Now that she is a year old I noticed if she is standing and going to turn she bunny hops with both legs to turn. Do you think this is the starting point of hip displysha? If so what is the best way to control it before it worsens? Since she is only1yr old

  14. My st. Bernard will be 11 years old this December and he is already showing signs of having hip problems I don’t have any money to take him to the vet he won’t even go down the stairs to go to the bathroom what can I do to help ease his pain until I can get him to a vet

  15. My bullmastiff is about 3 years old and having trouble getting up and down off my king size bed where he lives to sleep. He struggled to get on my bed and off. What should I do. I’m worried about my fur baby.

    1. Hi Janice. It’s tough to say without knowing more about your dog. Is he overweight? Is he showing any other slowing down or signs of struggle? Any other difficulties? If it’s simply sore joints, we would recommend trying Flexpet to see if that helps relieve some of the pain he’s feeling and reduce inflammation. If it doesn’t help, we do offer a full money back guarantee. However, if there is something else at play, such as an illness, weight issue, etc., Flexpet may not be the most helpful thing. In that case, you’ll need to consult your vet.

      There could also be a CCL injury (basically the equivalent of an ACL in humans). Flexpet can help with recovery for that if it’s a strain, but can’t repair something like a tear. You’ll really need to consult a vet there too to be sure. If it is a strain, Flexpet can help, but you’ll also want to make sure you limit movement to a degree (dog’s don’t understand resting an injury like we do, and if he starts feeling better, he may overwork a hurt leg).

      Hope all that helps! Please let us know if you have additional questions.

    1. Sugar is used as a binding agent in the formula, so we would recommend checking with your vet before buying Flexpet. You may want to try the smaller “on the go” pack before purchasing a full bottle too, depending on your vet’s advice, in order to make ensure it’s a good fit for your dog.

  16. I have a 11 Year Old Shi-Poo and he’s recently been diagnosed with hip dysphasia. We took him to a vet 2 weeks ago and they gave us inflammation meds. Shorts after the visit, I began to notice huge swelling near the dislocated joint. My only question is can the swelling be due to the severity of the joint dislocation and hip dysphasia or something else?? And did anyone have any similar cases?

  17. Hi.. my 7 month old Husky/German Shepherd is showing signs of this. We are heading to the vet tomorrow in hopes to find out for sure. How much is flexpet and how often do you give it to your pup?

    1. Through our website, Flexpet is $39.95 per bottle, or $79.30 for 3 ($26.63/bottle). Each bottle contains 60 chewable tablets. How much you give will depend on the size of your dogs, but for large dogs (75+ lbs), we recommend 3-4 tablets per day.

    1. The bone structure cannot/will not change, so it doesn’t necessarily cure hip dysplasia, it treats the symptoms of pain, inflammation, etc. It’s similar to arthritis in that as the condition remains, the supplement will continue to help lubricate the joints and relieve the inflammation.

  18. My 10 year old Labradoodle cannot walk at all. It all happened so fast. In October she was walking and by November she could not use back legs. Now her front legs are weak as well. Her front legs almost look deformed. It may be do to atrophy of her muscles. We have to carry her to go outside or anywhere. She wags her tail, eats and drinks and seems happy. She has had X-rays, (they said hip dysplasia) but it just seeemed that everything happened so quickly. We have had a chance test, full tick panel, tried glucosamine, laser treatments, nerve medicine, injections, massage, inflammatory and pain meds. Can you think of anything else this could be or that we could do. She wants to get up. It is so cold here and we live at a lake. If it was warmer I would try aqua therapy. I may even use our jacuzzi and try to build her muscles up. I would love any suggestions. She is 70 pounds and just so full of love and life.

    Thank you. Nancy

    1. We’ve had customers that have had outstanding success with Flexpet where other supplements like glucosamine alone really didn’t help. Part of that is because of CM8, which other supplements do not have, which really helps the joints. It could also be that the dysplsia is so severe that the dog will need surgery – we really can’t say. If you’d like to try Flexpet for a month or two and see if it helps, we do have a full money back guarantee. If it doesn’t help, you can simply return the empty bottles and we’ll give you a full refund of the purchase price, just to help eliminate any risk or apprehension about trying.

