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Advice about Labrador hip scores

(43 Posts)
Hipscoreunsure Thu 17-Sep-15 12:31:43

hello, I wonder if anyone can advise me re: Lab hip scores.

We're supposed to be bringing home our lab puppy tomorrow.

His mum is a lovely looking black lab but she hasn't been hip/elbow scored or eye tested and isn't KC registered. She is a family pet.

His father is a KC registered chocolate Lab from a good breeder and his hip scores are 7:6 and he has clear eyes. We don't have an elbow score for him though.

Does this sound okay? Today I've been reading a lot about bringing your puppy home etc and labs in general and I've come across a lot of people who say that you shouldn't get a lab pup unless both parents are tested and have good results. Now I'm worried that we haven't done our research properly!

The owners seem very nice, the mum is a lovely dog and the puppies look healthy and happy. Just not sure how important it is to have scores from both parents?

Any advice would be much appreciated!

Lonecatwithkitten Thu 17-Sep-15 12:57:04

Ideally the total score should be less than the breed mean score and even. Currently the lab breed mean score is 10, and 3:3 is better than 4:2.??There are labs out there with zero scores so I would want know what was so good about the dog with a score of 13 that made them use him. What are Mum's scores if she is a zero that would help. ??

Lonecatwithkitten Thu 17-Sep-15 12:58:18

Ah I see no scores from Mum. Personally I would never recommend buy a lab pup which both parents have not been at least hip scored, ideally both would have hip, elbow and eye scores.

Hipscoreunsure Thu 17-Sep-15 13:20:59

The father (of our pup) is from a breeder that we've researched before.
Their website says he is also the father of another litter born recently (the mother of that litter is one of their own too).

He's a beautiful pup but I've read awful stories about poor Labs with Hip Dysplasia and the lack of scores from mum (and not great ones from dad) has worried me a bit.

Lonecatwithkitten Thu 17-Sep-15 13:26:06

Hip dysplasia can be a devastating potentially life shortening disease in dogs. Hip scoring does it prevent it, but can reduce the likelihood. Having a dog with hip dysplasia is very expensive.??Those are the facts.??As I vet I see dogs who a relatively unaffected by their hip dysplasia and those who are crippled have multiple surgeries and ultimately have shorter life due to intractable pain.??Truthfully only you can weigh up the facts and make the decisions.

Lonecatwithkitten Thu 17-Sep-15 13:26:51

Sorry hip scoring does not prevent hip dysplasia, but reduces the likelihood.

Floralnomad Thu 17-Sep-15 13:28:40

It sounds like the owners of both of these dogs are very irresponsible breeding from them , there are loads of Labrador pups and you would be better off waiting for one from a reputable breeder who does all the checks , there are no guarantees with any live animal but at least you start off from a better place . Just out of interest is this pup a lot cheaper than other lab pups ?

Booboostwo Thu 17-Sep-15 13:40:27

There is no excuse for breeding without all health screening available for the breed. No one can guarantee a healthy puppy but the breeder can take reasonable steps to minimise risks. I know it will be hard to do but walk away now, if your does get hip dysphasia you will feel the heartache a thousand times more.

Hipscoreunsure Thu 17-Sep-15 14:17:24

Thank you for the replies everyone.

Flora He is £550. We've seen lab pups anywhere from £300 to £900 since we've been looking over the past few months.

MsAdorabelleDearheartVonLipwig Thu 17-Sep-15 14:26:55

We paid that for our pedigree KC registered pup who came from pedigree KC registered parents with full health checks. I wouldn't be paying that for yours! Bloody cheek of them.

Hipscoreunsure Thu 17-Sep-15 14:33:15

Thanks Adora. Is your pup a Labrador?

I think I've said this to you before under a different name but I absolutely love your username!

daisydotandgertie Thu 17-Sep-15 15:05:26


Buying a labrador puppy from a breeder who has not done any tests at all on the bitch, who has been mated to a dog with less than ideal hip scores and no elbows is just a disaster waiting to happen.

I breed labradors, so have very strong opinions but the dam and sire should also be scored for EIC, CNM, prcd-PRA and SD2 as well as having hip and elbow scores and in date eye certificate.

I would expect to pay between £700 - £800 for a top class labrador puppy who has been raised by a committed, knowledgable breeder - with no price difference between colours or sex.

Floralnomad Thu 17-Sep-15 15:10:41

Sorry to derail the thread slightly but having asked about price I just looked on a website ( champ dogs) to see what prices they are and that made me wonder how often these hip scores should be redone as lots of the dogs on there seem to have fairly poor scores which are from 2012 / 2013 so to a lay person like myself I wonder if the up to date scores would be a lot worse ?

daisydotandgertie Thu 17-Sep-15 15:23:33

Hip and elbow scores can only be done once in a dog's life - they can't be done until a dog is a year old, so are often taken just after that. They are often given as a 2/6 type number, but a breeder will take the total given, so 8 in this case to calculate whether the dog is sound for breeding.

