Tag Archive: x-rays

Hip Dysplasia

Hip Dysplasia
By: Dr. Tony Luchetti  


Canine hip dysplasia is a common condition in large breed dogs.  Hip dysplasia occurs when a dog has abnormal development of the hips.  The hips are a ball and socket type joint. The femur (thigh bone) makes up the ball portion and the pelvis makes up the socket portion.  When a dog has hip dysplasia the ball and socket joint don’t fit together smoothly.  This is usually due to either a malformation of the ball or inadequate coverage of the socket.   This malformation causes an unstable joint, and eventually leads to arthritis as the body tries to stabilize the joint on its own.  The best way to diagnose hip dysplasia is with x-rays.


Usually dogs with hip dysplasia present to their veterinarian in one of two ways.   The first is a young dog usually between 6 and 18 months of age who presents to their veterinarian for discomfort of the hips, but doesn’t have arthritis yet.  The second is an older dog who has also had hip dysplasia as a young dog, but for reasons not completely known, doesn’t develop discomfort until arthritis has set in.   The treatments for each of these dogs is usually either surgical or medical.  For young dogs there are surgeries (such as triple pelvic osteotomy and juvenile pubic symphysiodesis) which can change the alignment of the pelvis to produce a better ball and socket joint.  For older dogs surgical management consists of either a total hip replacement done by a veterinary surgical specialist or a procedure called a FHO, where the ball portion of the hip is removed so the dog develops a false joint, thus minimizing pain.

laserTherapyMedical management is appropriate for either young or old dogs when surgery isn’t an option.  Medical management consists of weight reduction where necessary, non-steriodal anti-inflammatory medication (Rimadyl/Previcox), cartilage protecting agents (glucosamine/Adequan), and cold laser therapy.

If your dog has been diagnosed with hip dysplasia, your veterinarian will speak with you about the pros and cons of each procedure.  Then you can make an informed decision about which procedure is best for you and your pet.

 Boomer presented for exam on Tuesday, his Owner states that he might have swolled a saftey pin that morning around 6am, he noticed that Boomer was trying to vomit, and then fell over.  With Boomer’s history of well, being a puppy his Owner was concerned it might have been stuck and brought him in right away.

With Boomer now at Baring Dr. Luchetti decided the best thing to do would be to take some radiographs.  We took 2 views of Boomer’s abdomen. After sending the report off to the radiologist their conclusion was  that there is evidence of metallic gastric foreign material, with granular mineral debris scattered throughout the gastrointestinal tract. It is uncertain whether the larger radiodense structures in the stomach are additional foreign material, but this is suspected.

After discussing Boomer’s treatment plan with his Owner, Dr. Luchetti and Dr. Crumley decided to wait several hours to see if the foreign material would move/ pass through Boomer’s system. After taking the second set of x-rays later that afternoon the material had not moved. Boomer was headed to surgery.

Dr. Baker preformed Boomer’s exploratory/ gastrotomy, he was able to remove large amount of plastic/hair/ foreign material. Due to the large volume of material the was removed we took an x-ray of the material to make sure the safety pin was removed.

Can you see the safety pin??? The next day Boomer was bouncing off the walls and back to his normal crazy puppy self and was able to go home.

Rufus was brought into the hospital for vomiting, not really wanting to eat,and lethargy. After chatting with his Owner’s we found out that Rufus had a history of eating toys.  We took x-rays for Rufus and you can see that there was an obvious obstruction.

 After going in for an abdominal explore, Dr. Luikart was able to surgically remove this toy ball from Rufus. He did great the next day and went home later that night. ♥