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PennHIP® radiographic method

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

Links to article sections for Canine Hip Dysplasia:

Introduction What is canine hip dysplasia?
Normal hips description and xray image of normal dog hips
Abnormal / dysplastic hips understand what it means to say hips are abnormal or dysplastic
Symptoms of dysplasia signs to watch for in your dog
Diagnosing dysplasia how canine hip dysplasia is diagnosed
Interventions and management what are the treatment options for canine hip dysplasia?
Genetics of dysplasia is canine hip dysplasia inherited or caused by environment?
Breeding decisions how do I know if I should breed my dogs?
The AVA/ANKC hip dysplasia scoring scheme an explanation of how this scoring scheme is used
PennHIP® method an explanation of the PennHIP radiographic method


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