Description: Young dogs may be prone to a painful degenerative hip condition called Legg-Perthes disease. The exact cause of this condition is still not completely understood, but it is thought to be a problem with blood supply to the hip, which causes the femoral head (the top of the thigh bone) to become brittle and easily fracture. It usually occurs between 6 and 9 months of age, causing pain and lameness in one or both rear legs.
What to Watch For: Typical signs are limping, pain when moving hip joint, and progressive lameness.
Diagnosis: After gathering a medical history of the dog’s signs, the veterinarian will often conduct a physical examination and radiograph of the hip.
Treatment: Pain killers and ice treatments are used to treat the dog’s lameness. In order to fully treat the disease, surgery followed by physical therapy is recommended. After recovery, regular exercise is important to help the animal heal properly.
Breeds prone to Legg-Perthes include: