Indications for surgery include canine hip dysplasia, hip luxation, fractures of the femoral head, certain growth disturbances (LeggCalvePerthes disease). Canine hip dysplasia is due to loosening or instability of the hip joints. The hip joint is a ball and socket joint comprised of the femoral head (ball portion) and the acetabulum (socket portion). Looseness or laxity develops as the patient grows to adulthood. The laxity results in stress, strain, and abnormal motion of the femoral head within the acetabulum. Over time, the joint becomes deformed with resulting bone spurs, thickened tissues, and wear and tear on the cartilage surface of the joint. End stage changes include thickened tissues around the joint (in the joint capsule), severe arthritis, and pain.
The main cause of hip dysplasia has been linked to genetics and appears to be inherited. Other factors that can contribute include nutrition, rapid growth phases and obesity. Typical clinical signs include stiffness, lameness, abnormal gait (Bunny Hopping). Dogs may also be slow to rise or may sit or lie down frequently during play and/or leash walks.