Scores are from 0 - 53, with 53 being the worst per hip, so the worst possible combined score is 106. Breed average is about 16 IIRC, so any combined score higher than this would indicate worse than average hips.

So, theoretically, a combined score of up to about 16 is OK - but in practice I don't know anyone who would use a dog with a score of 10 or more.

Eye certificates are like an MOT, and are only valid for a year. They should be renewed annually.

Floralnomad Thu 17-Sep-15 15:42:07

Thanks that's interesting ,but is it fair to assume that if a dogs scores were 3/12 in 2013 that they would be worse if tested in 2015 ?

Lonecatwithkitten Thu 17-Sep-15 15:58:16

To obtain hip/elbow scores x-Rays are taken and submitted to the BVA/KC panel of orthopaedic vets for scoring. These thrn stand for the dog's lifetime. These scores are for the basics anatomical features of the hips measurements are made of angles, lengths etc. Whilst age related changes may occur in the joints the basic anatomical features that provide the scores are not altered with age.??So the score in 2013 will be the score in 2015.

daisydotandgertie Thu 17-Sep-15 15:58:23

No - I think you might have missed the first part of my post!

A dog is only allowed to be hip and elbow scored once in it's life, and it can't be scored until it has reached a year old, so they will never be permitted to be tested in 2013 and 2015.

I can't think of a situation where it would be permitted for a dog to be retested. Even if the X-rays were rejected by the BVA, the scores would only be issued on receipt of an acceptable X-ray.

What have you seen which is making you wonder?

MsAdorabelleDearheartVonLipwig Thu 17-Sep-15 16:04:40

Hipscore grin

Yes he is a lab. His breeder was recommended to me by a lovely lady on here actually. His dad is a stud dog with competitive success, winnings etc and all health checks and his mum is a lovely family pet with a good bloodline and all health checks. She's just the right build and temperament and he's just like her. He's perfect. And I have Mumsnet to thank. grin

Floralnomad Thu 17-Sep-15 16:08:58

lonecat has answered my query ,thanks .

MsAdorabelleDearheartVonLipwig Thu 17-Sep-15 16:14:39

Just to derail slightly, is it worth having a dog hip scored even if you never intend to breed from it? Would it give any indication of the likelihood of future hip problems?

Lonecatwithkitten Thu 17-Sep-15 16:20:44

MsAdorable it is a matter of balances to obtain the x-Ray in a manner which is safe to the staff of the practice (a legal requirement by HSE) the dog must be sedated to obtain the x-Rays. So you have to balance that in a clinically normal dog that will not be breed from.??Even if the x-Rays show HD that is only half the picture there is so much individual variation in how it affects dogs that the x-Ray is not a predictor of clinical disease. I have seen crippled dogs with relatively minor changes and dogs with both hips luxated walking around with no problem. If I have one patient ( who will never be breed from) who consistently wins at shows who on x-Ray had some of the most shocking hips I have ever seen.

MsAdorabelleDearheartVonLipwig Thu 17-Sep-15 17:25:08

So it's more of a guideline for consideration when breeding puppies than any actual use? grin Just wondered if it was something I should consider but obviously not.

hennipenni Thu 17-Sep-15 17:39:44

We have a 2 year old rescue lab with bilateral hip dysplacia and elbow dysplacia. Please think very carefully about purchasing this puppy. Luckily our girl is insured and her condition is managed very well, she has to go to hydro to build up her muscle tone, has to be kept very very lean weight wise, is on joint supplements and we have to regulate her exercise very well otherwise she becomes stuff and limps. She's managed well and us pain free at the moment but the moment she outs on the tiniest bit of weight it's very noticeable as she will struggle. Eventually she will need surgery in her elbow and possibly her hips. She has a good quality of life with us but we know that we will do the responsible thing when the time comes and she can't cope anymore.

Lonecatwithkitten Thu 17-Sep-15 17:41:24

That's it a method of risk assessment for selecting breeding dogs. When the scheme first start the annual breed mean score for Labradors in the first year was 45, last year it was 10 there has been a big improvement.

Hipscoreunsure Thu 17-Sep-15 17:49:25

Ah, he's a lovely lab Adora!

Thank you for the advice everyone.

The puppy's mum is a pedigree from good stock apparently (and she certainly looks it) but I realise that we have no way to check her history ourselves sad

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