Mapping Refinement of Quantitative Trait Loci for Canine Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is one of the most common inherited traits in dogs with an extremely high incidence in some large breeds. It is caused by mutations in multiple genes. In previous studies, investigators discovered the genetic markers that point to the chromosomal regions that harbor the genes that contribute to hip dysplasia.

In this study, they will narrow down these regions through additional genetic evaluation. By narrowing the regions that harbor hip dysplasia genes across breeds, they hope to discover the contributing mutations and use that information to design genetic tests that can be used to prevent the propagation of dysplastic dogs.


Researchers identified the first mutation associated with canine hip dysplasia in Labrador retrievers. This mutation could be used in conjunction with a panel of genetic markers to identify susceptible dogs. The team also learned that there is no single gene identified for hip dysplasia in dogs. This study pointed to several other genes that contribute to the disease, and researchers believe they will discover these genes through the process they have developed.

Based on their findings, the researchers hypothesize that identifying dogs that are resistant to hip dysplasia will involve a panel of genetic markers that may be breed specific. Breeders could then use these panels in conjunction with breeding values to genetically screen puppies before the mutations themselves can be identified. This project lead to the discovery of the first gene associated with canine hip dysplasia.

Co-sponsored with the Morris Animal Foundation, Grant Number: D04CA-135


Rory J. Todhunter, BVSc, PhD
Cornell University