PennHIP Scoring

PennHIP measures hip laxity and allows exact prediction of Hip Dysplasia in dogs, starting from 16 weeks of age. Hip Dysplasia can be prevented if hip laxity is diagnosed and treated early.

The Problem:

Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD)

• Is the most commonly inherited orthopaedic disease

• Leads to hip arthritis causing pain, stiffness, and diminished quality of life

• Has no medical or surgical cure

• Afflicts more than 50% of the dogs within some breeds

• Clinically affects large breed dogs more severely than smaller breed dogs

The Key Factor:

Hip Laxity

In the 1980’s, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine pioneered a better diagnostic method to assess hip laxity—the key factor in the development of Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD).

The hip joint is a ball-and-socket joint, with the ball of the femur (femoral head) fitting into the hip socket (acetabulum). Hip laxity refers to the degree of “looseness” of the ball in the hip socket. All dogs are born with good hip joints. It is joint laxity that is responsible for the development of Hip Dysplasia to due to the increased wear and tear that loose hip joints are subjected too.

The Solution:

AIS PennHIP Hip Improvement Program

The research-based hip-screening procedure known as PennHIP has proven to be the most accurate and precise method to measure hip laxity. It can identify (as early as 16 weeks of age) dogs that are susceptible to developing hip dysplasia.

This offers breeders the opportunity to make early decisions on breeding stock and allows veterinarians to advise pet owners on lifestyle adjustments and preventive strategies to minimize the pain and progression of the disease.

PennHIP Radiographs:

PennHIP screening includes three separate radiographs (x-rays) of the hips.

Hip Scoring and Result Interpretation:

We then will submit the three PennHIP radiographs to ANTECH Imaging Services for specialised evaluation.

A confidential report comprised of the following key parts will be sent back to us where we will then bring you back to the clinic to explain the results and give any appropriate strategies (diet, medications, and/or activities) to delay or diminish the ultimate course of the disease.

Prevention and Treatment of hip dysplasia:

There is no cure for hip dysplasia, but it can be prevented to a good degree. In order to prevent hip Hip Dysplasia (a form of arthritis) is vital to address loose hip joints early. Any surgical treatment is aimed at changing the angle of the socket (relative to the pelvis), so that the body weight keeps pushing the hip joint tight. In a mature animal that means an operation which is called Triple Pelvic Osteotomy, which is a difficult, invasive and expensive procedure.

However, in a young, growing dog this can be achieved by applying heat to the growth plate of the symphysis of the pelvis, a procedure we offer in-house. The growth plate will then fuse early and stop this part of the pelvis to grow, resulting in a change of the shape of the pelvis as the puppy continues to grow.

Who will benefit from PennHip hip scoring?:

Any young dog will benefit from having it’s hip scored. You find out exactly where your dog stands within the range of its breed and how likely it is that your dog develops hip dysplasia later on in life. This is particularly important in dogs you want to breed from, especially large breeds. Detection of hip laxity in puppies allows us to perform a simple procedure to prevent the onset of hip dysplasia later on.