THE PROBLEM – Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD)
- Is the most commonly inherited orthopedic disease
- Leads to hip arthritis causing pain, stiffness, and diminished quality of life
- Has no medical or surgical cure
- Afflicts more than 50% of the dogs within some breeds
- Clinically affects large breed dogs more severely than smaller breed dogs
THE KEY FACTOR : Hip Laxity – In the 1980’s, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine pioneered a better diagnostic method to assess hip laxity—the key factor in the development of Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD). The hip joint is a ball-and-socket joint, with the ball of the femur (femoral head) fitting into the hip socket (acetabulum). Hip laxity refers to the degree of “looseness” of the ball in the hip socket. Studies have shown that dogs with looser hips (excessive hip laxity) are at higher risk to develop hip dysplasia than dogs with tighter hips (minimal hip laxity).
THE SOLUTION : AIS PennHIP Hip Improvement Program – The research-based hip-screening procedure known as PennHIP has proven to be the most accurate and precise method to measure hip laxity. It can identify—as early as 16 weeks of age—dogs that are susceptible to developing hip dysplasia. This offers breeders the opportunity to make early decisions on breeding stock, and allows veterinarians to advise pet owners on lifestyle adjustments and preventive strategies to minimize the pain and progression of the disease.
THE PennHIP PROCEDURE : There are two principal innovations in the PennHIP method. First, the dog is positioned on the x-ray table with hips in a neutral orientation, and second, a custom distraction device is applied to reveal the maximum amount of hip laxity. To achieve this, the dog’s muscles are completely relaxed by administering sedation or general anesthesia. Veterinarians must complete specialized training and quality-control exercises before becoming certified to perform the PennHIP procedure.
A complete PennHIP evaluation includes office consultation, sedation/anesthesia, and submission of the three PennHIP radiographs to ANTECH Imaging Services for evaluation. Your certified PennHIP veterinarian will be happy to discuss the procedure and cost with you.
THE DIFFERENCE : PennHIP is the most accurate hip screening method available and can be safely performed on dogs as young as 16 weeks of age. An early estimate of a dog’s hip integrity is invaluable whether the dog’s intended purpose is for breeding, for working, or as a family pet.