Hey all. Need some input and advice on which test to use for screening my Newf's hips. I have heard and researched both tests and am leaning towards PennHIP since it is more scientifically calculated/oriented than the OFA, which is based mostly on the judgement of trained vets. I can see the benefits and shortcomings of both, since the PennHIP has 3 x-ray views, and is done under sedation/anesthesia to try to get the best "feel" for the joint and OFA is done without anesthesia, dog is usually restrained and only one view is taken. PennHIP costs more than OFA, and less vets have been trained in PennHIP. Any info would be helpful before I make a decision! Thanks in advance! ~~Karissa
Some people get their dogs OFAed under anesthesia, some don't. Many people prefer not to use anesthesia just becasue, well, anytime an animal goes under anesthesia, there's risks involved. Some people don't use anesthesia because their dog's scores are actually better. Because anesthesia causes the dog's muscles to relax and the ball/socket hip joint to be looser. Without anesthesia, the dog is likely stressed from teh environment, tense, etc.. so the muscles pull the ball joint tighter into the socket and thus the hip looks more tight and proper.
With Pennhip, the dogs are REQUIRED to be under anesthesia. To me, this means that the PennHIP is probably more 'true' in regards to how bad or good the hips conditions actually are. Also, because it uses 3 different angles, PennHIP evaluations can be done as a one time evaluation on dogs as young as what, 5 months? With OFA your dog MUST be at least 2 years old for a final score.
You can actually use a copy of one of the OFA hip x-rays as 1 of the 3 submissions needed for the PennHIP. Truthfully, if you get one done, you may as well get both done IMHO, for that reason. In addition, when a dog is registered with the AKC, the AKC has the OFA and CERF numbers added to the database... so when ever that dog's registration number shows up in catalogs and online with them, the CERF and OFA scores will show up as well. This is not the case with PennHIP, though I hear the AKC is intending to add the PennHIP scores.