Our hospital offers PennHIP X-Rays, a diagnostic method developed by the University of Pennsylvania Hip Improvement Program (PennHIP) that uses unique x-ray views of a dog's hips to accurately identify and quantify joint laxity, or “loose” hips, often a predictor of hip dysplasia.
Reputable breeders and our veterinarians both use PennHIP X-rays as a screening tool for hip dysplasia. The use of PennHIP X-rays has proven to be one of the best techniques available to screen dogs for this condition.
PennHIP X-rays are performed only by veterinarians who have been certified by the PennHIP organization. These certified veterinarians have received special training to ensure proper technique and have also demonstrated consistency with their technique.
The technique involves general anesthesia and three different x-ray positions. The x-ray images are then sent to PennHIP and specific measurements are taken to determine hip joint laxity and the likelihood of a dog developing arthritis due to hip dysplasia.
Dogs are evaluated as individuals and then compared to others in their specific breed. If breeders follow PennHIP recommendations to pick their breeding candidates, they can make genetic improvement by progressively breeding tighter hips and subsequently less dysplasia.