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Abstract

In South Africa, 1919 canine elbow dysplasia grading evaluations were performed from 1999-2006. Of these 1827 were evaluated by the senior author and form the basis of this article. Each report recorded the breed, age, sex, side affected and elbow dysplasia grading. The relationship between breed, age, sex, side affected, origin of radiographs and elbow dysplasia incidence was then analysed. Statistical evaluations were performed including means and standard deviations. The Rottweiler had the highest incidence of elbow dysplasia at 55 % followed by the Bullmastiff, Chow chow, Boerboel and Golden retriever, all of which had elbow dysplasia incidences of >38%. Males were significantly more affected than females. The incidence of elbow dysplasia in the various breeds was compared with those of the Orthopaedic Foundation for Animals in the United States and was found to be much higher in South Africa.
Article — Artikel
Incidence of canine elbow dysplasia in South Africa
R M Kirberger
a*
and N Stander
a
INTRODUCTION
Elbow dysplasia (ED) is the abnormal
development of the elbow joint. It is an
all-encompassing term comprehensible
to the public for fragmented medial
coronoid process (FMCP), osteochon-
drosis (OC) and osteochondritis
dissecans (OCD), ununited anconeal pro-
cess (UAP) and elbow incongruity
9
. These
conditions may occur on their own or in
combination with each other
9,13
. Elbow
dysplasia is a developmental disorder
with clinical signs seen from 4 months of
age onwards followed by the develop
-
ment of arthrosis which may be crippling
or subclinical. The pathophysiology, diag
-
nosis and control have been reviewed
9
specifically to make South African veteri
-
narians more aware of the condition.
The united anconeal process was the
first component of elbow dysplasia to be
described in 1965
2
. The other components
were reported from 1975 onwards
14
. The
dog-breeding fraternity in South Africa
was made more aware of this condition
in 1998 at a Dog Breeders Symposium
organised by the Radiology Section of the
Department of Surgery of the Faculty of
Veterinary Science of the University of
Pretoria
10
. At this symposium a meeting
was held between representatives of the
various dog breeds affected by elbow
dysplasia, the Kennel Union of South
Africa (KUSA), South African radiologists
and international experts speaking at the
symposium. The purpose of the meeting
was to establish an elbow dysplasia grad-
ing scheme according to the guidelines of
the International Elbow Working Group
(IEWG) to help combat the effects of this
often crippling condition on South African
dogs.
Elbow dysplasia is inherited as multi
-
factorial polygenic traits
1
. Within the
Rottweiler breed the existence of a major
gene has recently been suggested
12
.
Heritability varies from 0.10–0.77 and
males may have a higher heritability than
females
9,11
. ThevariouscomponentsofED
may be inherited independently from
each other
8,9
. Knowing the ED status of
breedingdogsisimportantforbreedersto
reduce the incidence of this condition. It
has been proven that breeding affected
dogs with each other will result in a
higher incidence of offspring ED com
-
pared with normal dogs being bred to
each other
1,6
. It is also important to be
aware of the fact that certain breeds are
predisposed to ED and its various compo
-
nents, e.g. German shepherd dogs to
ununited anconeal process, Rottweilers
to fragmented medial coronoid process
and retrievers to osteochondrosis and
fragmented medial coronoid process
6
.In
a Finnish study spanning 12 years and
involving 34 140 German shepherd dogs,
Golden retrievers, Labrador retrievers
and Rottweilers, dogs were graded for
hip and elbow dysplasia (not all for the
latter)
12
. Rottweilers showed a 55 % inci
-
dence, Golden retrievers 30 %, German
shepherd dogs 25 % and Labrador re
-
trievers 20 % with the vast majority of
affected dogs having a mean score for
both elbows of 1 or less. Environmental
factorsalsoplayarole in the development
of ED and the subsequent arthrosis. These
factors include overfeeding (i.e. high body
mass), high fat intake, excessive calcium
and short bursts of exercise up to the age
of 24 months
15
.
The IEWG elbow certification process
evaluates the elbow for signs of arthrosis,
the consequence of the various compo
-
nents of elbow dysplasia. Osteophyte
formation at very specific locations
within the elbow joints are evaluated for
size and graded as follows:
Grade 1 (mild arthrosis): osteophytes
<2 mm in size.
Grade 2 (moderate arthrosis): osteo-
phytes 2–5 mm in size.
Grade 3 (severe arthrosis): osteophytes
>5 mm in size.
The primary cause of the arthrosis is not
specifically evaluated
9,12
but has to be
mentioned in the report if obvious. The
minimum requirement for IEWG grading
is a maximally flexed, well collimated ML
view of both elbows. Ununited anconeal
process is readily diagnosed on this view
and FMCP may occasionally be diag
-
nosed. OCD has to be very severe to be
diagnosed on a single ML flexed view.
Various countriesthus insist on additional
views to improve interpretation accuracy
for osteophyte and primary cause detec
-
tion and this accuracy increases with the
number of views made. It is thus impor
-
tant to realise that some conditions, for
example FMCP, may need multiple views
to make a specific diagnosis. At the above-
mentioned Dog Breeders Symposium a
South African elbow dysplasia scheme
was initiated with the following guide
-
lines according to the IEWG:
Dogs to be a minimum of 12 months old
and should preferably be done at this
age.
Radiographs to be made simulta
-
neously with the hip dysplasia certifica
-
tion radiographs to save on costs.
0038-2809 Jl S.Afr.vet.Ass. (2007) 78(2): 59–62 59
a
Diagnostic Imaging Section, Department of Companion
Animal Clinical Studies, Faculty of Veterinary Science,
University of Pretoria, Private Bag X04, Onderstepoort,
0110 South Africa.
*Author for correspondence.
E-mail: robert.kirberger@up.ac.za
Received: January 2007. Accepted: March 2007.
ABSTRACT
In South Africa, 1919 canine elbow dysplasia grading evaluations were performed from
1999–2006. Of these 1827 were evaluated by the senior author and form the basis of this
article. Each report recorded the breed, age, sex, side affected and elbow dysplasia grading.
