PennHIP vs OFA
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Thread: PennHIP vs OFA

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    Senior Member ACampbell's Avatar
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    PennHIP vs OFA

    Ok, so whats the big difference? From what I've read on the PennHIP you can have younger than 2 year old dogs hips x-rayed and it's pretty accurate.
    There's a local vet that is certified to do PennHIP x-rays as well - I want to get Lily's checked out before considering doing things like weight pulling with her...don't want to find out by stressing the joint that it isn't up to par.

    So is there any reason that OFA is better than PennHIP or whats really the big difference?
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    Re: PennHIP vs OFA

    Quote Originally Posted by ACampbell View Post
    Ok, so whats the big difference? From what I've read on the PennHIP you can have younger than 2 year old dogs hips x-rayed and it's pretty accurate.
    There's a local vet that is certified to do PennHIP x-rays as well - I want to get Lily's checked out before considering doing things like weight pulling with her...don't want to find out by stressing the joint that it isn't up to par.

    So is there any reason that OFA is better than PennHIP or whats really the big difference?

    Penn hip is not as widely used and unfortunately they have not set up an online database as of yet for results like the offa has.....

    penn hip can be done at a younger age.... and the results are measurements which personally I like better .....

    it requires anesthesia which some ofa vets can take the films without anesthesia....

    ofa is an opinion by a panel of three vets and I have known folks who have sent in the same films twice and gotten two different ratings depending on the panel of vets.....

    penn hip is typically more expensive than ofa....

    there are pros and cons to both.....

    I do ofa because it is easier.... and cheaper

    personally I like the BVA system (british system) and am trying to find a clinic that can do bva films

    for what you are looking for an ofa would be fine....
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    Senior Member ACampbell's Avatar
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    Re: PennHIP vs OFA

    Just one of the people I was hoping for a response from, I figured one of our breeders would be more well versed in it.
    I thought you couldn't do OFA until they are 2+ years old though? Where PennHIP website says 16 weeks.
    I'm more interested in accuracy than monetary wise, and from what I read you can take your PennHIP x-rays and send them to OFA for evaluation as well?
    With that being said, does a vet have to be qualified to do the x-rays for OFA like they do PennHIP or can any vet do it?
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    Re: PennHIP vs OFA

    Quote Originally Posted by ACampbell View Post
    Just one of the people I was hoping for a response from, I figured one of our breeders would be more well versed in it.
    I thought you couldn't do OFA until they are 2+ years old though? Where PennHIP website says 16 weeks.
    I'm more interested in accuracy than monetary wise, and from what I read you can take your PennHIP x-rays and send them to OFA for evaluation as well?
    With that being said, does a vet have to be qualified to do the x-rays for OFA like they do PennHIP or can any vet do it?
    well yes pennhip you can do at 16 weeks with ofa you can do prelims after age 1 and permanent clearances after age 2
    you can send in your films to ofa

    a vet does not have to be certified to do ofa exams however, finding a vet that has done them and has done them successfully is a good idea as positioning is very important.... my regular vet does tehm for me... but he does a great job and I have gotten very good results.... ofa will send back films if they are not positioned correctly

    hope this helps
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    Senior Member HoundedByHounds's Avatar
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    Re: PennHIP vs OFA

    Use caution with larger dogs. I do know breeder friends who's dogs limped for quite a while after a PennHip exam. Often enough that they all now use OFA instead.

    OFA prelims can be done anytime after 4 months of age, actually
    Last edited by HoundedByHounds; 06-18-2008 at 10:28 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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    Senior Member ACampbell's Avatar
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    Re: PennHIP vs OFA

    Good information. I will need to talk to my vet (military vet) to see what they know of it...I'm not sure there's a lot of call on the base for it and they aren't the ones that are PennHIP certified, but they are certainly more affordable than my off-base options by far (such as yesterday I had both the dogs microchipped for a whopping $38 for both - you can't even buy them out of a vet catalog that cheap)

    I didn't know that OFA would do them earlier than 2 years, that's good to know. That's why I had read up on PennHIP because of the early age you can do it at. I'll call around and see the price difference between OFA and PennHIP Thanks for the info!
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    Senior Member HoundedByHounds's Avatar
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    Re: PennHIP vs OFA

    OFA even has a reliability document on their site if you are interested. It lists the likelihood of a dog passing when prelimmed at a certain age. In general as should be expected the closer to 24 mos a dog was the more likely it would pass. Pass being anything Fair and above.

    I thought the percentages even at younger ages were quite impressive.
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    Senior Member sillylilykitty's Avatar
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    Re: PennHIP vs OFA

    PennHip measures joint laxity while OFA is looking at the symmetry of the hip joint and femur bones. They have to take 3 radiographs for PennHip and they have to use anesthesia because the positions they put them in are painful. One of the positions that I can remember is frog legged, where they spread the legs and put weights on them (Like little sand bags or something similar). Another is to pull their legs straight forward (like the dog is stretching) and the other is to pull them straight up over the dogs body.

