Hip/Elbow Scoring.

Discussion in 'Dog Breeding' started by ApolloStorm, Apr 16, 2018 at 5:33 PM.


  1. ApolloStorm

    ApolloStorm PetForums Newbie

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    So I'd like to start of by saying that this is not intended to cause any arguments or anything. I am thinking of breeding my GSD bitch. Who is currently being shown very successfully (numerous BOB and group placings) at open level, and this summer we are taking the plunge at Champ level. And depending on how this goes will be a deciding factor. I intend to keep a pup from the litter to run on and show with. She is of lovely moderate type albeit a little long in the loin, nice bitch head, good movement but not over exaggerated. Good temperament, not overly driven ( but I like this!).
    So to get to my question, Obviously health tests are the other deciding factor for me, I have been speaking to a few breeders in the show scene ( of a few different breeds) who seem to be of the opinion that the traditional hip and elbow scoring system is obsolete- and that if it was going to eradicate HD/ED it would have done years ago. Their logic is that HD/ED is largely environmental with few genetic issues. I have been pointed in the direction of the PUPscan Project, which have recommended me a vet who will do a " diagnostic image" (x ray) and tell me if there is any genetic defect which will be passed on or cause an issue. They also come out at 7 weeks for pups and ultrasound the hips to pick up any congenital problems.
    Now, this sounds all well and good and I have been put off hip scoring by a few people who've had it done, saying it caused the dog to go lame, and they had no problems with a high scoring dog etc. All I want to do is do best by my girl & any pups she may have. Part of my reasoning for looking at this is when she was 7 months she belted across our back garden and over our 6 ft fence after an effing cat and she was sore on her front leg for a day or so, so obviously the score for this elbow is going to be utter PANTS, and can hardly explain to people " oh she was a complete idiot as a pup".
    And obviously there are other things ill be getting her tested for -CDRM, eyes, PD.
    So my actual question is- does this pupscan thing sound at all viable? surely if the vets partaking have a knowledge and understanding of its value thought it was useless they wouldn't.


    Ps: please don't lay into me for thinking of all options before breeding!
     
  2. lullabydream

    lullabydream PetForums VIP

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    These links might help explain better about the genetic cause...
    https://www.fitzpatrickreferrals.co.uk/orthopaedic/hip-dysplasia/#what-is-the-cause-of-hip-dysplasia

    https://www.fitzpatrickreferrals.co.uk/orthopaedic/canine-elbow-dysplasia/

    Health tests are usually classed as the gold standard...to prove how good hips and elbows are or not...and make informed choices...

    I haven't looked at the hip scores for your specific breed and I am sorry, but there has been highlighted a few times here that regardless of hip scores people will still breed anyway, or fore go hip scores..so this would mean HD and ED will not magically disappear from lines if breeders still breed regardless.

    From what I extrapolate from the articles, it would be long term damage that would cause problems, and quite often some dogs with terrible scores no one would notice, and those with mediocre scores the dogs have terrible problems. So a one off incident as a puppy would probably be just strained a few muscles.

    Then of course there is the hereditary factor to bear in mind...so looking at health of your dogs previous generation may also give an indication to how your dog may fair...looking at lines is still just as important as testing and should also be considered.

    I hope someone who knows about the pupscan to come along, but from what I gather if the odds are not in her favour and the pups results are not favourable what happens to the pups? No one can change biology... This is why tests are favoured before any breeding is carried out.
     
  3. ApolloStorm

    ApolloStorm PetForums Newbie

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    Thank you for those links! I think the idea re genetics is that whilst there obviously is a genetic issue somewhere that it is not the sole cause?
    Obviously I am aware plenty of people will still breed regardless, but I don't intend to breed without knowing i'm not passing on anything. I think for the GSD it should be below 20. In terms of her history there is only one "bad egg" at 23 for hips and 1 for elbows, But there is the odd untested dog the rest are 0 for elbows and below breed average for hips.
     
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  4. Rafa

    Rafa PetForums VIP

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    Well, it makes a refreshing change to have someone who is doing their research and their best to breed the conscientious way.

