Thursday October 25, 2001
Legg-Perthes Disease (Avascular Necrosis of the Femoral Head)

Race Foster, DVM
Marty Smith, DVM
Drs. Foster & Smith, Inc.


Legg-Perthes disease is a disorder of small breeds of dogs, especially Yorkshire Terriers and West Highland White terriers. With this condition the puppy will grow normally until about three months of age. At this time the ball (femoral head) of the hip joint begins to degenerate. It is believed that the blood supply to the femoral head decreases causing the bone to deteriorate and actually die. Similar conditions occur in humans. The end result is a malformed hip joint and secondary arthritis.

What are the symptoms?

Even though the hip joint deterioration begins around three months of age it is not until the puppy is six to ten months of age that it becomes lame. One or both hip joints may be involved. The dog will limp on the affected side(s).

What are the risks?

The hip joint will never be normal and some lameness will always be present. Arthritis will be the result in the affected joint.

What is the management?

Surgery to remove the diseased bone, i.e. the femoral head, is successful. The hip joint will not return to normal function however the destructive arthritic process will be greatly slowed. The secondary arthritis should be managed similarly to other forms of arthritis.

Written permission to reprint from Pet Education
DrsFosterSmiths&PetWarehouse
Owned & Operated by Practicing Veterinarians
© 2001 Drs. Foster & Smith, Inc.

["Gunner" "Jay" "Ducky"] ["Ivy"] ["Tess"] [Fun Photos] [More Fun Photos]
[Chihuahua Wishing Well..] [Chihuahua Rainbow Bridge]
[Training & Handling Service] [Training Tips]
[Web Design and Graphics] [Original Canine Art] [Custom Breed Jewelry] [Custom Breed Cards]


Chihuahua/Dog Education
Different Types of Breeders
Genetic Concerns and Standard
When to stay...When to run
Patella Photos Normal & Luxated
Hydrocephalus Article
Chihuahua Fact or Fiction
Puppy Aptitude Test
Early Neurological Stimulation
Why do you want to breed?
Chihuahua Pedigrees
Luxating Patella Article
Legg-Perthes Disease Atricle
Examples of Chihuahua Colors
Chihuahua Weight Chart
Chihuahua Sizes
Ruptured Anterior Cruciate Article
Think Carefully Before Breeding Article
Training Tips



Page created and maintained by: Lynne Velazquez Pawfect Chihuahuas Graphics and Web Design
Original Art Work on this Website was created by Lynne Velazquez Pawfect Chihuahuas Graphics and Web Design
and are Copyright © 2001,2002,2003 and may not be used elsewhere
without my written permission

Hosting by WebRing.