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Confinement for Dysplasia

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I'm not sure this is relevant to anything here but I've seen two pups, less than six months old, with hips so bad they'd fall over in the back end while walking around. It was horrible, you could see the pain in their eyes when they moved. They were from the same litter. From the time they were born they showed no interest in playing normal puppy games. X-rays showed severe malformations.

 

So it does happen that you can see symptomatic pups.

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posted 01-26-2003 03:58 PM

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Pretty silly, Jaime...

 

All Bill and I have pointed out is that such a "diagnosis" should recieve more than one opinion - and that one of those opinions should NOT be from a vet that specializes in such surgery - yet that makes you go on and on, nearly endlessly, defending your veterinary practice that DOES do such surgeries...>>

 

Bill, I suggest you read my posts again. My clinic hosts the specialist, the second opinion, not the first- that does the surgery. We receive a small part of the fee for recovery but the bulk of the surgery fee belongs solely to the specialist. I am not "defending" anything, that implies that our clinic does something wrong in this instead of what is considered normal, good medicine. As I explained, every clinic in our city must use an out of town specialist- which is probably true in most parts of the country. So every clinic "does" these surgeries, but very few doctors. What is pretty silly though is that damn hammer analogy VBG .

 

One might ask why you would fear folks searching out such a second opinion?>>

 

As I stated, EVERY DOG THAT GETS THE SURGERY AT MY CLINIC HAS AT LEAST TWO OPINIONS MADE. We have had owners take their pets to another vet for a third opinion, which is fine- even that vet will want to know what the specialist recommends.

 

Oh yeah, and I asked how the diagnosis was made, and just recieved a snotty, "Keep your opinions to yourself" answer...>>

 

I did not say that.

 

To the other Bill-

 

Fine, you don't like OFA ratings. I don't particularly bow down to them myself. You said that these ratings are made by just an x-ray and therefore are not necessarily full proof. But that is not the case with diagnosing hip dysplasia. In that case, at least two vets will see the dog move and be aware of its symptoms or lack thereof.

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Jaime,

 

It sounds like your clinic does it right. And you said you've seen what -- one Border collie pup that required hip surgery?

 

I know of a vet that sees several a year. He's told me what a horrible problem it is, and how rampant it is in all dogs. Border collies aren't the worst, he says, but they're a breed that he's particularly concerned about.

 

I've spoken with more than one of his clients, and they tell similar stories -- the puppy seemed fine, the vet recommended an X-ray at the time of neutering (or just for its own sake) and found hip dysplasia. Emergency surgery would be necessary if the dog was to avoid a life of pain, or perhaps an early death. The cost was usually $1,000 to $2,000.

 

I'm sure that this vet believes he is doing the right thing, and can point to dozens of dogs that can walk to day because of his intervention. I've no doubt that he's sincere in his beliefs. But I've no doubt that he's wrong in many of the cases as well.

 

Perhaps this is an extreme case, but I think it's less extreme than you think. Americans are trained to worry about their pets, to get lots of tests run, and to accept veterinary advice without skepticism. I *know for a fact* that there is a business model for urban and suburban veterinary clinics that capitalizes on this training. I have been a client of such a clinic in the past.

 

Don't get me wrong: I don't begrudge a vet a living -- even a very comfortable one. I place a very high value on the knowledge and experience that a good vet brings to the practice. But they are not priests. A really good vet knows that.

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Just to clarify..

 

As I posted..

I have only seen one adult Border Collie with dysplasia (still well enough to do flyball with caution), heard of others but never known one that had to have surgery. I have known a kelpie that needed a total hip replacement- but that was cow related. Mostly what we see that need the surgery are goldens, labs, mastiffs and other similar breeds. But they are young pups with x-rays that don't leave much room for multiple opinions- just bad and already symptomatic. I do agree that borderline or suspicious x-rays should be taken accordingly. Our specialist will and has said no- not needed or better to wait and see on those.

 

There is no excuse for poor medicine, and I will also concede that there are some crappy vets out there- I've worked for a couple of them.

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Guest PrairieFire

Jaime -

 

Perhaps this would be better posted as a new thread - but my essential point is that I am suspect of the methodolgy whereby ratings and diagnosis are made...

 

Conceding our resident expert's point that perhaps double the number of Border Collies COULD be rated "dysplastic" than the records of the OFA show...

