• avascular necrosis;
  • femoral head;
  • canine

The purpose of this study was to describe the appearance of the femoral head of normal, young, small breed dogs, and dogs with avascular necrosis using low-field (0.3 T) magnetic resonance (MR) imaging. Images of the femoral heads were obtained in the dorsal plane, and included T1-weighted spin-echo, T2-weighted fast spin-echo, fast spin echo-inversion recovery, and fluid attenuated inversion recovery pulse sequences. MR imaging features of the asymptomatic femoral heads and necks included uniform high signal intensity compared with muscle on T1- and T2-weighted images. There was either uniform enhancement or no enhancement on postcontrast T1-weighted images. The MR imaging findings of dogs affected with avascular necrosis differed from those of asymptomatic dogs. Typically, the affected dogs had inhomogeneous intermediate to low-signal intensity within the femoral head and neck compared with muscle on T1-weighted images, inhomogeneous enhancement of the femoral head and/or neck on postcontrast T1-weighted images, and inhomogeneous low- to high- signal intensity within the femoral head and neck on T2-weighted images.