Large breed dogs such as labs, are x-rayed mostly for hip dysplasia at a young age. If she were to go in for formal training, this would have to be done before her training began. This type of x-ray is referred to by Guide Dogs of America as OFA, which stands for Orthopedic Foundation for Animals. It lets them know if dogs have hip dysplasia. This is your standard protocol for all breeds.
For GDA, their dogs that are being considered for breeding have a different type of X-rays. These are called PennHIP X-rays. The dogs have to go under anesthesia as the hips have to be manipulated for multiple exposures. These are sent to the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine to be examined. These X-rays are what is known as "predictive" x-rays. Studies have shown them to be very conclusive in predicting a dog getting hip dysplasia. GDA does PennHIP X-rays when they are considering dogs for breeding.
I Googled PennHIP:
PennHIP (an acronym for "University of Pennsylvania Hip Improvement Program") is a diagnostic technique for evaluating the hips of dogs for laxity. The acronym is also used for the network of veterinarians that use the PennHIP method of evaluation, and for the database of breed-specific hip dysplasia trends maintained at the University of Pennsylvania. PennHIP's main objective is "to reduce the frequency and severity of hip dysplasia in all breeds of dogs", to quote the official website. The PennHIP method of diagnosis consists of three radiographs taken from different angles, which are then analyzed in order to make an assessment.
Now having said all this, does it mean Dylan will be a breeder and not a guide dog? Will it exclude her from becoming a guide dog? Will she have to do more X-rays if she is selected to go into formal training? We don't know! But when word comes back to us, you'll be the first to know.
Results take anywhere from 2 to 5 weeks. We may never know her results. She may be called in to be spade, which would obviously preclude any breeding. She may be career changed because they are predicting hip dysplasia. She may be just fine and go into formal training as scheduled, which would be sometime after the first of the year.
Anyway, I wanted to update you all as I had a few inquiries as to what was going on with Dylan and her X-rays. Thanks for asking about Dylan. She is doing just fine.
Dylan and the X-Rays...sounds like a 70's rock group.
|She is back and rockin' new socks.|