Disorder - Legg-Calve-Perthes diseaseOrgan Systems Involved
Malum deformans juvenilis coxae
Osteochondritis coxa juvenilis
Aseptic femoral head necrosis
Avascular necrosis of the femoral head
An insufficient blood supply to the head of the femur (top of the thigh bone) causes this section of bone to die and disintegrate. This results in the deterioration of muscles associated with the area, and reduces the mobility of the hip joint.
The main clinical sign in Legg-Calve-Perthes disease (LCP) is severe lameness in one or both hindlegs due to pain within the hip joint. This can sometimes be caused by injury to the area, however, in LCP this pain and lameness is not associated with an injury and is due to this inherited disorder. Lameness in an affected dog will usually become evident at four to ten months of age. An early sign may be irritability when picked up or groomed over the hindquarters. The dog may favour the affected leg, and sometimes refuse to bear weight on it. Generally, within two months of initially favouring the leg, the dog will not support itself at all with the limb. Other signs include moderate to severe pain on passive movement of the joint - especially when the leg is pulled away from the body - and, when the legs are extended, the affected limb may appear shorter. X-rays of the limb will reveal an irregular bone density, and a flattening of the head of the femur, indicating the disintegration of bone.
Dogs at Risk
Australian silky terrier
Fox terrier (Smooth)
Fox terrier (Wire)
West Highland white terrier
Further Reference Material [OMIA Number]