The value of PennHIP goes far beyond breeding
it is useful for evaluating any dog with the potential of
developing hip dysplasia.
Dr. Barr is certified
as a PennHIP veterinarian.
For more details visit the PennHIP website
What is Hip Dysplasia?
is a genetic/heritable condition causing arthritis or degenerative
joint disease of the hip joints. It affects every breed of dog but
is most commonly seen in large and giant breeds. Hip Dysplasia can
be seen in very young dogs or it can develop in a more chronic
form as a dog ages. It is one of the most common and
debilitating diseases seen in large breed dogs today.
What is PennHIP?
A scientific method to evaluate a
dog for his susceptibility to develop Hip Dysplasia. The technique
involves taking several different radiographic evaluations of the
hip joints in order to predict the probability of a dog developing
hip dysplasia during his life.
"Passive hip laxity" can be
measured with one of the specific positioning techniques. The
degree of "passive hip laxity" is an important factor in
determining the susceptibility in developing Hip Dysplasia. The
protocol was developed at The University of Pennsylvania, hence the
How does PennHIP differ from OFA?
PennHIP evaluations allow viewing
the geometry of the hip joint.
Distraction x-ray views of the
hip joint allow evaluation of the laxity of structures that hold
the joint together.
Compression views indicate the
amount of joint fluid present to lubricate the joint.
Using all of this information
together has been shown to be a more reliable indicator of future
hip dysplasia. Also, PennHIP evaluations can be done as young as 16
weeks of age, much sooner than the OFA standard of 2 years of
The evaluation process of the x-rays
is under strict scientific protocol and interpretation will
not vary with the radiologist reading the films. Also, individual
dogs are measured against dogs of the same breed.
Even though we
cannot change the genetic makeup of a dog, by using preventative
medicine such as joint supplements and appropriate environmental
management, you could lessen or slow down the process of hip
degeneration in you dog if he/she has the genetic predisposition to