April 9, 2018

Elbow dysplasia involves multiple developmental abnormalities of the elbow leading to malformation, degeneration, osteoarthritis and pain.

It is common in rapidly growing large and giant breed dogs, but can also affect smaller breeds and cats.

Clinical signs include lameness, joint pain and an inability to exercise properly. Elbow dysplasia is caused by genetic factors and influenced by environmental conditions such as excess calorie intake and exercise. Instead of normal development and healthy cartilage, the abnormal joint wears prematurely and leads to potentially crippling arthritis from an early age.

Currently there are no reliable genetic tests for elbow dysplasia, hence radiographic (x-ray) scoring schemes are used to select dogs.

Changes indicative of ED can be seen by taking specific x-rays of the elbow joint. Selective breeding only from dogs with better than average hips/elbows can reduce the incidence of dysplasia in future generations.

These x-ray images are taken under a general anaesthetic. This is a simple and non invasive process and your pet recovers very fast from the procedure.

The images are sent to a scoring scheme. In New Zealand the Veterinary Association runs a scheme, however x-rays can be sent to Australia for scoring by a recognised scoring body if required.


Testing Requirements:

  • Your dog must be over a year old
  • Your dog must be microchipped
  • All registration paperwork must be presented
  • Your dog must have been fasted for 8 hours prior to GA
  • Other scoring such as Hip dysplasia x-rays may be taken at the same time, therefore most dogs will stay with us from 2-3 hours minimum
  • If your dog is in the show ring you can request no clipping of legs.


*Results can take 4 weeks so please allow for this when planning mating’s.


For bookings or further questions please don’t hesitate to contact us on 07 888 8197

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