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Hip and Elbow Scoring Shropshire

BVA Scoring for Hip Dysplasia and Elbow Dysplasia near Shropshire

Hip and Elbow Dysplasia are distinct joint diseases that can affect a small but substantial percentage of all breeds to varying degrees. Historically, larger breeds have proven to be more susceptible to hip dysplasia than smaller breeds. Although the exact causes of these problems have not been fully clarified, there appears to be a substantial genetic link.

Despite efforts to identify marker genes, there is no simple test or DNA test that can tell us which dogs are likely to pass on this trait to their offspring. Checking the health of the parents and avoiding reproduction with affected dogs is the best we can do.


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Hip and Elbow Scoring BVA Hip Dysplasia Shropshire

What is Hip and Elbow Dysplasia?

A lot of dogs unfortunately have poor joints as a consequence of domestication and inbreeding. Elbow and hip dysplasia are the most common conditions. These conditions will affect the development of the hip and/or elbow joints and cause early-onset Osteoarthritis (OA), arthrosis, and degenerative joint disease. Many dogs with a milder condition of Dysplasia, may delay showing symptoms until later in life. Conditions are also genetic, meaning that they can be passed on to their pups.

X-rays for hip and elbow dysplasia

The most accurate way to diagnose, foretell, and spot abnormal growth (changes) in the hip joint caused by hip dysplasia is with hip radiographs or X-rays. Dogs can undergo imaging procedures from as early as 16 weeks old, they are done under a general anaesthetic. Hip scores should then be compared to the Breed Specific Statistics. Therefore breeders can ensure they are only breeding from healthy dogs. They are then assessed and scored by an expert panel of veterinary surgeons.

BVA Hip Dysplasia Hip and Elbow Scoring Shropshire

Hip And Elbow Dysplasia FAQs

How to care for a dog with Hip Dysplasia?

When caring for a dog diagnosed with hip dysplasia, it is crucial to be aware of certain practices that can exacerbate their condition and compromise their overall well-being. Firstly, it is essential to refrain from engaging in strenuous or high-impact activities with your canine companion. Vigorous exercises, such as running or jumping, can place excessive strain on their hip joints, worsening the discomfort associated with hip dysplasia. Instead, opt for low-impact exercises like gentle walks or swimming, which help maintain muscle tone without causing undue stress on the affected joints.

While maintaining an active lifestyle is essential, it is imperative to choose exercises that are gentle on the joints affected by elbow dysplasia. Long walks on soft surfaces, such as grass or dirt trails, can provide much-needed exercise without placing excessive strain on the elbows. Ensure that the walks are at a comfortable pace, allowing your dog to move freely without engaging in strenuous activities that may exacerbate their condition.

Moreover, be attentive to your dog’s body language during walks. If you notice any signs of discomfort, such as limping or reluctance to continue, it is advisable to shorten the walk or provide breaks to prevent overexertion. Additionally, consider incorporating controlled exercises recommended by your veterinarian to help maintain muscle strength and flexibility around the affected joints.

It is imperative to be mindful of your dog’s weight management. Excess body weight exacerbates hip dysplasia symptoms, as it places additional strain on the compromised joints. At Trusted Vets we can develop tailored diet plans and feeding regimens that support your dog’s overall health and help maintain an optimal weight.

Additionally, avoid slippery surfaces, such as polished floors, as these can pose a risk of slipping and exacerbate the instability associated with hip dysplasia. Providing a comfortable and supportive environment, with orthopaedic bedding and easy access to food and water, will contribute to enhancing your dog’s quality of life while managing this condition. 

Hip Dysplasia Treatment for dogs, near Shropshire

How long can my dog live with Hip and Elbow Dysplasia?

A diagnosis of hip or elbow dysplasia shouldn’t shorten your dog’s life. Although, the long-term condition can vary though based on several factors, including the severity of the condition, the effectiveness of treatment, and the overall health of the individual dog. Hip or elbow dysplasia is a progressive condition, and while it cannot be fully cured, appropriate management and care can significantly enhance a dog’s quality of life and longevity. With early detection and a comprehensive treatment plan, dogs with elbow dysplasia can often lead fulfilling lives.

