September 2017
Peer Reviewed

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The shoulder is a site of pathology in both juvenile and adult dogs.

As with all musculoskeletal lesions, pathology associated with the shoulder can be divided into aggressive (eg, neoplasia, osteomyelitis) or nonaggressive (eg, tendinopathy, degenerative joint disease) and developmental (eg, osteochondritis dissecans) or acquired. An anatomic location-based approach can help guide differential diagnoses.

Need a refresher on shoulder radiographs first? Check out Radiographic Interpretation of the Canine Shoulder.


The following lateral views of the shoulder exhibit common pathology. Match each radiograph with the corresponding condition.

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Quiz: Abnormal Shoulder Films

Quiz: Abnormal Shoulder Films

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Author information Show

Stacie Aarsvold

DVM Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University

Stacie Aarsvold, DVM, is a staff radiologist at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University. In October, she will begin working for Puchalski Equine Imaging. She earned her DVM from University of California, Davis, and completed a radiology residency at Tufts University. Her special interests are in musculoskeletal and equine imaging.

Ryan King

DVM, DACVR Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University

Ryan King, DVM, DACVR, has been a member of the veterinary staff at Tufts Veterinary Emergency Treatment & Specialties since 2006 and is a clinical assistant professor at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University. He earned his DVM from Atlantic Veterinary College at University of Prince Edward Island and completed an internship and residency in diagnostic imaging at Tufts University. During that time, he taught courses on radiology, ultrasonography, and anatomy. 

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