    OFA only requires 1 shot, it's easier and less expensive, it is still painful and it is highly recommended to use anesthesia but some doctors dont use it. You want anesthesia for OFA's because you have to pull the legs straight out and then turn them inward so that you are rotating their knees inward.
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    Senior Member ACampbell's Avatar
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    Re: PennHIP vs OFA

    Yeah I was looking at some of the x-rays and trying to figure how they'd positioned their legs...I would definetely have Lily anesthetized (oh I can't spell that word) because there's no way we'd get a clear shot for even 1 set otherwise.
    You'd think the "frog leg" position would be horribly uncomfortable but she's always laying like that, with her legs in a froggy position...it's really odd looking
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    Re: PennHIP vs OFA

    OFA's are not painful, IME. In fact one vet clinic I use when I have the time to drive out that far...does them without anesthetic. The dogs are relaxed and simply lay there while film is taken, I am right there looking thru the window...the dog is not in any pain. They are digitals so positioning can be checked right there...

    I have never had a dog come back sore or exhibit soreness post OFA, knocked out...or not.
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    Senior Member sillylilykitty's Avatar
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    Re: PennHIP vs OFA

    OFA's are painful. If I had someone do the same technique on me I know I wouldnt be comfortable. Considering dogs are animals that hide pain as much as they can of course you cant always take that as the only sign of pain. I know there are a lot of vets who do not use anesthesia, and if they can do the correct technique while minimizing pain good for them. See, try laying your dog on his back and then pull and extend his legs as straight as possible and then turn his knees inward until they touch. I'd rather give them the benefit of the doubt and say that it is painful.
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    Re: PennHIP vs OFA

    Quote Originally Posted by ACampbell View Post
    I'm more interested in accuracy than monetary wise, and from what I read you can take your PennHIP x-rays and send them to OFA for evaluation as well?
    With that being said, does a vet have to be qualified to do the x-rays for OFA like they do PennHIP or can any vet do it?

    From what I've heard over the years, the PennHip method gives a more accurate indicator of the dog's joints. With them, anestethizing (sp?) is a requirement, although the new Vet I use for OFA hip requires we do anestesia to get a more accurate reading. I have to admit, I would be leery of a procedure done w/o knocking the dog out, because you do not have as good of an indicator of joint laxity.

    Any Vet can do an OFA hip x-ray, which is the main reason I use them rather than PennHip. It's damn near improssible in my area to find a Vet *willing* to do the x-rays so I have to take what I can get, lol I might consider going out of my way though, if PennHip had a serachable database the way OFA does. All that info right at your fingertips, makes breeding decisions (and also decisions on purchasing a new bitch or dog) so much less painful. And for all OFA may not be as acurate, I am suspicious of having joints certified @ a few months old and I do believe that OFA is a HUGE step in the right direction.

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    Senior Member ACampbell's Avatar
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    Re: PennHIP vs OFA

    I used the PennHIP website and found a vet in Dexter, NY (which is fairly close, within 30 miles maybe closer I'd have to look at a map to be sure) so it's convenient for me. Since I'm pretty new up here and trying to gain some rapport with a new vet it's been interesting. The military vets are good for doing microchips, spay/neuter, and innoculations but they are kind of in a rush it always seems. Then again they have patients ranging from active duty military K9's to all the pets on the base and all retired military's pets.
    I'm not sure if they can/will do the x-rays for a prelim-OFA, I'll have to call and ask - not easy a task because getting in touch with them can be a hassle somedays. The other close clinic I won't go to, they irritated me seriously. When Lily got cut on her side (not sure quite how it happened) their answering service wouldn't even give me an emergency number because they stated it was "not an emergency" - I think being able to see the ribs through the 1 inch by 1 inch hole and bleeding everywhere is an emergency...but what do I know.
    I might have to shop around a bit then to see where can or will do them and at a reasonable price.
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    Senior Member HoundedByHounds's Avatar
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    Re: PennHIP vs OFA

    Quote Originally Posted by sillylilykitty View Post
    OFA's are painful. If I had someone do the same technique on me I know I wouldnt be comfortable. Considering dogs are animals that hide pain as much as they can of course you cant always take that as the only sign of pain.
    I know, my dogs. My dogs, were not troubled in the least by OFA exams. I have also seen them in pain...like when I nick a nail...or they whelp a puppy...so yeah...I am familiar with my dogs and pain reactions. There were none.

    BTW...not all dogs hide pain. Some will holler for hours when they have a nail TOUCHED, some will limp purely for sympathy when scolded...and others will not utter a peep when they've been gashed open by something. Let's not lump all dogs together in a bunch.

    Quote Originally Posted by sillylilykitty View Post
    then turn his knees inward until they touch. l.
    I'd suggest checking the app for positioning. The knees are not to touch, LOL. They are to remain "parallel"...they even have a nice picture there for you to look at. My dog does that pretty easily.
    Last edited by HoundedByHounds; 06-18-2008 at 02:06 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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    Re: PennHIP vs OFA

    BTW...not all dogs hide pain. Some will holler for hours when they have a nail TOUCHED, some will limp purely for sympathy when scolded...and others will not utter a peep when they've been gashed open by something. Let's not lump all dogs together in a bunch.

