What is Legg-Calve-Perthe disease?

Legg-Calve-Perthe disease is characterized by spontaneous degeneration of the femoral head in the rear leg of young dogs. The degeneration results in disintigration of the coxo-femoral (hip) joint and resultant inflammation and pain. The cause of the condition is unknown, though blood supply issues to the bone are thought to be a contributing factor. The disease is commonly seen in miniature and toy breeds and is most common in ages 5-8 months. Yorkshire terriers and Westies are common breeds affected.

Symptoms of Legg-Calve-Perthe disease

-Lameness- can be gradual or may be more spontaneous with an injury

-Carrying of affected limbs

– Pain when moving hip joint

-muscle wasting is common

Legg-Calve-Perthe disease is diagnosed based on history, physical examination and with radiographs of the pelvis and hip joints.

-Conservative treatment with cage confinement, strict rest and anti inflammatories may work with mild cases
-Monthly radiographs should be taken
-Surgical treatment may be necessary- a femoral head and neck osteotomy is the treatment of choice. This procedure removes the affected femoral head from the hip joint thus removing the source of pain and inflammation