What Is Hip and Elbow Dysplasia?

Dysplasia is when cartilage wears down in the socket where your leg bone meets the coccyx. This causes significant pain for your pet in the hips and elbows. Yet, there is a scoring system to check. If you're the proud owner of a canine companion, you may have heard a hip and elbow score before. But what does that mean?

Our veterinarian at Carolina Crossing Veterinary Clinic in Benson, NC, is here to explain in detail. Today we will discuss everything you need to know about the hip and elbow score.  We'll also look at what this score means for your furry companion.

What Is a Hip and Elbow Score?

Essentially, a hip and elbow score rates the health of your dog's joints. This score is determined by X-rays of the hips and elbows, graded on a scale from 0 to 106. This scale is used to judge the degree to which your pet may have dysplasia. It's determined by examining X-rays of your pet's joints to look for any signs of arthritis or other joint problems. The lower the score, the healthier your dog's hips and elbows are likely to be.

How Does Hip and Elbow Screening Work?

When you bring your pet in for screening, what can you expect? There are different grades that our veterinarian can give your dog:

  • Normal Joint Disease: Normal will receive a score of 0. This score means there is no evidence of joint disease on the X-ray.
  • Mild Joint Disease: Mild will receive a score of 1 or 2. There is evidence of joint disease in this case, but it's not severe.
  • Moderate Joint Disease: Moderate will receive a score of 3 or 4. This result shows that joint disease is starting to cause problems for your dog, but it's not yet severe.
  • Severe Joint Disease: Severe will receive a score of 5 or 6. At this point, joint disease is causing significant problems for your dog and may require treatment.

Hip screening can get more detailed with larger numbers and a scoring system reliant on the degree of hip dysplasia. However, our veterinarians attempt to keep it as simple as possible with the 0 to 6 number system, because a more condensed example is easy to understand.

Why Is the Hip and Elbow Score Important?

The hip and elbow tests will help you make informed decisions about your dog's hip and elbow health. For example, if your dog has a low score, their joints are healthy and unlikely to experience any problems in the future.

However, if your dog scores high, they're more likely to experience joint problems or dysplasia. For instance, if your dog has a high hip and elbow score, you may want to consider giving them supplements to improve its joint health. You may also want to avoid activities that could strain their joints, such as running and jumping.

Visit Carolina Crossing Veterinary Clinic for Your Dog's Hip and Elbow Test

If you're concerned about your dog's hip and elbow health, we recommend you bring them in for a hip and elbow test by our highly qualified veterinarian. This quick and easy test gives you peace of mind that your furry friend is healthy.

Contact Carolina Crossing Veterinary Clinic today at (919) 934-7729 to schedule an appointment at our offices in Benson, NC. We'll ensure your dog's hips and elbows are tip-top.

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Monday
8:00 am - 5:30 pm
Tuesday
8:00 am - 5:30 pm
Wednesday
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Thursday
8:00 am - 5:30 pm
Friday
8:00 am - 5:00 pm
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