Joint laxity and its association with hip dysplasia in Labrador Retrievers

George Lust From the James A. Baker Institute for Animal Health (Lust, Williams, Burton-Wurster, Pijanowski) and Radiological and Physical Diagnostics (Beck), College of Veterinary Medicine, and the Biometrics Unit, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (Rubin), Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, and the Veterinary Hospital University of Pennsylvania, 3850 Spruce St, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6010 (Smith).

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Alma J. Williams From the James A. Baker Institute for Animal Health (Lust, Williams, Burton-Wurster, Pijanowski) and Radiological and Physical Diagnostics (Beck), College of Veterinary Medicine, and the Biometrics Unit, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (Rubin), Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, and the Veterinary Hospital University of Pennsylvania, 3850 Spruce St, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6010 (Smith).

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Nancy Burton-Wurster From the James A. Baker Institute for Animal Health (Lust, Williams, Burton-Wurster, Pijanowski) and Radiological and Physical Diagnostics (Beck), College of Veterinary Medicine, and the Biometrics Unit, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (Rubin), Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, and the Veterinary Hospital University of Pennsylvania, 3850 Spruce St, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6010 (Smith).

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Gerald J. Pijanowski From the James A. Baker Institute for Animal Health (Lust, Williams, Burton-Wurster, Pijanowski) and Radiological and Physical Diagnostics (Beck), College of Veterinary Medicine, and the Biometrics Unit, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (Rubin), Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, and the Veterinary Hospital University of Pennsylvania, 3850 Spruce St, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6010 (Smith).

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Kathy A. Beck From the James A. Baker Institute for Animal Health (Lust, Williams, Burton-Wurster, Pijanowski) and Radiological and Physical Diagnostics (Beck), College of Veterinary Medicine, and the Biometrics Unit, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (Rubin), Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, and the Veterinary Hospital University of Pennsylvania, 3850 Spruce St, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6010 (Smith).

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Gail Rubin From the James A. Baker Institute for Animal Health (Lust, Williams, Burton-Wurster, Pijanowski) and Radiological and Physical Diagnostics (Beck), College of Veterinary Medicine, and the Biometrics Unit, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (Rubin), Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, and the Veterinary Hospital University of Pennsylvania, 3850 Spruce St, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6010 (Smith).

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Gail K. Smith From the James A. Baker Institute for Animal Health (Lust, Williams, Burton-Wurster, Pijanowski) and Radiological and Physical Diagnostics (Beck), College of Veterinary Medicine, and the Biometrics Unit, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (Rubin), Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, and the Veterinary Hospital University of Pennsylvania, 3850 Spruce St, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6010 (Smith).

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Summary

A study was done to determine whether radiographic-distraction measurement of coxofemoral joint (hip) laxity at 4 and 8 months of age can serve as a predictor of hip dysplasia in older Labrador Retrievers. The method of Smith, Biery, and Gregor was used for radiologic examination of hips and for evaluation of radiographs. Mean (± sem) distraction laxity (ie, distraction index) for 10 adult disease-free dogs was 0.29 ± 0.05, whereas a group of 8 dogs with dysplastic hips had mean distraction index of 0.60 ± 0.10 (P < 0.05). Mean distraction index at 4 months of age for 11 pups of 4 litters from matings between dogs with normal hips was 0.39 ± 0.07, and was 0.54 ± 0.04 for 31 pups of 7 litters from matings between dogs with hip dysplasia. The distraction index and, thus, joint laxity at that age was significantly (P = 0.0351) different for the 2 groups. The distraction index at 4 months correlated positively with the distraction index at a later age at necropsy (r = 0.43; P = 0.0289). Distraction index < 0.4 at 4 months of age predicted normal hips in 88% of cases and distraction index ≥ 0.4 predicted hip dysplasia in 57% of the dogs. Logistic regression modeling indicated that the odds of a hip being normal decreased with increasing distraction index, and thus, with increasing joint laxity. The logistic regression models provided a reasonable mathematical description of the data. Based on the logistic model of the data, distraction indexes between 0.4 and 0.7 at either 4 or 8 months of age were not associated strongly enough with evidence of disease to be clinically reliable in predicting, on an individual basis, the outcome for dysplastic hip conformation when dogs were older. Index > 0.7 was associated with high probability for developing dysplastic joints and distraction index < 0.4 predicted normal hips with high probability.

Summary

A study was done to determine whether radiographic-distraction measurement of coxofemoral joint (hip) laxity at 4 and 8 months of age can serve as a predictor of hip dysplasia in older Labrador Retrievers. The method of Smith, Biery, and Gregor was used for radiologic examination of hips and for evaluation of radiographs. Mean (± sem) distraction laxity (ie, distraction index) for 10 adult disease-free dogs was 0.29 ± 0.05, whereas a group of 8 dogs with dysplastic hips had mean distraction index of 0.60 ± 0.10 (P < 0.05). Mean distraction index at 4 months of age for 11 pups of 4 litters from matings between dogs with normal hips was 0.39 ± 0.07, and was 0.54 ± 0.04 for 31 pups of 7 litters from matings between dogs with hip dysplasia. The distraction index and, thus, joint laxity at that age was significantly (P = 0.0351) different for the 2 groups. The distraction index at 4 months correlated positively with the distraction index at a later age at necropsy (r = 0.43; P = 0.0289). Distraction index < 0.4 at 4 months of age predicted normal hips in 88% of cases and distraction index ≥ 0.4 predicted hip dysplasia in 57% of the dogs. Logistic regression modeling indicated that the odds of a hip being normal decreased with increasing distraction index, and thus, with increasing joint laxity. The logistic regression models provided a reasonable mathematical description of the data. Based on the logistic model of the data, distraction indexes between 0.4 and 0.7 at either 4 or 8 months of age were not associated strongly enough with evidence of disease to be clinically reliable in predicting, on an individual basis, the outcome for dysplastic hip conformation when dogs were older. Index > 0.7 was associated with high probability for developing dysplastic joints and distraction index < 0.4 predicted normal hips with high probability.

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