    I don't think I've ever come across a Beagle that didn't let me clearly know they were in pain Some were more slightly more stoic than others, but in general this can be a very dramatic breed, lol.

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    Senior Member ACampbell's Avatar
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    Re: PennHIP vs OFA

    Lol, no joke, most hounds are pretty vocal "wusses" (in the lighest term of they howl over everything) I know the basset I had would howl if you clipped his nails, and I'd never quicked him! My neighbors beagle would yelp if she spoke to him sternly and he's race and hide...they definitely let you know they do not approve!
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    Senior Member tirluc's Avatar
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    Re: PennHIP vs OFA

    Quote Originally Posted by sillylilykitty View Post
    OFA's are painful. If I had someone do the same technique on me I know I wouldnt be comfortable. Considering dogs are animals that hide pain as much as they can of course you cant always take that as the only sign of pain. I know there are a lot of vets who do not use anesthesia, and if they can do the correct technique while minimizing pain good for them. See, try laying your dog on his back and then pull and extend his legs as straight as possible and then turn his knees inward until they touch. I'd rather give them the benefit of the doubt and say that it is painful.

    ok, all 3 of my older dogs have been xrayed for OFA....Tipper's was never sent in; i knew b/4 he was even done that his hips were bad, i just wanted to know how bad....Lacey and Tir's were both sent in, Lacey was moderate, Tir was good....all of them were done W/OUT anesthesia.....my vet prefers to do it this way as he says under anesthesia you are able to manipulate the hips as you need to....if they are awake and aware, there is no way that you can put those hips in a position that is uncomfortable for the dog, and if the hips are not real good (and i know there is more to it than positioning) it's gonna hurt....a good (or maybe "not so good"?) vet can manipulate a fair hip into a good reading......Tir had both her hips and elbows done and she had to do it 2x for the elbows and 3x for the hips.....someone had left the door open to the xray room so alot of the film had been exposed to the light....they had no idea if any of the film was ruined and/or how bad so when they did her 1st elbow xray, it was no good, but the 2nd was....on the hips her 1st one she "twisted" just as they clicked, the 2nd couldn't be seen (bad film) and the 3rd was perfect (or as near perfect as we decided to put her thru).....Lacey has bad hips and was still done w/out anesthesia, even the pulling on the hips.....

    the daddy to Tir's pups had the PennHip done on him and when we were talking to vets about having it done they all said the same thing...accuracy wise they're pretty much the same....the difference being is that PennHip can be done as early as 4 mo and OFA (other than prelim) can't be done till 2 yrs (and i was told the prelims cannot be done b/4 6 mo).....i was also told by 2 breders that have used both that, having the hips "certified" b/4 2 yrs is not a guarantee, they can (not usual) still change during the growth of the dog....

    i'll stick w/ the OFA and do a prelim at 1 yr on them just to know how things are going (and my vets take on that is "if it's not good in the prelim, it won't be good in the 2 yr.....if it looks good in the prelim, wait and see what the 2yr cert turns out"....the bad will not get better but the good could "go bad") ...and i also maintain for myself that the 1st reading is the right reading, even if it's not what i want....."talked" w/ a person on another website that had 3 readings done on their show girl...the 1st came back mod., the 2nd came back fair and the 3rd came back good; they went w/ the good and bred her...
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    Senior Member sillylilykitty's Avatar
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    Re: PennHIP vs OFA

    Im sticking with OFA's are painful. I did make a mistake by saying the knees touch, they are not supposed to touch but are supposed to be close to it. I did not say it would be painful to every single dog, I mean I can touch the palms of my hands to the ground while standing and it isnt painful but Im sure for a lot of other people it is. Anesthesia is still highly recommended by the medical staff, doesnt mean you have to use it, it is not a requirement. Some vets use just a sedative others use nothing. Different breeds are different in reacting. One thing we were taught is that a lot of hounds and nordic breeds (Like Sibes) are big babies and will cry even when something doesnt hurt that is why I said
    of course you cant always take that as the only sign of pain
    because whining and howling doesnt always indicate pain.
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    Senior Member ACampbell's Avatar
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    Re: PennHIP vs OFA

    Yeah Lily is one of those high pain tolerance dogs...when she got cut she never yelped or yipped and I didn't even see it had happened until my 4 yr old point out that he got blood on him from petting her...while she was still bouncing off the walls.
    I think going with anesthetic or sedation is the only way I'm going to get her to be still enough to get a good x-ray though...she's still a spazzy pup
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    Senior Member sillylilykitty's Avatar
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    Re: PennHIP vs OFA

    So your going to do weight pull with Lily? Thats awesome, you'll have to post pictures! I love dog sports, they are so fun to watch (and hopefully compete in too!).
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