Hip Dysplasia is a term which describes developmental and other abnormalities involving the hip joint.

Genetically it is complex, and it can also be caused by environmental factors; an injury, or if a puppy is exercised too much, too soon, and allowed to run up and down stairs and jump of beds and/or furniture etc.

To perform a hip X-ray a Vet usually anaesthetises the dog so that there is no movement during the procedure. Some Vets are now performing hip scoring using sedation rather than full anaesthetic.

The Kennel Club and BVA administer various health schemes for dogs, including protocols for Hips, Elbows and Eyes.

In the UK, an X-ray is sent to the BVA where Specialists examine this and give each hip a number (score). The panel meet regularly, but a score can take up to 8-12 weeks before notification is returned to the submitting Vet.

Please note the following:

  • Hip scoring is only required once in a dog’s lifetime
  • Hip scoring should only be undertaken on dogs over the age of 12 months, there is no upper age limit
  • Hip scoring should be undertaken if you are using your Wheaten for breeding
  • To check if the dog is in good health, the Vet may also undertake a blood and urine test prior to this procedure
  • If a bitch is to be scored, it is thought by many that this is best undertaken as near to the mid-point between her seasons, otherwise the change in hormone levels could possibly result in a higher score

The minimum best score per hip is zero, the maximum is 53, and this gives a total range of 0-106. The SCWT breed mean score is 13.

BVA - full and up to date information and documents available on the BVA website.

This document compares the method of hip scoring in different countries: BVA (UK/Australia), OFA (USA and Canada), FCI (European) and SV (Germany). Click here for pdf document

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