The BVA and The Kennel Club (KC) came together at London Vet Show to celebrate 50 years since the launch of the scheme to screen for hip dysplasia in dogs.

The Kennel Club and BVA teams celebrate 50 years of the hip dysplasia scheme.

The hip dysplasia scheme was the first of four canine health schemes now operated by the BVA and The KC to help responsible breeders identify those dogs that have few or no signs of disease, so the best possible choices can be made as part of a responsible breeding programme.

These include health schemes:

  • hip dysplasia
  • elbow dysplasia
  • inherited eye diseases
  • Arnold-Chiari malformation/syringomyelia

Responsible breeding

BVA president Sean Wensley said: “Hundreds of thousands of dogs have benefited from the scheme, which helps breeders identify those dogs with the healthiest hips so the best possible choices can be made as part of a responsible breeding programme.

“Next year will be another big step forward for the schemes, with the introduction of digital applications, making it easier for vets to submit x-rays and ensure only healthy dogs are used for mating.

“To continue the good work, we are asking vets and owners to ensure all relevant diagnostic x-rays are submitted to the canine health schemes – not just those showing healthier hips – so we have an accurate picture of what is happening across all of the different breeds.”

Positive effect

Caroline Kisko, The KC secretary, added: “In the fifty years since its development, many responsible breeders have used the scheme to screen for hip dysplasia in dogs, which has had a tremendously positive effect on dog health overall.

“The scheme allows breeders to make responsible breeding choices, which will go a long way to protecting and maintaining dog health in years to come, and The KC and the BVA are both proud of what the scheme has so far achieved.”

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