BVA veterinary elbow score requirements

(As taken from the BVA procedure notes)

Dogs must be at least 1 year old for their X-rays to be submitted, there is no upper age limit.

Dogs must be permanently identified by either microchip or tattoo.

The following documents must be made available at the time of radiography if it is registered with the Kennel Club (KC):

  1. the KC Registration Certificate of the dog;
  2. any related transfer or change of name certificate.

The following views are required for each elbow joint for grading under the scheme:

Two mediolateral views of each elbow are required for grading:

1 – with the elbow in an extended position of about 110˚

2 – with the elbow in a flexed position of about 45˚

a) the dog should be placed on its side with the elbow to be radiographed closer to the table; the upper limb should be secured with a tie and retracted caudally and dorsally so as not to overlay the joint being radiographed.

b) a cassette without a grid should be placed beneath the elbow being radiographed and a left or right marker used as appropriate.

c) for the extended mediolateral view the thoracic limb should be extended and supported underneath the carpus and foot, if necessary, so that it is parallel to the table top. The angle between the humerus and antebrachium should be 110˚.

d) for the flexed mediolateral view, the dog should be positioned in the same way but with the elbow flexed so that the angle between the humerus and the antebrachium is 45°. Overflexion may cause rotation of the joint.

e) the centring point for both views, by palpation, should be the condyle of the humerus; the Xray beam should be collimated to include approximately the distal 1/3 of the humerus and the proximal 1/3 of the antebrachium. The dog should be turned over and the procedure repeated for the other elbow joint.


The following MUST be radiographed on the film or digital image at the time of exposure or by light marker onto a film prior to processing:

A – BOTH the Kennel Club Registration number (from the Kennel Club Certificate – no other form of identification for a dog registered with the KC is accepted) AND the microchip or tattoo number

B – the date of the radiograph

C – left and/ or right markers

For further information please refer to the BVA website

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