X-Ray (Radiography & Diagnostic Imaging)

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Radiography & Diagnostic Imaging

Hip Dysplasia

X-rays are a valuable tool for diagnosing animal health problems, when external examination is not enough. The process is painless, and when pets are calm and cooperative, it can be performed without sedation, although sedation can be administered if needed. At Tudor House Animal Care, digital X-rays provide our experienced veterinarians with clear and accurate images immediately, for fast and precise diagnosis of your pet’s health problems.

Radiology provides us with a safe, non-invasive way to observe your pet’s internal physiology. X-rays can be used to diagnose:

  • Hip and elbow scoring under the BVA hip and elbow dysplasia scheme
  • Diagnosing fractures, osteoarthritis, several causes of lameness and congenital limb deformities
  • Diagnose conditions affecting the chest like pulmonary metastases or cardiac disease
  • Diagnose conditions affecting the abdomen like masses, gastric torsion, foreign body ingestion, bladder stones.
  • Diagnosing conditions that effect organs such as heart, lungs and liver

X-rays and submissions under BVA Hip and Elbow Dysplasia Scheme?

The Hip and Elbow Dysplasia Scheme was established by BVA and the Kennel Club in 1965 to reduce the incidence and severity of the condition. Hip dysplasia can have serious effects on the health, behaviour and welfare of dogs. The scheme uses X-rays to screen for signs of abnormalities (irregular or poorly shaped hip joints) caused by hip dysplasia. X-rays are reviewed and scored by BVA-appointed expert veterinary surgeons.

Signs of hip dysplasia in dogs

Signs of hip dysplasia in dogs vary between individuals and breeds. Some visible signs include:

  • Lameness (being unable to walk correctly)
  • Stifness after rest
  • A reluctance to exercise
  • Groaning while resting or getting up
  • Difficulty in using the stairs

A vet’s physical examination will provide a more reliable assessment of whether hip dysplasia is present and an X-ray is the only definitive way of diagnosing hip dysplasia.

How to treat Canine Hip Dysplasia?

It is possible to ease some of the signs of pain and limitation of movement caused by hip dysplasia. There are a variety of medications and surgical procedures that can be considered. Applied heat, massage, good bedding, exercise and weight management as well as nutrition and physiotherapy also play a part in caring for a dog affected by hip dysplasia.

The soft palate can also cause problems during sleep – if it’s covering the windpipe you may notice your dog snoring or waking up suddenly gasping for breath.

Hip dysplasia affects a range of breeds including crossbreeds

Common breeds at risk of hip dysplasia are:

  • Border Collie
  • Bernese Mountain Dog
  • German Shepherd
  • German Shorthaired Pointer
  • Golden Retriever
  • Goldendoodle
  • Hungarian Vizsla
  • Labrador Retriever
  • Labradoodle
  • Newfoundland
  • Rottweiler

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Elbow Dysplasia

Elbow dysplasia is a common inherited orthopaedic problem in dogs where the elbow doesn’t develop properly.

Elbow dysplasia includes a number of specific abnormalities or problems that affect different areas of the elbow joint. These cause problems by affecting the growth of the cartilage which forms the surface of the joint or the structures around it. Even a small change in the shape of one part of the joint can have major consequences for the joint function, leading to lameness (unable to walk correctly), osteoarthritis (a common form of arthritis), pain and serious effects on the health, behaviour and welfare of the dog.

Signs of canine elbow dysplasia

Signs of elbow dysplasia in dogs vary between individuals and breeds. Some visible signs include:

  • Lameness (being unable to walk correctly)
  • Stifness after rest
  • A reluctance to exercise
  • Groaning while resting or getting up
  • Difficulty in using the stairs

A vet's physical examination will provide a more reliable assessment and radiography is the only way of determining whether a dog has elbow dysplasia.

How to treat Elbow Dysplasia?

Treatment methods vary depending on the nature and severity of the problem. Non-surgical treatment can involve weight restriction and exercise control. Drugs may be used to relieve pain and inflammation. In some dogs, surgery and/or physiotherapy may be advised.