German Shepherd Hips - XRays - Not sure on their rating - Page 1

Pedigree Database


by cpluspluscrowe on 26 April 2020 - 23:04

I have a few XRays of hips and elbows from when my German Shepherd was a little over two months old. Is this old enough to detect hip dysplasia or elbow issues? If so, can any of you guess what her scores might be, e.g. a1, a2, ect? At the time the vet said her hips and elbows looked good, but I appreciate the german shepherd expertise on this forum. Her mother and father do not have hip or elbow ratings on here, so I wasn't sure.

Gallery of her xrays (hips and elbows on

I appreciate any help or advice.  Maybe it would be a good idea for me to find out how I can have her hips and elbows officially rated.  I regularly run with her so have more concerns about her hip/elbow health.  Thank you and best wishes.



by Sunsilver on 27 April 2020 - 03:04

I have never seen x-rays of a dog's hips that young, so it's difficult to judge how they will look when her bones are fully formed. I THINK they look okay, but can't be sure.

And the other two x-rays are of her hocks, not her elbows!


by Hundmutter on 27 April 2020 - 03:04

Malcolm Willis wrote: "Although at one time HD was called 'congenital' the term is a misnomer. Congenital means present at birth, and at that time the canine hip joint is not properly formed or developed. Hip dysplasia is thus something which becomes more apparent with time, most dogs which show clinical signs do so in mid/late puppyhood."

Most authorities say it is difficult to draw the line between normal and abnormal hips below the age of one year. Which is why the evaluation schemes do not consider X rays taken at less than a year (OFA started on the same track but later upped their rule to TWO years, although you can get 'prelims' done).


Because HD is a complex, multi-factoral condition [and can be a complete crap-shoot], you are best taking care not to run your dog for great lengths of time or distance until she is older and her skeletal and muscular structure have matured enough to take the strain.  Elbow conditions I don't know much about, but because there are an assortment of them I would have thought caution in not over-stressing those would apply too.


by Jenni78 on 27 April 2020 - 22:04

Did you really mean two months? Or two years?


by Sunsilver on 27 April 2020 - 23:04

Jenni, if you look at the x-rays, the pup is obviously 2 months, as none of the bones are fully formed yet.

Really impossible to tell what the hips will look like at 2 years.


by Hundmutter on 28 April 2020 - 03:04

And even with a sufficiently mature young dog, positioning for hip X rays is crucial ! OP I am sure if you surf around PDB for a while you'll find multiple examples of posters' X rays showing how hip pics are positioned / taken. They are not sideways on.


If my vet really thought they could judge hip status from these pics I think I would be looking for a new vet.


by Jenni78 on 29 April 2020 - 21:04

I can't see any x-rays, obviously, or I'd not have asked :p

by Nans gsd on 30 April 2020 - 11:04

To the OP: I would be very careful "running" with your dog at that early of an age; she should not be jogging/running until all joints are fully matured; l-2 years old, teenager stage may be OK. Don't know how far you run with her but just take precautions about joints/hips/elbows with the pounding of those areas when you run a dog. Otherwise BOL with her.

I have actually seen a dog destroyed his hips by running too far too young. Don't think that person x-rayed elbows but probably would have shown some damage also. It would be like someone running a young child before maturity.


by Hundmutter on 30 April 2020 - 12:04

Jenni, the sentence "Gallery of her x rays ..." works as a link. Try the highlight and right-click method ? But you ain't missed much.


by emoryg on 30 April 2020 - 20:04

It appears that she was right at 3 months when they were taken.  With the exception of one pup, they look about the same as any other xrays I have seen at they age.  Yes, HD can be identified at that age by a trained professional.  They prefer you wait until four months for an assessment.  

Here is a link to the OFA website that may help clarify the accuracy of early evaluations.  Note for normal hips, the reliability is near 90% for the 3-6 month age group.  She is now old enough to send hips and elbows off to the OFA for a preliminary evaluation or the SV for the A-stamp program. 

Starting at an early age, normal hips tend to stay normal.  Good luck!


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