View Dog Hip X-rays!

        Dogs are the sum total of all of their parts. Simple words, but think about how important good structure is! If the dog is not built correctly, or there is a malformation or degenerative disease, the health of the dog very well might suffer - in varying degrees of discomfort or pain. Reputable dog breeders strive to produce dogs that are correct in conformation and temperament. One cannot tell if a dog has "good hips" by looking at the dog: a radiographic film (x-ray) is the most accurate diagnostic tool.
        The film is looked at by three board certified veterinary radiologists, and they each grade the hips. The grades are averaged (if the opinions are not the same), and the average is the assigned grading. If the radiograph shows that the dog is not dysplastic the OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) will certify that the dog is free of CHD, and if it is over 24 months of age, it will be assigned a permanent OFA number. The three grades are "FAIR", "GOOD", and "EXCELLENT"; all three mean that the dog does not have CHD. "Fair" means that there are minor irregularities; but not dysplastic. "Good" is where the majority of the passing grades are for any given breed, and "Excellent" would indicate superior joint conformation. If the dog is dysplastic, the OFA will grade accordingly, and the dog will not receive any certification. Visit the OFA @ www.offa.org to learn more exacting definitions, see examples, and read other information.
        Please look at the dogs and the films of their hips; learn why we film them, and what we are trying to avoid by doing these health checks. Do your part, be an educated breeder or puppy buyer!

It is important to position the dog's pelvis and femurs correctly to get the right view for the diagnosis. The dog is being held over the plate which holds the film. (that's head to the left, hips to the right)

This is Spooky, CH. BlackThorn of Dark Star, CD, WC; she was 31 months old at the time of the x-ray. The consensus on her hips was two grading her hips at a "Fair", and one grading her as a "Good", so her average, and rating, was "Fair". Her OFA # was LR-15970-T - meaning Labrador Retriever #15970 to receive an OFA rating, and the "T" meant that she was tattooed.
   
   
This is Jessica, CH. Dark Star's Uptown Girl, CGC, TDI, she was 26 months of age at the time of her x-ray. They look pretty good: her OFA number was: LR-47905G26F-T - she was the 47905th Labrador Retriever to receive a permanent OFA number, she received the rating of "GOOD", was 26 months of age at the time of the radiograph, is Female, and has a Tattoo. The OFA made it easier to read, decipher, and understand the permanent numbers!
This is Jasmine, Ch. Sheeba Let's Dance . She was filmed at 3 years old, and they look pretty good: her hips are rated "GOOD". Jasmine's OFA certification number is KCS-1662G42F-PI. Indicating that the dog has permanent identification (DNA profile, tattoo, or microchip), the OFA indicates that the dog IS identified - "PI" means "Permanent Identification".
   
At 8 months of age, this guy already has very bad hips... The malformation is so obvious that most people can see the severe bilateral (both sides) dysplasia. The acetabulum (cup in which the head of the femur moves) is almost non-existent, and the head of the femur (the round 'ball' at the top of the femur - the thigh bone) is flattened and not deeply seated into the acetabulum. This puppy could barely walk, he was in a lot of pain, and his condition only worsened as he aged. You increase the probability of having puppies with good joints if the parents have good joints.


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