Penn Hip versus OFA - Page 1

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by ZeekBoy on 20 March 2012 - 04:03

Would love to hear any opinions on the differences between the two, and which you would find more reliable.


by edith on 24 March 2012 - 02:03

I have done both. OFA is more popular, but you are paying for an opinion of an x-ray in one position. You can get a bad opinion if the positioning is poor. And you have to wait until the dog is 2. PENNHIP does 2 views and checks for the amount of joint laxity as well. PENNHIP can give you results even on a very young dog, which is useful if you are keeping a young pup back for possible breeding/competition. The results, even when done at a young age, are more reliable in predicting if the dog will become dysplastic. The downside is the cost. It is almost double what an OFA certification would cost. However, it could save you time and money in the long run if you find out early that a puppy does not make the grade.

by CMills on 24 March 2012 - 03:03

I've had several dogs in the past who would pass one and then fail the other, it never made sense to me. I had a 1 yr old I Pennhip'd who failed, but we kept him back anyway and he went OFA excellent at 2. then we had ones that passed Pennhip who failed OFA, so I know they can vary considerably.  only thing in know for sure is Pennhip is twice the cost of OFA and not as popular

by unlimitedGSD on 24 March 2012 - 13:03

The more you know about PennHip the easier it is to understand why dogs can pass OFA yet not PennHip very well. PennHip is a more thorough system but because of the fact that it cannot be used for certification and there is no open database it has it's drawbacks.

Should OFA be put to Sleep?  (interesting article)

If you REALLY want to know the state of your dog's hips today and what the future will bring, PennHip is the way to go. If all you want to do is pass a certification, OFA will do.


by Smiley on 24 March 2012 - 13:03

I have done pennhip with a pup that I had suspicions about and it proved to be invaluable and spot on.

I have talked to many breeders who swear by PennHip.

This is the way I have had it explained to me:

"OFA determines if you have the right type of tires for your car and that they fit in frame properly.  But, PennHip determines how tight those tires are screwed on."

Hence, a dog can fail one but be fine in the other.  We have all heard of dogs that fail OFA but never take one bad step. Those tires were REALLY screwed on tight!  Or, a dog that does not do well with its PennHip average but gets OFA Excellent. Tires are not screwed on tight at all but they sure do look good on frame!

There is no pass/fail in PennHip.  It is an objective, scientific calculation and is not influenced by subjectivity.  A score is given based on the actual measureement of laxity for both hips. A breed average is created and it is recommended that breeding dogs fall below the average score. It may or may not be above the benchmark score that signifies a virtually non-existant chance of developing HD

But, it is critical to find an experienced PennHip vet that has done lots of procedures.

I think both OFA and PennHip are equally important....

This is how I understood it anyway!


by guddu on 24 March 2012 - 14:03

Well Explained...

by GSDdrive1 on 26 March 2012 - 16:03

One major difference between the two, and a very important difference, is that one is subjective (OFA) and one is objective (PennHIP). Chances are you could have the same x-rays read by different OFA reviewers with different results. PennHip uses replicable measurement methodologies that eliminates the subjectivity. PennHIP is a predictor of the potential for bad hips. It is not a pass fail, it gives you ranges whereby the higer the score the more likely it is that the dog will develop bad hips. The predictive validity of the test has been validated using thousdands of dogs in academic studies that have followed them out several years. Unlike OFA you MUST send in the studies to get the results. Reviewing the films and deciding NOT to send them in for review is not an option, which further strengthens the validity of the results.

In my opinion OFA has become a relic. It has no predictive abilities, it simply tells you if your dog is dysplastic at the time the films were taken, but is subject to errors by both the techician and the person reading the films. The difference in cost is well worth what you get out of PennHIP.

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