The latest data from the Hip and Elbow Schemes show a clear and
sustained reduction in the incidence and severity of these
conditions, clearly demonstrating that responsible breeding,
supported by testing, can make a difference to the health and
welfare of dogs.
The British Veterinary Association (BVA) and the Kennel Club
jointly run the Hip and Elbow Dysplasia Schemes to screen dogs for
certain inherited conditions. Owners and breeders use the results
from the schemes to make informed breeding decisions to help
produce healthier puppies and work towards eliminating debilitating
Results from the Hip Dysplasia Scheme, which celebrates its 50th
anniversary this year, showed improvements in the median scores of
20 of the 21 most-scored breeds over the last 15 years, indicating
a reduction in the incidence and severity of hip dysplasia in
scored dogs. The remaining breed, Tibetan Terrier, has maintained a
low median score for the entire period.
Results from the Elbow Dysplasia Scheme give the numbers and
percentage of the different grades (0-3) for all breeds combined
for each year since 1998. This also shows a clear reduction in the
incidence and severity of the condition in the dogs which have been
assessed under the scheme, with a higher percentage dogs from all
breeds achieving grade 0 (normal elbows) and fewer dogs grading 1,
2 and 3 (affected).
These findings show that health considerations are particularly
important when it comes to mating, and it is vital that the risk of
passing on inherited conditions is continually reduced.
Breeders who health test their dogs are having a sustained
positive impact on dog health, and the Kennel Club encourage any
breeder who does not currently use the schemes to do so, to enable
the positive results to continue.
The Canine Health Schemes cover hip and elbow dysplasia as well
as hereditary eye disease and Chiari-malformation/Syringomyelia.
Breeders interested in using Canine Health Schemes testing should
contact their vet for further information.
The statistics and additional information about the Canine
Health Schemes are available at www.bva.co.uk/Canine-Health-Schemes/.