Hip dysplasia

Jack is a 6 month old Boston Terrier belonging to Natasha, our practice manager/receptionist/tech assistant at the time.  Natasha adopted him at 10 weeks of age and by about 4 months of age noticed that he “runs like a bunny” and that his left hip would “pop out.”  Jack didn’t seem to be in any pain or discomfort from his hip problem and is a very active puppy.
He came in to be neutered and have x-rays taken of his hip to find out what was going on.  Small dogs can develop a condition called Legg-Perthes where the head of the femur (the “ball” in the ball and socket hip joint) basically disintegrates.  Large breed dogs are prone to hip dysplasia, where the head of the femur isn’t held into the acetabulum (socket) very well.

On the day of his neuter surgery, Jack vomited up a cotton-tipped swab and some foam from a stuffed toy, but was otherwise acting fine.  Natasha wanted x-rays of his stomach, in addition to his hips, to make sure he hadn’t eaten anything else of concern.

JacksFBThe neuter went smoothly with no complications.  The abdominal x-rays provided us with a puzzle for the rest of the day until Jack pooped!






Here is the x-ray of his hips:jackships


There were lots of interesting guesses on Facebook as to what that white object might be.  Natasha’s daughter has a Barbie salon and she thought it might be Barbie’s face mask.  A small bedpan was suggested, and it certainly looked like that!  After he woke up from surgery he finally pooped it out.  After a quick wash:

The rubber ear piece from a stethoscope!!

Now, let’s look at the x-ray again:

JacksFBVD w description


So Jack definitely has hip dysplasia and not Legg Perthes disease.  The other hip (which is seen best on the second x-ray above) shows a rather shallow acetabulum.  It is that hip that may end up causing him the most pain.  The hip that is mostly out may not bother him too much, if there isn’t bone rubbing on bone.  But the one that is currently in place may develop arthritic changes over time and be painful.  If surgery is ever needed, a femoral head ostectomy will likely be done to remove the ball and keep it from rubbing on the bone of the hip socket.  But that surgery won’t be considered until Jack is showing signs of pain.

Here is a picture of normal hips (from a Labrador retriever) for comparison–you can see how nicely the head of the femur fits in the actebulum:


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