New website to help dog owners combat dysplasia

The launch of the Cornell Estimated Breeding website is predicted to help dog owners and breeders to better understand the issues surrounding hip and elbow health in some purebred dogs.

On the site, the public and stud dog breeders can find out about the risk of hip or elbow malformation in individual dogs. This helps people to avoid buying dogs whose bloodline has a strong history of dysplasia.

As well as the database, there is detailed information about the breeds of dogs that have an increased risk of hip or elbow dysplasia. The conclusions are based on the over one million records that have been gathered since 1974.

This very large data pool goes a long way to providing accurate conclusions. It will enable people who want to buy a purebred dog or breed one to factor in the risk of dysplasia and make an informed decision about which breed to buy.

The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) has gathered much of this data. Dog owners and breeders who want their pooches to be added to the dysplasia free register take their animals to the vet at age two. An x-ray is taken along with tests, and it is these results that make up the core of the database.

It is hoped that sharing this information will help to further reduce the number of purebred dogs with orthopaedic problems. Dysplasia is a disease that can to a large extent be bred out of a breed, so there is no need for a new generation of dogs to be born with this health issue.