Features of sacroiliac joint x-ray examination in dogs

Keywords: dogs; sacroiliac joint; radiography; lameness; radiology; orthopedics


Sacroiliac joint instability is a fairly common pathology of the musculoskeletal system, which is observed in dogs of various breeds, sex, and age. This problem has received little attention in the research field, veterinary literature and clinical practice due to similar symptoms with more studied and treated pathologies of the musculoskeletal system, that are more common in everyday practice. Therefore, it is necessary to conduct a differential diagnosis of pathologies that are similar in clinical manifestation. Radiography remains the main method for examining bones and their joints even today. But examining the sacroiliac joint requires the development of an optimal protocol for radiography of the studied area. The research was conducted on the basis of the Clinical and Diagnostic Center of Veterinary Medicine Faculty of the Dnipro State Agrarian and Economic University for one year on 20 dogs of different age, sex, and breeds. Radiography was performed to diagnose the instability of the sacroiliac joint. A combination of a Triones tw-120 X-ray machine and an Alfa-4600 digital receiver was used for the examination. According to the results of the study, it was found that there was no significant difference between the central positioning method of the animal and the angular one for assessing the state of soft tissues, but the angular method was more suitable for assessing the state of the sacroiliac joint structures since it allowed a more detailed analysis of the state of the articular surfaces and the location of the iliac bones relative to the sacrum. This kind of x-ray examination should be performed only with sedatives. Since the position of the animal’s body on radiography is not physiological and in the case of sacroiliac joint instability there is pain, these factors will negatively affect the accuracy of the study. It was also found that the use of M-shaped pillows significantly improved the quality of the obtained X-ray image. When working with the radiograph, it is necessary to pay attention to the condition of the joint surfaces, as osteoarthritis and osteosclerosis in the future may cause instability of the sacroiliac joint. If there is an X-ray of the joint space, the congruence index should be calculated. It is important to take into account the anamnestic data of the animal, as pregnant females may have abnormalities. Compliance with the proposed protocol of diagnostic actions in case of suspicion of sacroiliac joint instability will make it possible to accurately diagnose, prescribe appropriate treatment, plan the course of the surgery and prevent the development of this pathology in the future.


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Novitsky, V. O. (2021). Features of sacroiliac joint x-ray examination in dogs. Theoretical and Applied Veterinary Medicine, 9(1), 47-51. https://doi.org/10.32819/2021.91008