Explaining Hip Ratings

Neptune my first dog diagnosed with bad joints- here at 12 yrs plus

A few of you have been following the theme of good hips vs. bad hips lately. Of course only a few understand the ratings. So, I am going to attempt to explain them to you.

Using the OFA- Orthopedic Foundation For Animals standard

Radiographic Evaluation of Pelvic Phenotype with respect to hip dysplaysia.
( in laymans terms how well formed the hip joints, and the balls of the legs are formed)

The three main ratings for hips in the happy category are:
Excellent- superior hip joint conformation as compared with other individuals of the same breed and age
( side note if you get this rating don’t faint it is rare to get it)
Good – Well formed hip joint conformation as compared with other individuals of the same breed and age
Fair- minor irregularities of the hip joint conformation as compared with other individuals of the same age and breed ( side note- think normal)

Sadly there is a vet in Pa that has found a way to ’cheat’ and get excellent ratings on all dogs. I heard this from a breeder of Dobermans. He questioned a dogs hip ratings and had them redone…. Need I say more?

Ok, now onto the sad side of hip ratings- The negative side. When I had my first ones done there were only 3 categories there are now 4.

Borderline Hip Joint Conformation- marginal hip joint conformation of indeterminate status with respect to hip dysplasia at this time- repaeat study in six months

Mild Hip Dysplaysia – radiographic evidence of minor dysphasic changes of the hip joints

Moderate Hip dysplaysia- well defined radiographic evidence of dysplastic changes of the hip joints

Severe Hip Dysplaysia- radiographic evidence of marked dysplastic changes of the hip joints
( side note- I have seen an xray of this and it is NOT a pretty sight, makes you wonder how he had a beautiful gait, and took titles)

It is recommended to have hips done at 9 months and final exam at 2 yrs. Ratings can improve with age, not always but, I have seen it happen.

There is a second rating they do for bad hips- actually a break down…
It actually breaks it down for remodeling and degenerative joints and such.

I won’t do the break downs no need to confuse you more. Just joking. Of course you never know what life throws at you.

Now hug your furry family members. 🙂

Brutus hips 12 May 12

Updated: 17 Feb 2013

Not a year after the first posting of this entry, I had two dogs diagnosed with bad hips. The x-ray attached is of one of those dogs. He later required hip surgery- look in archives under Brutus Hips. I am happy to say his surgery was a success and he is living a ‘normal’ life. The other dog had a SEVERE hip rating and had 5 points out of the 8 sub categories of hip displaysia. She is a happy Girl and living a wonder life hiking and swimming. The best way to keep her muscles in tone so she can lead a normal life. The dog Brutus was made to lose weight quickly by an uniformed vet!
Just do your research and remember bad hips is not a death sentence…….. it just means you need to adjust your life a little. NO, high jumps allowed. 🙂

Also go to the OFA- OFFA website and check offspring of the parents, this could be an indication that one parent could be a ‘carrier’ for bad hips. As with Fiona’s father. Had a EXCELLENT rating yet several of his daughters had bad hips. Do your research please.
Now, hug your furry wonder…..

About Ellee

Living in the mountains with my beloved goldens, Great Pyrenees , and three crazy cats. Not to mention the various rescues who pass through here. Life is good!
For those who keep asking…. wordpress.

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