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Hi everyone! This is my first time posting a thread, so I hope this works ... I have spoken with several vets and other breeders about these two methods of hip testing, and I decided to give this site a whirl to get all of your opinions. So here's my question: do you have a preference between OFA or Penn Hip for testing? I have received a WIDE variety of opinions, so I am anxious to hear yours! Thank you!
 

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We've kind of discussed this here before but here's my opinion: do both. :)

The reason I say that is that the 2 tests look at different things. The OFA hip x-rays look at how the joint structure is put together - how well-formed the hip joint is and whether or not there are any signs of dysplasia.

Penn-Hip on the other hand looks at the laxity of the hip joint with the idea that a looser joint is going to be more prone to HD.

Both systems have their problems though. OFA's x-ray readings are subjective and there have been times when dogs were rated as dysplastic the first time x-rays are sent but when the same x-rays are sent again, the dog passed. The other problem I have with OFA is that they allow bad results to be suppressed, I really wish that publication of the results was automatic instead of being voluntary.

A problem I have with Penn-Hip is that there is no way to verify where the mean of the scores lies at any given time. Because Penn-Hip is completely closed and not accessible anywhere, it's hard to know what numbers are good. It bothers me that they use the %-iles to let people know where their dog lies in the overall picture. What usually happens is that people post those %-iles and not the actual numbers for each hip so again, so it's hard to tell if the dog might have one really bad hip and one pretty good hip and they just averaged out to the middle ground. Plus, and this one irritates the heck out of me, they use the 100th %-ile. Statistically speaking, there is no way that a dog could ever be at 100%. Think about it for a second, if a dog is in the 100%-ile, that means it is better than 100% of the dogs submitted. Since that number includes the dog itself, it's an impossibility. Yet I have seen it advertised on more than one website! :doh:

I guess though if I had to pick one over the other, I'd go with a final OFA clearance (not just the prelim). It's generally the more "accepted" of the two.
 

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SunKissed Goldens
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Both systems have their problems though. OFA's x-ray readings are subjective and there have been times when dogs were rated as dysplastic the first time x-rays are sent but when the same x-rays are sent again, the dog passed. The other problem I have with OFA is that they allow bad results to be suppressed, I really wish that publication of the results was automatic instead of being voluntary..
This is my problem with OFA and why I'm thinking about doing either both OFA and OVC (canada) or OFA and PennHip. I've had a dog prelim OFA "Mild" and final less than a year later at "Good". I take photos of my xrays before sending them in and to compare them both, they look very similar.
 

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Grumpy Old Man
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Penn HIp, OVC and OFA evaluations are all subjective in nature.

If I resided in Canada I would opt for OVC as it is the standard for that country.

I prefer OFA over Penn Hip for a number of reasons. It is the long established "standard" in the United States, it's ratings are easy to understand by the general public (puppy buyers) and it offers a database that is open to anybody who wishes to check on a dog.

Penn Hip has in some areas become the devils playground. Breeders whose animals fail OFA obtain a Penn Hip score and pass it off as a valid health clearance. They rely on the fact that the public hasn't got a clue about what the score means.

The Penn Hip database is closed so the public cannot check up on a dog, the meaning of the scores or ratings are not easily understood by the general public (puppy buyers), and the rating is not fixed as it changes as the number of dogs of the same breed are tested.

In my experience, OFA has been very consistant, but the evaluators are human and mistakes can be made. That's why there is a procedure in place to re-submit again if something appears questionable. In most cases where the results change, the positioning of the dog wasn't as good as it could have and should have been when the films were shot.

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Hi, Suzie G. and Maggie here

Has any one had an O.F.A hip x-ray done under anesthesia be significantly different than one that was done on the same hip but while the dog was awake ? (some Newf breeders have claimed this and will only x-ray while the dog is awake because they say the hips hyper-relax when the dog is under and this causes the hips to look much looser than it really are- giving a worse reading ? )
 

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Grumpy Old Man
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Hi, Suzie G. and Maggie here

Has any one had an O.F.A hip x-ray done under anesthesia be significantly different than one that was done on the same hip but while the dog was awake ? (some Newf breeders have claimed this and will only x-ray while the dog is awake because they say the hips hyper-relax when the dog is under and this causes the hips to look much looser than it really are- giving a worse reading ? )
There in lies one of the potential issues in using chemical restraint. How much to use?

I won't have my dogs put under anesthesia unless it's absolutely medically necessary. Shooting an OFA film doesn't require chemical restraint if the office is properly equipped and staffed.
 

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Hi, Suzie G. and Maggie here

Barbara -Allen (Newf Breeder ) used to start training her very young puppies to lie still on their backs so that when they were old enough to O.F.A. x-ray it wasn't necessary to give any meds at all. It worked for her. I wish I had remembered this when Maggie was little.(a couch potato she is not !!! :) )
 

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