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How Prevalent Is Hip Dysplasia
I came across this (10-23-01) on the OFA's web site in regards to hip dysplasia by breed and their findings since 1974. The Great Dane is ranked #68 for hip dysplasia or 11% as excellent and 12.3% as dysplastic of the submissions. Now please keep in mind that not everyone submits to OFA. That isn't to say that the breed doesn't have MORE or LESS than this but this information is gathered through contributions from breeders and owners. Also note that the OFA is subjective and in the "eye of the beholder"...which means the same x-ray sent in at different times can yield similar or different findings depending on who is reading the x-ray. To see more information regarding canine hip dysplasia visit the OFA at Orthopedic Foundation for Animals http://www.offa.org

It is interesting reading to see which breeds are MORE and LESS dysplastic than the Great Dane.  
It was a big surprise to see Bulldog & Pug at the top of the list considering they are small dogs in comparison.

At a 2002/2003 symposium on dysplasia hosted by The Alamo Great Dane Club, we met several surgeons
from Central Texas who regularly preform hip replacements in the most severe cases of dysplasia.
The consenus was that 1 in 4 dogs of any breed are asymtomatic for hip dysplasia, meaning that
many pet owners have dogs who are dysplastic but will never show signs of it.  The dogs with moderate to severe
dysplasia were the ones these surgeons generally saw and had to manage pain or do surgery with.

THE GREAT DANE IS CURRENTLY RANKED #73 ON THE OFA'S WEBSITE
In reading the column PERCENT DYSPLASTIC, this is where the ranking comes from.
The lower the ranking the better.
OUR PAGE UPDATED FROM OFA INFORMATION 05-05-05
For the most updated information on the breed visit http://www.offa.org

Hip Dysplasia by Breed
Breeds having at least 100 evaluations January 1974 through December 2004
How Prevalent is Hip Dysplasia?
Breed Risk for Hip Dysplasia by Rank
January 1974 through December 2003
Also available as Hip Dysplasia by Breed

