Early Detection of Canine Hip Dysplasia: Comparison of Two Palpation and Five Radiographic Methods

William M. Adams, R. Tass Dueland, Jeff Meinen, Robert T. O'Brien, Elizabeth Giuliano, Erik V. Nordheim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Hip joint laxity was evaluated in four breeds (i.e., greyhound, Labrador retriever, Irish setter, hound mixed-breed) of puppies (n=32) by Ortolani's and Bardens' maneuvers, by subjective assessment of radiographs (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals [OFA] method), and by four radiographic measurement indices. Puppies were studied at four, six-to-10, 16-to-18, and 52 weeks of age. The purpose of this study was to compare palpation and radiographic methods of hip laxity detection in puppies for predicting the development of degenerative joint disease (DJD) by one year of age. Twenty-seven (42%) hips developed DJD. Ortolani's method was not a reliable predictor of hip dysplasia at six-to-10 weeks; it was significantly predictive at 16-to18 weeks but had a high incidence of false negatives. Bardens'and subjective (OFA) assessment methods were not reliable at six-to-10 or 16-to-18 weeks. Radiographic measurements taken with femurs in a neutral position and hips distracted (distraction index [Dl] and Norberg angle) and measurements taken with femurs extended in OFA position (Norberg angle) of six- to 10-week-old puppies accurately predicted DJD occurrence by one year of age (p less than 0.01). Distraction index measurement (Penn HIP method) was the most accurate in predicting the development of DJD (p less than 0.001). Distraction index radiography in puppies six-to-10 and 16-to-18 weeks of age was the most reliable predictor of hip dysplasia. Norberg angle measurement was more reliable during hip distraction than when hips were measured in the OFA position in 16- to 18-week-old puppies, but had similar reliability in six- to 10-week-old puppies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)339-347
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Animal Hospital Association
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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