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Hip and Elbow Scoring

Canine hip dysplasia (HD) is the most common heritable orthopaedic problem seen in dogs. It affects virtually all breeds of dogs, but is especially problematic in large and giant breeds.  HD develops into a degenerative condition (osteoarthritis) of the hip joints.

It is therefore recommended, and in the case of Aussies a requirement, to have breeding pairs radiographically accessed for the presence of degenerative changes and/or subluxation of the hip.  The current system used for scoring radiographs for hip dysplasia in Australia is based on the system devised and used by the BVA/KC. 

Each hip is scored using nine different criteria and given a value between 0-6.  Higher scores indicate a greater degree of abnormality.  A hip score is usually expressed as the total for each hip. Eg 5:4 means that the left hip was scored at 5, the right at 4. The hip score is the sum of both ie 9.

As a general guideline, if the score for any one hip is greater than 8 or the score for any one of the nine criteria is greater than 3 the dog should not be bred from.  (Other factors may be considered when deciding which indivduals are used for breeding)

A comprehensive explanation of the scoring system is provided in the attachement below.


Understanding Hip and Elbow scoring


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