The relationship between breed, age, sex, side affected, origin of radiographs and elbow
dysplasia incidence was then analysed. Statistical evaluations were performed including
means and standard deviations. The Rottweiler had the highest incidence of elbow
dysplasia at 55 % followed by the Bullmastiff, Chow chow, Boerboel and Golden retriever,
all of which had elbow dysplasia incidences of >38 %. Males were significantly more
affected than females. The incidence of elbow dysplasia in the various breeds was
compared with those of the Orthopaedic Foundation for Animals in the United States and
was found to be much higher in South Africa.
Key words: elbow dysplasia, incidence, South Africa.
Kirberger R M, Stander N Incidence of canine elbow dysplasia in South Africa. Journal of
the South African Veterinary Association (2007) 78(2): 59–62 (En.). Diagnostic Imaging Section,
Department of Companion Animal Clinical Studies, Faculty of Veterinary Science, Univer
-
sity of Pretoria, Private Bag X04, Onderstepoort, 0110 South Africa.
Radiographs only to be interpreted by
qualified veterinary radiologists.
Only a single maximally flexed good
quality ML radiograph of each elbow to
be made. It was decided to evaluate
only a single view in order to limit costs
and thus encourage greater participa
-
tion in the scheme by dog breeders. The
single-view examination is also fol
-
lowed by Sweden and Norway
11
.
In South Africa, these ED evaluations
have been done by 4 radiologists with the
bulk of them done by the senior author in
his capacity as chief KUSA scrutineer and
professor of radiology at the Faculty of
Veterinary Science, Onderstepoort, or in
his private capacity for referral radio-
graphs from throughout Southern Africa.
The elbow dysplasia scheme has now
been in operation for nearly 8 years and it
was decided to evaluate the results of
dogs processed to date and compare the
incidence of the disease with that of the
United States. At this stage it is impossible
to judge if the scheme has resulted in a
reduction in the incidence of ED in
South Africa. This can only be done after
another 8 years in order to compare the 2
studies with each other.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Records of all elbow radiographs exam
-
inedby official KUSA scrutineersfrom the
scheme inception date, 1 January 1999 to
31 October 2006, were reviewed. One
scrutineer only evaluated dogs of the
German Shepherd Dog Federation of
South Africa but these were not specifi
-
cally graded and were thus excluded.
There were 1919 cases evaluated of which
the senior author examined 1827, which
form the basis of this report tostandardise
interpretation of results. For each report
the breed, age, sex, side affected and ED
grading were recorded. Additionally the
population was divided into 2 groups, 1
for all radiographs made at the Veterinary
Faculty andtheothergroupforall referral
radiographs received for interpretation.
Elbow dysplasia grading to 2 decimal
points was then recorded for the popula
-
tion as a whole, per breed and for sexwith
means and standard deviations for each
of these determined. Statistical analysis
was undertaken using the R Foundation
for Statistical Computing program version
2.4.0. Sexes, side affected and origin of
radiographs were compared using a 2-
sample t-test for the population at large
and for affected elbows only. Significance
was taken at P < 0.05. The incidence of ED
in the more common breeds examined
was then compared with the incidence
recorded by the Orthopaedic Foundation
of America (OFA)
7
. Where a primary
cause was noted on the report it was
recorded.
RESULTS
The total population results are given
in Table 1, which also compares males to
females and radiographs taken at the
Faculty of Veterinary Science, Onderste-
poort, with radiographs taken by private
practitioners. For each the number of
dogs examined, the percentage of each
elbow affected and the average elbow
score for the population as well as for
affected elbows is given with their stan
-
dard deviation. The mean age of all dogs
was 24.6 months.
For the population at large there was a
significant difference in elbow dysplasia
incidence between radiographs submitted
to the faculty versus private practice (P <
0.001) and also between males and fe
-
males with males having a higher grading
than females (P = 0.046). There was no
significant difference between left and
right elbows in the whole population or
within males or females.
When comparing only the affected
elbowsthere was no significantdifference
between males and females and the
origin of the radiographs but there was a
significant difference between left and
right elbows of males (P = 0.0048) and
females (P = 0.002).
Forty-seven breeds were examined, of
which 21 breeds had 11 or more evalua
-
tions carried out representing 1762 cases
(Table 2). These were ranked in order of
percentage incidence of ED with grading
incidence also presented and all data
compared to those of the OFA. The
remaining 65 cases represented another
26 breeds with the same data given as for
Table 2 but data were not compared with
thatofthe OFA owing to the low numbers
(Table 3).
The Boerboel was the most common
breed (446 examinations) of which 8.3 %
had an UAP and 2.8 % had an identifiable
FMCP. The next highest incidence of UAP
was in the Bullmastiff at 5 %. The Labrador
and Golden retrievers had an incidence
of 2.9 % and 2.1 % of detectable FMCP,
respectively.
DISCUSSION
Twenty-seven per cent of dogs evalu
-
ated had elbow dysplasia with an average
score of affected elbows being 1.77. Four
breeds: Rottweiler, Bullmastiff, Chow
chow and Boerboel had an incidence
higher than 40 %, with the Rottweiler
being the highest at 55 %. Males had a
significantly higher incidence of ED,
which is likely to be due to their faster
growth rate or a possible sex-linked
factor
3–5,8
. Although grading of affected
elbows was on average 0.19 higher in
males than females this was not statisti
-
cally significant. The mean values of left
and right elbows differed quite markedly
in all dogs as well as within males and
females in the population at large, with
left elbows more severely affected than
right elbows but not significantly so.
When comparing only affected elbows of
all dogs this trend was reversed but not
significantly so. However, in the affected
elbows within males and females there
was a significant difference but in this
instance the right elbow was more severely
affected in females versus the left in males.
