Hip Dysplasia

Hip Dysplasia

Hip Dysplasia (HD) is a common inherited orthopaedic problem of dogs. Abnormal development of the structures that make up the hip joint leads to joint deformity. ‘Dysplasia’ means abnormal growth. The developmental changes appear first and later one or both hip joints may become mechanically defective. At this stage the joint(s) may be painful and cause lameness. In extreme cases the dog may find movement very difficult and may suffer considerably. However it is known that dogs with poor hip structure can develop muscles that support the joints and they will live long and active lives. The BVA and the Kennel Club founded the Hip Dysplasia Scheme in 1965 to assess the degree of hip deformity of dogs using radiography. It is a condition that is known to affect Clumber Spaniels therefore the Clumber Spaniel Club has always encouraged the use of the KC/BVA hip scoring scheme for Clumbers, particularly for breeding stock.

The screening is by examination of radiographs taken by a vet and the radiographs (x-rays) are graded by a panel of veterinary experts based at BVA.

The dog must be at least one year old but there is no upper age limit. Each hip (right and left) is examined for nine different anatomical features and a numerical score is given ranging from 0 to 53. The total score is the combination of both hips e.g. 3:4 Total 7.  Hips with a perfect radiographic appearance score 0; the higher the score, the greater the degree of hip dysplasia.

Currently the breed median is used rather than the average. The 5-year Rolling Trends in hip scoring show continuing improvement in hip health.  The Median based on 15 years is 12 and over 5 years is 11.

Clumber Spaniel:      5-year Rolling Trends in Hip Scoring from 1992

 Year End No. of scored dogs in the period

 (% of registered dogs)

No. of dogs registered in the period 5-year Rolling Median Range of scores in the period No. of dogs with scores of 10 or less

 (% of total scored)

No. of dogs with scores>30

 (% of total scored)

1996 138    (14.3) 967 33 0 – 93 11     (8.0) 81    (58.7)
1997 117    (12.2) 957 33 0 – 97 11     (9.4) 64    (54.7)
1998 96      (10.9) 877 33 7 – 96 7       (7.3) 52    (54.2)
1999 86      (11.3) 759 33 7 – 99 8       (9.3) 49    (57.0)
2000 74      (9.8) 690 27.5 8 – 99 7       (9.5) 35    (47.3)
2001 61      (9.3) 659 22.5 6 – 99 7       (11.5) 26    (42.6)
2002 61      (9.2) 663 23 6 – 99 10     (16.4) 27    (44.3)
2003 64      (9.6) 670 15.5 6 – 89 18     (28.1) 24    (37.5)
2004 83      (11.5) 723 15 5 – 91 24     (28.9) 28    (33.7)
2005 83      (10.9) 765 14 5 – 91 26     (31.4) 27    (32.5)
2006 109    (12.1) 901 14 5 – 94 34     (31.2) 32    (29.4)
2007 130    (13.6) 954 12 5 – 94 42     (32.3) 30    (23.1)
2008 157    (15.4) 1018 13 5 – 94 53     (33.8) 36    (22.9)
2009 185    (17.8) 1037 13 4 – 93 65     (35.1) 47    (25.4)
2010 219    (19.0) 1150 13 0 – 86 79     (36.1) 52    (23.7)
2011 243    (21.4) 1138 13 0 – 106 88     (36.2) 62    (25.5)
2012 256    (24.0) 1066 13 0 – 106 93     (36.3) 67    (26.2)
2013 250    (22.4) 1115 18 0 – 106 101   (40.4) 61    (24.4)
2014 248    (22.1) 1121 18 0 – 106 111   (44.7) 50    (20.1)
2015 261    (24.5) 1064 11 0 – 106 117   (44.8) 50    (19.5)
2016 254    (25.4) 1000 11 0 – 99 123   (48.4) 40    (15.7)
2017 251    (22.5) 1114 10 0 – 99 132   (52.6) 33    (13.1)

Clumber Spaniel hip scoring results are tabled here – Hip Scores

Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs)

 As a good proportion of the Clumber Spaniel population has been hip scored the Kennel Club have developed Estimated Breeding Values for the breed. This tool uses all screening data and pedigree information from the individual dog and its surrounding family, to more effectively determine the genetic risk that each dog will pass this disease to its progeny and is more accurate than by using an individual dog’s test score alone. As more related dogs are screened an individual’ dog’s EBV will be revised to reflect the additional data. This was introduced in 2015 and can be found on the KC Mate Select site.

BVA Breeding advice for hips:

Hip scores should be considered along with other criteria as part of a responsible breeding programme, and it is recommended that breeders choose breeding stock with hip scores around and ideally below the breed median score, depending on the level of HD in the breed. HD status of parents, siblings and progeny for Kennel Club registered dogs should also be considered.