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Labrador Elbow Imaging Study


Labrador Elbow Imaging Study


Forelimb lameness due to fragmented medial coronoid process (a component of elbow dysplasia) is a common orthopedic condition of large breed dogs such as Labrador Retrievers (Figure 1). Although the exact cause of this condition is unknown, it may develop as a result of abnormal loading across the elbow joint during walking or running. In order to determine if abnormal loading of the elbow joint plays a role in this disease, we have recently completed a study to determine normal limb alignment values in healthy Labrador Retrievers (Figure 2). A special technique was developed at Texas A&M University to obtain these measurements and our results have been submitted for publication.

The next step in this exciting project, which may help us determine a potential cause and treatment of this disease, is to determine thoracic limb alignment values in Labrador Retrievers affected by fragmented coronoid process. We routinely treat Labrador Retrievers with FCP through our Orthopedics Service. As such, enrollment in this study can occur independently of FCP treatment or if your pet is referred to Texas A&M for elbow problems such as FCP.

Contact Persons:

Sarah Kronberger (Coordinator)

W. Brian Saunders, DVM, PhD, Diplomate ACVS

Inclusion criteria and general background information:

Labrador Retrievers 15 months of age or older that are in good general health and diagnosed with fragmented coronoid process (FCP). Eligible dogs will undergo a physical and orthopedic examination, followed by light sedation and recumbent imaging of both elbows and forelimbs using Computed Tomography (CT) and radiography (x-rays). The following day, radiographs (x-rays) of both elbows and forelimbs will be obtained in a standing position.

Exclusion criteria:
  • Dogs less than 15 months of age or dogs with open growth plates.
  • Any dog found to have a physical exam abnormality for which sedation would be an unnecessary risk (i.e. heart murmur) will also be excluded.
Owner Commitments:

Each dog will participate once, there is no follow-up necessary. The examination and radiography (x-ray) session typically will require 1-2 hours of your time.

Financial incentives:

All costs associated with this study are provided in exchange for your participation. Eligible Labrador Retrievers will receive a physical exam, orthopedic exam, as well as CT and radiographs (x-rays) of both forelimbs. Digital copies of these images will be provided to owners at no charge. Should owners elect to pursue surgical or medical treatment of FCP through Texas A&M Orthopedic Surgery, the costs of these treatments will not be covered by this study.

This study is currently open.
Figure 1: Labrador Retriever

Figure 1

Figure 2

Figure 2