It is interesting to note these differences,
which are influenced by the dilution factor
of the normal dogs in the one scenario
compared to only looking at affected
elbows in the other. From a clinical
perspective these changes are unlikely to
have any significance. A higher percent
-
age of dogs radiographed at the faculty
had elbow dysplasia but the grade of
dysplasia or elbows affected was similar.
This is most likely due to non-submission
of severely affected elbows by practitio
-
ners.
60 0038-2809 Tydskr.S.Afr.vet.Ver. (2007) 78(2): 59–62
Table 1: Incidence of elbow dysplasia in total, males
versus
females and faculty
versus
private radiographs for left and right elbows.
Left elbow Right elbow
n
% Affected Av. score (SD) Av. score affected % Affected Av. score (SD) Av. score
population elbows population elbows
Total 1827 27 0.49 (0.89) 1.76 (0.78) 25 0.45 (0.89) 1.78 (0.77)
Males 739 29 0.55 (0.95) 1.86 (0.78) 27 0.49 (0.90) 1.83 (0.99)
Females 1086 26 0.44 (0.84) 1.69 (0.77) 24 0.43 (0.84) 1.74 (1.01
Sex? 2 100 2.50 2.50 100 2.50 2.50
Faculty 621 32 0.57 (0.93) 1.75 (0.78) 30 0.53 (0.92) 1.78 (0.79)
Private 1206 25 0.44 (0.86) 1.77(0.78) 23 0.42 (0.84) 1.78 (0.77)
From this study it isdifficulttojudgethe
incidence of the specific causes of elbow
dysplasia in South Africa. Having only a
flexed ML view severely limits identifying
OCD, FMCP and elbow incongruity and
the primary cause, where visible, was
only recorded more regularly during the
last 4 years. However, even with these
limitations, it was interesting to note
that the Boerboel, a South African breed
resembling the Bullmastiff, had the high-
est incidence of UAP and second highest
incidence of detectable FMCP.
The findings of this South African study
differ quite markedly from those of the
OFA (Table 2). In looking at the results of
the first 12 breeds of dogs in South Africa,
ranked according to severity of ED, and
excluding breeds not in the OFA study,
the percentage of dysplastic dogs of the
various breeds was consistently higher in
South Africa with a tendency for more
grade 2 and 3 ED cases. The mean age of
dogs examined in South Africa was
25 months which is probably much
higher than that of the OFA and could
have been a contributing cause for the
0038-2809 Jl S.Afr.vet.Ass. (2007) 78(2): 59–62 61
Tabl e 2: Breed incidence of elbow dysplasia with 11 or more examinations per breed with data compared to that of the Orthopaedic Founda
-
tion of America.
Breed Rank
n
% Dysplastic % Grade 1 % Grade 2 % Grade 3
SA USA SA USA SA USA SA USA SA USA SA USA
21 82
Rottweiler 1 2 148 9407 54.7 40.9 20.3 30.3 31.1 9 3.4 1.6
Bullmastiff 2 18 102 1378 53.9 13.7 21.6 8.9 19.6 3 12.8 1.7
Chow chow 3 1 19 392 47.4 46.4 5.3 21.2 15.8 17 26.3 8.2
Boerboel 4 nil 446 nil 43.3 nil 14.1 nil 12.1 nil 17.0 nil
Retriever (golden) 5 25 243 14295 38.3 11.5 16.1 8.9 15.6 2 6.6 0.7
Bernese mountain dog 6 3 16 6725 37.5 29.5 6.3 18.6 12.5 7.5 18.8 3.5
Staffordshire bull terrier 7 nil 16 nil 31.3 nil 6.3 nil 25.0 nil 0.0 nil
Giant schnauzer 8 28 12 185 25.0 10.3 25.0 8.6 0.0 1.6 0.0 0.0
Great Dane 9 46 69 923 21.7 4.2 11.6 3.5 8.7 0.5 1.5 0.2
Rhodesian ridgeback 10 nil 151 nil 21.2 nil 12.6 nil 6.6 nil 2.0 nil
German shepherd dog 11 8 24 23088 20.8 19.5 16.7 14 4.2 4.1 0.0 1.5
Retriever (Labrador) 12 24 340 33094 20.6 11.5 10.3 8.5 5.6 2.1 4.7 1
Newfoundland 13 5 35 3744 20.0 25.3 5.7 14.8 11.4 5.8 2.9 4.7
Bouvier des Flandres 14 32 11 1908 18.2 8.7 18.2 6.8 0.0 1.6 0.0 0.3
Irish wolfhound 15 22 12 272 16.7 11.8 0.0 8.1 16.7 2.9 0.0 0.7
Australian cattle dog 16 21 11 355 9.1 12.1 0.0 9.6 9.1 2.0 0.0 0.6
Border collie 17 68 11 904 9.1 1.4 0.0 0.8 9.1 0.4 0.0 0.1
Australian shepherd 18 42 18 1975 5.6 4.3 5.6 3.2 0.0 1.0 0.0 0.1
Dobermann 19 70 45 1080 2.2 1.3 2.2 1.1 0.0 0.1 0.0 0.1
Alaskan malamute 20 51 17 323 0.0 3.4 0.0 1.5 0.0 1.2 0.0 0.6
Weimaraner 21 71 16 632 0.0 1.3 0.0 1.1 0.0 0.2 0.0 0.0
Table 3: Breed incidence of elbow dysplasia with fewer than 11 examinations per breed.
