Hip dysplasia certification schemes (US)
Dysplasia is the abnormal development of a structure, in this instance the hip joint. This malformation of the joint often leads to degenerative or arthritic changes in mature animals. Futhermore, x-ray changes do not always mean the animal will have clinical signs of lameness. Nonetheless, most veterinary specialists would recommend x-rays and assessment of family histories of disease in dogs prior to breeding in an effort to reduce the incidence of this condition. Hip dysplasia certification schemes have been introduced to identify dogs at an early stage so that they can be prevented from breeding and passing the condition to their puppies. These schemes have been widely adopted by several breed societies.