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  • Author or Editor: W. Harker Rhodes x
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A 3-year prospective study of large-breed dogs (4 months to 3 years of age) was conducted to evaluate the influence of radiographic positioning and age on coxofemoral joint (hip) laxity, subjective hip score, and development of degenerative joint disease (djd). The dogs (n = 142) were breeder- or client-owned and represented 14 breeds. With dogs under heavy sedation, hips were radiographed in the standard hip-extended position and in the new compression/distraction position at 4, 6, 12, 24, and 36 months of age. The standard hip-extended radiographic view was evaluated by 3 methods: subjective evaluation by a board-certified veterinary radiologist (WHR), according to the standard 7-point Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) scoring scheme (OFA/WHR); joint laxity quantitation, using the Norberg angle (NA) method; and subjective scoring by a veterinary orthopedic surgeon for radiographic evidence of djd. The hips in the distraction radiographic view were evaluated for passive hip laxity, as measured by use of a unitless distraction index (di).

Results of the study indicated that at a specific age (4, 6, 12, 24, or 36 months), all methods of hip evaluation correlated with each other at a moderate level (P < 0.05). The strength of contemporaneous correlation tended to increase with age of evaluation. Longitudinally, the between-method correlations were usually significant (P < 0.05), but not at a sufficiently high level to permit reliable between-method prediction. Prospective intraclass (within-method) statistical analysis of the various hip-scoring methods indicated that di was superior to NA and OFA/WHR in comparability of score over time. The intraclass correlation coefficient ranged from 0.55 to 0.91 for di in contrast to 0.40 to 0.78 for NA, and 0.06 to 0.39 for OFA/WHR over the age intervals of the study. For reference, the highest Kappa of 0.39 for the subjective OFA/WHR scoring reflected a maximal level of agreement between time intervals, only slightly better than chance. The associated large error questions the predictive use of the 7-point, subjective hip-scoring scheme, particularly prior to the age of 2 years.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Twenty-four healthy dogs > 8 years old were recruited. In each instance, arterial blood gas tensions were analyzed. The alveolar-to-arterial oxygen gradient (P[a-a]o 2) was calculated to assess adequacy of pulmonary gas exchange. Thoracic radiographs were evaluated to ensure lack of visible signs of pulmonary disease and that lung features were similar to those in aged dogs of previous reports. Unlike findings in aged human beings, arterial partial pressure of oxygen (Pao 2) was not decreased in this group of aged dogs (mean ± sd, 102.9 ± 7.8 mm of Hg). Similarly, P[a-a] o 2 also was not increased. The thoracic radiographic findings were consistent with those of previous reports of pulmonary changes in aged dogs. The extent of radiographic abnormalities and the Pa o 2 were not correlated.

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


To investigate the association between hip dysplasia (HD) and medial patellar luxation (MPL) in cats.


Cross-sectional prevalence study.


78 cats.


A complete history was obtained. Cats were examined to detect MPL and HD. Radiographs of the stifle and hip joints were obtained. Hip joints were evaluated by use of Norberg angle, distraction index, and scoring consistent with that established by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals.


There were 43 male and 35 female cats (mean age, 2.5 years). Eleven cats had clinical signs of disease in the pelvic limbs. Medial subluxation of the patella (subgrade 1) was seen in 31 of 33 cats with otherwise normal stifle joints. Medial patellar luxation was found in 45 of 78 (58%) cats, and 35 of 45 (78%) had grade-1 MPL. Bilateral MPL was seen in 32 of 45 (71%) cats. A weak association existed between MPL and HD, because cats were 3 times more likely to have HD and patellar luxation than to have either condition alone. Concurrent MPL and HD were detected in 19 of 78 (24%) cats, and HD was diagnosed radiographically in 25 of 78 (32%) cats (19 mild, 4 moderate, 2 severe). Eighteen of the 25 cats with HD had bilateral HD.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance

Clinically normal cats may have a certain degree of laxity in the stifle joint, evident as medial patellar subluxation (< grade 1). There is a weak association between MPL and HD, and both conditions may develop, alone or in combination, more frequently than has been reported. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1999;215:40-45)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association