Physical examination and hip palpation may aid in the diagnosis of hip dysplasia in a dog. However, standard radiographs (X-rays) are needed to confirm the diagnosis.
When standard radiographs are normal in very young dogs (under six months of age) and hip dysplasia is suspected or the puppy is being screened for breeding, PennHip™ radiographs should be taken.
PennHIP® radiography has been found to be the best predictor of future hip arthritis development in the young dog. In other words, we can identify those puppies with loose hips before more significant arthritis has developed. PennHIP® radiography can be performed as early as 4 months of age whereas the traditional x-ray technique for hips is not certifiable until 2 years of age.
PennHIP® radiography has stimulated the development of a new treatment option for the young puppy, Juvenile Pubic Symphysiodesis (JPS). JPS involves the fusion of a growth plate within the pelvis. All bones have what are called cartilage growth plates, which are how the bones form their shape and length. Fusion, or stoppage of growth, of a growth plate will alter the shape and development of the affected growth plate and bone.