Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common orthopedic condition in dogs, characterized as the chronic, painful end-point of a synovial joint with limited therapeutic options other than palliative pain control or surgical salvage.
Since the 1970s, radiography has been the standard-of-care for the imaging diagnosis of OA, despite its known limitations. As newer technologies have been developed, the limits of detection have lowered, allowing for the identification of earlier stages of OA.
Identification of OA at a stage where it is potentially reversible still remains elusive, however, yet there is hope that newer technologies may be able to close this gap.
In this article, we review the changes in the imaging of canine OA over the past 50 years and give a speculative view on future innovations which may provide for earlier identification, with the ultimate goal of repositioning the limit of detection to cross the threshold of this potentially reversible disease.