Chronology of hip dysplasia development in a cohort of 48 Labrador retrievers followed for life

Vet Surg. 2012 Jan;41(1):20-33. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-950X.2011.00935.x.


Objective: To determine the chronology of radiographic signs of canine hip dysplasia (CHD), specifically joint laxity and secondary osteoarthritis (OA).

Study design: Longitudinal cohort study.

Animals: Paired littermates, 48 Labrador retrievers.

Methods: Conventional, ventrodorsal, hip-extended (HE) radiographs were evaluated yearly for CHD according to the subjective criteria of the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA). PennHIP screening was performed at 2 years of age to assess joint laxity by distraction index (DI). Histopathologic evaluation of coxofemoral joints was performed at the dogs' natural end of life.

Results: Coxofemoral subluxation, as identified on the HE radiograph occurred by 2 years of age and not thereafter. Accuracy of OFA-criteria scoring was poor: 55% of dogs scored "normal" at 2 years of age became radiographically dysplastic by the end of life (45% negative predictive value, NPV); 92% of the dogs scored as normal at 2 years of age had histopathologic OA of CHD (8% NPV). The DI predicted all 48 dogs to be susceptible to OA of CHD and 98% had radiographic or histopathologic OA by the end of life.

Conclusion: OFA-criteria score was profoundly influenced by environmental factors, such as diet restriction and age, reducing its value as a selection criterion. DI measurements were not influenced by dietary treatment suggesting higher trait heritability.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cohort Studies
  • Dogs
  • Female
  • Hip Dysplasia, Canine / pathology*
  • Hip Joint / pathology
  • Longevity
  • Male
  • Osteoarthritis, Hip / pathology
  • Osteoarthritis, Hip / veterinary