Canine Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease (LCPD) is a condition affecting a dog’s hip joints. It’s caused by a decrease in blood supply to the top part of their femur, causing it to break down and become necrotic. This can lead to pain and lameness in the affected limb.
The exact cause of LCPD is unclear, however it may be due to an abnormality in their blood supply to the hip joint or a genetic predisposition. It’s most commonly seen in small dog breeds and can occur at any age.
The prognosis for dogs with LCPD depends on the stage of the condition and the individual dog. If caught early and treated properly, most dogs can make a full recovery. However, some dogs can need lifelong management to prevent recurrence or progression of the disease.
Symptoms of Canine Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease
The most common symptoms of Canine Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease (LCPD) include:
- Pain or lameness in the affected limb
- Difficulty walking or running
- Decreased range of motion in their hip joint
- Muscle atrophy in the affected leg
- Abnormal gait or stance when walking or standing.
Diagnosing Canine Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease
Diagnosing Canine Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease (LCPD) is typically done through physical examination and imaging tests such as X-rays or CT scans. The veterinarian might also recommend blood tests to check for inflammation or infection in the joint.
Physical examination involves inspecting the dog’s gait, range of motion, and muscle strength. The vet might also palpate the area for pain or tenderness.
Stages of Canine Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease
Canine Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease (LCPD) is typically split into four stages. The stages are based on the severity of the condition and how much joint damage has occurred.
In stage one, there is an early decrease in blood flow to the top part of their femur. This can lead to subtle signs of lameness.
In stage two, their bone begins to break down and become necrotic, leading to more severe lameness. Their hip joint may be swollen or painful.
In stage three, the necrotic bone has broken down further and the hip joint is significantly swollen and painful.
In stage four, their femur has healed but the hip joint is permanently damaged. Your dog might have reduced range of motion and chronic pain.
Treatment for Canine Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease
Treatment for Canine Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease (LCPD) depends on the stage of the condition and the individual dog. The goal of treatment is to reduce pain, improve function, and slow or prevent further joint deterioration.
Non-surgical Treatment: Non-surgical treatments for LCPD include rest and physical therapy. Rest is important to allow their femur to heal and reduce stress on their joints. Physical therapy can help improve their range of motion, decrease pain, and strengthen the muscles around the hip joint.
Surgical Treatment: In some cases, surgery may be necessary to remove necrotic bone or repair a damaged joint. The type of surgery depends on the individual dog and stage of disease.
Preventing Canine Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease
The best way to prevent Canine Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease (LCPD) is to keep your dog at a healthy weight and give them regular exercise. This helps maintain muscle strength and joint health. If you have a small breed dog, consider giving them glucosamine supplements or omega fatty acids, because these can help support joint health.