Welcome to a VIA Online Learning Tutorial: This site has been developed to provide learning materials to assist you to make complete and comprehensive radiographic examinations of animals.

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3. APPLICATION     [print this page]

This system of scoring radiographs for hip dysplasia has the advantage that the requirement to assess a number of specific anatomical landmarks ensures relatively objective evaluation of each joint. In addition, the wide range of available score points permits small differences between hips to be recorded. It can be assumed with some confidence that any individual hip score of above 10 will be an indication either of gross instability or of clearly established secondary change. For effective utilisation of this hip reporting scheme one must ensure a high level of participation by breeders (>90%) and rigid compliance (no shopping for more favourable scores) with recommendation made by the interpreting radiologists and veterinarian obtaining the radiographic image. An open register of hip scores is essential to ensure a level playing field and a record of scores of progeny will add significantly to the value of recorded information of any dam or sire.

In an ideal world we would only breed with dogs whose hips score less than 10. Some breeds have high ‘average’ scores (>10) – for these we recommend using dogs with scores less than 10 but accept that the current gene pool may not permit this to be rigidly applied. In these cases we recommend application of the breed average score principle.

When you receive a hip score for a dog, examine the total hip score and the total score for each hip. Compare these with the breed average score [all of this information is recorded on the hip report]. Currently, we recommend using dogs whose total hip score is lower than the breed average score.

Where the individual hip score are dissimilar, we recommend against using a dog with an individual hip score that is greater than half of the breed average score.


The BVA/KC scoring scheme for control of hip dysplasia:
interpretation of criteria C. Gibbs, Veterinary Record (1997) 141, 275-284

Orthopaedic Foundation for Animals Hip Dysplasia information

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