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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Vet. Sci. | doi: 10.3389/fvets.2019.00422

Heritability of unilateral elbow dysplasia in the dog: A retrospective study of sire and dam influence

  • 1Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, United States
  • 2University of California, Davis, United States
  • 3Department of Animal Science, University of California, Davis, United States

Canine elbow dysplasia is a significant health issue affecting many breeds. Unfortunately, treatments remain relatively limited, so control of this disease often falls to selectively breeding for dogs with normal elbows. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the heritability of left-sided versus right-sided elbow dysplasia, and to assess potential differential sire and the dam influence on offspring elbow status. In a retrospective study, elbow data from 130,117 dogs over 2 years old representing 17 breeds were obtained from the database of the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals and included in the study. Heritability estimates for unilateral elbow dysplasia varied between breeds (ranging from 0.01 to 0.36) and were similar between the left and right elbows. The estimated genetic correlation between disease in the left and right elbow approximated 1 in the majority of breeds, with the exception of the hybrids, Australian Shepherds, and the Australian Cattle Dogs, likely due to low numbers of affected individuals. The sire and dam had equal impact on the offspring’s elbow status. Furthermore, there was no increased risk for the sire or dam to pass on the same unilaterality of their elbow dysplasia to their offspring. However, the overall risk of elbow dysplasia in the offspring did increase when one or both parents were affected, though this also varied based on breed. Understanding of the impact that the sire and dam have on the offspring and of the overall heritability of both bilateral and unilateral elbow dysplasia is important in guiding breeding decisions to reduce the incidence in future generations of dogs.

Keywords: Elbow dysplasia, Heritabiity, dog, Sire effect, Breeds

Received: 03 Sep 2019; Accepted: 08 Nov 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Baers, Keller, Famula and Oberbauer. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Anita Oberbauer, University of California, Davis, Department of Animal Science, Davis, 95616, CA, United States,