Hip dysplasia is a hereditary predisposition to the development of degenerative joint disease early in the dog's life. Both increased laxity and structural imperfections of the hip joint, for example, the lack of congruency of the laterocranial aspect of the acetabular rim with the femoral head,1 are thought to cause poor joint stability resulting in subluxation and degenerative joint disease. Because the genetic code of hip dysplasia has not been fully elucidated yet,2 the condition is detected through phenotypic evaluation by means of radiographic investigation.3–6
Several methods exist for assessing the hip status on radiographs by use of the standard extended position, the flexed position, or both, with or without distraction.7,8 In the scheme of the OFA and the scheme of the FCI, hip status is graded into classes on the basis of descriptive criteria,9 whereas the BVA Kennel Club Hip Dysplasia scheme uses a numeric classification.10
It is well known that degenerative disease of the hip joints develops earlier in life in individual dogs that are genetically predisposed and are overweight.11 However, little is known about the relation between the body dimensions (length and weight) of dogs of various breeds and the prevalence of hip dysplasia by breed. Also, no published data are found relating the ranking of breeds and the percentage of dysplastic dogs by breed in the OFA system, compared with the BVA mean score by breed.
The only possible strategy to reduce the prevalence of hip dysplasia is by eliminating dogs carrying this hereditary condition from breeding programs. In many European countries, systematic hip evaluation is not mandatory before breeding. There is little sense in imposing systematic radiographic evaluation of breeds with a low percentage of dysplastic dogs. In contrast, all dogs intended for breeding belonging to breeds with a high genetic burden for hip dysplasia should be examined. However, the percentage of dysplastic dogs by breed is not known for each breed. The purpose of the study reported here was to compare the results of 2 registries for classification of the hip joints for dysplasia and to relate the percentage of dysplastic dogs with the body metric characteristics by breed.
Orthopedic Foundation for Animals
Fédération Cynologique Internationale
British Veterinary Association
Body mass index
MedCalc, Medcalc Inc, Mariakerke, Belgium.
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