All this evidence supported a diagnosis of Legg-Calve-Perthes
disease. This hip condition in children was first described
by three independent doctors in 1910 and has subsequently
taken their names.It wasn't until 1935 that an almost identical
problem was identified in young small breed dogs.
In humans the condition affects mainly boys (80%) aged
between 5-10 years. In dogs both sexes appear to be equally
affected but as in humans it is the youngsters that are
susceptible 5-12 months. Interestingly, in both humans and
dogs the condition predominantly affects one side only (90%).
Whilst no-one has yet established a cause for this painful
problem the effects of the disease have been extensively
studied. It is clear that the bloodsupply to the hip joint
becomes compromised leading to the death and disintegration
of the hip bone. Left untreated this can lead to collapse
of the hip joint and resultant severe and debilitating arthritis.
The treatment of choice is the removal of the diseased
bone and the formation of a pseudoarthrosis or false joint
through appropriate physiotherapy. So far Toby's surgery
has been successful and it shouldn't be too long before
he is able to run around on all four legs as fast as ever.