Breed
n
% Dysplastic % Grade 1 % Grade 2 % Grade 3
Neapolitan mastiff 2 100 50.00 50.00 0.00
American Staffordshire terrier 1 100 100.00 0.00 0.00
Retriever (flat coated) 1 100 0.00 100.00 0.00
Sharpei 6 50 0.00 33.33 16.67
Black terrier 2 50 0.00 0.00 50.00
White shepherd dog 2 50 50.00 0.00 0.00
Airedale 2 50 0.00 50.00 0.00
Retriever (Chesapeake bay) 2 50 50.00 0.00 0.00
Saint Bernard 4 25 0.00 0.00 25.00
German shorthair pointer 6 17 16.67 0.00 0.00
Boxer 6 0 0.00 0.00 0.00
Shiba 5 0 0.00 0.00 0.00
Jack russell terrier 4 0 0.00 0.00 0.00
Berner sennenhund 3 0 0.00 0.00 0.00
Afghan hound 3 0 0.00 0.00 0.00
Siberian husky 3 0 0.00 0.00 0.00
Spaniel (English springer) 2 0 0.00 0.00 0.00
Basenji 2 0 0.00 0.00 0.00
White Swiss shepherd dog 2 0 0.00 0.00 0.00
Pyrenean mountain dog 1 0 0.00 0.00 0.00
Whippet × 1 0 0.00 0.00 0.00
Belgian shepherd dog 1 0 0.00 0.00 0.00
Irish setter 1 0 0.00 0.00 0.00
Old English sheepdog 1 0 0.00 0.00 0.00
Rough collie 1 0 0.00 0.00 0.00
Bloodhound 1 0 0.00 0.00 0.00
poorer grading of South African dogs. In
the dogs ranked 13 to 21 only the New
-
foundland and Australian cattle dogs had
a slightly lower incidence of dysplasia
than the OFA dogs. This could imply that
these South African dogs have better
breeding lines for elbow dysplasia. How
-
ever, the numbers are also fairly low and
the validity of this conclusion may thus be
questionable. The OFA has been evaluat
-
ing elbows since 1990 and has had a
steady decrease in ED incidence as breed
-
ers have become more knowledgeable
and applying stricter selection against ED
when breeding. The benefit of breeding
ED-free dogs is illustrated by the following
mating probability results for 13 151
breeding pairs of dogs (primarily Labrador
retrievers, Golden retrievers, Rottweilers,
and German shepherd dogs) with known
elbow status of the OFA
7
:
Normal elbows × Normal elbows =
12.2 % offspring affected with ED.
Normal elbows × Dysplastic elbows =
26.1–31.3 % offspring affected with ED.
Dysplastic elbows × Dysplastic elbows
= 41.5 % offspring affected with ED.
It is hoped that this article will help to
inform South African breeders about the
dangers of breeding with dysplastic dogs
and that the incidence will also decrease
over time if ED-free breeding pairs are
used. Currently no breed society insists
on ED screening before breeding. Many
owners of breeds that have a high inci-
dence of ED, such as the Boerboels,
retrievers, Rottweilers and Bullmastiffs
have their dogs examined and hopefully
practise responsible breeding. KUSA
needs to take the lead and promulgate
regulations that breeds at risk have their
elbows evaluated prior to breeding. No
breeding recommendations have neces
-
sarily to be made at this stage but at least
potential purchasers of dogs will be able
to make an informed choice. With time
ED status breeding regulations for these
breeds can be put in place. This study also
emphasises the high incidence of ED in
breeds not regularly examined, which in
-
clude the Chow chow, Bernese mountain
dog, Staffordshire bull terrier, Giant
schnauzer, Great Dane, German shep
-
herd dog, Bouvier des Flandres and Irish
wolfhound. These breed societies and
breeders also need to take note of ED and
start having their dogs’ elbows screened.
The German Shepherd Dog Federation,
which has the bulk of South African
German shepherds as its members, has to
date not officially graded dogs for elbow
dysplasia, which reflects their low num
-
bers in this study. However, with an inci
-
dence of 19.5 % in the United States
(Table 2) and 14 % in Germany
8
, the
German Shepherd Dog Federation needs
to implement an ED scheme for its mem
-
bers as well. The same applies to organisa
-
tions controlling the Boerboel, which has
an extremely high incidence of ED.
Dogs should normally be evaluated
at 12 months of age. The earlier ED is
diagnosed the sooner animals can be
prevented from breeding. The mean age
of the South African dogs examined was
nearly 25 months. Increasing age resulted
in increasing arthrosis and poorer grading
in this study as well as elsewhere
8
and it
may be that there will be some improve-
ment in scores as more dogs are screened
at 12 months. Other limitations of this
study include limited numbers in some
breeds which could skew the data, non-
submission of dogs or their radiographs
for evaluation e.g. owners who did not
intend breeding their dogs, dogs that had
already undergone surgery for ED or the
presence of an obvious lesion and thus
the radiograph is not sent for screening.
Another limiting factor is that the tech
-
nique of a single view will underestimate
the incidence of ED. Some dogs may have
the primary disease condition without
any sign of arthrosis and as such some of
these will be missed if additional views or
more advanced grading systems are not
utilised
5
.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
We thank John Grewar for creating the
data base and Loveness Dzikiti for doing
some of the statistical analyses.
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62 0038-2809 Tydskr.S.Afr.vet.Ver. (2007) 78(2): 59–62
... The Boerboel dog is a rapidly growing big Molloser type of dog reported to be as a result of crossbreed between Bullmastiff and local South African dog breeds like Bullenbijter (Ajadi & Doyin-Dada, 2019). Even though Boerboels are generally known for their good health, they are reported to suffer from hip and elbow dysplasia (Kirberger & Stander, 2007). In spite of the susceptibility of Boerboels to ED, there is dearth of information on the prevalence of ED in the breed. ...
... Use of endoscopy and computed tomography has been reported to be more sensitive in the diagnosis of elbow disorders (Meyer-Lindenberg et al., 2002). The prevalence of ED for Boerboel dogs in this study was higher when compared to several other breeds such as Labrador retriever (5.2%), Golden retriever (5.6%), Bernese mountain dog (13.9%) and Estrela Mountain dogs (16.5%) (Lavrijsen et al., 2012;Alves-Pimenta et al., 2013), but similar to that reported for Rottweiler (39%) and chowchow (47.2) (Kirberger & Stander, 2007;Lavrijsen et al., 2012;Baers et al., 2019). The ED prevalence for Boerboel dogs in this study is higher when compared to our previous study (Ajadi & Doyin-Dada, 2019), but similar to that reported for Boerboel dogs in South Africa (Kirberger & Stander, 2007). ...
