Hip dysplasia in labrador retrievers: the effects of age at scoring
Selective breeding policies for preventing or controlling hip dysplasia require accurate estimates of parameters in offspring/parental relationships and estimates of heritability. Recent literature includes some major studies of pedigree breeds of dog, using data derived from the hip dysplasia screening scheme set up by the British Veterinary Association. These publications have not taken into account the age of the animals when they were screened. This study analyses the data from 29,213 labrador retrievers whose ages were known when they screened. The mean hip score of the dogs was positively and significantly correlated with their age. If this relationship with age is ignored, various offspring/parental relationships and the estimates of heritability are likely to be distorted.
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