Here at Trusted Vets, we will work closely with you to develop a tailored care strategy that may include medication, weight management, and controlled exercise. Regular veterinary check-ups will help monitor the progression of the condition and allow for adjustments to the treatment plan as needed. Additionally, providing a supportive and comfortable environment at home, including appropriate bedding and modifications to accommodate any mobility challenges, can contribute to your dog’s overall well-being.

While each case is unique, proactive management of hip and elbow dysplasia can make a significant difference in a dog’s life expectancy

What is Hip and Elbow Scoring Scheme?

The Hip and Elbow Scoring Schemes were developed by the Kennel Club and the British Veterinary Association to try and help breed out Hip and Elbow Dysplasia conditions. The hip score reflects the severity of the problem and is made up of the total points awarded for various aspects of the hip joint. It is better if the score is lower. The range for the overall score is from 0 to 106. Breeders are advised to only breed from dogs with low scores.
Larger dogs, like the Great Dane, Saint Bernard, Labrador Retriever, and German Shepherd Dog, are more prone to hip dysplasia than smaller dogs. This hereditary susceptibility can be increased by elements like an excessive growth rate, certain types of exercise, an incorrect weight, and an imbalanced diet.

BVA and the Kennel Club

BVA and the Kennel Club established the Hip Dysplasia Scheme in 1965 to reduce the incidence and severity of the condition. The effects of hip dysplasia on a dog’s health, behaviour, and welfare can be severe. The programme uses X-rays to detect abnormalities (irregular or poorly formed hip joints) resulting from hip dysplasia. X-rays are evaluated and scored by BVA-designated expert veterinarians.

BVA and the Kennel Club established the Elbow Dysplasia Scheme in 1998 to reduce the incidence and severity of the condition. Elbow dysplasia can have detrimental effects on a dog’s health, behaviour, and well-being. The programme utilises X-rays to detect abnormalities caused by the condition. The BVA appoints expert veterinary surgeons to evaluate and score X-rays. Although it begins in puppyhood, elbow dysplasia can continue to affect a dog for the remainder of its life in numerous breeds around the world.

Why do working dogs need Hip and Elbow Scoring?

Breeding specialised working dogs benefit greatly from the Hip and Elbow Scoring Scheme. Labrador retrievers, golden retrievers, border collies, Leonbergers, and German shepherds are breeds that are frequently used as working dogs. These expertly trained animals are used in a variety of professions. Such as tracking, specialised search, avalanche rescue, cadaver location, and police work. The dog’s skill, fitness, and health must be at their absolute peak to withstand the rigours of working life.

The scheme’s primary objective is to examine radiographs of the hips and elbows of dogs that are to be bred.
Breeders who wish to reduce the risk of disease should select their breeding stock from animals with scores well below the breed mean.
In addition to breed standards, the Assured Breeders Scheme, breeder clubs, etc. The kennel club provides information on some of the more specific DNA screening. All recommended health tests are now available for many of the genetically inherited diseases, as well as many more breed standards.

The most accurate way to diagnose

The most accurate way to diagnose, foretell, and spot abnormal growth (changes) in the hip joint caused by hip dysplasia is with hip radiographs or X-rays. Dogs can undergo imaging procedures as early as 16 weeks old, and they are done under a general anaesthetic. Hip scores should then be compared to the Breed Specific Statistics so breeders may ensure they are only breeding from healthy dogs. They are then assessed and scored by an expert panel of veterinary surgeons.

Get in touch for more information on Hip and Elbow Scoring near Shropshire, here

Are x-rays safe for dogs?

Ensuring the well-being of your canine companions is paramount at Trusted Vets Veterinary Clinic, we prioritise the health and safety of your beloved companions. While X-ray procedures are generally deemed safe for dogs, it’s crucial to acknowledge that they involve a degree of radiation exposure. Consequently, X-rays are employed primarily as a diagnostic tool in specific situations.

Our veterinarians may opt for X-rays on occasion to gain valuable insights into a dog’s pregnancy, although alternative imaging techniques such as ultrasound are also frequently utilised. We understand that conscientious pet owners may have concerns about the use of X-ray equipment and its potential impact on their dog’s health. We encourage open dialogue with our experienced veterinary professionals to help you decide if you want your dog to get an X-ray. Your veterinarian will be able to discuss the specific risks and benefits associated with X-rays specific to your dog’s circumstances.

At Trusted Vets Veterinary Clinic, we are committed to transparency, communication, and providing the highest standard of care for your cherished pets.

What signs indicate hip dysplasia?

