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Home » Pumi health

Analysis of canine hip dysplasia in the Finnish pumi population

Submitted by on Apr 16, 2010 – 3:24 PMNo Comment
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In the final part of our series on canine hip dysplasia, we will consider its significance in breeding programs by revealing the findings of our extensive research into the hip dysplasia situation in the Finnish pumi population.

Screened mating combinations in Finland

From the time when the first tests were conducted in 1986 until the end of 2005 altogether 194 pumi litters and 1084 pumi puppies were born in Finland from HD-tested parents. This means 40.6% of all pumi litters, and 42.6% of all pumi puppies ever born in Finland. Approximately 97% of the current potential breeding stock of Finland was born from screened parents.

The 1084 pumi puppies sired and dammed by screened pumis were born from the following HD combinations (we did not differentiate between mirror combinations, e.g. B+C or C+B).

Diagram 1

Currently we can compare the HD results of 254 descendants (23.5%) with their parents’. However, in some combinations there were so few data fro analysis that they cannot be regarded as statistically significant. So from further analysis we excluded the A/B/C+ua combinations, as well as the C+C and A+D combinatios – altogether nearly 30 puppies. In all other combinations there are on average 45 screened descendants (about 23% of all the puppies born per combination) whose results can be compared with their parents’.

Before we move on, however, I would like to state that due to the complex nature of the disease, the questions about the way it is inherited and affected by the environment, the following statistical analysis is only informative and no far-reaching conclusions can or should be drawn based on it.

Hip dysplasia trends in the descendants of screened parents

As our studies of the results of pumis born after screened parents revealed, no moderate or severe cases of dysplasia have been reported so far from an A+A combination, while in all other combinations there is a significant 4-8% rate.

Diagram 2

We were also interested to see the trends of HD results over more than one generation, therefore, we studied 101 HD-tested Finnish pumis with not only tested parents but also at least three tested grandparents. These pumis were born of ancestors with HD grades A, B, C or ua., and there was maximum one grandparent with no result. After comparing the results of the descendants and the ancestors we found that 89% of the descendants had the same, or better results than the ancestors, 5% of the descendants showed some minor decline but still within the acceptable categories, and only 6% (basically 6 dogs) showed a significant deterioration in their results.

Although these six dogs were born in six different pumi kennels, we found several common bloodlines, and in some cases a very close relationship, between them. In the following figure we included the illustrated pedigrees of these six dogs in such a way that we applied the same colour to the same ancestor (or a littermate of the ancestor) consistently. We marked with an “x” all the ancestors whose bloodline is affected by HD since
- they are known to have ill siblings, and/or
- they, or their siblings are known to have ill descendants.

In view of this information, perhaps it is not so unexpected to find the occurrence of this disease in these bloodline combinations:

Diagram 3


There is no substitute for genetic screening and refraining from breeding, no matter how attractive a particular mating might be unless there is a clear indication that the parents and preferably even their siblings are free of hip dysplasia. To that end, we support the concept of open registries and place the blame for much of the genetic disease we find squarely on the shoulders of individual breeders and the various registries that have the power to make a difference. However, in breeds with as small population
as the Hungarian pumi, the need to maintaindiversity can be working against selection for hip dysplasia. We recommend that a healthy balance is found and maintained up to a later point when the genetic pool of the breed allows for more rigorous selection processes.


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