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The BVA/KC Hip Dysplasia Scheme

The current BVA/KC scoring scheme for hip dysplasia (HD) has been in operation since 1984 and since then over 100,000 X-rays have been assessed. Dysplasia means abnormal development, and the degree of hip dysplasia present is indicated by a score assigned to each hip. The hip score is the sum of the points awarded for each of nine aspects of the X-rays of both hip joints. The minimum hip score is 0 and the maximum is 106 (53 for each hip). The lower the score the less the degree of hip dysplasia present. An average (or mean) score is calculated for all breeds scored under the scheme and advice for breeders is to use only breeding stock with scores well below the breed mean score.

The minimum age for hip scoring is one year, and each dog is only ever scored once under the scheme.

Which breeds are screened under the Scheme?

It is generally accepted that hip dysplasia is more common in larger breeds, but any dog of any breed can be scored under the scheme.

How do I get my dog scored under the Scheme?

Owners should make an appointment with their vet who can take the required X-ray of the dog's hips. The vet then sends the X-ray to the British Veterinary Association where it is examined and "scored" by a panel of experts. (Details of the scoring criteria are available in the form of a leaflet from either the Kennel Club or the BVA.) Once the X-ray has been scored, the result is returned to the vet, who relays it to the owner, and a copy is sent to the Kennel Club for recording on the registration database and publication in the Breed Records Supplement.

There is a time limit of 45 days and a set procedure for appealing against results under the Scheme.

What are the costs involved?

In addition to the charges levied by the vet for anaesthetic and X-raying, the cost of having one dog scored under the Scheme is currently £30.60. If an owner submits five or more dogs at the same time, the cost falls to £24.40 per dog.

Where can I get more information?

Free, detailed leaflets are available from either: Information Department, The Kennel Club, 1-5 Clarges St, Piccadilly, London W1J 8AB or the Canine Health Schemes Department, BVA, 7 Mansfield Street, London W1G 9NQ.

Further information is also available at: British Veterinary Association

Dogs - (Correct at time of publication)

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