 

My question is the same as Bill F.'s...

 

"Where are all the lame dogs?"

 

If one accepts Denise's stand, and the OFA ratings, then 25% of the Border Collies out there are "dysplastic".

 

I know of only ONE dog that I would consider having a problem...in the hundreds I have "met".

 

Certainly that is anecdotal, most of the dogs I see ARE working dogs...and most are trialing or working daily...

 

But surely, if 25% of the Border Collies out there were dysplastic, (more than) a few dogs would be limping around a trial field...

 

And if the "working dog crowd" cared as little for hips as the versatile and conformance crowd would like everyone to believe, and the statistics above are correct, then there would be very few Open dogs that could crawl around a course...after all, since the versatile and conformance folks claim every dog they breed to is "excellent" then ALL of the 25% of "dysplastic" dogs should fall in the working dog category...statistics...lies, damn lies, and statistics...

 

Which leaves the only door open as the one that defines the methods whereby a dog is considered "dsyplastic"...

 

Now, my contention is simply that Border Collies ARE different and require different methods of judging - conceding that the OFA has SOME expertise in SOMETHING (but not working dogs)...

 

Some of you may remember the thread a couple years back where I used a Solid Modeling program to make a working model of a Border Collie hip and joint and backbone (based on radiographs from the U of MN) and then subjected the model to Finite Element Analysis...

 

And the stress and strain and pressure on hips, joints, and backbone, were much less on dogs that were considered "fair" than dogs that were considered "excellent"...leading me to wonder if the upright dogs aren't easier to rate than crouching dogs...

 

Now, that was simply a small test based on a few xrays, nothing to write a paper on, but interesting to me personally, at least...

 

Tools are only as good as the folks that wield them - and oftimes the wrong tool is used only because other ones have not been considered.

 

As long as the OFA is seen as having the dogma required to evaluate (and predict) the hips of a dog, then the tool is flawed.

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For those who want to see scientific data, there are hundreds of references on HD that you can search out and read the abstracts (brief summaries) on. The URL for pubmed is:

 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi

 

I invite any of you to perform a search using the key words "canine hip dysplasia" and see what you think.

 

As for Border Collies specifically - because of being on the ABCA Health and Genetics Committee, many people talk to me about their dogs' health and I also do some searching out of information on my own. There are many lame HD affected Border Collies out there. I can't say for sure how many and I don't think anyone can. The one in four HD affected statistic is only an estimate based on the 12.6% affected percentage reported by OFA from 1974-2000. Those who hip screen large numbers of one to three year old working bred Border Collies have told me the one in four estimate agrees with what they see. They also estimate that only about one in three of those diagnosed with HD by x-ray will show symptoms AT THAT TIME.

 

Unless people are following large numbers of dogs throughout their entire lives, I don't think much can be assumed on the quality of life led by these young x-ray diagnosed HD affected dogs. Some researchers believe environmental influence does not affect whether the dog manifests the disease, it only affects the time frame. In other words, if for example you feed your pup with genes for HD in such a way as to prevent overt disease by age two, you are only prolonging the inevitable - the dog goes lame at six instead of three. Prolonging the occurrence of pain and debilitation is a good thing. It just shouldn't be confused with absence of the disease.

 

I can't speak to the true situation overseas, but I think it's out there, just not considered a problem. Imported adult dogs that have come to this country aren't lame and have bad x-rays just because they flew over the ocean.

 

Working bred dogs here and there get passed over for training for a number of reasons. Who really knows what kinds of inappropriate working behaviors are caused by pain or fear of pain? Who knows how many get dismissed and given away or put down for not being "right" with no further thought to what the problem was?

 

I'll stop now but I can't emphasize enough that people need to spend time educating themselves before they decide to treat or not treat a young dog based on what is said on these boards. If you don't want to go through the scientific literature, there are many good links on Kim's page at:

 

http://www.geocities.com/black_dog_farm/BCLinks.html

 

 

C Denise Wall, PhD

ABCA Health and Genetics Committee Member

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My 2 Cents...

 

I have mentioned this before but it does not pertain to border collies but does pertain to hip dysplasia.