    Having always had Terriers, I have no advice as regards hip scoring, but hopefully, someone else will.

    Have you tried asking your questions on the Champdogs Forum? There are some very knowledgeable Breeders on there.
     
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  5. lullabydream

    lullabydream PetForums VIP

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    Our GSD person isn't here anymore...who I would recommend to talk to however there are some owners mainly working lines, and I am sure they may have heard or know something more.

    We have a very knowledgeable Golden Retreiver expert whose pretty good on health tests...she's on holiday but may pop on so will just tag her @Siskin

    Then there is @Rafa who was a breeder of Parson Russel Terriers a while ago. Pre health testing, so she might no a thing or two still...

    Ooo and @Jamesgoeswalkies he's breed labradors so will be able to know about hip/elbow dysplasia etc...not always about evenings but usually mornings

    There was a GSD breeder but haven't seen the person for a while but pops up now and again.

    If you get different perspectives am sure it all helps!
     
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  6. Dogloverlou

    Dogloverlou PetForums VIP

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    Whilst HD/ED does have some environmental factors it should never be an excuse not to test your dog. I'd frankly be appalled if supposedly more experienced and knowledgeable breeders were telling me to use other methods or advising me against testing. I've never heard of the pupscan thing but seen as a puppies joints are not even complete until the growth plates are intact I'd not place any faith in any diagnostic imaging to tell me if there are any congenital issues so early. It's just impossible, unless glaringly deformed etc. I also really don't understand the logic behind using such high scoring dogs either. Sure, in a numerically small breed with a limited gene pool the odd high scorer may be necessary, but in a breed as numerous as GSDs I don't see why it's needed. I've seen a dog with scores in the high 30's being used at stud before but he was also 'liver coloured' so of course pound signs were ringing for his breeder.....

    Just as an aside too, I'd always DM test in a GSD too.
     
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  7. lullabydream

    lullabydream PetForums VIP

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    Cross posted...asking for your advice!
     
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  8. simplysardonic

    simplysardonic Commander of a tiny, furry army
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  9. ApolloStorm

    ApolloStorm PetForums Newbie

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    The Pupscan doesn't just scan pups but does also have vets who do an X-ray of the bitch prior to mating to see if there is any genetic problems- without all the pulling and taping and everything else ive heard of vets doing in BVA hip scores. 20 is the breed average, so below this is considered fine- higher than other breeds perhaps. My bitch is a nice boring sable- nothing about £ signs here! CDRM = DM just an older name for it !
     
  10. lullabydream

    lullabydream PetForums VIP

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    I totally get you are doing everything in your power to get all the information that you can get about hip scores etc...

    However recently one of our members was looking for a fully health tested popular breed. It was reasons like this, that breeders were using why they didn't health test. Which is a tragedy in itself.

    However, pregnancy is a risk in any breed. I understand that there are certain breeds that are way more prone to c sections than others, but that doesn't mean that it won't definitely happen. Plus problems during and after pregnancy. So an X ray under sedation which is no harm per se to the actual dog or bitch is minimal to what a bitch has to go through during pregnancy, labour and after birth...if the worse should happen. At the end of the day if a c section is performed it is major surgery. Maybe not as higher risk on a larger breed but also something you should be aware of...as nothing in life is risk free.

    I can see exactly why you would like to breed, with doing well in the show ring, and understanding her faults and no doubt you will be searching for a stud dog to compliment her, and improve to meet the standard closer.
     
  11. Siskin

    Siskin Look into my eyes....

