What is it?
This screening process is the most accurate way of predicting a pet’s likelihood of developing hip dysplasia and subsequent arthritis as they age, which allows us to begin management of this condition as young as 16 weeks of age. A set of 3 radiographs, with the pet placed in specific positions, is taken while the pet is under sedation. These radiographs give a measurement of the laxity (amount of abnormal movement) within the hip joint. This measurement is strongly correlated with the likelihood of developing arthritis as a result of hip dysplasia later in life. Stanley Veterinary Clinic is one of 4 clinics within a 100 mile radius with PennHip certified veterinarians.
Who should be screened?
Any patient over 16 weeks of age can be screened. Patients we strongly recommend screening are large breed dogs which tend to be more predisposed to hip dysplasia than smaller breed dogs. This is also recommended as a great way to assess genetics for breeding purposes in order to ensure breeders are doing all they can to pass on good genetics and decrease the incidence of hip dysplasia in overall populations. This can be done for any dog, large or small, to get an overall picture of the pet’s hip health.
Why perform this screening?
If a pet is found to have “loose” hips, and therefore be predisposed to hip dysplasia, there is a procedure that can be performed to help decrease the severity of arthritis and/or completely prevent arthritis from developing. This procedure, called a Juvenile Pelvic Symphysiodesis (JPS), creates an alteration in the growth of the pelvis, forming a stronger, or “tighter” hip joint as the pet grows. Because this procedure relies on changes in the way the pelvis grows, it must be done before 20 weeks of age to gain the maximum benefit from the procedure. This procedure is both less invasive and less expensive than any surgery that can be done later in life to help with arthritis. The JPS procedure can also prevent arthritis development, rather than waiting for the pain and permanent changes of arthritis to develop before dealing with it.
When should my pet be screened?
Any age pet that is at least 16 weeks old can be screened with PennHip radiographs. However, the ideal time for x-rays is as close to, but no younger than, 16 weeks of age as possible. By screening at or around 16 weeks of age, this allows us to achieve the maximum benefit of treatment for any dog that is found to be at risk for hip dysplasia. Also, if a pet could benefit from having the JPS procedure performed, this gives several weeks to get that procedure planned and performed before they become too old to benefit from the procedure
How to get started:
If you are interested in having PennHip radiographs performed to screen a young pet, for breeding purposes, or just to know whether or not hip dysplasia will likely be a problem down the road, please contact us at any time at (913)533-7451. You can also see more information on this at the official PennHip website: http://info.antechimagingservices.com/pennhip/.