PULLMAN, Wash. — Dr. Steve Martinez, a veterinary orthopedic surgeon at
Washington State University’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital, needs help from
the public and their dogs that have hip dysplasia.
Martinez is leading two studies pertaining to canine hip dysplasia, a chronic
degenerative joint condition that leads to lameness in dogs. Severe cases can
even necessitate hip replacement surgery, similar to the hip replacement
procedures used in humans.
The studies will focus on the effects of obesity on hip dysplasia lameness, and
the benefits of a specially formulated diet for dogs with hip dysplasia.
As an incentive, all participants who complete the study will receive a $300
honorarium. Additionally, all dog food will be provided during the study.
Hip dysplasia is a common malady, most often seen in purebred dogs. There is
a genetic predisposition to develop hip dysplasia, but other factors in a dog’s
environment can influence the degree of severity.
For dogs to be eligible for the study, they must have a medically confirmed
diagnosis of hip dysplasia and show at least mild signs of lameness.
Additionally, 10 days before the study begins, all drugs and supplements they
receive must be stopped.
Referred dogs will be screened prior to enrollment with a thorough physical
examination, x-rays of the hips, and analysis of total body fat, muscle mass,
and clinical laboratory tests; all free of charge to the owner.
Throughout the study, owners will be asked to assess their dogs’ activity and
lameness levels, as well as monitor their weight with weekly visits to their local
“Hip dysplasia is an unfortunate condition that causes dogs to live in chronic
pain,” said Martinez. “We are looking for ways to minimize its effects so
animals can walk and play comfortably.”
Further information can be obtained by visiting the study’s Web site at
http://www.vetmed.wsu.edu/depts-vcs/research/martinez.html. For more
details, possible pet enrollment, or questions pertaining to the study, please
contact Martinez and associates at 509/335-0711 or by e-mail at