Steven Leshem, a board-certified veterinary surgeon through the American College of Veterinary Surgeons, serves on a highly experienced team at Veterinary Specialists of Connecticut in West Hartford. Steve Leshem, DVM’s primary responsibilities include managing surgical cases at the veterinary hospital and heading the practice’s intern training program. In 2012, Dr. Steven Leshem achieved certification with the University of Pennsylvania’s PennHIP program, which screens dogs for canine hip dysplasia.

Millions of dogs are affected by canine hip dysplasia, which can result in debilitating osteoarthritis of the hip. In fact, more than 50 percent of popular large-breed dogs, such as St. Bernards and German Shepherds, show X-ray evidence of hip dysplasia. The condition causes pain and lameness for animals, and it costs pet owners and breeders millions in veterinary care and reduced performance.

To combat the prevalence of canine hip dysplasia, the University of Pennsylvania established the Hip Improvement Program (PennHIP), a not-for-profit initiative that relies on radiographic technology to screen canine hips for osteoarthritis susceptibility. Because the condition is hereditary, dogs should be bred only if they have been evaluated and found to have healthy hips. After trained specialists evaluate X-rays, the University of Pennsylvania enters the information into a database to track breed-specific trends as part of its hip dysplasia control program.