Prevalence of elbow dysplasia in 13 dog breeds in France: a retrospective radiographic study (2002–2022)

Joséphine Roels, Jean-Pierre Genevois, Mathilde Fostier-Humbert, Charles Porsmoguer, Margaux Blondel, Guillaume Chanoit, Didier Fau, Thibaut Cachon
Am J Vet Res. 2024 Mar 26;85(6):ajvr.23.12.0290. doi: 10.2460/ajvr.23.12.0290. Print 2024 Jun 1.

Objective: To describe the prevalence of elbow dysplasia (ED) in 13 dog breeds in France.

Animals: A total of 18,870 elbow radiographs taken from 2002 to 2022 were evaluated by 2 independent examiners.

Methods: For each breed, the incidence of each of the 4 International Elbow Working Group scoring classes was extracted from the database. Breeds were excluded if fewer than 150 radiographs had been read for that breed.

Results: This study included 17,861 records for 13 dog breeds: American Akita, Alaskan Malamute, Old German Shepherd (Altdeutscher Schäferhund), American Staffordshire Terrier, Australian Shepherd, Belgian Shepherd, White Swiss Shepherd, Bernese Mountain Dog, Cane Corso, Czechoslovakian Wolfdog, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Rottweiler, and Dogue de Bordeaux. The overall prevalence of ED was 11.4%, ranging from 1.1% in the Czechoslovakian Wolfdog to 32.2% in the Dogue de Bordeaux. The Dogue de Bordeaux, Rottweiler, Bernese Mountain Dog, and Cane Corso breeds were most commonly affected by ED. The prevalence of ED was significantly higher in male dogs than in female dogs (17.5% vs 10.5%, P < .05). Joint incongruity and fragmented coronoid process were the 2 most common primary ED lesions identified. The prevalence of ED among the dogs evaluated decreased over the timeframe of the study.

Clinical relevance: The results of this study help to clarify the prevalence of ED in different breeds in France. These data should be interpreted with caution as this study included a small percentage of the total number of dogs born for each breed in France over the study period.