Labrador Elbow Dysplasia and Anthropometric Measurements of Scapula, Humerus, Radius and Ulna
World Small Animal Veterinary Association World Congress Proceedings, 2007
Paula T. Davidson; Joanne Bullock-Saxton; Allan Lisle
The University of Queensland


To determine if anthropometric measurements of Labrador scapula, humerus, ulna and radius, or their ratios, are related to the presence of Elbow Dysplasia (ED).


103 volunteer Labradors--41 male dogs and 62 bitches.


Digital caliper measurements of the lengths of the left scapula, humerus, radius and ulna, and their ratios, were analyzed, by gender, against International Elbow Working Groupa (IEWG) derived ED radiological scores. The IEWG score is an umbrella score used to classify for ED and includes Fragmented Coronoid Process, Osteochondritis Dissecans and Ununited Anconeal Process, the last of which occurs rarely in Labradors and was excluded in this study.


Of the 103 Labradors (62 bitches, 41 male dogs) studied, 31 were diagnosed radiographically with ED (20 bitches (32%), 11 (27%) male dogs). Scapula length was significantly shorter for bitches with ED, p=0.02, but not for male dogs. However, male dogs showed a trend for a difference in ulna:radius ratio, p=0.06, but bitches did not.

Although a greater percentage of bitches than male dogs had ED in this study, the difference was not statistically significant.


This study demonstrated that a shorter scapula exists in bitches diagnosed with Labrador ED. This result is a new finding associated with this condition. The difference in presentation associated with gender is unexpected. Further research is recommended.

aInternational Elbow Working Group. Available [Online] at

Speaker Information
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Paula Davidson
Canine and Equine Physiotherapy Victoria
Victoria, Australia

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