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D2011-01

Dear Daisy Dog

Before I make a decision about breeding my golden retriever, I’d like to have her hips x-rayed to make sure she doesn’t have hip dysplasia, an inherited disorder which she could pass to her puppies. How do the two x-ray tests, OFA and PennHip, compare?

Daisy Responds

The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) offers a descriptive evaluation of the hip x-rays. Excellent, good and fair results are considered normal.

In contrast, PennHip tests hip joint laxity during the x-ray procedure and calculates a numeric result. Normal is less than 0.3.

A recent study compared both tests in 439 dogs, mostly German shepherds, Labrador retrievers, golden retrievers and rottweilers.

Of the 367 dogs with normal OFA results, 80 percent had PennHip values of 0.3 or above, indicating the dog had loose hips and an increased risk of hip dysplasia and osteoarthritis.

To minimize the chances of producing puppies with these problems, choose the PennHip evaluation.

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