n Journal of the South African Veterinary Association - Elbow dysplasia in the dog : pathophysiology, diagnosis and control : review article

Volume 69, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1019-9128
  • E-ISSN: 2224-9435


Elbow dysplasia is a non-specific term denoting abnormal development of the elbow. Elbow dysplasia encompasses the clinical and radiographic manifestation of ununited anconeal process, fragmented medial coronoid process, osteochondritis dissecans, erosive cartilage lesions and elbow incongruity. The net result is elbow arthrosis, which may be clinically inapparent or result in marked lameness. These conditions may be diagnosed by means of routine or special radiographic views and other imaging modalities, or the precise cause of the arthrosis or lameness may remain undetermined. Breeds most commonly affected are the rottweiler, Bernese mountain dog, Labrador and golden retriever and the German shepherd dog. Certain breeds are more susceptible to a particular form of elbow dysplasia and more than 1 component may occur simultaneously. The various conditions are thought to result from osteochondrosis of the articular or physeal cartilage that results in disparate growth of the radius and ulna. Heritability has been proven for this polygenic condition and screening programmes to select suitable breeding stock have been initiated in several countries and have decreased the incidence of elbow dysplasia.

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