Hip Dysplasia

Hip Dysplasia is an inherited orthopaedic problem of dogs and a wide number of other mammals. Abnormal development of the structures that make up the hip joint leads to subsequent joint deformity. ‘Dysplasia’ means abnormal growth. The developmental changes appear first and because they are related to growth, they are termed primary changes. Subsequently these changes may lead to excessive wear and tear. The secondary changes may be referred to as (osteo)arthritis (OA), (osteo)arthrosis or degenerative joint disease (DJD). 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. The British Veterinary Association publish a very good information leaflet:

It was in the light of this knowledge that the British Veterinary Association (BVA) and the Kennel Club (KC) developed a scheme some 40 years ago to assess the degree of hip deformity of dogs using radiography. Your Veterinary surgeon takes an x-ray of your dog’s hips in a particular position which is then examined by a panel of experts. All radiographs submitted to the BVA/KC Hip Dysplasia Scheme are ‘scored’. The hip score is the sum of the points accrued for each of nine radiographic features in each hip joint. The lower the score the less the degree of HD present. The minimum (best) score for each hip is zero and the maximum (worst) is 53, giving a range for the total score of 0 to 106.

Full details of the scheme can be found at the BVA orthe Kennel Club.

In addition, Di Addicott mainains the extremely useful resource of a list of all Hungarian Vizsla Hip Scores:

The Hungarian Vizsla Club Code of Best Practice requires Vizsla owners to hip score all their breeding stock. The current breed average can be found here.

As at the 1st November, the breed average for the Hungarian Vizsla was 12.