Canine musculoskeletal dysplasias

3D-modeling and radiographic imaging uncovers novel information on spatial skeletal development and its disorders. Our main interests are hip dysplasia and lumbosacral transitional vertebrae in dogs.

Hip dysplasia (HD) is the most common canine developmental musculoskeletal disorder. HD severely compromises animal welfare as it is often painful and may cause severe disability or lead to euthanasia at a young age. The genetic background of HD is poorly characterized. Also, the diagnostic methods vary between countries.

Lumbosacral transitional vertebrae (LTV) manifest as one or several abnormal vertebrae in the lumbosacral spine. The transitional vertebrae bear the characteristics of both lumbar and sacral vertebrae. The associated changes may be symmetrical or asymmetrical. In the most severe form, a single sacral vertebra has adopted a lumbar phenotype or vice versa. This developmental disorder predisposes to degenerative changes in the lumbosacral spine, which can cause lower back pain or even paralysis of the hind limbs. LTV is known to cause unilateral hipdysplasia in cases with unilateral sacralization of the seventh lumbar vertebra.