Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have developed a screening method that accurately predicts a puppy’s chance of developing hip dysplasia, and Connecticut veterinarian Steven Leshem, DVM, has been trained in the technique. The University of Pennsylvania Hip Improvement Program (PennHIP) allows surgeons to accurately spot hip dysplasia in puppies as young as 16 weeks. With the data from the screening process, veterinary surgeons like Dr. Leshem can give breeders and owners the information they need to make decisions about breeding, training, and future medical care.

The PennHIP program is especially important because a large percent of large breed puppies exhibit the signs of canine hip dysplasia. Left untreated, the disorder can cause osteoarthritis, pain, and lameness. The University of Pennsylvania has created a database with breed specific information in order to assist veterinarians in their diagnoses of CHD. Through its training programs, PennHIP promotes evidence-based approaches to canine health care. At Veterinary Specialists of Connecticut in West Hartford, Steven Leshem, DVM, puts these approaches into practice every day.