Radiography, Ultrasound & ECH

x-rayMaking a diagnosis about why a pet is ill, or establishing exactly what injury they have sustained, is a process involving a skilled and thorough clinical examination as well as the possible employment of tests and diagnostic investigations to complete a full picture from which a conclusion can be drawn. A treatment plan can then be formulated once a diagnosis has been reached.

At our surgery we can perform X-rays, ultrasound examinations and ECG’s.

Such procedures may involve the need to sedate or anaesthetise your pet for health and safety reasons and to reduce stress to the patient. In order to perform procedures efficiently and to obtain the best information from the procedure it is important that our patients are relaxed.The vet will discuss and explain what will happen if your pet is admitted to the hospital for any investigations.

British veterinary Association (BVA) Hip and Elbow X ray Scoring Scheme

radiographyWe can take the required X rays to qualify for scoring under this scheme.

Hip dysplasia (HD) is a genetically transmitted condition, but environmental factors may influence the final score achieved. The main purposes of the HD scheme are the examination of x rays (radiographs) of the hips of dogs and the issue of a certificate in respect of that examination. The examination is conducted by the evaluation of a radiograph for any anatomical and pathological changes indicative of hip dysplasia and a score is recorded. The score and its relation to the average score for the breed, is intended to assist dog breeders in their selection of breeding stock. Breeders wishing to reduce the risk of HD should select their breeding stock (both dogs and bitches) only from animals with hip scores WELL BELOW the breed’s average score (also called the breed mean score).

Elbow dysplasia (ED) is a common multifactorial condition manifesting as a variety of decvelopmental disorders of the dog’s elbow leading to painful and lifelong osetoarthritis of the elbow joint(s). The disease has a strong genetic component and therefore screening of dogs’ elbows by radiography and grading the changes will help breeders to select the most suitable dogs for breeding. It is also important to monitor ED in the progeny of breeding stock. Many irresponsible breeders choose not to have their breeding stock and progeny tested for HD and ED. Many breeds are susceptible to ED but there is a higher incidence in certain breeds:

Basset Hound, Burnese Mountain dog, English Mastiff, German Shepherd Dog, Great Dane, Irish Wolfhound, Newfoundland, Retriever (Golden), Retriever (Labrador) and Rottweiler.

It is recommended that breeders wishing to reduce the risk of elbow dysplasia should select their breeding stock (both dogs and bitches) only from animals with overall elbow grades of 0 or 1. Lameness is not a good indicator of elbow status and many dogs with ED do not show signs of lameness (sub-clinical ED). Dogs with sub-clinical ED are more likley to produce clinically affected (lame) progeny than dogs with normal elbows.

The X rays for both HD and ED can be taken at the same time and submitted together to the BVA panel for scoring.

The Guidelines for taking these X rays are very specific


The Guidance Notes for the Protection of Persons Against Ionising Radiations from Veterinary Use (1988) explain that ONLY IN EXCEPTIONAL CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD DOGS BE MANUALLY RESTRAINED FOR RADIOGRAPHY.

Since the radiography of dogs for the purposes of this scoring scheme would not constitute exceptional circumstances:

It is necessary to employ general anaesthesia; narcosis or deep sedation to enable only mechanical (i.e. not manual) restraint for the positioning of the animal.

Collimation of the primary X ray beam should be clearly visible on the X ray – this reduces the amount of scatter radiation into surrounding areas.

or further information on these schemes please refer to the following links:

bvaCanine Health Schemes Hip dysplasia in dogs

BVA/KC Hip dysplasia scheme procedure notes

Canine Health Schemes Elbow dysplasia in dogs

BVA/KC Elbow dysplasia scheme procedure notes