General statement regarding HD screening
Based on the information in the document “Information and policy regarding HD”, the Scientific Committee of the Nordic Kennel Union, NKU/VK, would like to make the following general statement regarding HD screening:
The Nordic HD screening programmes are comprehensive, transparent and unique with respect to harmonisation and calibration. NKU/VK would like to emphasise that the primary aim of HD screening is to use the screening records as basis for selection of breeding animals in order to gradually reduce the proportion of dogs showing clinical signs of HD. Research indicates that dogs with moderate and severe HD at screening have markedly increased risk of clinical problems related to HD, compared with dogs assessed as free or mild. Hence, the breeding programme should first and foremost aim for a decreased prevalence of dogs graded as D and E.
Although HD screening gives an indication of hip joint quality, it is not possible to determine the individual’s clinical hip status based on the radiographic status alone. The strength of this kind of screening is the possibility to screen a large number of dogs, in relatively simple and cost-efficient way, thereby providing a reliable basis for genetic evaluation of breeding animals and of the breed as a whole. Screening programmes for HD have successfully reduced the prevalence of HD in many breeds. However, for continued progress application of breeding indices offer a more accurate tool for evaluation and selection of breeding animals. Therefore, when available selection should be based on breeding indices rather than screening records for individual dogs. For improved accuracy of breeding indices, screening a large part of the population is of great value.
Hip dysplasia is one of many traits to consider in the overall breeding programme. Measures against HD should be prioritised with respect to other traits and breed-specific needs and conditions.