Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Hip Screening

OFA, PennHIP and OVC have evolved for a reason.

I applaud breeders who, should a dog be dysplastic , have removed that dog from the gene pool. The dog may appear to the eye "fit as a fiddle". That is why x-rays reveal what the eye cannot see.

I have done this. It is heart wrenching to watch as your plans and future "disappear" but that is part of the commitment of breeding for a better future.

I also agree with breeders who decide to breed a dog between the ages of 1 - 2 when they have such a stellar pedigree of "passing" or "clear" hips, when they do the breeding in a knowledgeable way. They will breed this individual to a dog who has his/her hip clearances or the dog is from a pedigree of clear testing. I have done this as well.

Long time breeders, many who have been in this breed for decades with great success, know when it is worth the risk. They have years of first hand knowledge on their side to take that risk.

I have a young adult bitch who does not have any hip clearances in her pedigree and she will never be bred unless she is OFA certified. She turns 2 in March and will be x-rayed. From there I will plan her future. She is not a dog I will take a risk on.

If your dog is a "borderline", or "questionable", and you are working with a knowledgeable veterinarian, follow his/her advice about redoing the x-ray. Yes, they can be redone if the pass/fail is close. Sometimes they actually will pass the next time and you may be wonderfully surprised.

I know for a fact that only the Lord is perfect.

If your dog is definitely not going to pass… please do the right thing.

We may not have the perfect method but, as responsible breeders, we must use the tools given to us. Whichever method of hip certification that is used, I know for a fact that the person/people evaluating the x-rays have the training and experience that far outweighs any lay breeder who themselves is not a veterinarian or in the fields of medicine.

Rome was not built in a day.


Katrin said...

Well said!

dreameyce said...

Holly, thank you for your commitment, and passion for the breed.

The breeders like you (And others), who really have passion for the breed are the ones who have made the breed the wonderful breed it is today.

This and That at Qwaynt Cardigans said...

HERE HERE I agree with you 1000%and it has happened to me too. Testing is not perfect but it all we have. Testing is a tool, A tool had can not be used if they are not done.......

Anonymous said...

Excellent post Holly--I'm glad to know there are breeders like you out there working with the dog breed I have come to know and love dearly.

Jules said...

I can not imagine the hole I would have in my life right now if you were not the thoughtful individual you are - willing to place a gorgeous dog because you do not want questionable hips in your line. Thank you, Holly.

Holly said...

Thank you everyone.

In place of writing a second post, I am going to elaborate a bit more here, because I do believe variables other than genetics may play a role in HD.

We truly believe that in the instance of Julie's dog that it was the super premium all life stage food that caused the HD. After years of raising joint healthy pups on a mid -grade kibble, his litter was the first one to be fed a super premium ALS food for the first 18 months of life. And they matured quickly.

Genetically, this litter has a solid pedigree of OFA certified dogs for the first 3 generations and 3/4 of the 4th generation.

That was my one and only litter fed this way and I have changed this practice. I will only feed a good mid-level kibble from now on.

But that doesn't change the fact that Honor was still diagnosed with HD. And I will not compromise my standards.

And, thank you Julie for loving Honor Bug and making him a part of your family!