Writing on behalf of a friend... he's got a dog, a young (under 2) female lab-shepherd mix from a dog rescue. She's been having intermittent lameness issues for the past couple months; they've tried rest, she was mistakenly diagnosed with a torn ACL and were debating surgery for it, and just today the vet has confirmed (via x-ray; I don't know what views they took) that she's got moderate hip dysplasia in both hips. Mr. Owner is very distraught over this!
Anywho, they can't afford surgery for her to clean out her hips, but I told him I'd look into other options and get back to him... their vet is a nice "general practice" kinda guy, but doesn't seem really up-to-date and just told them "well, y'know, limit her exercise and, well, keep an eye on her." They're first-time dog owners and don't know where to go or how to look for a better vet (and they're not local, so I can't do much). Joint supplements? Types of exercise that can help? Less-expensive and invasive options than surgery?
All 3 of our orthopedic vets suggest starting with Cosequin DS. If/when they become painful, adding metacam (or another NSAID) + tramadol +/- gabapentin.
Physiotherapy is important, go get a consult with a certified rehab/sportsmedicine vet/tech. Fit, lean and maintenance is key! Many of them dont require surgery, but if she is very lame now...I would get a second opinion on a cruciate ontop of having poor hips.