Screening Scheme Description

BVA/KC Elbow Dysplasia Scheme


The current BVA/KC scoring scheme for elbow dysplasia (ED) was launched in 1998. Dysplasia means abnormal development. An elbow grade is a measure of any evidence of elbow dysplasia (abnormal development). Both elbows are graded (between 0-3), but only the higher grade is used as an overall elbow grade for the dog. The lower the grade the better, with the advice given to breeders is to ideally breed from dogs which have an elbow grade of 0.

Which breeds are screened under the Scheme?

Any breed may be screened under the scheme, but there are a number of breeds which have been shown to have a higher incidence of elbow dysplasia. These breeds include: Basset Hounds, Bernese Mountain Dogs, English Mastiffs, German Shepherd Dogs, Golden Retrievers, Great Danes, Irish Wolfhounds, Labrador Retrievers, Newfoundlands and Rottweilers.

How do I get my dog graded under the Scheme?

Owners should make an appointment with their vet who can take the required X-rays of the dog's elbows. The vet then sends the X-rays to the British Veterinary Association where they are examined and "graded" by a panel of experts. Once the X-rays have been graded, the result is returned to the vet, who relates it to the owner, and a copy is sent to the Kennel Club for recording on the registration database and publication in the KC Breed Records Supplement. There is a time limit of 45 days and a set procedure for appealing against results under the Scheme.

More Information

More information can be found at

The BVA website can be found at


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