Breeders who grade the elbows of their dogs for elbow dysplasia
(ED) are now advised to breed only from those that have elbow
scores of zero, in new advice issued by the Kennel Club and the
British Veterinary Association.
When the ED scheme was set up in 1998 the breeding advice,
following international protocol, was not to breed from dogs of
grades two or three but that dogs of grade one were
However, as ED is progressive, many of the dogs with grade one
elbows who were tested at a young age may go on to develop grade
two or three elbows later in life, despite initially being
considered suitable for breeding.
The revised British Veterinary Association procedure notes now
'It is strongly recommended that breeders wishing to reduce the
risk of elbow dysplasia should select their breeding stock (both
dogs and bitches) only from animals with an overall grade of 0.
Dogs with elbow grades of 2 or 3 have marked osteoarthritis likely
to be due to ED, with or without a visible primary lesion. Dogs
with elbow grades of 1 show mild or early osteoarthritis which is
also likely to be due to ED.'
It is hoped that the revised breeding advice will more quickly
reduce the incidence of elbow dysplasia in dogs in those breeds in
which it remains a significant problem.
Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: "In accordance with
the revised British Veterinary Association's procedure notes, the
Kennel Club would recommend that breeders only use dogs in their
breeding with an overall grade of zero. This will help to
minimise the risk of elbow dysplasia and fall in line with the
Kennel Club's dedication to improving the health of pedigree dogs
across the board. We are sure the new guidelines will be
welcomed by all the conscientious pedigree dog breeders who work to
maintain the best level of breed health for their breeds."