Background: This study aimed to define the rate of progression of radiographic osteoarthritis (OA) of the canine hip joint and to describe factors affecting this progression.
Methods: Dogs that underwent unilateral total hip replacement (THR) were reviewed for the evaluation of radiographic appearance of the non-operated hip joint over time. Standard extended ventrodorsal hip radiographs were taken preoperatively and postoperatively. All images were anonymized, randomized and scored using three different methods. The mean daily change between evaluations was calculated in each individual dog, and the effect of sex, age, body weight, open/closed status of the proximal femoral physis, preoperative severity of OA, time after surgery and their interactions, were investigated as potential influencing factors.
Results: After reviewing the medical records, 163 dogs (468 images) met the inclusion criteria. Consistent across the three scoring systems, radiographic progression of OA was greater in younger (open physis) and spayed female dogs. A subset of seven patients (4.3%) had a faster progression of OA and was considered outliers. No dog was rated as outlier by all three scoring systems.
Conclusion: The rate of progression of radiographically assessed coxofemoral OA varies greatly, but is faster in younger, spayed female dogs. Unusually fast progression occasionally occurs.