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What Are The Different Levels of Hip Dysplasia in My Dog?

What Are The Different Levels of Hip Dysplasia in My Dog?

Part of the diagnosing process will determine the level of hip dysplasia your dog has, this can be anything from incidental or mild to severe.

Hip dysplasia is an inherited condition, and certain dog breeds such as Labradors, Retrievers, Border Collies and German Shepherds are particularly at risk from developing it. For this reason, if you are considering breeding from your dog, you should first get x-rays of their hips.

Hip Score (in UK)

Here in the UK the x-rays should then be submitted to the BVA/KC Hip Dysplasia Scheme to be ‘scored’. The hip score is made up of the total number of points given for different features (there are 9) in the hip joint. The lower the score the better. The minimum score for each hip is 0 and the maximum is 53, giving a range for the total score of 0 to 106.

Similarly, if you are considering buying a puppy you should also check the hip scores of each parent, as this will have a direct impact on whether or not your puppy is at risk of developing it too. No responsible breeder will breed from a dog who has an abnormal hip score.


In the USA, hips are classified by grade by the OFA instead. There are 7 grades from Excellent through to Severe.

Read more about Dog Hip Dysplasia Causes, Prevention and How to Help at home 

Previous article Cara is a 14 year old German Shepherd. She regularly sees the vet and has rear knuckling linked to the typical GSD weak hips / neuropathy and some osteoarthritis. What would you recommend?
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