Why not PennHIP? (A question for US breeders)

View Poll Results: Why do you use OFA versus PennHIP for hips?

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  • Cost prohibitive

    1 8.33%
  • No PennHIP certified vet in the area

    1 8.33%
  • PennHIP ratings could change due to more dogs being scored

    1 8.33%
  • Prefer OFA's rating system (good, fair, etc.)

    7 58.33%
  • Other

    2 16.67%
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Thread: Why not PennHIP? (A question for US breeders)

  1. #1
    YellowJakesMom's Avatar
    YellowJakesMom is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultWhy not PennHIP? (A question for US breeders)

    Just curious. Please feel free to elaborate - in fact I would be very appreciative of all the elaboration you have time for

    Note: Not looking to start a debate, just looking for reasons as to why this hasn't caught on more among lab people.

    Only after the last tree has been cut down, only after the last river has been poisoned, only after the last fish has been caught, only then will you find that money cannot be eaten. - Cree prophecy

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  3. #2
    Canyon Labradors's Avatar
    Canyon Labradors is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Why not PennHIP? (A question for US breeders)

    For me, I am doing what everyone else is doing. My dog's lineage is trackable through OFA. I don't want to change from that. It's kind of like UKC. I have registered my dogs with them, even though their lines go way back with AKC. It would be like abandoning AKC and only doing UKC, and I would lose all that history.

  4. #3
    YellowJakesMom's Avatar
    YellowJakesMom is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Why not PennHIP? (A question for US breeders)

    Interesting! Obviously from the poll I hadn't thought of that reason (Scribbling notes...)

    Only after the last tree has been cut down, only after the last river has been poisoned, only after the last fish has been caught, only then will you find that money cannot be eaten. - Cree prophecy

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    meandclint is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Why not PennHIP? (A question for US breeders)

    OFA is a great tool and reliable - lay down, snap a pic, relatively small fee, and send it in for grading all with no anesthesia. PennHip is a terrific method but setting up the appointment with a specialist and the cost is what stops me. If I had two pups I was running on and couldn't decide I would do PennHip at around 5 months and that would help make the decision.

    A friend of mine has quite a large sample for an OFA vs PennHip study. Basically the findings were that if the dog received a good PennHip score (DI of < 0.3) that the dog would always pass OFA and conversely if the dog received a really poor PennHip score (DI of >0.5) then the dogs would fail OFA. The problem area was the dogs that received 0.4 - 0.5 - some of those failed OFA and some had OFA good and even OFA excellent scores and she knew of two who received those OFA scores at a later age of around 4 - 5 years old.

  7. #5
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    DefaultRe: Why not PennHIP? (A question for US breeders)

    I apologize if I shouldn't be answering this because I'm not a breeder, but my Vet does the PennHip method. As OFA doesn't measure laxity and laxity is what causes arthritis, I can't see how it can be as thorough and useful as PennHip. His feeling is that OFA has been instrumental in cutting out the majority of the worst HD issues, but PennHip is a far better predictor of later onset HD. For instance...what passes as FAIR on an OFA x-ray at 24 months may not look so great at 48 months if the ball wasn't as tight in the socket as it should have been. While I realize there are never any 100 percent guarantees, why not go with the method that measures this? For the most part it seems the answer to this question is cost and availability. I think that is unfortunate. If I was a breeder I would go for the method I thought was the most useful one regardless. Just my opinion and I realize that neither methods is going to totally alleviate HD, but just seems that the PennHip gives you more info. to work with.

  8. #6
    Fallriver's Avatar
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    DefaultRe: Why not PennHIP? (A question for US breeders)

    It is also a question of availability and acceptance. I would have to drive five hours to get a PennHip done on my dogs. I also don't like using sedation so would rather do OFA.

    Secondly, even if a stud dog has a PennHip, most breeders would want an OFA before using him anyway...it takes time to move away from the tried and true.

    Having said that, remember that HD is a polygenic disease and OFA is only 1/3 of the solution, with nutrition and lifestyle being equally important contributors. As such, we could never eradicate HD based on PennHip or OFA scores alone. We have already done a good job of decreasing the incidence of HD with OFA alone. Now if only we could do the same with ED :P
    Dana


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    DefaultRe: Why not PennHIP? (A question for US breeders)

    Quote Originally Posted by FallRiver

    Having said that, remember that HD is a polygenic disease and OFA is only 1/3 of the solution, with nutrition and lifestyle being equally important contributors.
    I think genetics plays a larger role in HD than nutrition and lifestyle. Proper nutrition and lifestyle are especially important for the pup/dog if he/she is predisposed to HD, but from my understanding a dog that doesn't have this predisposition is not going to be dysplastic....except possibly in the case of real extremes with food and exercise. It seems we're still seeing a lot of dysplastic dogs out there, so I don't think I can agree that OFA has done a great job of decreasing this problem, though it certainly has helped. Elbow problems seem to be getting more prevalent. :-\

  10. #8
    Fallriver's Avatar
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    DefaultRe: Why not PennHIP? (A question for US breeders)

    Statistically, we are reducing the prevalence of HD and that is up on the OFA site.

    Proper nutrition and lifestyle are especially important for the pup/dog if he/she is predisposed to HD, but from my understanding a dog that doesn't have this predisposition is not going to be dysplastic....except possibly in the case of real extremes with food and exercise.
    True enough, but pretty much every labrador retriever is disposed to HD. This is why an OFA excellent to excellent breeding can still produce dysplastic dogs. Because we can't eradicate the gene, we have to work on limiting the number of symptomatic dogs and in this light, diet and nutrition play a huge role.

