X-ray Examination

Modern digital radiology is an irreplaceable tool in the hands of the orthopaedist and allows the diagnosis of most orthopaedic disorders in dogs and cats. ORTOVET carries out radiological studies for the official screening and certification of Hip Dysplasia and Elbow dysplasia, early clinical-radiological screening for the diagnosis in puppies of impaired developmental orthopaedic disorders (i.e. hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, Osteochondritis dissecans of the shoulder, knee and hock) and radiological studies to evaluate skeletal deformities.


Official Radiological Study for Diagnosis of Hip and Elbow Dysplasia
Studio Radiografico UfficialeHip Dysplasia (HD) and Elbow Dysplasia (ED) are hereditary diseases and thus can be passed down to offspring. In order to limit the diffusion of these diseases, affected subjects should not be used for breeding. Italian law allows to carry out official radiological studies in order to classify subjects as exempt or affected (which are then classified depending on severity) and this classification is then included in the pedigree of the subject itself. Hip Dysplasia can be classified into HD A-B-C-D-E, whilst Elbow Dysplasia into ED 0-1-2-3 and individual breed clubs recommend which subjects should or should not be used for breeding. Official radiological studies for HD and ED must be carried out by qualified vets on subjects between 12 and 18 months of age depending on the breed and involve several radiographic views; the images are then sent to one of the two x-ray evaluation centres that operate at a national level (FSA or Celemasche) to be analysed and classified. ORTOVET is authorised to perform x-rays for both FSA and Celemasche; the client at his/her own discretion can choose one of the two different evaluation centers.
The minimum age for undergoing radiographic diagnosis for hip dysplasia is 12 months for all breeds with the following exceptions:
a) 15 months for Bernese Mountain dogs, Greater Swiss Mountain dogs, Briards and Rottweilers;
b) 18 months for Bullmastiffs, Pyrean Mountain dogs, St. Barnard dogs, Dogue de Bordeaux dogs, Great Danes, Leonbergers, Maremma-Abruzzese Sheepdogs, Mastiffs, Neapolitan Mastiffs, Newfoundlands, Continental Landseers, Giant Schnauzers, Irish Wolfhounds, Standard Poodles, Russian Wolfhounds, Caucasian Shepherd dogs, Sarplaninac shepherd dogs and Slovensky Cuvac dogs
The minimum age for radiographic diagnosis for elbow dysplasia is 12 months for all breeds.

ED and CHD early radiographic diagnosis in growing dogs
Studio Radiografico PrecoceThe frequency of skeletal disorders due to impaired development (Hip Dysplasia and Elbow Dysplasia, OCD of the humeral head, Patellar Dislocation and others) is significant in most dog breeds. These disorders all lead to the development of osteoarthritis and significant limitations in the quality of life of the affected subjects if not treated correctly. When diagnosed early on, it is possible to carry out surgical interventions that are able to halt or limit disease development and this is why radiological screening is now common practice (preventive medicine) in order to make an early diagnosis (before the appearance of lameness) of these disorders. The first x-rays are carried out under sedation from 4/5 months of age (however, the best age varies depending on breed) and in multiple views; a complete study of the hip is  performed (standard VD view, VD view with distraction to evaluate joint laxity calculation of the Distraction Index, VD frog-leg view. DAR view and clinical measurement of reduction and subluxation angles). The screening includes the radiographic examination of the shoulder, elbow and in relation to specific risk factors associated with breed, of the stifle and tarsus. Data collection allows identify subjects at high risk of developing dysplasia and osteoarthritis and thus, adopt the medical and surgical treatments available today to halt disease or limit its severity. It is fundamental to discuss with one’s vet the possibility of subjecting the dog to this clinical-radiological screening, as late diagnosis (at one year of age as is erroneously recommended) leaves little space for resolution treatment.

Radiological Study for Skeletal Deformities
Studio Radiografico per deformità scheletricheIn dogs, skeletal deformities are relatively common pathological disorders and generally require surgery to reconstruct normal bone anatomy. The most common forms of skeletal deformities involve the forearm (radius-ulna) and can cause even serious abnormalities in front leg, whilst femur and tibia deformities are often associated with patellar luxation. Surgery is complex and requires detailed pre-operative planning that consists in a complete radiographic  assesment of the limb with multiple views and accurate measurements of the deformity.
When radiographic examination is not sufficient, in certain cases, patients may be subjected to Computed Axial Tomography (CT).