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Objective— To determine the long-term effects of juvenile pubic symphysiodesis (JPS) in dysplastic puppies.

Study Design— Prospective, randomized, clinical trial.

Animals— Seven dysplastic Chesapeake Bay retrievers and 2 beagle-crosses (BX1 and 2).

Methods— Five puppies had JPS performed with electrocauterization at 12, 16, 20, 22, and 24 weeks of age, respectively. Two puppies served as controls. BX1 and BX2 were used to obtain biopsies of the symphysis. Hips were evaluated for: pelvic development (transverse computerized tomography for acetabular angle [AA] and dorsal acetabular rim angle [DARA]); laxity [hip extended and stress radiography [distraction index (DI)]); Ortolani maneuver with reduction angles; acetabular coverage (Norberg angles); and function (coxofemoral range of motion, hip pain, and gait analysis by force-plate technique at 44 and 137 weeks of age).

Results— The pubis fused prematurely in every puppy that was operated on with the JPS technique. Greater acetabular responses were related to younger ages at surgery. The final mean AA in dogs that had JPS was 25° greater than preoperative values; 40% increased over control. The DARA final mean was 10°, 52% less than preoperative values and 46% less than control. The final mean DI in dogs having JPS was 0.28, 47% improved over preoperative values and 58% better than control. Mean pelvic dimensions in dogs that had JPS were 18% less than control. Gait analyses were normal for all dogs at 137 weeks. No urinary or bowel complications occurred.

Conclusions— Significant ventrolateral acetabular rotation, increased hip coverage, diminished hip laxity, normal pain-free gait, and insignificantly reduced pelvic size occurred after JPS.

Clinical Significance— Dysplastic hips in young dogs were significantly improved by JPS.