An improved radiographic method
that has been extensively investigated for early diagnosis of hip joint
laxity is the PennHIP® method. PennHIP® is
a scientific method of evaluating a dog for it's susceptibility to develop
Hip Dysplasia, and can be used reliably as early as 4 months of age. Coxofemoral
joint laxity, which is the first radiographic sign of CHD, may be subtle
or absent on the standard extended hip view. Hip joint laxity can not
be accurately assessed on the extended hip view. Scientific evidence indicates
that a laxity index alone can predict the likelihood of future DJD with
a high level of accuracy when applied to 16 week old puppies. Controlled
scientific studies have proven that dogs, with loose hip joints carry
a significant risk of developing joint disease, despite often being classified
as "normal" by the traditional extended (OFA, BVA, AVA) methods. The radiographic
procedure involves a special positioning of the dog so that the dog's
passive hip laxity can be accurately measured. In simple terms, passive
hip laxity refers to the degree of "looseness" of the hip ball in the
hip socket when the dog's muscles are completely relaxed. Research has
shown that the degree of passive hip laxity is an important factor in
determining susceptibility to osteoarthritis.
A PennHIP evaluation results
in a confidential report to the owner indicating the dog's Distraction
Index (DI). The DI is a measure of passive hip laxity and is expressed
as a number between 0 and 1. (A DI near 0 would indicate no joint laxity
and very tight hips. A DI closer to 1 would indicate a high degree of
laxity and very loose hips.) Dogs with DI scores less than 0.3 do not
develop osteoarthritis, with increased incidence of osteoarthritis as
the DI increased above 0.3.
Currently, there are a mere
handful of veterinarians in Australia registered for PennHIP® radiography.
The veterinarians at Veterinary
Imaging Associates are registered to do PennHIP radiography.
As well, Drs Allan and Nicoll
do conventional hip radiography and both radiologist read/score hip joints
using the AVA/BVA hip scoring method.
Video explaining the PennHIP radiographic method, this explains the method, you may need to watch it twice to catch the images well, and it does seem to cut off short.
Reference: The BVA/KC scoring
scheme for control of hip dysplasia: interpretation of criteria Christine
Gibbs, BVSc PHD, DVR, MRCVS Veterinary Record (1997) 141, 275-284 www.synbiotics.com
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