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Hi Everyone

After a lot of research and thought, my husband and I have decided to ad our first Irish Setter to our family.  We are very excited!

We live in South Africa and, unfortunately, there are only a hand full of reputable breeders in the country.  I have found a wonderful breeder who really seems to care about her dogs and the breed as a whole; she has also had all her dogs cleared of PRA and CLAD and hip scored.

She has just had a litter of beautiful pups from two of her show champion setters.  The problem is that the dad's hip score is B and the mom's hip score is D.

The mom is just over 4 years old now and she is not showing any signs of discomfort or problems with her hips.  Same with the dad.

My question is, would you buy a pup from this litter?  How high would the risks be for major hip dysplasia?

I need to ad that we would consider breeding with the pup (we are looking for a female pup) if she is healthy.

I would greatly appreciate your advice on this.

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Hi Estelle

This is a difficult question. Australia has a different hip scoring process, so I am not familiar with what the "B" and the "D" scores mean.

A friend of mine just told me about an interesting article on hip scoring. Here is the link to the article: http://www.bardonhill.com/index.php/breednotes/june-2010/528-canine...
was going to suggest the artical on bardonhill !!
Interesting article Cheryl.
Agree with Eva "to have to put to sleep a dog which can`t move anymore - that would break your heart" .My heart has been broken almost 2 years. Tears in my eyes everytime I remember those last appaling moments and 8 years full of pain...horse-sense is better than plenty of theories
Thanks, guys, the article was very informative indeed!

Your replies made me think... I guess you are right - the risks are too high and I should rather not take a pup from this litter.

I might have to end up importing a pup, though, as scoring results that I have so far received from other South African breeders where not much better :-/

Best wishes
No, one should not be breeding from a bitch with a hip score of D (assuming that is the same as in Europe?)
And I certainly would not be buying a puppy with a parent with hip dysplasia
This is a difficult question and much depends on what the european equivalent of the South African 'D' score is. Until we all know that is is difficult to advise.
The mean score in the UK for Irish Setters is 15 out of a maximum of 106 total points and KC accredited breeders are urged to breed from dogs under the mean score.
Let me give you an example. My dog's hip score is a total of 8 points, way below the mean score. However he has an FCI Certification of 'B' hip and an unofficial Swedish score of 'C' hip. So already there is an anomaly. Sweden, Switzerland will only register dogs with 'A' or 'B' hips. Most other countries register litters from 'C' hip dogs. BUT THIS IS EUROPE.
You must find out what the 'D' hip score means before you can make a decision. You must also find out whether the bitch had an accident or injury which could affect the score. Find out if any of the bitch's siblings have been scored and what their scores are. Speak to the South African kennel club and seek their advice, find out their mean score and seek the advice of your vet........then you can make an informed decision. It is difficult for us to advise you one way or another as non of us know the facts.
Finally, you might want to ask the breeder why she/he is breeding from a 'D' hip bitch. If she/he weren't able to register the litter she/he wouldn't be having it.
Article on hip scoring in South Africa

A D grade appears to be the equivalent of 30 -54 total hip score in the UK

Thanks Margaret.......well that is pretty bloody high. In that case, why would the breeder even contemplate breeding from this bitch. Surely the South African KC must have a cut-off point above which they will not register a litter, as is done in Europe. However, please correct me if I am wrong but I don't believe the UK KC has either, they just recommend. I would hope that, having gone to the trouble of hip scoring your dog you would then not breed from it if it's score was high, otherwise why bother.
I am slightly confused here. Are you saying that it is easier to get a good hip score from the UK scoring system?
I do think there is no common denominator between the various schemes and it is more difficult to draw any conclusions. Dogs who are given an excellent FCI certification very often end up with a higher UK hip score so you cannot say the UK system is lenient.
There is much to be said for scoring the whole litter. This gives you a more balanced view for breeding in the future.
Estelle, the general concensus is to err on the side of caution, however, a 'D' hip bitch will not necessarily produce 'D' hips. At least the breeder is trying to improve by using a dog with good hips. If in all other aspects this looks like a good mating then don't discount it. If you throw the baby out with the bathwater you might end up getting something worse.
A) Hip scores are sometimes only as good as the radiographer that takes them, if the dog is manipulated incorrectly then the score can be worse than it actually is.
B) Genetically speaking you could have an horrendous score in a dog from two parents that are fine.
So it is a guide not a fact, just because the parents are fine doesn't necessarily mean that the puppies will be fine and vice versa....nature v nurture. But you should always beware at that kind of score
I absolutely agree with Eva! the risk is to high.
I hope you will find a lovely pup from healty parents! all the best ES




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