... The prevalence of ED for Boerboel dogs in this study was higher when compared to several other breeds such as Labrador retriever (5.2%), Golden retriever (5.6%), Bernese mountain dog (13.9%) and Estrela Mountain dogs (16.5%) (Lavrijsen et al., 2012;Alves-Pimenta et al., 2013), but similar to that reported for Rottweiler (39%) and chowchow (47.2) (Kirberger & Stander, 2007;Lavrijsen et al., 2012;Baers et al., 2019). The ED prevalence for Boerboel dogs in this study is higher when compared to our previous study (Ajadi & Doyin-Dada, 2019), but similar to that reported for Boerboel dogs in South Africa (Kirberger & Stander, 2007). The high ED prevalence in this study might be associated to the additional radiographic projections which allowed for recognition of dogs with primary lesion unlike, the previous study in which only flexed latero-medial view was used. ...
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Elbow dysplasia (ED) is a developmental, multifactorial, polygenic disease of rapidly growing, large breed of dogs. ED can be a significant health concern for affected dogs because treatments are largely ineffective, making selectively breeding of normal dogs the best option for disease control. Despite the relative availability of data on ED prevalence in other breeds, there is dearth of information on ED prevalence in Boerboel dogs. This study evaluated ED prevalence and relative percentages of different ED grades in Boerboel dogs using radiographs of dogs presented for screening between April 2016 and September 2020. Extended latero-medial, flexed latero-medial and cranio-lateral-caudo-medial oblique radiographs from 64 dogs were reviewed. Radiographs were graded using international elbow working group (IEWG) criteria and grades 0-3 assigned to each joint. ED prevalence expressed as percentages were obtained by dividing the number of dogs with grades 1, 2 and 3 by total number of dogs. Age and sex difference in ED prevalence were compared using chi-square test. Differences were considered significant at P ≤ 0.05. Mean age of the dogs was 2.3 ± 0.6 years. Thirty-six (56.3%) dogs were graded as non-dysplastic, while 28(43.7%) were graded as dysplastic, with grade 3 (46.4%) accounting for majority of ED cases. There were no significant (p > 0.05) difference in sex and age prevalence of ED in the breed. In conclusion, ED prevalence in Boerboel dog is high with majority of dogs having severe grade. Widespread phenotypic screening and strict breeding restrictions are recommended| to control the disease in the breed. Keywords: Boerboel, Dog, Elbow dysplasia, Prevalence, Radiographic screening
... Three of the four breeds identified in this study as having an increased risk of surgery for ED are the same as in several other studies. The German shepherd dog, Labrador retriever, and the Rottweiler are well-known breeds at risk [8][9][10][11]. An interesting finding is that the Staffordshire bull terrier had a high OR for ED. ...
... An interesting finding is that the Staffordshire bull terrier had a high OR for ED. To the authors' knowledge, there is only one other study available reporting this breed among breeds predisposed for ED [9]. In Scandinavia, the Staffordshire bull terrier has gained great popularity over recent years and from being a rare breed has now become one of the most common breeds in both Norway and Sweden. ...
... However, since all conditions sorted under the collective term are believed to be highly interrelated [12] and articular cartilage damage and joint incongruity are unlikely to be seen as a separate entity, we believe this to be a minor limitation to the study. Moreover, conclusions about prevalence of the particular diagnoses in each breed has been addressed in previous studies [8][9][10]. ...
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Background A retrospective case–control study was conducted to estimate breed predisposition for common orthopaedic conditions in 12 popular dog breeds in Norway and Sweden. Orthopaedic conditions investigated were elbow dysplasia (ED); cranial cruciate ligament disease (CCLD); medial patellar luxation (MPL); and fractures of the radius and ulna. Dogs surgically treated for the conditions above at the Swedish and Norwegian University Animal Hospitals between the years 2011 and 2015 were compared with a geographically adjusted control group calculated from the national ID-registries. Logistic regression analyses (stratified for clinic and combined) were used to calculate odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals. Mixed breed dogs were used as reference. Results Breeds found at-risk for ED were the Labrador retriever (OR = 5.73), the Rottweiler (OR = 5.63), the German shepherd dog (OR = 3.31) and the Staffordshire bull terrier (OR = 3.08). The Chihuahua was the only breed where an increased risk for MPL (OR = 2.80) was identified. While the Rottweiler was the only breed predisposed for CCLD (OR = 3.96), the results were conflicting for the Labrador retriever (OR = 0.44 in Sweden, 2.85 in Norway); the overall risk was identical to mixed-breed dogs. Conclusions Most results are in concordance with earlier studies. However, an increased risk of CCLD was not identified for the Labrador retriever, the Staffordshire bull terrier was found to have an increased risk of ED and some country-specific differences were noted. These results highlight the importance of utilising large caseloads and appropriate control groups when breed susceptibility is reported. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (10.1186/s13028-019-0454-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
... Only a single flexed mediolateral view of each elbow is evaluated. In 2007, the author published an article on the findings of the elbow scheme in South Africa from inception to the end of 2006 (Kirberger & Stander 2007). This study showed that Rottweilers had the highest ED prevalence of 55% with the Labrador retriever prevalence ranked 12th with 21% of dogs graded as dysplastic. ...
... In South Africa, these ED evaluations have been done by individual specialist veterinary radiologists as part of the SAVA/KUSA HD/ED scheme. The ED scheme has been in operation for nearly 18 years, and it was decided to evaluate the elbow results in Rottweilers and Labrador retrievers since 2007, to follow on the previous South African elbow publication (Kirberger & Stander 2007) to determine whether progress has been made over the last 9 years in reducing the incidence of ED in the current group of dogs being examined. ...
... In comparing the prevalence of ED in the current study to that of the previous South African publication for the time period 1999-2006 (Kirberger & Stander 2007), Rottweilers at that stage had a mean ED prevalence of 54.7%, which over the current period decreased to 39.1% and had decreased to 27% by 2015. This is a great improvement and can probably be ascribed to setting breeding criteria as mentioned earlier. ...
