• diagnosis;
  • dog;
  • elbow;
  • flexor enthesopathy;
  • radiography

Primary flexor enthesopathy is a recently recognized elbow disorder and should be considered in the differential diagnosis of elbow lameness. For treatment planning purposes, it is important to make a distinction between primary and concomitant forms of the disease. The purpose of this prospective study was to compare radiographic findings for dogs with primary flexor enthesopathy (n = 17), concomitant flexor enthesopathy (n = 24), elbow dysplasia (n = 13), and normal dogs (n = 7). All dogs underwent a complete radiographic examination and each radiographic image was evaluated for the presence or absence of following characteristics: irregular medial humeral epicondyle, spur and calcified body. Additionally, the presence or absence of other elbow disorders (medial coronoid process disease, osteochondritis dissecans, ununited anconeal process, incongruity, subtrochlear sclerosis, and osteoarthritis) was recorded. Radiographic characteristics of flexor enthesopathy were found in 86% of painful joints in the primary flexor enthesopathy group and in 100% of painful joints in the concomitant flexor enthesopathy group. Radiographic characteristics of flexor enthesopathy were not found in sound elbow and elbow dysplasia groups. Frequencies and details of individual radiographic characteristics did not differ between primary and concomitant flexor enthesopathy groups. Findings support the use of radiography as a first screening method for detection of flexor enthesopathy, but not as a technique for distinguishing primary vs. concomitant forms.