New hip dysplasia grading system from 2007

There was some uncertainty about the minimum age at which Boerboels are accepted for HD testing according to the FCI system implemented in 2007. The attached document, received from Prof R M Kirberger of the Department of Veterinary Science at the University of Pretoria in May, should clarify the situation. Note that Boerboels may be tested at 12 months. KUSA and the SA Veterinary Association, after numerous investigations and discussions have requested that South Africa change its Hip Dysplasia grading scheme to the more internationally recognized FCI (Federation Cynologique Internationale) system. The new system will be implemented as from January 2007. There are multiple implications for breeders taking dogs for hip dysplasia radiographs (X-rays) for certification. The changes, where applicable will also be for elbow dysplasia certification.

1. The FCI grading will be from A-E with 2 subdivisions for each. Attached is a table comparing old to new.
2. No pre 2007 old SA gradings will be changed to new gradings and dogs cannot be reradiographed under the new system.
3. The various breed societies will have to adapt their breeding regulations.
4. Large breeds must be done at 18 months. All other dogs, including the Boerboel, are done from months of age. Large breeds include Bullmastiff, other mastiff types, Great Dane, Newfoundland, Pyrenean Mountain Dog and St Bernard. Rottweilers in SA are also done at 18 months.
5. All examined dogs must be identified by means of a microchip or tattoo number. No exceptions will be allowed.
6. Elbow dysplasia radiographs can be made at the same time. If not made together with hip radiographs, point 5 still applies. All breeds can be done at 12 months.
7. A form must be signed by the owner stating that the dog is the one as described on the certificate and that the results may be utilised as seen fit by the diagnostic body.. The veterinarian has to verify the microchip/tattoo and also sign the form. A legible copy of the dog’s pedigree certificate must be attached to the application for certification.
8. Please note that the radiographs remain the property of the veterinary practice who made them and have to be kept by that practice for 3 years (as per the SA Veterinary Council guidelines).
9. Ensure that your veterinarian knows the requirements of the new scheme. Positioning must be optimal and to achieve this general anaesthesia or sedation is required.
10. A single certificate is issued stating the grade of hip or elbow dysplasia where applicable.
11. Dogs may not be submitted more than once for hip or elbow dysplasia grading.

There are various accredited centres for HD and VH testing. Contact your veterinarian for referral.
Description of grading applicable to dogs aged more than one year, provided positioning is correct and radiographic quality is optimal.

FCI Grade
Description F C Criteria
Old SA Grade
A1 Excellent hips No signs of hip dysplasia 0
A2 Good hips No signs of hip dysplasia 0
B1 Fair hips Near normal hip joints 0
B2 Marginal dysplasia Near normal hip joints 1
C1 Mild dysplasia Mild hip dysplasia 1
C2 Mild to moderate dysplasia Mild hip dysplasia 1
D1 Moderate dysplasia Moderate hip dysplasia 2
D2 Moderate to severe dysplasia
Moderate hip dysplasia 2
D2 Moderate to severe dysplasia Moderate hip dysplasia 2
E1 Severe dysplasia Severe hip dysplasia 3
E2 Very severe dysplasia Severe hip dysplasia 4




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