Article
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Canine hip and elbow dysplasia are major orthopaedic problems prevalent the world over, and South Africa is no exception. Hip and elbow dysplasia phenotypic status is certified by a number of different radiographic schemes in the world. South Africa uses the Fédération Cynologique Internationale system to certify hips, and the International Elbow Working Group scheme to certify elbows. One way of reducing these often crippling conditions is by selective breeding using only dogs with no or marginal dysplastic joints. In South Africa, only seven breeds, including the Rottweiler, have breeding restrictions for hip dysplasia. There are no such restrictions for elbow dysplasia. This study assessed the prevalence of hip and elbow dysplasia over a 9-year-period in the Rottweiler and the Labrador retriever in South Africa as evaluated by official national scrutineers. Records from 1148 Rottweilers and 909 Labrador retrievers were obtained and were graded as normal or dysplastic, and numerical values were also evaluated. Data were compared between the two breeds, males and females as well as over time and were compared with similar data of the Orthopaedic Foundation for Animals in the United States. The prevalence values for hip dysplasia in Rottweilers and Labrador retrievers were 22% and 31%, respectively, whereas for elbow dysplasia the values were 39% and 19%, respectively. In Labrador retrievers, this incidence was much higher than in the American population. Rottweiler hip and elbow dysplasia numerical scores significantly improved over time, whereas in Labrador retrievers, only hip dysplasia showed a minor but significant improvement. This study proved that prescribing minimum breeding requirements, as in the Rottweiler in this study, significantly improved the breeding stock, suggesting that minimum hip and elbow breeding requirements should be initiated for all breeds at risk of these often crippling conditions.
... Mechanisms that may be involved in the development of ED include osteochondrosis (OC), joint incongruities (Kramer et al., 2006), and biomechanical force mismatch across the elbow joint (Hulse, 2008). All are hypothesized to occur as a result of genetic predisposition with contributing environmental factors, such as high energy diets, rapid growth rates, or excessive exercise (Kirberger & Stander, 2007). According to the Orthopaedic Foundation for Animals (OFA), in Plate l: Photograph of an adult male Boerboel dog the USA, HD prevalence in Rottweilers was estimated as 20.2%, and that of Labrador retrievers as 11.5% (OFA, 2015). ...
... In South Africa, the prevalence of ED for Labrador retrievers and Rottweilers was estimated at 19% and 39%, respectively (Kirberger, 2017). In our study, ED prevalence was (25%), similar to Labrador retrievers and Estrela Mountain dogs, but lower than Rottweilers and Bernese Mountain dogs (Alves-Pimenta et al., 2013;Kirberger & Stander, 2007). We found no sex-related prevalence for HD or ED among the Boerboel dogs, thus comparing favorably with studies involving different breeds and geographic areas. ...
... All conditions are polygenetic and multifactorial diseases that often occur in young, popular breeds [5][6][7][8]. Dogs with elbow dysplasia should be eliminated from breeding [9,10]. The clinical signs usually start at the age of 8 months and include muscle atrophy, joint pain, joint effusion and a decreased range of motion [6]. ...
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The present study focused on the status of elbow dysplasia in pet clinics in Egypt. Seventy-two dogs out of 888 presented with thoracic limb disorders had elbow dysplasia (ED) which represented 8% of the examined animals. The affected dogs were of different breeds and aged (45 cases, 6 - 12 months) and (27 cases, < 12 months). The majority of the recorded dysplastic dogs were of males (53 dogs) (73.6%) and females (19) accounted for (26.4%). The most commonly presented breeds were German shepherds (37) (12.1%). Elbow joint screening radiography revealed that ED was found bilateral in 15 dogs (21%) while in 57 dogs (79%) were unilateral. Thirty-one- (43%) elbows had single primary lesions, thirty elbows- (41.6%) had two combined lesions, nine elbows (12.5%) had three combined lesions, and two elbows (2.7%) had four combined lesions. Since the present study is concerned with the study of the current status of elbow dysplasia in front legs of dogs, the problem that is often overreached or ignored by veterinary practitioners during their examination especially when diagnosing cases of intermittent or imperceptible lameness in the front legs of young dogs of some breeds. Early diagnosis of such elbow problems is of great importance to proper treatment at an appropriate time and also to take precautions when breeding is concerned as a genetic problem.
... Given the prevalence of elbow dysplasia in SBTs previously reported as 31.3-33.3% [48,49] and the documented stoicism of the breed [50], it might be that "stiffness" is indicative of an underlying condition that may warrant further investigation. ...
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Background The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is a popular dog breed in the UK but there is limited reliable evidence on disorder predispositions and protections within the breed. Using anonymised veterinary clinical data from the VetCompass™ Programme, this study aimed to identify common disorders with predisposition and protection in the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. The study hypothesised that Staffordshire Bull Terriers would have higher odds of aggression compared with non-Staffordshire Bull Terriers. Results The clinical records of a random sample of dogs of all types were reviewed to extract the most definitive diagnoses for all disorders existing during 2016. A combined list from the 30 most common disorders in Staffordshire Bull Terriers and the 30 most common disorders in non-Staffordshire Bull Terriers was generated. Multivariable logistic regression was used to report the odds of each of these disorders in 1304 (5.8%) Staffordshire Bull Terriers compared with 21,029 (94.2%) non-Staffordshire Bull Terriers. After accounting for confounding, Staffordshire Bull Terriers had significantly increased odds of 4/36 (11.1%) disorders compared to non-Staffordshire Bull Terriers with highest odds for seizure disorder (OR 2.06; 95% CI 1.24 to 3.40; p = 0.005). Conversely, Staffordshire Bull Terriers had reduced odds of 5/36 (13.9%) disorders, with lowest odds for patellar luxation (OR 0.15; 95% CI 0.04 to 0.61; p = 0.008). There was no significant difference in the odds of aggression between Staffordshire Bull Terriers compared with non-Staffordshire Bull Terriers (OR 1.09; 95% CI 0.75 to 1.58; p = 0.644). Conclusions This study provides a reliable evidence base of breed-specific disorder predispositions and protections that can be used by breeders to optimise breeding decisions. The findings can assist prospective owners of Staffordshire Bull Terriers to make informed decisions when acquiring a dog. From the relative number of predispositions to protections identified, there is no evidence that Staffordshire Bull Terriers have higher overall health problems than non-Staffordshire Bull Terriers.
