Pennsylvania Hip Improvement Program, or PennHIP, is a program which evaluates the quality of the hips in dogs Radiographs are submitted to the PennHIP for assessment, and are assigned a score, called a distraction index. Veterinarians must be trained members of the PennHIP Network in order to take radiographs for these assessments. The distraction index (DI) is the measurement of the maximal femoral head displacement from the acetabulum. Score is based on the worst hip.
The dogs hip X-Rays are also screened for Osteoarthritis, or O.A., which is Degenerative Joint Disease. All Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldogs above have been cleared of O.A.
Use the link below to find a PennHIP vet near you.
*Certified - The Alapaha has been evaluated at or past 24 months old and has received a OFA Certificate Canine Hip Dysplasia, or CHD, typically develops because of an abnormally developed hip joint, but can also be caused by cartilage damage from a traumatic fracture.severe hip dysplasia With cartilage damage or a hip joint that isn’t formed properly, over time the existing cartilage will lose its thickness and elasticity. This breakdown of the cartilage will eventually result in pain with any joint movement. No one can predict when or even if a dysplastic dog will start showing clinical signs of lameness due to pain. The severity of the disease can be affected by environmental factors, such as caloric intake or level of exercise. There are a number of dysplastic dogs with severe arthritis that run, jump, and play as if nothing is wrong and some dogs with barely any arthritic x-ray evidence that are severely lame. Radiographs submitted to the OFA should follow the American Veterinary Medical Association recommendations for positioning. This view is accepted world wide for detection and assessment of hip joint irregularities and secondary arthritic hip joint changes. To obtain this view, the animal must be placed on its back in dorsal recumbency with the rear limbs extended and parallel to each other. The knees (stifles) are rotated internally and the pelvis is symmetric. Chemical restraint (anesthesia) to the point of relaxation is recommended. Radiography of females in estrus or pregnant should be avoided due to possible increased joint laxity (subluxation) from hormonal variations. OFA recommends radiographs be taken one month after weaning pups and one month before or after a heat cycle. Physical inactivity because of illness, weather, or the owner’s management practices may also result in some degree of joint laxity. The OFA recommends evaluation when the dog is in good physical condition. Dogs can be tested as a Preliminary screening from 4-24 months old. Dogs after 24 months will receive a OFA certificate for normal evaluations. Normal Hip evaluations are Excellent, Good, and Fair. Abnormal Hip evaluations are Mild, Moderate, and Severe.
Above are the Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldogs that have tested completely clear from all variants of mutation. “Tested by Embark” - The owner submitted their embark test(s) to the ABR. “Cleared by Parentage” - Both parents were tested by Embark and the breeder/owner tested for known heritage variants to ensure the Alapaha is free of all variants. All documentation was sent to the ABR. About Embark: Embark’s mission is to end preventable disease in dogs. We actively seek to partner with health organizations, university researchers, breed clubs, and other groups that share this goal. Many of these groups have contributed decades of work and established sound scientific foundations towards ensuring healthier dogs will be a reality. Our view is that by working together to leverage Embark’s unique capabilities, we can accelerate the pace of discovery and provide actionable results to owners, breeders, and veterinarians.