Radiographic findings have an association with weight bearing and locomotion in English bulldogs

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Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica. 2020 May 12;62(1):19

Title: Radiographic findings have an association with weight bearing and locomotion in English bulldogs
Author: Mölsä, Sari H; Hyytiäinen, Heli K; Morelius, Kaj M; Palmu, Maria K; Pesonen, Tommi S; Lappalainen, Anu K
Publisher: BioMed Central
Date: 2020-05-12
Abstract: Abstract Background English bulldogs are known to be prone to skeletal problems, but knowledge is lacking of the effect of these problems on locomotion and function. This study was undertaken to report the conformational, orthopaedic and radiographic findings in a cohort of English bulldogs in Finland and to evaluate how these findings affect weight bearing and locomotion of the dogs. Twenty-eight English bulldogs were prospectively recruited to this cross-sectional study. An orthopaedic examination, measurements of conformation, static and dynamic weight bearing, and radiographic examinations of elbow, hip, stifle joints and spine were done. Results The English bulldogs carried a mean of 67.3% and 62.1% of their body weight in front limbs while standing and trotting, respectively. Front and hind limb lameness was seen in 20.8% (5/24) and 12.5% (3/24) of dogs, respectively. At orthopaedic examination, abnormal palpation findings (i.e. pain response, crepitation, swelling or subjectively decreased range of motion) were observed in a median of one joint (range 0–5) in each dog. Medial patellar luxation was diagnosed in 33.0% (8/24) of the evaluated dogs. At radiographic examination, elbow dysplasia was diagnosed in 48.2% (27/56) of elbow joints and severe hip dysplasia in 55.4% (31/56) of hip joints. The grade of elbow dysplasia was negatively associated with the ratio of static weight bearing between the front and hind limbs (slope estimate − 1.46, 95% CI − 2.75 to − 0.16, P = 0.03) and in dynamic weight bearing the ratio of total pressure index between the front and hind limbs (slope estimate − 0.088, 95% CI − 0.164 to 0.025, P = 0.03). The severity of hip dysplasia or hip osteoarthritis was not associated with the amount of static or dynamic weight bearing, but all except one dog were diagnosed with Fédération Cynologique Internationale grade C, D or E hips (dysplastic). In the spine, 78.6% (22/28) of the dogs had at least one malformed vertebra. Conclusions Orthopaedic diseases and abnormal radiographic findings were common in the English bulldogs studied. The static weight bearing of the dogs was heavily distributed to the front limbs. With increasing severity of elbow dysplasia, the static and dynamic weight bearing shifted from dysplastic elbows to hind limbs.
Subject: Brachycephaly
Elbow dysplasia
Gait analysis
Hip dysplasia
Patellar luxation
Spinal malformation
Static weight bearing

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