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Animal Emergency

Our animal emergency hospital is open 24h per day, 365 days per year, and is staffed by experienced emergency vets and nurses caring for your pet.

Internal Medicine

Our Internal medicine service deals with heart problems, cancer, gastrointestinal disease, neurology and a range of other illnesses.

Animal Surgery

We offer the latest techniques in chest & abdominal surgery, cancer surgery, wound reconstruction, spinal imaging & surgery and advanced orthopaedics.

Hip dysplasia

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Hip dysplasia is a common. heritable malformation of the 'ball-and-sockets' whereby the joints are too loose. Pups typically develop stiffness after exercise and reluctance to play when they are 6-12 months of age. Your family vet can check the hips at the time of vaccination and suggest x-rays to make the diagnosis.

Unfortunately, loose hips tend to deteriorate and develop arthritis. It is often simple to remember that 'tight hips are good hips'. Normally, all of the weight-bearing forces are transmitted across the joint evenly as the surface of the ball and the concavity of the socket match perfectly (both are the same diameter) and there is a large area that is in contact. Dysplastic pups have the ball sliding out of the socket which results in poor load distribution due to a much smaller surface area that is in contact. The cartilage can wear away leaving the underlying bone exposed. This leads to bone-on-bone contact and causes discomfort and inflammation.

Examination of the hip joint
Hip dysplasia
Hip dysplasia
Loose hips
Hip dysplasia
PennHIP x-ray
Hip dysplasia
Mild hip pain
Severe hip pain
Unstable / loose hip

Unfortunately many dogs have less active lifestyles due to this commonly bilateral (both hips) condition. They are reluctant to run, jump and eventually standing and walking can be painful. Surgery can provide excellent results as long as the correct procedure is chosen by an experienced vet. Specialists have advanced training in the selection of an appropriate surgical procedure as well as detailed knowledge of the things to avoid.

Younger dogs have more options available. In pups less than 18 weeks, pubic symphysiodesis allows restoration of acceptable hip conformation. Triple pelvic osteotomy (TPO) involves rotation of the acetabulum (socket) to improve coverage of the femoral head (ball). This procedure can save a loose hip that has not yet developed arthritis.

Diagram of TPO
Hip dysplasia
Model of TPO
Hip dysplasia
Before TPO
Hip dysplasia
After TPO
Hip dysplasia

Older dogs with advanced arthritis require medical management consisting of weight control, exercise moderation, stategic use of anti-inflammatory medications, cartilage-protection drugs and fatty acid therapy (dietary modulation). If the disability cannot be adequately controlled using a combination of these modalities, surgery can be considered.

Hip arthritis - photo
Hip dysplasia
Hip arthritis - x-ray
Hip dysplasia
Cemented THR
Hip dysplasia
Cementless THR
Hip dysplasia

Total hip replacement (THR) is highly successful in dogs (95% of dogs have normal hip function). At Pet Emergency & Specialist Centre we offer both cemented and cementless systems. Dr. Chris Preston is regarded as Australia's leading joint replacement surgeon for dogs having been involved for nearly 15 years in canine hip replacement. Chris currently performs THRs weekly and has published in clinical peer reviewed journals and taught knee replacements in workshops in the USA. Please download a client FAQs PDF for more information.

Smallest implant
Hip dysplasia
Largest implant
Hip dysplasia
Cemented cup
Hip dysplasia
Cementless cup
Hip dysplasia
12 hours after THR
24 hours after THR
7 days after THR