    Heart disease is also a polygenic disease. Now if you have two parents with heart disease, it absolutely increases your odds of getting it, but you may or may not. If you choose to smoke two packs and day, eat at McDonalds more than your fair share, and have a very high stress job, then the chances of the CHD genes expressing themselves are much greater than if you take care of yourself. If you modify your lifestyle, you can absolutely prevent CHD.

    It is neither possible nor desirable to eradicate the HD gene. Why is that? For an example, when the otigen test came out for PRA for NSDTs, one of the national clubs decided that they were only allowed to breed clear dogs to clear dogs which is a ridiculous strategy...they were aiming to eradicate the gene when they could still never again produce another dog with PRA using carriers and even affected dogs. Because breeders were limited to using only clear dogs, it vastly limited the gene pool and as a consequence, they lost temperaments and they lost working ability. I can't remember the specifics, but when they tried to eradicate VWD in Dobermans, they only invited other issues and the breed suffered greatly.

    I don't think most people are aware of this, but when deciding on breedings and pedigrees, there is a lot of dirt back there. Not only do we have to consider HD, but pedigrees are littered with ED (which is more devastating to dogs than HD), cataracts, TVD, epilepsy, PRA, cancer, retinal dysplasia, whelping problems, allergies, etc., and we have to weigh these against temperament and structure as well. There is no clean pedigree and if we only breed to limit HD, something else lurking back there will bite us in the butt. Not only that, but the pedigree is equally important to the dog. For example, a dog with an excellent OFA or PennHip score is only part of the equation. Although the dog himself has an excellent score, he may readily pass HD on to his get. I would much rather use a dog with a low or even failing score with a solid and known ancestry than one who has an excellent score and has siblings and/or ancestors who have a high prevalance of HD. The chances of HD would be less in the lower scoring dog, so remember genotype is just as important as phenotype.

    As long as we are breeding labrador retrievers, we will have to deal with HD. It is just part and parcel. Knowledgeable breeders will use clearances as a guide but will also consider the dogs' pedigree and what else is lurking behind it. Believe me, it is impossible to find a clean pedigree and it is a balancing act to try to produce a healthy, quality dog. PennHip does add more knowledge to our arsenal, but sadly, there are more pressing problems in the breed than HD and because of all these factors involved, I'm not sure we always need the precision of PennHip although it can absolutely be used effectively. Looking at a lot of pedigrees today and who breeders are flocking to, I am much more worried about TVD and epilepsy than HD...it scares the heck out of me. If I have to settle a bit on hips to avoid TVD, you bet I'm going to!

    I don't think this is something that everybody understands, but I hope it makes sense that it is not a simple answer. In a nutshell, if we only breed the top 80% to top 80%, dollars to donuts, some other disease would come along and take it's place. This is why you often hear the phrase 'better the devil you know'.

    Dana


    To err is human:To forgive, canine."
    - Anonymous

  11. #9
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    DefaultRe: Why not PennHIP? (A question for US breeders)

    Fall River - I'm not sure how OFA can accurately give percentages because they can only give the percentages on the dogs that were tested through them, can't they? If people know that their dogs aren't going to pass after doing their x-rays at the Vet, it seems unlikely that they would even submit them. I'm not doubting that the OFA system has made a significant dent in HD.....just wish it was bigger. :-\

    Anyway, I absolutely understand what you're saying and I definitely understand that there are a lot of different factors to take into consideration when breeding and it can't be easy....not to mention that at the same time breeders are also trying to breed a dog that looks the way they want it to look. But isn't that the whole point of OFA.... not to breed dogs whose hips are considered unsound? PennHip just gives you a broader picture of the same thing, and a far better predictor. I guess my feeling is that the more information you have to go on the better.....and I think you get a bigger picture by doing PennHip. It's another useful tool....because we can't be satisfied with the current percentages, can we...even if the answer isn't in black and white?

    Your comparison (with reference to heart disease) to someone eating too many fast foods and smoking two packs of cigarettes a day falls under the "real extremes" category that I mentioned...except I was referring to HD. No matter how careful you are with a dog/pups weight, exercise routine, and nutrition, some dogs who are predisposed are going to be obviously dysplastic. I think it would be a mistake to consider 2/3 of this problem to be environmentally produced. Sadly though, I'm sure you're right and this issue isn't going away. I'm not disagreeing with you, but isn't it a shame when something like HD is considered one of the lesser evils? :-\

  12. #10
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    DefaultRe: Why not PennHIP? (A question for US breeders)

    I don't use Pennhip for these reasons.
    First of all I personally know some dogs that have been injured when having their Pennhip x-rays done.
    I don't know of any being injured when OFA x-rays were done.
    Second I think the ages (those done under two) the x-rays are done at make the results unreliable, I would still want x-rays done again at age 2 or older.
    Third OFA is what all stud owners require before you breed to their boy (and we would require of any bitch wishing to breed to a stud that I own) and the most reliable way to track a bloodline's results. I don't really know what the Pennhip readings mean in the long-term.
    Fourth If you are doing both hips and elbows you get a break for doing OFA hips/elbows at the same time (both vet cost and OFA cost)
    Fifth I would prefer my dogs NOT be put under anesthesia to be x-rayed. The vet I use for OFA x-rays used to read x-rays for OFA so is very knowledgeable about proper positioning. If my dog can get an excellent when they are x-rayed while awake I truly doubt the dog would not pass if anesthetized so it's accurate enough for me.

    Deb H.
    www.dunnsmarshlabs.com

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