What is PennHip?

PennHIP is a sedated radiographic procedure to help determine hip joint laxity. Increased "looseness" or laxity of the hip joins can be used to predict a dog's risk of developing hip dysplasia.

What is Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD)?

Hip dysplasia refers to hip laxity. Hip laxity refers to the degree of looseness of the ball in the hip socket.

  • CHD is the most commonly inherited orthopedic disease
  • Leads to hip arthritis causing pain, stiffness and a 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

Who should have a PennHIP study done?

PennHIP studies can be performed on dogs as early as 16 weeks of age. Studies are generally performed on:

  • Medium to large breeds that are more prone to developing hip dysplasia
  • Breeding dogs to assess hips prior to breeding
  • Service and working dogs to access hips prior to speciality training
  • Companion dogs at risk of developing arthritis for owner information

The findings allow breeders an opportunity to make early decisions on breeding stock and allows veterinarians to advise pet owners on lifestyle adjustments and preventative strategies to minimize the pain and progression of the disease.

How is the study performed?

A complete PennHIP evaluation includes:

  • Examination and consult with Dr. Michael O'Hara
  • Sedated orthopedic exam of hips and stifles (sedation relaxes hip muscles)
  • 3 radiographic images taken of the hip joints
  • Radiographic images are reviewed by a PennHIP radiologist where laxity of the hip joint can be assessed and compared to other dogs within the same breed.
  • Report turnaround 48-72 hours