To determine whether age, breed, sex, weight, or distraction index (DI) was associated with the risk that dogs of 4 common breeds (German Shepherd Dog, Golden Retriever, Labrador Retriever, Rottweiler) would have radiographic evidence of degenerative joint disease (DJD) associated with hip dysplasia.

Cross-sectional prevalence study.

15,742 dogs.

Hips of dogs were evaluated radiographically by use of the ventrodorsal hip-extended view, the compression v ew, and the distraction view. The ventrodorsal hip-extended view was examined to determine whether dogs had DJD. For each breed, a multiple logistic regression model incorporating age, sex, weight, and DI was created. For each breed, disease-susceptibility curves were produced, using all dogs, regardless of age, and dogs grouped on the basis of age.

Weight and DI were significant risk factors for DJD in all breeds. For German Shepherd Dogs, the risk of having DJD was 4.95 times the risk for dogs of the other 3 breeds combined. In all breeds, the probability of having DJD increased with age.

Results indicated that the probability of having hip DJD increased with hip joint laxity as measured by use of DI. This association was breed-specific, indicating that breed-specific information on disease susceptibility should be incorporated when making breeding decisions and when deciding on possible surgical treatment of hip dysplasia.