Hip Dysplasia HD is a common orthopaedic condition in ALL breeds, probably with the exception of Greyhounds and other animals bred for extreme speed. Hip Dysplasia can be picked up as early as 16 weeks of age. Do NOT let your pet live a life of pain. If we diagnose hip dysplasia early, we can do a very simple procedure to help your pet’s hips grow normally called a JPS. There is a very narrow window when this procedure can be effective around 16 weeks of age.
HD is caused by looseness of the ball joint (femoral head) in the cup of the pelvis (acetabulum) during development. Puppies are born with a completely normal hip but changes start between 1-2 weeks of age when the ligament of the femoral head weakens. HD is a genetic disease that causes the ligament of the femoral head to weaken. Juvenile bones are very soft, so when the femoral head is loose (laxity) the femoral head “rims” the edge of the joint like a basketball rolling around the edge of the hoop. This forces the joint to become deformed leading to osteoarthritis as the pet ages. We can test for laxity at 16 weeks of age using a PENNHIP X-Ray and we can change the future for your pet by performing a Juvenile Pubic Symphysiodesis or JPS. Learn More Here
This is a simple procedure that we can do at 16 weeks of age. It can be done earlier if HD is suspected and diagnosed with a Pennhip X-ray less than 16 weeks of age. Unfortunately, the clock is ticking. After 16 weeks of age the benefit from a JPS diminishes with each passing week. The best results can be obtained between 14-16 weeks of age if HD is diagnosed during this window. After 18 weeks of age a JPS provides very little benefit. We must screen your pet at 16 weeks of age. When deciding whether your pet may need to have a JPS we assess the laxity of the hips on the Pennhip X-ray and match it with clinical signs such as femoral head subluxation called the “Ortolani sign” and mechanical joint laxity called crepitus.
Pennhip X-rays measure looseness of the femoral head in the acetabulum. Using a special device the hip joint is stretched. A normal hip won’t stretch much. In a puppy with HD the femoral head will distract quite a lot from the joint. This is called distraction which is a measure of how loose the joint is. A normal joint will be quite snug. A HD joint with a weak ligament of the femoral head will stretch out of the joint.
For the unfortunate pets that have HD and were not screened they will go on to develop hip dysplasia and chronic pain due to osteoarthritis. They missed out on the life changing JPS surgery that would have changed their future. We have a pain management clinic with Dr Rob where we can give your pet a lot of different pain management options. Let us help your pet in pain.
If you are breeding, get the potential breeding puppies a PENNHIP X-Ray at 16 weeks and get them hip scored before breeding. If you are a caring pet owner,
get your puppy hip screened at 16 weeks just in case there is a problem and we can take action to improve their future and reduce the crippling pain of hip
dysplasia and osteoarthritis.
You will be welcomed by one of our caring vet nurses who will admit your beautiful pet to our fear free hospital for a relaxing day of soft music, pheromones and cuddles.
We will take X-rays of your pet’s hips under anaesthetic.
The veterinarian will call you to discuss the findings.
If your pet has joint laxity on the PENNHIP X-ray and clnical signs such as the Ortolani sign or crepitus of the hip joints, we will recommend a JPS procedure.
This can be done at the same time or if you need to think about this or discuss it further, it can be rescheduled.
Social distancing is easy for pets and people in our spacious waiting areas.