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What to Do Quickly if Your Pet Starts Limping

It could be something more serious than a harmless cut or scrape. Know what to do now so you won't lose precious time before seeking help for this painful and debilitating condition.

legg calve perthes disease

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STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Necrosis of the femoral head, also known as Legg-Calve-Perthes disease, or LCP, is a condition of the hip joint in which bone gradually deteriorates and dies. Continued use of the hip can cause early arthritis
  • The most common sign of LCP is progressive lameness in the rear legs. Symptoms typically start with an abnormal gait or limp and progress to pain during certain movements, reluctance to run or jump, and sometimes generalized irritability
  • Diagnosis of necrosis of the femoral head is made by physical examination and X-rays of the hip
  • Treatment for LCP can be conservative, requiring several weeks of strict cage rest, or it can involve surgery (the recommended treatment in most cases). Regardless of the treatment approach, adjunctive therapies such as acupuncture, hydrotherapy, and massage can be extremely beneficial to the healing process
  • Surgery for Legg-Calve-Perthes disease, called a femoral head and neck ostectomy (FHO), should only be performed by a board-certified veterinary orthopedic surgeon or a general veterinary practitioner with extensive experience in FHO procedures

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