Elbow Grades 2010-2019 (Updated 2020)
Elbow grading of Giant Schnauzers is currently a health screening test available in addition to the required and recommended tests for this breed in the UK. Elbows are graded from 0-3 to determine the presence of elbow dysplasia (abnormal growth in the elbow joint); with 0 being normal, 1 mild, 2 moderate, and 3 severe. If one of the elbows is a higher grade than the other, the highest score is used for the overall grade. Since 2010 there has been an increased uptake of dogs being elbow graded via the BVA health testing scheme, enabling statistical analysis to commence. The graph below shows a summary of elbow grades per year since the first elbows for Giant Schnauzers were graded in 2010 via the BVA health testing scheme, and recorded by the UK Kennel Club. So far 55 Giants have been elbow graded compared to 295 dogs that were used for breeding during 2010 up to the end of 2019. The majority were elbow graded 0, and 5.5% (3/55) of those graded were a grade 1. No elbows were graded above 1. During 2018 & 2019 the number of Giants that were elbow graded is comparatively similar to the number of Giants that were hip scored, indicating that those who hip score are now elbow grading also.
The chart below shows the proportion of Giant Schnauzers (males and females) that have been elbow graded between 2010 and 2019 compared with the number of dogs used for breeding i.e. 18.6% of breeding dogs have been elbow graded. Although the number of dogs being tested is beginning to increase a larger proportion of the breeding population require testing before a more accurate elbow grade status can be seen and to enable the use of estimated breeding values for the Giant Schnauzer.
In November 2013 the Kennel Club and BVA issued new guidelines for breeding, recommending that breeders wishing to reduce the risk of elbow dysplasia should select their breeding stock (both dogs and bitches) from animals with an overall grade of 0.