Breed
Rank
Number of Evaluations
Percent Excellent
Percent Dysplastic
BULLDOG
1
333
0.0
74.8
PUG
2
288
0.0
60.4
OTTERHOUND
3
251
0.0
51.4
DOGUE DE BORDEAUX
4
201
0.5
50.7
NEAPOLITAN MASTIFF
5
124
0.8
47.6
ST. BERNARD
6
1878
4.2
46.7
CLUMBER SPANIEL
7
534
3.2
45.7
SUSSEX SPANIEL
8
191
1.0
43.5
BOYKIN SPANIEL
9
1614
0.9
39.6
CANE CORSO
10
314
6.1
37.6
BASSET HOUND
11
149
0.0
35.6
ARGENTINE DOGO
12
109
3.7
34.9
AMERICAN BULLDOG
13
1099
4.7
32.8
FRENCH BULLDOG
14
268
1.1
32.5
FILA BRASILEIRO
15
536
7.5
28.7
NORFOLK TERRIER
16
124
0.0
27.4
LOUISIANA CATAHOULA LEOPARD
17
246
8.5
26.8
ENGLISH SHEPHERD
18
172
7.0
26.2
NEWFOUNDLAND
19
11572
7.0
26.0
BLOODHOUND
20
2239
2.3
25.8
AMERICAN STAFFORDSHIRE TERRIER
21
2071
2.0
25.0
BULLMASTIFF
22
4052
3.6
24.4
MAINE COON CAT
23
870
4.4
22.6
CHINOOK
24
240
5.0
22.5
CHESAPEAKE BAY RETRIEVER
25
10043
11.0
21.7
AMERICAN PIT BULL TERRIER
26
433
4.4
21.7
SHILOH SHEPHERD
27
290
5.5
20.7
ROTTWEILER
28
84017
7.8
20.5
GOLDEN RETRIEVER
29
105516
3.4
20.3
CHOW CHOW
30
4488
6.6
20.0
NORWEGIAN ELKHOUND
31
3245
6.6
20.0
GORDON SETTER
32
5075
7.6
19.8
OLD ENGLISH SHEEPDOG
33
9486
10.9
19.2
SHIH TZU
34
553
1.8
19.2
MASTIFF
35
7659
7.3
19.1
KUVASZ
36
1480
12.4
19.1
GERMAN SHEPHERD DOG
37
83746
3.4
19.0
GREATER SWISS MOUNTAIN DOG
38
1417
10.6
19.0
GIANT SCHNAUZER
39
3604
9.2
18.9
HYBRID
40
223
13.5
18.8
FIELD SPANIEL
41
557
6.3
18.7
ENGLISH SETTER
42
7908
8.2
17.4
PEMBROKE WELSH CORGI
43
7568
3.2
17.2
STAFFORDSHIRE BULL TERRIER
44
298
1.0
17.1
BEAGLE
45
492
2.4
16.9
BERNESE MOUNTAIN DOG
46
10122
10.8
16.7
BLACK AND TAN COONHOUND
47
554
8.8
16.4
SPINONE ITALIANO
48
610
17.2
16.4
CARDIGAN WELSH CORGI
49
969
4.3
16.0
BRITTANY
50
13969
7.9
15.5
BEAUCERON
51
219
15.1
15.5
BOUVIER DES FLANDRES
52
6653
5.5
15.4
ENTLEBUCHER
53
182
3.8
15.4
CURLY-COATED RETRIEVER
54
850
7.5
15.2
POLISH LOWLAND SHEEPDOG
55
276
5.8
15.2
NORWICH TERRIER
56
151
4.0
15.2
BRIARD
57
1773
12.1
15.1
PUDELPOINTER
58
259
12.4
14.7
AUSTRALIAN CATTLE DOG
59
2326
3.4
14.4
LEONBERGER
60
909
20.7
14.3
ENGLISH SPRINGER SPANIEL
61
10715
7.9
14.1
HARRIER
62
193
9.3
14.0
WELSH SPRINGER SPANIEL
63
1311
12.7
13.7
PORTUGUESE WATER DOG
64
4647
12.1
13.6
CHINESE SHAR-PEI
65
8541
8.9
13.6
AKITA
66
14200
17.3
13.5
IRISH WATER SPANIEL
67
962
14.9
12.8
POODLE
68
15245
10.6
12.7
TIBETAN MASTIFF
69
591
6.1
12.5
IRISH SETTER
70
9513
8.2
12.5
KOMONDOR
71
831
10.5
12.5
LABRADOR RETRIEVER
72
166501
16.7
12.4
GREAT DANE
73
8906
11.3
11.9
ALASKAN MALAMUTE
74
11905
16.1
11.7
AIREDALE TERRIER
75
4508
7.3
11.7
BORDER COLLIE
76
6303
11.5
11.2
NORWEGIAN BUHUND
77
107
6.5
11.2
SAMOYED
78
13248
9.3
11.2
BOXER
79
3671
3.3
10.9
CAVALIER KING CHARLES SPANIEL
80
3115
4.0
10.7
ANATOLIAN SHEPHERD
81
1159
17.8
10.6
AFFENPINSCHER
82
115
4.3
10.4
AKBASH DOG
83
453
22.1
10.2
PULI
84
1528
15.6
9.9
GREAT PYRENEES
85
4838
13.8
9.3
GERMAN WIREHAIRED POINTER
86
3037
15.7
9.2
PETIT BASSET GRIFFONS VENDEEN
87
412
3.2
9.0
SMOOTH FOX TERRIER
88
189
9.5
9.0
STANDARD SCHNAUZER
89
3182
7.7
8.9
AMERICAN ESKIMO DOG
90
698
7.0
8.7
WEIMARANER
91
9376
20.1
8.7
POINTER
92
1049
12.6
8.3
AMERICAN WATER SPANIEL
93
557
7.4
8.3
NOVA SCOTIA DUCKTOLLING RET.
94
846
13.1
7.3
WIREHAIRED POINTING GRIFFON
95
1232
21.6
7.3
VIZSLA
96
9227
15.7
7.2
TIBETAN SPANIEL
97
223
6.3
7.2
BULL TERRIER
98
102
11.8
6.9
KEESHOND
99
3632
8.1
6.5
KERRY BLUE TERRIER
100
1135
12.4
6.4
LHASA APSO
101
765
13.6
6.3
BEARDED COLLIE
102
3495
14.0
6.3
COCKER SPANIEL
103
9201
10.3
6.2
DOBERMAN PINSCHER
104
11884
17.7
6.1
BICHON FRISE
105
2343
10.7
6.1
TIBETAN TERRIER
106
2820
29.2
6.0
SHIBA INU
107
1967
16.2
5.9
BELGIAN MALINOIS
108
1551
17.2
5.9
AFGHAN HOUND
109
5688
28.6
5.8
AUSTRALIAN SHEPHERD
110
21503
15.0
5.8
IRISH WOLFHOUND
111
1269
26.4
5.8
ENGLISH COCKER SPANIEL
112
5198
16.3
5.7
RHODESIAN RIDGEBACK
113
7945
20.8
5.6
SHETLAND SHEEPDOG
114
13613
27.4
4.9
DALMATIAN
115
2572
8.9
4.9
FINNISH SPITZ
116
270
17.8
4.8
HAVANESE
117
437
10.3
4.8
GERMAN SHORTHAIRED POINTER
118
10968
24.1
4.8
NORTH AMERICAN SHEPHERD
119
316
17.1
4.7
FLAT-COATED RETRIEVER
120
3815
17.2
4.5
SOFT COATED WHEATEN TERRIER
121
4716
16.3
4.4
COTON DE TULEAR
122
220
12.7
4.1
BORDER TERRIER
123
1449
19.0
3.9
BELGIAN TERVUREN
124
4277
24.1
3.6
SCHIPPERKE
125
250
10.4
3.6
IBIZAN HOUND
126
224
35.7
3.1
BASENJI
127
1601
24.3
2.9
BELGIAN SHEEPDOG
128
3106
32.2
2.8
COLLIE
129
2291
27.4
2.8
GREYHOUND
130
275
36.4
2.5
CANAAN
131
317
17.0
2.2
PHARAOH HOUND
132
317
14.2
2.2
AUSTRALIAN TERRIER
133
144
5.6
2.1
SIBERIAN HUSKY
134
14490
32.5
2.0
SALUKI
135
228
44.3
1.8
BORZOI
136
758
30.2
1.8
GERMAN PINSCHER
137
165
25.5
1.2



