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Juvenile Pubic Symphysiodesis For Canine Hip Dysplasia

by Amber LaRock February 15, 2021 4 min read

Corgi recovering after Juvenile Pubic Symphysiodesis surgery

Hip dysplasia in dogs is a painful joint condition that can affect the quality of a dog’s life. Due to the significant impact of this condition, experts have created a way to help at risk dogs during their puppyhood. So what is a juvenile pubic symphysiodesis (JPS) and how can it help our furry friends?

In this article we’ll discuss the details of this impressive procedure for young dogs, and help you understand how it can benefit an at risk pup.

What Is Hip Dysplasia In Dogs?

Hip dysplasia in dogs is a joint condition that is classified by the irregular formation of the hip joint. When a dog is free of hip dysplasia, their hips consist of ball and socket joints that help the hip glide freely with each step. When a dog struggles with hip dysplasia, the hip is unable to glide freely as it should. This is not only extremely uncomfortable for a dog that is affected, but can lead to significant joint deterioration over time. As the condition progresses, a dog will experience more and more pain.

Hip dysplasia in dogs has been linked to a few possible factors in our furry friends, but is often understood to be a hereditary condition passed down from dog to dog. While some dogs may be more at risk than others, there are some factors that can exacerbate hip dysplasia. Some of these exacerbating triggers in dogs include:

  • Fast growth periods, especially in large or giant breed dogs
  • Strenuous or excessive exercise
  • Diet lacking nutrients needed for proper growth
  • Canine obesity
  • Inadequate nutrition for a dog’s age

Puppies At Risk Of Hip Dysplasia

Most dogs do not begin to display signs of hip dysplasia until 6 months or older. Some dogs will not have a single symptom until their adult years, making it challenging to diagnose from an early age. So how do you know if a puppy is at risk of developing hip dysplasia? The best way is to start with their genetic history.

Many veterinarians will consider a puppy at risk if either one or both of their parents have been diagnosed with hip dysplasia. With this potentially being a hereditary condition, this puts a dog at significant risk of developing hip dysplasia as the years go on. Not only can this be genetic, but they may also fall victim to environmental triggers that can exacerbate the underlying joint condition.

Some experts consider a puppy at risk based on their breed alone. Dog breeds such as German Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers, and Bulldogs have a greater chance of developing hip dysplasia than others, labeling them as a high risk. For example, hip dysplasia was detected in 71.8% of the Bulldogs in a 42 year long orthopedic study. This statistic alone proves that some dogs are more susceptible than others.

What Is A Juvenile Pubic Symphysiodesis?

The juvenile public symphysiodesis procedure was created in effort to prevent the development of hip dysplasia in at risk puppies. This prophylactic procedure is used to help prevent the need of invasive surgery down the line, and hopefully prevent the significant impact of hip dysplasia in high risk canines. Due to how inexpensive and far less invasive this option is compared to other hip dysplasia surgeries, it is considered a game changer in the veterinary realm.

In a growing puppy, the pubic symphysis (growth plate) in the hip will increase in size as a dog matures. When a dog undergoes a JPS, a portion of the growth plate is destroyed, causing a halt in the normal growth of the pelvis. As the puppy continues to grow, the JPS will cause the hip socket to rotate over time, creating better coverage of the femoral ball in the hips. This not only leads to improved joint function, but decreased complications over time.

Because this procedure relies on the growth of a puppy, it will need to be performed within a certain age range. Dogs up to 5 months of age are considered the best candidates for the procedure, while those older than 12 months are not expected to find significant relief. If a Juvenile Pubic Symphysiodesis (JPS) is performed during the ideal age range, it is shown to be extremely successful in reducing laxity within the hip joint.

Prognosis Of A JPS Procedure

One of the reasons the JPS procedure is growing in popularity is due to how rare complications are. As long as dog owners follow the recommendations for 4-8 weeks of rest, most dogs go on to live normal lives free of developmental issues. While this procedure improves the life of the dog in question, it cannot prevent hip dysplasia in future litters. Because of this, it is strongly recommended that these puppies are sterilized and not used for breeding purposes.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, the JPS procedure is being recognized as a potential game changer for managing hip dysplasia in dogs. Be sure to review the information that we discussed above, and you can better understand this impressive procedure going forward.

Amber LaRock
Amber LaRock



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