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Hip and Elbow Scoring

Tests to show any abnormalities of the hip and elbow joints

These are screening tests to show any abnormalities of the hip and elbow joints.

They can be used to decide whether your dog is a good candidate for breeding but may also be a requirement for show dogs to compete in shows. If you wish to register the puppies from your pedigree dogs with the kennel club or breed association it may be necessary to first have the parents scored under a recognised scheme.

You should check with the kennel club and/or breed society prior to breeding.

A general anaesthetic is required to take the necessary x-rays.


  • British Veterinary Association (BVA) Hip and Elbow Scores
  • German Shepherd Scheme

British Veterinary Association (BVA) Hip and Elbow Scores

The Hip Dysplasia Scheme was established by the BVA and the Kennel Club in 1965 to reduce the incidence and severity of the condition which can have serious effects on the health, behaviour and welfare of dogs. The Elbow Dysplasia Scheme was established by BVA and the Kennel Club in 1998 with the same intentions. The scheme is open for all breeds of dogs including cross breeds.

X-Rays of the hips and elbows are taken from different positions and then are sent for review by BVA appointed scrutineers.

The BVA examine the X-Rays for joint abnormalities and issues a score. The lower the score, the better the joint. Breed standards exist to outline the general result for the given breed which can be used as an indicator of how healthy your dogs joints are in comparison to the average for that breed.

For more information visit BVA Canine Health Schemes

German Shepherd Scheme

SV HD/ED Health Scheme

This scheme is recommended by the German Shepherd Association (GSA) of Ireland and is intended to be used by breeders to identify suitable candidates for breeding. Similar to the BVA scheme the Hips and Elbows are examined for abnormalities and a grade is issued.

Additionally a back x-ray is submitted. It may also be necessary in order to compete in certain shows.

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