  19. I have a 11 yr old Brittney Spaniel. Her hind legs are seized and she has minor to no bladder control. She drags her hind legs behind her, and supports herself with her front legs, which are now getting very shaky. How do I know if she is in pain? She also has diabetes, which we give her insulin, and is blind.
    Thank you,

  20. I am so upset my husband and I are both elderly but we wanted a rottie pup. We saw four puppies (2 male, 2 female) for 350.00 each. So we contacted the person who was very close to where we live so we went and picked out a female. We had to wait a week until she was old enough to bring home. She was to be up to date on her shots and wormed but after three days she was sick then by Monday 7 days after we got her she was very sick only weighing 8 lbs. Our vet said she had round worms, hook worms, and a K9 parasite. gave us meds and she got better. I contacted the person we bought her from to alert her as soon as she was diagnosed but she denied any thing was wrong with this puppy.
    We had wanted to breed her once but noticed she was having trouble with her back legs about 3 weeks after we got her she is now 8 months old due to be spayed in 4 weeks and while they put her under for that they are x-raying her hips. We are so afraid we will lose her she is a very good tempered and she gets along well with our to little dogs. Please understand we have always had large dogs our last was a dobie-rottie mix. We always have them spayed or neutered both of our small dogs are fixed. I intend to ask our vet about this supplement and if she feels it will help I very much intend to start her on it.

  21. My 12 year old Shephard diagnosed with Hip Dysplasia and arthritis. Been on tramadol for 2 years, 6 pills a day (every 8 hours), inflamaway tablets, and most recently…golden paste ( home made turmeric paste).

    She was doing good but recently having more trouble getting up from her bed, avoids stairs, ( we have 2 flights), cant stand still for business, and now lays down when walked for potty break. She still loves car rides and chasing crabs on the beach. I use steps to get her in and out of my 4runner, and often brush and massage her at night.

    Im doing my best to monitor pain and feel sooner than later, I’ll have to say goodbye ?

  22. Our Lab is 16
    She has hip issues and today she spread eagle. Wife had to cradle to get her back up but she bunny hopped and ran downstairs. Fearing she is in pain, she stays upstairs(hardwood floors), getting sectional carpet to give her some traction.
    Hate it but trying to get her comfortable. Our Vet said she is too old for surgery, any suggestions for pain relief?

    1. Yes, that’s exactly what Flexpet is for. Flexpet reduces inflammation, lubricates joints, and relieves pain. We recommend trying it for a full month and see if it works for her. If it doesn’t, you can return the empty bottles for a full refund of the purchase price.

  23. My puppy pit is 3 months old and groans before sleep, let it be morning, noon or night.
    He always groans while sleeping. Also he kicks with his right hind leg while sleeping and sometimes when awake.
    What should i do.
    please help.

  24. Hello, my 7 yr old Shepard has shown signs favoring her left hip for a couple of years, it is really bad now. Once she lays down its hard to get up again especially at night. She will slowly painfully hop over to me when I call but can feel pain and it’s heartbreaking. Could this product benefit my dog or will it get progressively worse. I have very limited income but I don’t want to see her suffer.

    1. It could absolutely help, based on what you described. We do guarantee the product, so if you don’t see results, you can simply return the empty bottles for a refund on your first order, no problem.

      Basically, Flexpet will work as an anti-inflammatory, pain reliever, and joint lubricant. So typically, when a dog has sore or bad joints (arthritis, dysplasia, etc.), the results from Flexpet are very positive. That sounds like what you’re dealing with here, though we obviously can’t be 100% sure (which is why we have the guarantee!).

      If you have any other questions, please let us know.

    1. The first thing we would recommend is getting your dog to a vet. They will be most qualified to help your dog with his specific needs.

      With that said, if your dog has a joint issue, we recommend trying Flexpet as a first step. It’s an all-natural supplement, so you don’t have to worry about interactions with medications (especially in an older dog). Basically, Flexpet will lubricate the joints, reduce inflammation, and relieve pain. This should help your dog start to be able to move a little more comfortably. If this is a muscle issue with your dog, Flexpet probably won’t help too much. If it’s an issue related to arthritis, dysplasia, or something else similar, then Flexpet should help a lot more.

      We also have a guarantee on your first order. If it doesn’t work for you, we’ll give you your money back, no problem (just send us back the empty bottles).

      Please let us know if you have any other questions!

  25. I fortunately have never dealt with this in any of my dogs but I do have a friend who did. It was a sad sight to see, especially as time passed… It’s so frustrating when you have a pet who’s obviously struggling and in pain and it seems like there’s nothing you can do about it. It’s too bad we didn’t know about Flexpet back then, maybe it could have helped.

    1. We’re so sorry too. We hate to see these dogs in pain, and it’s even more frustrating when you feel like there’s nothing you can do about it 🙁

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