... Grade 3 = 0.7%) with a significant reduction trend (−43.9% from 1990 to 2017). Chow Chow, American Bully, Rottweiler, Pug, Bulldog, Fila Braseleiro are among the most affected breeds, while Icelandic Sheepdog, English Cocker Spaniel, Norwegian Elkhound, Chinook and Beagle are among the breeds free from ED. Kirberger and Stander (2007) pointed out the Rottweiler as the breed with the highest incidence of elbow dysplasia at 55% followed by the Bullmastiff, Chow chow, Boerboel and Golden Retriever, all of which had elbow dysplasia incidences of >38%. Lavrijsen et al. (2014) reported a prevalence from 0% to 64% depending on the breed: Mastiff type Molossoid breeds, Bull type Terriers and Mountain type Molossoid breeds are among the most affected breeds while Bull type Terriers and Scenthound related breeds are among the less affected breeds. ...
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This paper presents a survey on inbreeding (F), phenotypic traits, coat colours and prevalence of health problems in a population of English Cocker Spaniels. The aims were to analyse the health and genetic variability of the population and to check whether the population falls within the standards for the breed from a morphological point of view. In addition, we studied the influence of F on phenotypic traits and on the occurrence of various genetic diseases (progressive retinal atrophy, familiar nephropathy, hip dysplasia, patellar luxation and the juvenile renal dysplasia). All data were collected in relation to 83 adult (mean age 4.42 ± 2.528 years) dogs (20 males and 63 females) born in the period 2011–2018 and belonging to one Italian breeder. The F of each dog and other genealogical parameters were calculated. The prevalence of each highlighted disease within the population was performed. ANOVA was used to test the differences in F values among the animals subdivided into different groups (healthy and un-healthy dogs, coat colour, birth year and sex). Differences between sexes in morphological traits and proportions were also analysed showing sexual dimorphism. The predominant colours were Blue-Roan (30.12%) and Red (26.51%). We found an excellent health status and a good genetic variability of the analysed population. The only disorder that caused concern was juvenile renal dysplasia (26.51%, 95% CI 14.27–38.74%). A relationship was suggested between inbreeding and the disorder as F was significantly higher (P < 0.01) in sick (F = 0.068) than in healthy animals (F = 0.014).
... Grade 3 = 0.7%) with a significant reduction trend (−43.9% from 1990 to 2017). Chow Chow, American Bully, Rottweiler, Pug, Bulldog, Fila Braseleiro are among the most affected breeds, while Icelandic Sheepdog, English Cocker Spaniel, Norwegian Elkhound, Chinook and Beagle are among the breeds free from ED. Kirberger and Stander (2007) pointed out the Rottweiler as the breed with the highest incidence of elbow dysplasia at 55% followed by the Bullmastiff, Chow chow, Boerboel and Golden Retriever, all of which had elbow dysplasia incidences of >38%. Lavrijsen et al. (2014) reported a prevalence from 0% to 64% depending on the breed: Mastiff type Molossoid breeds, Bull type Terriers and Mountain type Molossoid breeds are among the most affected breeds while Bull type Terriers and Scenthound related breeds are among the less affected breeds. ...
Article
The aims of this study were to analyze the inbreeding (F) in a colony of Labrador Retriever (LR) guide dogs using information from pedigrees and to verify its role in increasing the occurrence of various genetic diseases (hereditary eye diseases, heart problems, hip and elbow dysplasia). Pedigree data and medical reports were collected for 40 LR bred for training by the National Guide Dog School (NGDS) of Scandicci (Italy). The chi-square independence test for two effects was performed: inbreeding level and disorders occurrence. The main disorder highlighted was elbow dysplasia (ED) (17.5%, 95% CI 8.40–26.60%). The number of inbred animals was 15 (37.5%) with an average inbreeding coefficient of 0.017. The association between inbreeding levels and disorders was not significant as there was a similar percentage of inbred animals and non-inbred animals among the sick. The results highlight that disease occurrence does not depend on low inbreeding levels.
... Osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative disease commonly seen in aging dogs. OA develops secondary to any joint disease including elbow joint dysplasia (ED) [1,2]. OA may cause reduced mobility, decreased activity and behavioural changes [3,4]. ...
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Abstract Background Owner questionnaires may be used to assess osteoarthritis (OA) in dogs. The validated American College of Veterinary Surgeons’ (ACVS) Canine Orthopaedic Index Questionnaire quantifies quality of life in dogs with orthopaedic disease. This index was modified and translated into Swedish and evaluated for validity, reliability and sensitivity. One group with confirmed moderate elbow dysplasia (n = 117) and one healthy control group (n = 146) without radiographic elbow disease and without lameness were included. Telephone interviews with the dog owners were conducted throughout the study using owner-completed questionnaires. Results A 16-item questionnaire developed from an initial data set including 22 items, were able to differentiate between the affected group and the control group with good readability. Validity was measured through factor analysis which yielded a three-factor model accounting for 66.3% of the variance. Cronbach’s α was 0.89 for the total instrument, > 0.7 for stiffness, lameness and function, but
Article
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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 medical 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.
Article
Elbow osteochondrosis (ununited coronoid process and osteochondritis dissecans) was identified within a population of dogs owned by the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association (GDBA). Breeding records were available for all the dogs so family relationships could be ascertained. The incidence of the condition in first-degree relatives of affected dogs was compared with that in the general population and was found to be significantly higher, suggesting that genetic factors were involved. The incidence was significantly different in males and females. The disease appeared to be multifactorial, with a heritability (h2) of 0–77 + se 0–12 (n=2489) in males and 0–45 ± se 0–21 (n = 2641) in females. Recurrence risks were calculated so that suitable recommendations could be made on breeding policies with a view to reducing the incidence of the condition.
