You won't care how much we know - until you know how much we care.
Fairfield Veterinary Centre Logo.
"Suzie" - Yorkie with Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease

"Suzie" was referred to me by another client who was aware of my expertise in orthopaedics. It is always a relief when presented with such a patient that an accurate diagnosis and postive result is achieved when expectations of my capabilities are high. It therefore came as a slight shock when the owner, a "golf professional" who had previously given me a lesson, walked into the room. Had his view of my professional abilities been on a par with my golf swing then I think he might well have picked "Suzie" up and ran out of my consulting room!

Fortunately, for me and "Suzie" the disease causing her to be severely lame on her right hind leg was rare although well recognised amongst the orthopaedic fraternity. Radiographs confirmed her painful problem as Legg-Calve-Perthes disease - first described in children in 1910 by 3 different medics whose condition bears their names. Interestingly, whilst in humans male children are far more likely to be affected (80%) there is no sex predilection in dogs.

This disease causes the hip bone (femoral head) to die back as a result of problems with the blood supply the exact cause of which remains poorly understood. Collapse of the hip bone occurs soon afterwards with resultant severe degenerative joint disease. This disease is known to be particulary painful and the treatment of choice is to surgically remove the diseased and necrotic bone as in "Suzie's" case.

Whilst the surgery itself can be intricate and technically demanding the postoperative phsiotherapy also plays a very signifcant part. During this period of convalescence the responsibility of the owners to nurse "Suzie" back to full use of the affected leg is paramount. Fortunately, for "Suzie" her recovery has been excellent and bears no traces of her problem. Now if only her owner could work some magic on my swing!


Terry Dunne BVMS, Cert SAO, MRCVS

Back to "Interesting Cases"

If you wish to print or save this page it is available in PDF format here


Copyright Fairfield Veterinary Centre, 51 Leicester Rd, Hinckley, Leicestershire