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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2020

Long-Term Prognosis of Quality of Life in Dogs Diagnosed With Mild to Moderate Elbow Dysplasia in Sweden

Bergstrom, Annika; Johard, Sofia; Lee, Marcel H.; Comin, Arianna


Objective: The objective of this study was to increase knowledge regarding long-term prognosis of mild to moderate elbow dysplasia (ED) using a canine orthopedic index.Study Design: Cross-sectional observational study.Sample Population: Sixty dogs randomly selected from each of five different breeds and three ED groups: ED0 (control), ED1, and ED2, based on the Kennel Club's screening results. The total number of selected dogs was 900 (60*5*3).Methods: Questionnaires were administered to owners by telephone interview. Bayesian network modeling was used to assess the relation between ED grade, treatment options, dog demographics, and quality-of-life indicators.Results: Seven hundred sixty-five questionnaires were collected (85% response rate), of which 61 concerned dogs euthanized due to osteoarthritis. There was no direct association between ED grade and owner's perceived quality of life, but ED1 and ED2 dogs were more likely to receive veterinary care and subsequent NSAID treatment compared to ED0 dogs. A significant association was found between the occurrence of euthanasia due to orthopedic disease and ED scores 1 and 2 in the sample (p < 0.001).Conclusion: The degree of osteoarthritis was not directly associated with the canine orthopedic index, except for ED2 and lameness score. It can be speculated that owners who paid closer attention to orthopedic symptoms and perceived them as impairing their dogs' lives were also more likely to seek veterinary care and get treatment, irrespective of the ED grading.Impact: ED1-graded dogs had a lower risk than might be expected to develop visible clinical symptoms and showed a similar quality of life as dogs with ED0. ED2-graded dogs were more likely than ED0-graded dogs to have their lives impaired by lameness, according to the owners' perception.


dog; elbow dysplasia; lameness; osteoarthritis; quality of life

Published in

Frontiers in Veterinary Science
2020, volume: 7, article number: 572691

Authors' information

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Clinical Sciences
Johard, Sofia
Anicura Stockholm Anim Hosp
Lee, Marcel H.
Evidensia Södra Djursjukhuset
Comin, Arianna
National Veterinary Institute (SVA)

UKÄ Subject classification

Clinical Science

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