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Objective—To evaluate a method for experimental induction of osteoarthritis in the hip joints of dogs.
Animals—12 mixed-breed dogs.
Procedure—A unilateral triple pelvic osteotomy was performed. In 6 dogs, the iliac osteotomy was repaired with 45° of internal rotation, reducing coverage of the femoral head by the acetabulum. In the other 6 dogs, the fragments were repaired in anatomic alignment. Radiography, force plate evaluations, and subjective lameness evaluations were performed before and after surgery. Dogs were euthanatized 7 months after surgery, and samples of cartilage and joint capsule were examined histologically.
Results—Subjective lameness scores, radiographic appearance of the hip joints, and Norberg angles were not significantly different between groups; however, force plate evaluations did reveal significant differences in vertical ground reaction forces. Femoral head coverage was significantly decreased with rotation of the acetabulum. Mild inflammatory changes were discernible in the joint capsule and articular cartilage of some dogs in both groups.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that 45° internal rotation of the acetabulum does not consistently induce biologically important osteoarthritic changes in the hip joints of dogs. (Am J Vet Res 2000;61:484–491)