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I am going to get my girls official prelims done pretty soon here. I have talked to two different vets and they each have said two different things about sedation.

One said you get better, more accurate images without sedation. The other said you can't position properly without sedation and you can get a false positive for HD from this so you need sedation to even use the Xrays.

Does anybody know any unbiased studies or articles on this? What are your personal experiences or opinions?
 

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We always sedate. It's easier to position the dog and much less stressful. It is not a comfortable position and my face has to be right in the dogs face as I flip them on the back and someone rotates and extends the legs.

That said, I sedated for my boys prelims, he went "good". I am going to try without sedation for his officials. Maybe they will look a bit tighter. But I will have sedative on hand just in case.

Poor positioning may affect your score. But being awake is not going to make them THAT much better looking. It's not like they would go "good" if he was awake, but gets mild dysplasia cause he is sedated.


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Check out both vets and go with the one who has experience with working dogs. They know what they are doing and the best procedures for success, not to mention the requirements by OFA and SV. It will ensure proper positioning and technique the first time around, otherwise you would have to do it again and again.
 

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I am going with the vet in this area who has been recommended after talking to several show and working dog people.

His protocol is that he will try with them awake, but if they are unable to get them to calmly hold still they will sedate.
 

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I have never sedated my dogs for prelims or finals - in fact my vet said my males prelim hip xrays were the best positioned he has EVER gotten from a dog sedated or not.

With that said, I have taught my dogs to be handled, manipulated, stretched and rotated since puppies, so they are tolerant of positioning, being handled and being restrained. If my dogs were NOT used to this, I would not bother stressing them out and would opt for the sedation - no point in causing stress and possibly injuring the dog/vet/tech if you don't have to.
 
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