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    From what I have been picking up from other forums there seems to be a reluctance to test breeding stock for HD and ED using the excuse that their dogs have been fine for generations therefore have perfect hips. As they don't know whether or not the dogs have perfect hips unless they are xrayed then that is a mute point. GSDs have certainly changed over the years and I don't think for the better, the crouched stance and scrabbling gait looks dreadful and I suspect HD may we'll be in lines but the breeders don't see it due to the stance and dogs are that very adapt at masking pain and discomfort.
    HD is largely genetic although environmental factors such as over exercising puppies or a slight accident such as what has happened to your bitch can cause a hip issue.
    These days people who buy dogs are becoming wise to the fact that they may be able to claim money for expensive operations if they can and not having hips and elbows xrayed and just claiming the puppy should be fine because it's parents were may well backfire.
    I can't speak for gsds as they are not a breed I know a lot about, but when buying all my golden retrievers over the years I didn't bother to even consider puppies coming from parents that were not tested for hips, elbows and eyes at the very least.
    As someone else has mentioned, go and look at the Champdogs forum, there are some very experienced breeders there and there was a recent thread about health tests and gsds.
     
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  12. Jamesgoeswalkies

    Jamesgoeswalkies PetForums VIP

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    There is a general sway that hip and elbow scoring is a little misleading - and I do know that recent research has linked environmental factors (including pre 8 week exercise) to a dogs likely hood in having issues although a genetic disposition generally has to be present.

    Having said that we still score our Labs if we are going to breed. To me it's a rule of thumb. And we have never had an issue with the scan causing problems.

    I have no knowledge of the Pupscan Project.

    J
     
  13. ApolloStorm

    ApolloStorm PetForums Newbie

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    I'd like to clarify that I'm not trying to weedle my way out of Health Testing. I am asking if anybody has heard of the pupscan project or if a diagnostic image rather than the traditional hip score is likely to be as effective in detecting anything amiss?
    I am planning on speaking with my usual vet to get his opinion, as well as the vet who does the imaging. Either way she will be tested if thats by a score or imaging.
    On a separate note does anybody recommend any vets in the northern area ( 3hrs roughly from newcastle) which are good at taking plates?
     
  14. Blitz

    Blitz PetForums VIP

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    If your dog is hip scored it is xrayed and the xrays are sent off to be looked at and scored for the BVA scheme. Surely what you are suggesting is exactly the same except that they will be assessed by a vet who is not doing them for the scheme so there will be no way of potential puppy buyers checking on the scores. I am not sure how on earth a dog could be made to be lame by having its legs put in position for an xray - unless it had very very bad hips in the first place. Under the pupscan project I assume the legs would have to be in in the same position to get a clear xray that could be assessed properly.
     
  15. ShibaPup

    ShibaPup PetForums Senior

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    Pupscan seems to be just about taking a DNA swab, and doing an ultrasound on puppies... they offer advice if x-rays have previously been taken so no different to BVA - I imagine anyway. Might be worth getting puppies scanned to see if their research does lead to anything.

    There is a PennHIP method - not too many places in the UK doing it though so expect to travel. https://info.antechimagingservices.com/pennhip/index.html

    If you did both PennHIP and BVA, you'd have an excellent idea - since you'll have results from two different tests. Only BVA do elbows though - I think, so if you're doing to do one then I'd do BVA.

    People (in general, not you) get lazy about health tests, costs too much apparently or they just don't care and will breed regardless. Got to get something from the financial investment - the attitudes of some can be sickening.

    The tests are there to give you an idea - what you do with the results and the decisions you make are up to you.

    Seriously think about what if the results aren't as you hope - could you accept not breeding her. Sounds like your mind is pretty set on breeding her :)
     
  16. ApolloStorm

    ApolloStorm PetForums Newbie

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    I haven't heard of PennHIP before but a very local referral centre to me does it. Maybe worth a look! Though aside from them not doing elbows, so I would have to BVA her anyway.
    Honestly, yes i'd be devastated if she came back too high, but as i say, its not about the £ of selling puppies - I very much like her conformation, and as has been said, I can choose a stud to compliment- so I can have an improved version of her to show. Obviously if she was too high, I'd have to go hunting for something puppy wise!
     
  17. Moobli

    Moobli PetForums VIP

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    Sorry never heard of pupscan but if I were looking to buy a GSD pup I would expect BVA hip and elbow scoring to have been done as a minimum, along with DM testing (or I would have any potential pup tested prior to purchase). Could you speak to your bitch's breeder for advice and guidance?
     
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