• computed tomography;
  • diagnosis;
  • dog;
  • elbow;
  • flexor enthesopathy

Flexor enthesopathy is an important differential diagnosis for elbow lameness in dogs. The disorder can be a primary cause of elbow lameness or concomitant with other elbow pathology. Since treatment differs for primary and concomitant forms of flexor enthesopathy, a noninvasive method for distinguishing between them is needed. In the current prospective study, computed tomographic (CT) examination was performed before and after IV injection of contrast in 17 dogs with primary flexor enthesopathy, 24 dogs with concomitant flexor enthesopathy, 13 dogs with elbow dysplasia, and seven normal dogs. Dogs were assigned to groups based on results of clinical examination and at least three other imaging modalities. Computed tomographic lesions consistent with flexor enthesopathy were found in all clinically affected joints with primary flexor enthesopathy and in 29 of the 30 clinically affected joints with concomitant flexor enthesopathy. Those lesions were not found in sound elbows or joints affected by elbow dysplasia. Flexor lesions detected in dogs with primary flexor enthesopathy were not significantly different from those detected in dogs with the concomitant form. Findings indicated that CT can be applied to detect flexor enthesopathy, but a distinction between the primary and concomitant forms was not always possible. Authors recommend the use of multiple diagnostic techniques for treatment planning in affected dogs.