The coxofemoral displasia has been known in humans since 400 B.C.
It was first described in dogs in 1935 as a pathology related to the growth period, which causes instability of the coxofemoral joint. It is also known in other species. In the1950s the hereditary aspects of this disease were identified and the control through selection of animals for breeding was proposed.

It consists of a malformation of the coxofemoral joint in its acetabular and/or femoral components which conveys the joint degenerative disease and chronic arthrosis.

It is the hereditary dog disease which has longest been subjected to programs of control. Statistics as from the 1960s several countries and clubs of different breeds have been setting programs of control and prevention for breeds with predisposition to this illness.

It is important to know how these diseases have been controlled in several countries and how it is possible to compare the result, especially taking into account the strong interchange of animals for breeding.

The main clinical manifestations are pain and lameness. Furthermore, muscular atrophy, difficulty of movement and antalgic attitude are observed. X-ray control is performed on the German shepherd dog and others of similar size at the minimum age of 1 year and on giant breeds at 18 months, as it is considered that at those ages skeleton development has been completed.

An appropriate x-ray technique is indispensable in order to avoid false positive or negative diagnoses. German Shepherds Club “SV” have been controlled for 40 years.

Systematic control of the elbow displasia was started in Sweden during the 80s on Rottweiler and Retriever, later on in other breeds. The German shepherd club “SV” makes currently the incidence of this problem in German Shepherd Club “SV” for breeding purposes obligatory.

The main primary lesions of the elbow that lead to secondary arthrosis are the anconeus isolated process, the fragmented medial coronoid process, osteochondrosis disecans and the stressed joint incongruity between the articular surface of the radius and the ulna. Since the x-ray does not always allow the recognition of the primary lesion, the (International Elbow Working Group) IEWG has proposed a graduation based on the degree of arthrosis observed in the x-ray. (1)

The International Cynologic Federation (FCI) makes a classification with the following degrees at international level:

For Hip Displasia : A – Normal ; B – Transitional ; C - Light ; D - Medium ; E - Severe

For Elbow Displasia: 0 - Normal ; 1 - osteofite less than 2mm ; 2 - osteofite between 2 and 5 mm ; 3 - osteofite more than 5 mm.

The “SV” traditionally calls degree C “noch zugelassen” which means “ still allowed” for breeding.

Summary devised by Dr Margarita Durán under the supervision of Dr W. Brass.

CV Dra. M.Durán EspañolEnglish