Puppy Orthopedic Problems

Learn how common joint disorders are diagnosed and treated.

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A well-functioning musculoskeletal system is fundamental for active dogs. To enjoy life on the fast track, dogs need their muscles and joints to be strong, flexible and working smoothly. However, problems do arise – especially in young puppies during their formative months.

The term orthopedic means “marked by or affected with a deformity, disorder, or injury of the skeleton and associated structures.” In order to function properly, bones, cartilage, muscles, joint capsules, tendons and ligaments must be formed, aligned, attached and nourished optimally during the puppy’s growth period. The sooner an abnormality is detected – and corrected or managed – the better the outlook for an active, happy life.

Common joint problems
Young puppies, from 2 to 6 months of age, may show signs of specific orthopedic problems, including hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia and luxating (dislocating) patellae. Older puppies, from 7 to 12 months of age, are affected by panosteitis, OCD (osteochondritis dissecans), HOD (hypertrophic osteodystrophy) and LCP (Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease) of the femoral head.

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Janelle Moorman   Mentor, OH

3/31/2009 7:12:05 AM

I would like to see more information on orthopedic treatments like V.O.M. (Veterinary Ortho. Manipulation) Is it effective for genetic disorders such as hip dysplasia?

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