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News Article

French bulldogs predisposed to elbow fractures


Study is the largest in more than 25 years to document the prevalence and risk factors for humeral condylar fracture in dogs

Fractures of the elbow joint (humeral condyle fractures) in dogs cannot be managed successfully without surgery. Surgeons at the Royal Veterinary College (RVC), Queen Mother Hospital for Animals (QMHA) had an impression of increasing numbers of French bulldogs being referred for elbow fracture surgery. To explore this question, the Royal Veterinary College’s Small Animal Orthopaedic Service in collaboration with the VetCompass™ programme, ran an extensive study into elbow fractures in dogs. Their findings are published in Veterinary Surgery.

The study involved reviewing the most recent 112 elbow fractures seen at the QMHA from 43,325 dogs seen over the same time period in the hospital. Breed predisposition was confirmed for spaniel breeds and detected for French bulldogs.

The study identified that the French bulldog was nearly 7 times more likely than other breeds to fracture one side (medial) of the elbow vs the other side (lateral) suggesting that their elbow shape may be influencing how their elbows break. It was also shown that repairs which included an additional metal plate had a better outcome.

Dr Richard Meeson, Head of Orthopaedics at the RVC and senior author of the paper said: “This study has provided hard evidence of what we had noticed in the hospital in recent years; high numbers of French bulldogs being referred to repair elbow fractures, typically on the side of the elbow that we rarely operate on. This suggests that there may be an inherent issue with their elbow predisposing them to fractures and we will continue to investigate this in the hope we can reduce these severe fractures”.

Article: Villamil, C. S., Phillips, A. S. J., Pegram, C. L., O'Neill, D. G., Meeson, R. L. (2020). Impact of breed on canine humeral condylar fracture configuration, surgical management, and outcome. Veterinary Surgery, 49(4): 639-647, doi: 10.1111/vsu.13432

Article details

  • Date
  • 15 June 2020
  • Source
  • Royal Veterinary College
  • Subject(s)
  • Dogs, Cats, and other Companion Animals