Ununited Anconeal Process - Canine

April 7, 2018

Patient
Basset hound, M, 6 month-old

History
During a routine pre-neutering surgical exam the owners reported the patient had jumped off of a bed and had displayed fore limb limping for 2-3 days.

Physical Examination
A physical examination localized a painful response in the right elbow.

Physiological Screen with Digital Thermal Imaging
The patient was acclimated to room temperature, was not handled during acclimation, and remained calm during image capture. Digital thermal images were captured with a Digatherm IR camera.

Interpretation of the Thermal Images
In lateral images of the fore legs, areas of hyperthermia were noted throughout the right shoulder and both elbows but were more pronounced in the right elbow (Figs. 1 & 2).
In an anterior to posterior image of the fore legs (Fig. 3), a significant asymmetry was noted with an increase in thermal gradient much more pronounced in the right elbow and shoulder than on the left side.

Additional Diagnostics
Based on the thermographic findings a radiographic study was recommended and the client readily complied.
Radiographs demonstrated an ununited anconeal process in the right elbow (Fig. 4). The left elbow was radiographically normal.
After radiographs were interpreted, the increased thermal gradients in the left fore limb (less pronounced than in the right fore limb) were evaluated as being compensatory.

Fig. 1 – Lateral thermogram of right fore limb.

Fig. 2 – Lateral thermogram of left fore limb.

Fig. 3 – Anterior-posterior thermogram of the fore limbs.

Fig. 4 – Lateral radiograph of the right fore limb depicting an ununited anconeal process.

Contributed by:
Jeffrey J. Smith, DVM, CCRP
Middletown Animal Hospital
Middletown, CA

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