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South African Boerboel Association

Hip Dysplasia
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The current state of hip health within the Boerboel Breed is poor.  Most have dealt with, or been close to, more than they wish to deal with in regards to Hip Dysplasia.

 

HD is a condition which plagues large breed dogs in varying degrees. The Boerboel has been stated as having more than 80% occurrence rate. This number has not been verified, and has been suspect as being higher. This also indicates it is much more likely that a Boerboel will have some degree of dysplasia than the chances of being HD free.

 

Studies contained within veterinary databases have clearly indicated that hip dysplasia is a genetically inherited condition with an undetermined amount of variables. Environmental conditions play a role in the degree of condition, but the condition itself is inherited.

 

As owners and breeders, there should be open discussion regarding ‘why’ and opinions expressed on procedures to reduce this high occurrence rate.

 

South Africa has a grading system (SA KUSA) to identify the presence/degree of HD. The OFA and alternate associations have done the same. Most of us have questioned how they compare. What exactly is a 2/2 hip compared to OFA?

 

Below is a descriptive comparison chart provided by Prof. Robert M Kirberger.  Please note that Prof. Kirberger is certifying physician for hips in South Africa. The standards for acceptable breeding grades are NOT set by the certifying physician, this is usually done by the parent / breed registry.

 

 

INTERNATIONAL HIP GRADING SCHEMES

 

Source: Breeder/Owner Symposium, Hereditary Conditions in Dogs, Prof. Robert M Kirberger, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria, South Africa

Adpated from FCI, BVA and OFA data

 

Classification

FCI
Classification

South Africa
KUSA

United States
of America

OFA

United Kingdom,
Australia & New
Zealand

BVA (0-106)

Sweden
&

Finland

No signs of
hip dysplasia

A1

0

Excellent

0

A

A2

Good

0 – 6

B

 

Transitional
case

B1

Fair

6 – 12

UA

B2

1

Borderline

12 – 18

C

 

Mild
hip dysplasia

C1

Mild

18 – 24

C2

24 – 30

 

Moderate hip dysplasia

D1

2

Moderate

30 – 42

D

D2

42 – 54

 

Severe
hip dysplasia

E1

3

Severe

54 – 66

E

E2

4

66+

 

In a breeding dog, up to a 2:2 hip status is accepted by all the boerboel associations and KUSA as a good hip.. Each hip and joint is appointed a grade, resulting in a final grade which appears as 0:0 (left hip 0, right hip 0) , 2:1 (left hip 2, right hip 1) etc.

 

It is not certain how many owners/breeders were actually aware of this rating in comparison to the OFA or other methods of certification.  

 

The sad truth is that this history of acceptable hip grades has deeply rooted HD into the breed as a genetic characteristic.

 

Based on current hip stats recorded of known boerboels, one could speculate that the ‘average’ Boerboel is mildly to moderately dysplastic.

 

The concern becomes that if this is the case, then a large (horrifically large 80%) portion of the North American boerboel population would not pass OFA certification. All Boerboels considered for breeding would have to have 0:0 certified hips comparing the SA KUSA method.

 

North American puppy buyers will also continue to import dysplastic pups if the SABT, HBSA and other south african registries don’t change their policies on acceptable hip grades for breeding dogs.

 

The breed is currently widely diverse in characteristics. Temperament, Structure and Functional Ability have all been high areas of concern. These traits are also scrutinized by breeders when selecting and assessing breeding quality Boerboels, which further eliminates dogs from the genepool. Current questions should include how to return hip health to the breed while preserving the other characteristics which were already endangered.

 

It would be of benefit to hear what owners and breeders opinions are on this subject.

 

The SABA has reviewed this and would like us to conduct a vote:

 

Should the SABA recommended guideline remain at hip grading of 2:2 hips?

Or should the SABA change the accepted grade to 1:1?

 

Please vote yes or no for the change and indicate an explanation why.

Send your reply to  southafricanboerboels@yahoogroups.com

 

 

"Other breed groups suffering from high occurrence rates of HD have successfully shown reduction in control groups by allowing transitional and minor (OFA borderline and HD1) grades into the breeding programs when bred to dogs of better hip health. This controlled system attempts to retain other breed specific characteristics while continuing to improve hip health and further decrease the odds. The goal is to retain the structure/ability of the breed and slowly raise the bar on hip health without drastic restrictions on allowable hips."