Hip & Elbow Dysplasia
Hip Dysplasia (HD) is an abnormal development of the hip joint. Osteoarthritis then develops which can be painful and disabling for the dog.
The Australian Veterinary Association runs a scheme (AVA / ANKC Canine Hip & Elbow Dysplasia Scheme (CHEDS) under which breeders will have their dog’s x-rayed and send off to an expert to be scored.
It is important to note that genetics are NOT the only contributing factor for this condition however and the type of exercise and movement a pup experiences while they are young can be a big contributing factor. In the very young pup and older dog, discourage jumping from heights (eg on and off the furniture or the back of the car) – lift your dog up and down instead. Provide a balanced diet and avoid obesity. New studies are also showing a link between early de-sexing and Hip Dysplasia as well as increased risk of ACL injuries.
Information shared from Vetscoring.
Interpretation of hip scores:
While it is impossible to correlate a hip score exactly with grades of hip dysplasia given under other schemes, an approximate interpretation for total hip scores is as follows (assuming that the two hips are similar):
0 to 4 total score: perfect or near-perfect hips.
5 to 10 total score: borderline changes that are unlikely to worsen with age.
11 to 20 total score: mild changes that may worsen with age, sometimes developing into osteoarthritis.
21 to 50 total score: moderate to marked hip dysplasia in which osteoarthritis is already a prominent feature, or severe hip dysplasia before an arthritic change
Above 50: severe to very severe osteoarthritis secondary to hip dysplasia.
If the scores of the two hips are markedly different, the worse of the two hips should be considered to be more representative of the dog’s hip status, and doubling that single hip score will give a more realistic overall score for the purposes of selection for breeding. For example, a dog with a score of 12:3 should be considered to have a hip status similar to other dogs with a total score in the mid-20s.