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INFLUENCE OF FEMORAL HEAD AND NECK CONFORMATION ON HIP DYSPLASIA IN THE GERMAN SHEPHERD DOG

Authors

  • ANTJE WIGGER,

    1. Department for Veterinary Clinical Science, Small Animal Clinic-Surgery, Justus –Liebig University, Frankfurter Straße 108, 35392 Giessen, Germany, and
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  • BERND TELLHELM,

    1. Department for Veterinary Clinical Science, Small Animal Clinic-Surgery, Justus –Liebig University, Frankfurter Straße 108, 35392 Giessen, Germany, and
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  • MARTIN KRAMER,

    1. Department for Veterinary Clinical Science, Small Animal Clinic-Surgery, Justus –Liebig University, Frankfurter Straße 108, 35392 Giessen, Germany, and
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  • HEIKE RUDORF

    1. Department for Veterinary Clinical Science, Small Animal Clinic-Surgery, Justus –Liebig University, Frankfurter Straße 108, 35392 Giessen, Germany, and
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  • Presented in part at the annual scientific meeting of the European Association of Veterinary Diagnostic Imaging, Thessaloniki, Greece, 29 August–1 September, 2007.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Antje Wigger, at the above address. E-mail: antje.wigger@vetmed.uni-giessen.de

Abstract

We investigated the prevalence of an anatomic variant of the proximal femur, termed the broomstick-like femoral head and neck formation, and its influence on the Féderation Cynologique Internationale (FCI) hip dysplasia score in 294 German Shepherd dogs. One-hundred and eighty (61%) of the 294 dogs in our study had this anatomic variant. The calculated area of the femoral heads in dogs with a broomstick-like conformation was 4.5±0.6 cm2 on the hip-extended view. In dogs with a normal femoral head, the calculated area of the femoral head was significantly larger at 4.8±0.6 cm2 (P<0.05). In the frog-leg view, there was no significant difference in femoral head area between dogs with the broomstick-like conformation and normal dogs. There was no difference in the antetorsion angle between dogs with broomstick-like conformation and normal dogs. There was also no difference in the distraction ratio between the two phenotypes. The official FCI hip score was similar in dogs with and without the broomstick-like conformation. The average heritability of the broomstick-like conformation was 0.3±0.1, suggesting heritable influence. We conclude that the broomstick-like conformation is a common finding in the German shepherd dog and has genetic base. The broomstick-like conformation does not appear to be associated with the presence of canine hip dysplasia and it can therefore be assumed to be a normal anatomic variant.

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