The symptoms of canine hip dysplasia vary between individuals and breeds. Some visible signs include:

  • Lameness (being unable to walk correctly) (being unable to walk correctly)
  • After-rest stiffness
  • Reluctance to exercise
  • Grunting while reclining or rising
  • Having trouble using the stairs

A physical examination by a veterinarian will provide a more reliable assessment of the presence of hip dysplasia, whereas an X-ray is the only way to definitively diagnose hip dysplasia.

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What breeds are commonly at risk?

Common breeds at risk of hip dysplasia are:

Border Collie
Bernese Mountain Dog
German Shepherd
German Shorthaired Pointer
Golden Retriever
Hungarian Vizsla
Labrador Retriever

What is the BVA/KC Hip Dysplasia Scheme?

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) and The Kennel Club (KC) Hip Dysplasia Scheme examine x-rays of dogs. Looking for hip joint abnormalities. A panel of experts assigns a grade to each x-ray. We can handle this for you, sending the x-rays to be scored and communicating the results to you.

Why should you use the BVA/KC scheme?

Breeders can have complete confidence in the rigour and accuracy of the scoring and grading processes. The BVA/KC hip dysplasia schemes operate to the highest standards of expertise, quality, and consistency. The schemes also contribute to The Kennel Club’s unique hip score database, used to calculate our estimated breeding values.

The schemes’ key features include:

Vets with advanced professional qualifications in veterinary radiology and/or orthopaedic surgery. The scheme currently has a panel of ten scrutineers. All of whom are veterinary surgeons with advanced professional qualifications in veterinary radiology and/or orthopaedic surgery. They have extensive experience evaluating hip and elbow radiographs, scoring and grading over 16,000 each year.
Two examiners – Radiographs submitted to the scheme are assessed concurrently by two scrutineers working as a team, whether side by side or remotely and reaching an agreement on the score/grade.
We only accept high-quality radiographs. Which are reviewed using high-definition radiology-grade equipment and Visbion imaging software. Annually, the panel of examiners meets to discuss the results of a quality control exercise and to review a sample of appeal radiographs. This ensures that the results are consistent and continuous over time. At each scoring/grading session, a random selection of scrutineer pairs ensures that there is continuous peer review within the panel.
New online submission system – The new canine health scheme online submission portal allows breeders to receive their dog’s results within one week of payment. Breeders can also request that their veterinarian sign them up for automatic email updates on the status of their submissions, so they can stay up to date on their progress.
Appeals procedure – The BVA/KC scheme has a robust appeals process available to any breeder who disagrees with their dog’s score/grade. The radiographs are re-scored by a different pair of scrutineers who are not aware of the original score, and the results are reviewed by the chief scrutineer. As a result, the final appeal score is based on the professional judgment of five examiners.

How are the findings put to use?

The total hip scores have been published and can be compared to the breed’s median score. (The score of the average dog in that breed, with equal numbers of dogs scoring higher and lower). Because the incidence of hip dysplasia varies greatly between dog breeds, this allows individual dogs to be compared to others of the same breed. Indicating whether they are average, better, or worse in their hip status.

Hip scores of individual Kennel Club registered dogs and their relatives are published online. Our health test results finder is used to generate our estimated breeding values resource for the most commonly scored breeds. This combines data from the BVA/KC health schemes with information about a dog’s family (its pedigree). We can estimate the types of genes a dog has and those that may be passed on to its puppies. By linking this data together and looking at a dog’s surrounding family. This service is unique in dog breeding and is supported by The Kennel Club and BVA’s close working relationship.

Owners should keep the following in mind when taking their dog for an X-ray:

Your dog must be at least one year old, with no upper age limit.
A microchip or tattoo must be used to permanently and uniquely identify your dog.
The Kennel Club registration certificate for your dog, as well as any related transfer certificates, must be available so that the appropriate information can be printed on the radiographs.
Radiographs must also bear microchip/tattoo numbers.
You should sign the certificate’s declaration (first part) to confirm the details are correct and to grant permission for the results to be used in data collection and research.

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Can you treat hip dysplasia?

It is possible to alleviate some of the pain and mobility restrictions caused by hip dysplasia. Various medications and surgical procedures are available for consideration. The care of a dog with hip dysplasia also includes the application of heat and massage. Nutrition, physiotherapy good bedding, exercise, and weight management.