Article
ABSTRACTA retrospective study was made of 335 dogs with elbow osteochondrosis that had been seen at the Royal Veterinary College in 1977 to 1987. The most commonly affected breeds were the labrador, retriever and rottweiler. Males were affected more often than females. The condition was bilateral in 50 per cent of cases and the peak age for the onset of lameness was four to six months. In rottweilers, the lesions found at exploratory arthrotomy were predominantly abnormalities of the coronoid process, while in retrievers and labradors lesions most commonly affected the medial humeral condyle or the coronoid process. A scoring system for grading the standard projection (lateral and postero-anterior) radiographs was devised and the score was correlated with the lesion found at surgery. Some cases were reviewed radiographically and any alteration in the degree of periarticular arthrosis, seen as an increase in radiographic score, was noted. The exact extent of the lesion found at surgery was recorded diagrammatically in 65 cases. It did not prove possible to predict from the radiographic score the nature and extent of the lesion and no correlation could be found between the radiographic score [and clinical degree of lameness. The scoring system did have some merit for reviewing cases because an increase in score indicated the extent to which joint changes had advanced.
Article
The terms arthrosis, arthritis, osteochondrosis, osteochondritis dissecans and dysplasia are defined. A short review of the pathological anatomical changes seen in primary and secondary arthrosis is given, and the anatomy of the elbow is briefly described. The literature concerning elbow lesions leading to arthrosis in young, rapidly growing dogs is reviewed.
Article
Occurrence, clinical and radiographical findings in ununited medial coronoid process in the ulna and osteochondritis dissecans in the humeral condyle in dogs are presented. One hundred and twelve dogs were examined because of forelimb lameness. Lesions were mostly seen in young dogs of heavy breeds especially the Rottweiler. The ratio male: female was about 2:1. Most of the dogs had bilateral lesions. The lameness varied between grade 1 and 3, judged according to a scale ranging from 1 to 5. The affected limbs were somewhat rotated outwards from the elbow and down. Since the ununited coronoid process is almost impossible to detect on a plain radiograph, it is necessary to look for the presence of secondary developed osteophytes, indicative of an arthrosis. Diagnosis is based upon clinical and radiographical findings, the age and the breed of the dog taken into consideration. Osteochondritis dissecans in the humeral condyle is usually easily seen on the dorsopalmar radiograph.
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The diagnosis, aetiology, pathogenesis and treatment of osteochondritis dissecans in the shoulder, elbow, stifle and hock joints of the dog is reviewed. A technique of surgically exploring the shoulder joint with minimal exposure is described. Recommendations for preventing the development of osteochondritis dissecans are made.
Article
The incidence of elbow disease based solely on arthrosis (ARTH) score was compared with a protocol using a combination of ARTH score plus a score for primary lesions (ED score). The population of dogs studied included 425 Bernese mountain dogs and 22 dogs of other breeds. The overall agreement between the two systems was high. However, 12 per cent of ARTH-score negative cases were positive using the ED score. This difference was statistically significant (P < 0.005). The female:male ratio of the dogs missed using the ARTH score was 2:1. The proportion of dogs affected with arthrosis increased with age, male dogs being affected more frequently. The development of arthrosis depends not only on age and breed, but probably also on gender. Thus, screening for elbow dysplasia should be based on at least two radiographic projections, including arthrosis and primary lesions. As the vast majority of dogs in this study were Bernese mountain dogs, conclusions are valid only for this breed.
Article
Three different scoring systems for elbow dysplasia and its radiographic signs were genetically evaluated in 2645 German shepherd dogs. An animal model was used to estimate heritabilities and additive genetic and residual correlations for the three scoring systems: ED-SV, which is recommended by the International Elbow Working Group; ED-LA, developed by Lang and others; and ED-TH, proposed by Tellhelm. The effects of sex, age at examination and the correlation between the two factors were significant for all three scoring systems. Heritability estimates (se) were 0.18 (0.04) for ED-SV, 0.11 (0.03) for ED-LA and 0.16 (0.04) for ED-TH. The additive genetic correlations among the different single criteria for elbow dysplasia and the different elbow dysplasia scores were between 0.68 and 0.98, except for the criteria ununited anconeal process and osteochondrosis dissecans of the trochlea humeri, which were mostly genetically negatively correlated to the other radiological criteria. The elbow dysplasia scores were determined by two genetically different traits. The possibilities for selecting German shepherd dogs with respect to elbow dysplasia might be improved by taking into account these two traits in the prediction of breeding values.
Article
To determine the incidence of fragmented medial coronoid process of the ulna in dogs with ununited anconeal process. The efficacy of presurgical radiography to diagnose the co-existence of these diseases was also investigated. One hundred and fifty-five joints from 137 dogs with ununited anconeal process were included in the study. For the radiographic examinations, an extended mediolateral projection and a craniolateral-caudomedial oblique projection of each elbow joint were taken before surgery. Inspection of the medial part of the joint was carried out either by arthrotomy or arthroscopy. Seventy-two per cent of the dogs were German shepherd dogs. In 25 joints (16 per cent) a fragmented medial coronoid process was diagnosed and removed via arthrotomy or arthroscopy. The co-existence of a fragmented medial coronoid process was diagnosed correctly in only 13 cases (52 per cent) by radiography. In five of these cases with advanced osteoarthritis, the fragment was directly visible because of its dislocation. Compared with published information, the occurrence of ununited anconeal process with fragmented medial coronoid process is noted more frequently in the present study. It can be summarised that if ununited anconeal process is present, it is not usually possible to clearly identify fragmented medial coronoid process by radiography. Therefore, it is important to be able to inspect the medial aspect of the joint concerned during surgery.