on what age do you X Ray your dog for Hip Dysplasia , on the age of 6 months to see if anything is wrong already , or do you wait that the dog is 12-18 months old?
and what must the score be in your country to breed with them?
Carmel, I can only speak of the two dogs I had graded here in Switzerland who were also graded in the UK.
Dog A was 2 1/2 years old when x-rayed and was graded in the UK with 6/2 (Norberg 1-0, Subluxation 3-1, Cranial acetabular edge 2-1) and was graded B/B in Switzerland.
Dog B was 5 1/2 yrs, UK score 3/4 (Norberg 0-0, Subluxation 1-2, cranial acetabular edge 2-2, all others 0-0) , Switzerland grade A/A.
Other breeders have done the same and found that it is extremely difficult to compare the two systems.
That is a great link Ginger! The only problem is that there is (to my knowlege) no A1 or A2/B1 or B2. We (seeing that Sweden is part of the FCI) only get A or B or whatever. I wonder if there are european countries with subdevisions? Or if this is an internal guide, never disclosed to the owner or public?
In Slovenia setters can be officially xrayed at 18 months old. We have consulted with vet specialists who recommended this age be the minimum for breeds of this size and way of development. We can use in breeding dogs with scores A and B (FCI system). There is a central committee with our vet university clinic where all xrays must be sent. Dogs tatoo numbers and chip numbers are checked at the time of xray and are written on the plates. But we also recognize scores done in other countries if they are scored by vet or committee licensed by the Kennel CLub of that country. We recommend elbows be xrayed as well, but it is not (yet) obligatory.
I would preliminary xray a dog only if I felt it may have HD, just to make sure. I like to keep radiation going through a dog at the minimum.
As Ginger has said we must wait until our dogs are 24 months old to get a OFA hip rating, although you can do a prelime at any time. Some of the old time breeders recommend you not have your bitches x-rayed within 3 months on either side of their season so that the reading won't be affected by the tightened / tense muscles.
I don't know if that is really true as I have a friend who just had a bitch done the month after her season and she came back a excellant. Do you think being in season or three months on either side would make the difference?
I have heard about not X-raying when the bitch is in season as well. (I have never tested, so I can not speak from experiance)
We really need a decent vet joining this discussion!
I think a lot of these "do's and dont's" may just be old-wife-tales.
And I am not just refering to X-raying hips.
In the U.S., we normally x-ray for Hip Dysplasia at a minimum of 2 years of age. That's the age that OFA (Orthopedic Foundation of America) accepts the results of the x-rays into their database. They also accept PRA DNA and CLAD DNA results on the same webpage for each individual registered dog, regardless of breed. Some breeders who wish to use a young male at stud before the age of 2 will have a "preliminary hip x-ray" done, send the x-ray to OFA for evaluation. The OFA then returns their evaluation to the dogs' owner but without the important OFA registered number. I like to wait until an Irish Setter is more mature, at least 3 years of age. Since I don't breed my bitches until they are over 4, this isn't usually a problem. I found with my English Springer Spaniels years ago that hips can and do change with age. The ball of the femur can flatten out slightly which will change the rating of the quality of the hip. OFA rates hips on how the ball of the femur fits into the socket without flatness or extreme wear on the ball or in the joint. Currently, the OFA rates hips as either being Fair, Good or Excellent. Years ago, they only rated them Normal (pass) or Fail (dysplastic). I've also seen Irish who had one hip that failed their OFA rating and the other hip be rated as okay. I haven't seen that as often in the last 20 years as I did in the previous 20 years of OFA x-rays. In the U.S. there is also a process of examining the rotation of the hip joint called Penn-Hip and they rate the modality totally by numbers. I'm afraid I know absolutely nothing about this process and prefer the old fashioned Hip X-ray where we can visually see the joint and make a judgement call on a visual exam rather than just a physical exam. Penn-Hips are done on young puppies as well as adults where hip x-rays are usually only done on young adults. The U.S. nor Canada restricts registrations of any breed based on health clearances or hip x-rays. There are many times that I would love to see the Western World follow in the European's footsteps in this regard. I think we would have fewer unhealthy dogs being bred from if they could not be registered and sold for higher dollar amounts.