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Old 07-09-2010, 08:18 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Pennhip testing

Feralpudel sent me the full article that she referenced in another post. Background...Feralpoodle is going to have Dexter's hips tested and she is researching both OFA and Pennhip. I thought I'd share what I learned from the paper.

OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY: To determine if age, breed, gender, weight or distraction index (DI) influenced the risk of radiographic osteoarthritis (OA) of canine hip dysplasia (CHD) in four common dog breeds; the American bulldog, Bernese mountain dog, Newfoundland and standard poodle.

RESULTS: For all breeds, DI was the most significant risk factor for
the development of OA associated with CHD. Weight and age were
also significant risk factors in all four breeds, but gender was not.

Ok... so lets put that in layman's terms. DI is what Pennhip tests. It shows how "loose" the hip joint is. This paper made the argument that Pennhip testing is the best predictor of future osteoarthritis (OA) which basically causes Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD).

These are some other things I pulled out of the article:

1. Breeds not known to have CHD (like Greyhounds) have DIs below .30
2. It is possible for breeders to improve laxity through selective breeding.
3. Breeders of all breeds should be trying to breed for DIs below .30.
4. Breeders need to test after age 24 months because laxity gets worse with age.
5. Higher laxity does seem to affect different breeds differently. This may be due to size and weight (e.g. An American Bull dog with DI .50 is at greater risk for OA than a Standard Poodle).

The thing that I thought was most interesting was the recommended age of testing. Pennhip has been used by many breeders because you can test and get DI scores very early. For some this is just a baseline measurement, but for many breeders, it has allowed them to breed young dogs but still say that they are "testing".

According to this article, best breeding practices would be to Pennhip test after age two because this gives a more accurate picture of a dog's true hip laxity.
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Old 07-09-2010, 08:34 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Thanks for the info on pennhip. I have looked in to it for my boerboel the breeder I got him from keeps pushing me to get him tested. The only vet that dose it around here is about 2 hours from me . I am going to do it tho.
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Old 07-09-2010, 10:26 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cbrand View Post

Ok... so lets put that in layman's terms. DI is what Pennhip tests. It shows how "loose" the hip joint is. This paper made the argument that Pennhip testing is the best predictor of future osteoarthritis (OA) which basically causes Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD).
Carol, you prompted me to go back and re-read the article, which is a good thing. I had the following reactions to your comments and my re-reading:

--It isn't obvious unless you read very closely, but this was a cross-sectional study--in other words, they were looking for evidence of OA *at the time* the Pennhip x-rays were done. So they were using age, weight, and DI to predict the probability that they would see signs of OA when the PennHip was done--in some cases, in dogs as young as 4 months. I would be careful about making the leap that DI at a young age is predictive of OA at an older age.

--Ironically, the measure of OA they use is OFA's, and they use the hip-extended (OFA) position x-ray taken at the same time as the DI-position x-ray. I say ironic because there is something of an academic p*ssing match (pardon my French) between PennHip and OFA. You can see signs of that when they make the snarky comment about how the prevalence of CHD hasn't improved over the years.

--I find it useful to think about what a research article tells us versus what we'd really like to know. In this case, I would like to see a head-to-head test of Pennhip versus OFA in predicting CHD in the dog at older ages and of course as a breeder, you'd like something that is good at predicting the hip health of offspring.
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Old 07-09-2010, 04:11 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Feralpudel View Post
--It isn't obvious unless you read very closely, but this was a cross-sectional study--in other words, they were looking for evidence of OA *at the time* the Pennhip x-rays were done. So they were using age, weight, and DI to predict the probability that they would see signs of OA when the PennHip was done--in some cases, in dogs as young as 4 months. I would be careful about making the leap that DI at a young age is predictive of OA at an older age.
Good point.


Quote:
--I find it useful to think about what a research article tells us versus what we'd really like to know. In this case, I would like to see a head-to-head test of Pennhip versus OFA in predicting CHD in the dog at older ages and of course as a breeder, you'd like something that is good at predicting the hip health of offspring.
So are you going to do OFA or Pennhip?
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Old 07-09-2010, 06:15 PM   #5 (permalink)
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With Penn Hip, do they have to put them under for it? I had both my afghans hips done with OFA and with some searching found one that didn't put them out, with that breed and now with a toy poodle, I don't feel comfortable having them put out unless they have to be.
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Old 07-10-2010, 05:43 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I think that most Pennhip vets use anesthesia. Most OFA vets use either sedation or anesthesia. My vet said she really doesn't like the idea of OFA without anything because you wind up exposing your vet techs to radiation.
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Old 07-10-2010, 05:51 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cbrand View Post
So are you going to do OFA or Pennhip?
If I do either, I will probably do OFA. I'm still on the fence about doing it. He will probably never be used, but it does provide some useful information, and I can get VIP points for testing.

Has anybody done OFA or Pennhip on an older dog (4 years)? How does that affect the results?
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Old 07-10-2010, 11:38 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Feralpudel View Post
If I do either, I will probably do OFA. I'm still on the fence about doing it. He will probably never be used, but it does provide some useful information, and I can get VIP points for testing.

Has anybody done OFA or Pennhip on an older dog (4 years)? How does that affect the results?
I will be testing OFA with Kiara, since the results to me are easier to understand lol, I think they both have their merits though. What are "VIP" points??
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Old 07-10-2010, 05:20 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by passion4poodles View Post
What are "VIP" points??
VIP is Versatility in Poodles, a great organization dedicated to the "total" versatile poodle. You can get points towards a versatility certificate (lower level) or VCX (higher level) by earning titles in different venues, working as a therapy dog, and also by doing health testing. So for example, you need 10 points for the basic VC level. Dexter has 5 for the AKC CH, 2 for the CD, 1 for RN, so needs 2 more. If I got my butt in gear, I could put a TD on him, as we have worked a fair amount in tracking. But I can also submit public results for three tests and get two points for that.
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Old 07-11-2010, 02:14 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Has anybody done OFA or Pennhip on an older dog (4 years)? How does that affect the results?
Even though Riley is neutered, i got his hips OFA'd when we did agility. He was 4 when they were done. Im not sure what you mean "how does that affect the results", but Riley came back with a "Good" hip score. I was very pleased. Also, he was neutered at 5 months, so even though it was really early it hasnt affected his joints.

I dont get your vets theory about exposing the techs if you dont use anesthesia. Even if the pet is under someone has to be in there to position and pull. When we do hips at my clinic we put them under anesthesia. It isnt under full tube and gas anesthesia. It is given IV with a really quick wake up period. Because we really have to pull hard to position, it is very uncomfortable for the dog.
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