Hip Screening: PennHIP

What is it?

PennHIP is a not-for-profit veterinary health service at the University of Pennsylvania whose primary objective is to reduce the frequency and severity of hip dysplasia in all breeds of dogs. The PennHIP radiographic screening method for hip evaluation predicts the onset of osteoarthritis, or degenerative joint disease, which is the hallmark of hip dysplasia. It is accurate in puppies as young as 16 weeks of age and has great potential to lower the frequency of canine hip dysplasia when used as a selection criterion.

Why does ASDOG use it?

Service dog organisations were the first to adopt PennHIP as the principal method for hip screening. The investment in raising and training service dogs is substantial, so having the ability to pre-screen a dog’s genetic predisposition to hip dysplasia is invaluable. This ensures that each puppy entering into a service dog program has a long and healthy life in their working role.

What is the procedure?

Every 16 week old ASDOG puppy has X-rays taken by a local veterinarian who is trained and certified to perform the PennHIP procedure. The X-rays are submitted for expert assessment at the University of Pennsylvania. To meet its obligation of accrediting dogs with sound physical health, only those puppies with PennHIP scores in the accepted range are kept in ASDOG’s puppy raising program.

How have ASDOG puppies scored?

Although ASDOG puppies are sourced from breeding stock with proven/acceptable PennHIP scores, this does not assure the success of puppies screening results. Unfortunately, ASDOG has had to withdraw puppies-in-training on occasion due to their PennHIP scores falling above the acceptable range. We are very grateful to the loving families who have adopted these puppies. On a more positive note, all our recent puppies-in-training do have sound PennHip results and we look forward to advancing them through to full accreditation.


Information sourced from http://research.vet.upenn.edu