***************************
Canine Hip Dysplasia and PennHIP
by Patricia Long

reviewed & edited by Dr. Gail Smith, and Dr. Peterson

Genetics is the one area of dog breeding that breeders try hardest to control with the least amount of information. Until genetic markers are found, and testing for those markers becomes standard, there is very little that gives a breeder the ability to control or eliminate genetic defects. For hip dysplasia, however, there now exists a tool that has been proven effective at greatly reducing the incidence of bad hips.

Canine hip dysplasia (HD) is caused when the femoral head does not fit properly in the hip socket, causing instability of the joint. Over time, this malformation can cause degenerative joint disease (DJD) which causes increased pain and immobility. Surgery can help to correct the problem, but can be expensive and stressful for dog and family. Obviously, this is a situation that everyone would like to see eliminated, but how?

Joint laxity has been the only statistically significant predictor of DJD. The tighter the joint, the less likely DJD will occur. Originally, the only means at the breederís disposal was to look at the dogís movement in order to judge whether the hips seemed sound. But many dogs with wretched movement never develop hip problems, and dogs with excellent movement can develop DJD. Next came the x-ray and later the OFA registry. (Actually, a Swedish registry was the first to rank hip x-rays, followed by the UK, and eventually the US and finally Australia). The x-rays are taken with the hip extended, then sent to OFA to be read by 2 radiologists - 3 in the case of a tie. (GDC is similar, except that it is an open registry. It uses the same x-ray positioning as OFA.)

There are several problems with OFA. Positioning of the hips is critical for an accurate reading, and a great deal of variation is possible. Precision and accuracy are difficult to achieve on a seven point scale that is only a little better than a pass/fail where the reading is subjective. Readings done at an early age have little or no correlation to readings done at later ages. Certification cannot be received until the dog is two years old (one year for GDC). And the biggest drawback is that the predictive value of OFA has never been shown. Some dogs with OFA good develop hip problems, and some dogs with OFA bad never have any troubles at all.

PennHIP (from University of Pennsylvania Hip Improvement Program) is a closed registry that was developed by Dr. Gail Smith at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. In studies of the mechanics of the hip joint, Dr. Smith found that the hip extended view could actually mask some of the hip laxity. He determined that a neutral position, where the hips are positioned as though the dog were standing, best showed maximum laxity. An additional benefit of this position is that it produces a much more consistent reading. A distraction index (DI) is then calculated from the x-ray. This is an objective value measuring the percent of potential movement of the femoral head in the hip socket. The smaller the DI, the tighter the hips. So a DI of .23 would be a very tight hip, and a DI of .83 would be an extremely loose hip. But best of all, the readings can be done as early as 4 months; test have shown an extremely high degree of correlation between readings done at 4 months and those done at 2 years using PennHIP methods.

PennHIP requires that all x-rays taken be submitted for a reading; the vet is not permitted to pre-screen. It is hoped that this will allow the database to more accurately reflect the range of DIís for each breed. The relationship between the DI and DJD is breed specific. In other words, a DI of .45 would a high probability for DJD in a breed like German Shepherds, but would just as certainly predict sound hips for a Rottweiler. Currently with 170 Bernese Mountain Dogs in the data base, the DI range is .23 to 1.0 with a median of .56 .

The DI as a measure of passive hip laxity has been shown to have a high heritability. This means that when breeding stock selection is based on hip laxity, the offspring will tend to resemble the parents with respect to hip conformation. In studies with German Shepherd Dogs and Labrador Retrievers, significant improvement in joint laxity was achieved in only 2 generations by always selecting dogs with DIís in the low end of the range for that breeding population. For BMDs, if breeding stock is selected with DIís markedly less than .56, meaningful selection pressure can be brought to bear.

For breeders, PennHIP offers the best tool to date for improving hips. Not only does it offer more sensitive, precise, and consistent readings, but predictability at a much younger age. How often are breeders tempted to breed an excellent bitch at 20 months based on preliminary OFA readings, only to have the same bitch fail to pass at 24 months? Or how about a dog that was easily finished, and campaigned for multiple Best of Breed wins, at considerable time and expense, only to fail OFA? (Any resemblance to actual dogs, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.)

Recent Advances in the Diagnosis of Hip Dysplasia and the Genetic Implications, Gail K Smith, VMD, PhD, 1997.

Genetics of the Dog, Malcolm B Willis, 1989.

Essentials of Small Animal Internal Medicine, Richard W Nelson & C Gullermo Couto, 1992.

Saunders Manual of Small Animal Practice, Stephen J Birchard & Robert G Sherding, 1994.

The Merck Veterinary Manual, seventh edition, 1991.