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What are Juvenile Pubic Symphysiodesis?

Juvenile pubic symphysiodesis is a minimally invasive prophylactic procedure performed in immature dogs that are at high risk for arthritis associated with hip dysplasia. Juvenile pubic symphysiodesis involves inducing premature closure of the pubic symphysis by thermal necrosis. Veterinary surgeons recommend that dogs be at least 16 weeks of age for the surgery to be beneficial, but most dogs that develop hip dysplasia do not have physical signs at this time. Therefore, it is recommended that dog breeds susceptible to hip dysplasia be tested using PennHIP radiographs to identify the loose hips. 

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Juvenile Pubic Symphysiodesis Procedure in Dogs

In a juvenile pubic symphysiodesis procedure, the pubic bone is destroyed with electrocautery, as this portion of the pelvis no longer grows. The remaining parts of the pelvis is then allowed to grow around the acetabulae that rotates the socket of the hips, over the ball of the hip. The result of this procedure is a stable hip and a decreased chance of the canine developing chronic arthritis later in life. An overview of the surgical procedure used to complete juvenile pubic symphysiodesis in dogs is provided below: 

  • The dog will be placed under general anesthesia
  • Between the hind legs, a small incision will be made in order for the vet to visualize the pelvis pubic bone. 
  • Cauterization is used on the dog’s pelvis bone to destroy cells that are growing on the growth plate, ideally stopping the bone abnormality. 

Efficacy of Juvenile Pubic Symphysiodesis in Dogs

Juvenile pubic symphysiodesis is a highly effective procedure used to treat dogs with hip dysplasia. Canines that have had this procedure performed at an ideal age have a good chance of obtaining a positive recovery. If the procedure was completed when the canine was 16 weeks of age or younger, the dog has a lesser chance of developing arthritis within the hips. 

Juvenile Pubic Symphysiodesis Recovery in Dogs

Following a juvenile pubic symphysiodesis procedure, the dog will be sent home with pain medication and restricted from engaging in physical activity for a few days following the day of surgery. Follow-up appointments with the veterinarian will be required to evaluate the canine. Radiographs of the hip will be taken to determine if the procedure was successful or not. Several follow-up appointments may be required for a dog that has undergone juvenile pubic symphysiodesis. 

Cost of Juvenile Pubic Symphysiodesis in Dogs

The average cost of a juvenile pubic symphysiodesis surgery in dogs is about $800. The cost to have this procedure completed may vary depending on the hospital and the canine’s needs. 

Dog Juvenile Pubic Symphysiodesis Considerations

Juvenile pubic symphysiodesis in dogs has a few potential postoperative complications including: 

  • Seroma, described as an accumulation of fluid at the surgical site that presents itself as a soft swelling. 
  • Infection
  • Failure of the veterinary surgeon to successfully achieve symphysiodesis, which will promote the pubic center to grow.   
  • Narrowing of the pelvic canal may occur, only causing problems in females that birth offspring. 
  • Urethral damage 

Juvenile Pubic Symphysiodesis Prevention in Dogs

Juvenile pubic symphysiodesis is a procedure used to treat dogs with hip dysplasia, a genetic disease that cannot be prevented. Dogs develop this abnormality due to a deformity found within the genetic makeup of one or both of the offspring’s parents. Common dog breeds affected by hip dysplasia include the golden retriever, German shepherd, rottweiler and Labrador. It is highly recommended to sterilize the canines that have undergone juvenile pubic symphysiodesis surgery and those found with the hip abnormality that have not yet undergone the procedure. 

Juvenile Pubic Symphysiodesis Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

5 Months
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Jps recovery

My dog had jps surgery a week ago. But is having more diffuculty getting up. And looks like he is dragging his one hind leg. Is this normal?
He also has swelling at the area

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2992 Recommendations
Some swelling is normal after this surgery but if Dieno is having trouble standing and is dragging one of his hind legs I would strongly recommend you return to your Veterinarian for a postoperative check up to check on his progress and possibly for an x-ray to check his pelvis. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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8 Weeks
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms


We are looking at a female puppy but just found out that her two front legs are somewhat bowed, her right hip is loose, and her left hip has what looks like what scar tissue. She is only 8 weeks old, and we are so torn on what to do. The breeder said that she would most likely end up with hip dysplasia, but we are concerned that over time if it would cost a ton of money to get her surgery. Please help.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2992 Recommendations
Without examining Luna and reviewing x-rays I cannot say how severe the issue is; most likely if the breeder believes that hip dysplasia is going to affect her (among other issues) you should pass on this pup if you are concerned about the financial side of treatment as surgical correction will be well into the thousands if severe. If you are having thoughts, have a Veterinarian check her over and have an x-ray done of her hips and fore legs to get a better idea. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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