Canine Hip Dysplasia (PennHip)

Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD) is the most common orthopedic problem in dogs. This is a condition where the hipbone/thighbone connection is loose. It leads to hind-end pain and lameness that can be crippling. It is generally understood to be hereditary but environment is also thought to have a small part to play. It is not a good idea to feed growing dogs too much or fail to provide adequate exercise. Understanding that this condition is usually inherited no one should either purchase pups that are not from certified lines or breed dogs whose hips are not certified.

If hip dysplasia is suspected a vet can take x-rays and form an opinion as to the condition of the joint. To be certain about the condition the x-rays have to be sent to a specialist for certification. This certification is obtained by all breeders who care about their dogs.

Until recently the only certification was "OFA". The dog had to be at least 2 years old before certification was possible. Recently a second method was adopted, "PennHIP". I have become a big fan of this method. One of the biggest advantages for me is that the dog can be certified as early as 20 weeks. I have had several dogs done by PennHIP and have found that the vets also prefer this method.

The problem, if any, is that this method is relatively unknown. Very few vets are certified by PennHip to take the x-rays; they have to take a special course directly from PennHIP. The x-rays are taken while the joint is relaxed and then while under pressure. The x-rays are read where the movement is actually measured. The results are given, showing a comparison of these hips to others of that breed. Below dogs (ada and ace) were certified to be tighter than approximately 100% of this group of dogs. Doindogs Ace CD and Ada, JH, SR.

Other PennHIP reports for Doindogs Kennel Dogs:

For more information about how the OFA and PennHIP methods compare, please see Assessing Hips by Jeff Grognet, D.V.M.


I have taken dogs to Dr. Michael WING, Skowhegan, ME. (207) 474-2938. Mike owns several labs and also believes the PennHIP to be a superior method.

Not many vets are able to perform PennHIP radiographs. Dr. Ernie PROWSE, an Orthopedic specialist is certified to perform PennHIP. Arrangments can be made though my vet Dr. RUSHTON at:

Westwood Hills Veterinary Hospital
4 Westwood Blvd Hubley Centre
Upper Tanallon, Nova Scotia
Canada, B3Z 1H3
Tel: 902-826-1933
Fax: 902-826-9466


More information may be obtained from:


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