From a breeder re: why they don't X ray hips/elbows - Page 1

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by jillmissal on 01 January 2021 - 18:01

From the web site of a "designer dog" (purposeful mixed breed) breeder:


I want to talk about my breeding practice and my NOT taking Xrays. 
When I first started with the two main breeds (Shepherd x Mal) I took Xrays when I felt it was necessary. When I did not know the dog, or when I felt that a dogs hips did not feel right to me.
   Having a lot of experience with animals I could kind of 'see' inside the animal by watching the animals. I used the xrays to confirm my convictions.  When I pick a pup (or two or three) to keep for breeding, I watch these dogs carefully. If one of the three pups has any slight problem, I sell the pup until I only have one left that I would use for breeding.
   After about 7 yrs of 'select breeding' I had dogs that had no problems.  When I 'OUTCROSSED' I would make sure that the pups were the best as I could get and I would only breed to that one. 
   Eventually I did not have to xray as I knew what I had. I could tell.
   Now some folks think I am full of BULL.  So I put my word out on the line, and I told folks that if they wanted an Xray of one of my dogs, they could pay for the xray and I would take one of my dogs in to have an xray done, but... If the dog had bad hips or elbows, I would 'REIMBURSE' them and I would pay for the xray.
   So here are my dogs hips for all you skeptics out there who seem to think that I am full of BULL. 
   Once again....  I DO NOT NEED TO TAKE XRAYS...  I know a bad hip when I see a dog walk, move, not jump, limp, or waddle.


by jbaker1980 on 01 January 2021 - 20:01

Sounds ;like Countryside....?

by jettasmom on 01 January 2021 - 20:01

Must have X-ray vision

by hexe on 01 January 2021 - 23:01

I agree that there are some cases of hip dysplasia that are obvious to the naked eye, and it's no surprise when the hip x-rays confirm what you see in the dog's movement and mannerisms.

Those, however, are not the majority of hip dysplasia; in many cases, the dog never shows any outward signs, while in others the effects of the defect only becomes noticeable when the dog is in their senior years, and the degenerative change starts to take its toll on the dog's comfort.

I'd be really interested in this breeder's justification as to why they don't x-ray elbows, though. Surely they're not claiming that they're able to see any one of the elbow defects with the naked eye?


by Hundmutter on 02 January 2021 - 03:01

I'm sure this breeder BELIEVES s/he can 'see' what is going on with their dogs' skeletons. "None so blind as those who will not see " and all that ...
And isn't it convenient when you are promoting mongrels - sorry, "designer 'breeds' " ?


by GK1 on 02 January 2021 - 09:01

OFA ’74 - ’19

GSD 40th of 194 breeds surveyed
BM 158
DS 129

GSD 19/139
BM 42

Yes, important to x-ray the GS breeding stock.
50 years later, still can't get the HD to an acceptable level for a service/sporting breed.


by Sunsilver on 02 January 2021 - 09:01

Bullshit. I know a GSD breeder who had an expensive imported stud. This was years ago, back when Schutzhund had the scaling wall. He was doing the wall and jumps with no issues, and someone wanted to breed to him as he had an impressive pedigree.

She decided to have him OFA'd prior to breeding. When the x-rays were done, the vet called her in "You're going to want to see this," he said. "This dog has just about the WORST hips I've ever seen in all my years as a vet!"

Sometimes the hip joint is so poorly constructed there is no bone-on-bone contact, and the dog will appear completely normal, as there is no pain. It's the same as what happens with a femoral head osteotomy - there is no longer any joint there to cause pain.

Needless to say, she had him neutered and found a pet home for him.

One of my females has mild dysplasia in one hip. She will be 14 this month, and for the first time in her life is having a ltttle trouble with movement, stairs, etc.  If you watched her, you'd think she was having problems with her left hip. Nope, the right hip's the bad one. She's weak on the left due to the lingering effects of labyrinthitis in her left ear.


by Rik on 02 January 2021 - 10:01

I had a female that I kept from a litter that was very nice, very active. I didn't xray till she was 2 yo since there was obviously no issue and AKC wouldn't certify until 2.

she had practically no hips at all. very very shallow socket and almost no head. she was never in pain, as there was no rubbing and she was never limited in any way in movement.

sure, it's easy to tell there is an issue when there is pain or limping, but anyone who claims they can tell hip status just by looking is full of BS.

by jillmissal on 02 January 2021 - 10:01

@sunsilver, I passed on a really nice Mal female whose sire hadn't been OFA'd. I would not risk it. The owner said he was competing at such a high level it was obvious the dog had no problems. Nope man, doesn't work that way....

@hexe, I'll spare you the mumbo jumbo they wrote about elbows but here's the crux of what this person says about it: "Occasionally [OFA] misread[s} films and they have broadened the Elbow Dysplasia diagnosis in a manner harmful to those trying to breed good dogs."

Really, the entire web site is just...something. Yes, this particular person is obviously full of issues but like I said above, there are seemingly reputable breeders/owners using essentially the same logic to avoid doing health testing. It's just bizarre.

I don't have GSDs but when I brought one of my dogs (Malinois) in for OFA x rays a few weeks ago I discussed with the vet all the possible screenings to do - she said "if this was a German Shepherd I would tell you to screen everything under the sun and even then think twice." Yikes.

Kind of a different topic, but does anyone have any opinions about Embark? I have seen some really bizarre breed ID come out of their testing so I'm not sure I trust them for genetic diseases like DM, etc. Seems better to test for that through OFA.


by Hundmutter on 02 January 2021 - 12:01

I had a male with a 3:3 (total 6) UK KC/BVA hip score. There were days when just to look at him, you might think he walked and ran less well than the bitch I used to have - same breeder, 'same' S/L kennel though not directly blood related - who had a 29:31 (60) score, so really not very good sockets, but who had good muscle tone and did not show any obvious outward signs until she was a very old lady.

Would love to have been able to show them both to the greeder referred to above; think their magic X ray eyes would have been shown up for what they obviously are (as Sunny says, "BS").  Hope they read this topic !!!


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