Breeding implications resulting from classification of patellae luxation in dogs

E.M. van Grevenhof, H.A.W. Hazewinkel, H.C.M. Heuven*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Patellar luxation (PL) is one of the major hereditary orthopaedic abnormalities observed in a variety of dog breeds. When the patellae move sideways out of the trochlear groove, this is called PL. The PL score varies between dogs from normal to very severe. Reducing the prevalence of PL by breeding could prevent surgery, thereby improve welfare. Orthopaedic specialists differentiate between normal and loose patellae, where the patellae can be moved to the edge of the trochlear groove, considering scoring loose patellae as normal in the future. Loose patellae are considered acceptable for breeding so far by the breeding organization. The aim of this study was to analyse the genetic background of PL to decide on the importance of loose patellae when breeding for healthy dogs. Data are available from two dog breeds, that is Flat-coated Retrievers (n = 3808) and Kooiker dogs (n = 794), with a total of 4602 dogs. Results show that loose patellae indicate that dogs are genetically more susceptible to develop PL because family members of the dogs with loose patellae showed more severe PL. In addition, the estimated breeding values for dogs with loose patellae indicate that breeding values of dogs with loose patellae were worse than breeding values obtained for dogs with a normal score. Given these results, it is advised to orthopaedic specialists to continue to score loose patellae as a separate class and to dog breeders to minimize the use of dogs in breeding with a genetically higher susceptibility for PL
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)316-322
JournalJournal of Animal Breeding and Genetics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • breeding values
  • dogs
  • genetics
  • loose patellae
  • patellae luxation


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