Legg-Calves-Perthes Disease, also known as LCPD or LCP, is described as the spontaneous degeneration of the head of the femur bone i.e. the ‘ball’ in the ball and socket joint that forms the hip. The degeneration causes the bone to die and collapse, eventually leading to arthritis in the joint.
Though the exact root of the disease is unknown, it’s generally thought that it’s caused by an issue with the blood supply to the femoral head.
The disease is most commonly found in smaller breeds, particularly terriers like the Jack Russell Terrier and can affect both male and female dogs.
The symptoms are those that can be associated with any issues that affects the hind legs. These include lameness, pain when moving, wasting of thigh muscles of the affected limb and trouble with walking and getting up.
A complete physical examination by a veterinary professional will often be enough to diagnose LPCD as a possible cause for the above symptoms but x-rays will be taken to identify any changes in the femoral bone and joint to confirm the diagnosis.
In some cases, pain killers will be provided to help treat the lameness, but most will require surgery on the affected area. After surgery, a vigorous regime will be set out by your vet which will include exercise and physical therapy that must be adhered to, so the affected limbs have the best chance to fully recover.