 

A dog on my flyball team has severe hip dysplasia. He is a golden retriever that comes from working lines. Eli is a great flyball competitor. When people see him run they are amazed to find out he has hip dysplasia. The owner keeps both her goldens on the thin side. Before flyball and before she knew better, her dogs were a little on the thick side. Eli's hips are so bad that you can see and feel the hip dysplasia and it looks painful but he does not seem to notice it. A couple days after a tournament, he is sore but she gives him a rimadyl and he is fine. She never had the surgery done and does not plan to unless things get a lot worse.

 

I think that once people hear their dog has dysplasia many folks stop doing activities with them. They take them out for short lingering walks and that is it. When they should have their dog out trying to build up the muscles. Eli's hip is basically only held in place by his strong muscles, tendons etc... Because of lack of exercise, many dogs then become overweight which is the worse thing you can do.

 

And many vets don't comment on the dogs weight. They don't want to deal with the people getting annoyed.

 

Many vets complain about dogs that are "too thin" when they aren't. I want to feel a dogs ribs but many vets would say they are too thin.

 

If a dog is on the lighter side and gets enough appropriate exercise, many dogs can avoid surgery.

 

Eli also tore his acl and had to have surgery on that so money is not the reason he does not get his hip surgery. My teammate feels that the surgery would not help him enough and give him a good quality of life. Eli seems very happy as is.

 

I think the vets recommend surgery even if the dogs don't need it not because of money but because with many "pet" owners, it is the best thing. Too many pet owners want the quick fix and don't want to spend the time with their dogs.

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"Unless people are following large numbers of dogs throughout their entire lives, I don't think much can be assumed on the quality of life led by these young x-ray diagnosed HD affected dogs"

 

Well I have a young (diagnosed at 6 mos) Border Collie pup with dysplasia. I took him in because he did not move right. He hitched up one leg when moving. I saw the X-rays, no doubt in my mind especially as the other hip was normal. He is now 9 mos old and still can't move right. I can't afford the $2500 to $3000 plus I have been quoted from numerous sources to have the TPO surgery. He can run and jump and appears very agile but you can see he does not move right. I put him on sheep a couple weeks ago and he could not last more than a couple minutes. If it is true that it is rare in Border Collies then I guess I have bad luck. He is from some top top working dog lines also. He is being replaced by the breeder for me, although I am keeping him as a pet only as there is no alternative for his life. The TPO surgery has to be done on a young dog under 1 year of age. They literally break the pelvic bone and form a better hip joint. The older they get the more wear on the hip joint and the surgery cannot be performed. I don't need a 2nd opinion in my case, the dogs movement says it all. I will have this dog be a guinea pig and I will keep track of the changes in him as he ages. So far he is the same as he was at 6 mos. I don't see any changes in his movement or stamina.

JES.

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Guest PrairieFire

Good points, Kim, and I think terribly important to the discussion...

 

As Denise points out, proper nutrition may cause a dog not to show debilitating symptoms for many years - proper exercise, weight control, etc. may also add to that...

 

However, the "wear and tear of the hill" might make that worse...?

 

CHD, as far as I know, is, as Bill F. explained, "defined as bilateral osteoarthritis with joint remodeling by age two"

 

So if symptoms of arthritis don't show up until the dog is 7 - what is it?

 

Old age?

 

Heck, my knees require warming up too...and I can't do a spinning heel hook anymore either...and certainly wouldn't want to try.

 

I tend to think that like most things, the issue is a complicated one - much too complicated for pat answers and certainly well beyond the science we currently use to diagnose the problem...

 

Like Denise, I promote education - unlike Denise, I say get your education from contrary sources as well as the "accepted" sources - question everything, discard what you see as useless, take what is left and make it your own...

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Guest PrairieFire

Oh, and something I forgot...

 

The term "dis-ease". I guess that means something different to everybody...in the case of JES's dog - dis-ease means he's not able to live a normal life...high-level dis-ease...

 

If a dog is able to live a normal life - is the dis-ease "debilitating"?

 

It is, possibly, genetically passed on...we just don't quite understand how - after all, "excellent" parents can give rise to "affected" dogs - at close to the same percentage of affected offspring as "affected" parents - 12% for the "excellent" ratings to 14% for the "lesser rated dogs".

 

A percentage derived by the Genetics Committee, by the way, and that, personally, a difference I would consider statistically insignificant...

 

But the LEVEL of dis-ease is the question that remains, in my mind.

 

If the level of dis-ease (and degeneration) is not the same for every dog with the same "ratings", then our methods are suspect...because they are not predictable or consistent.

 

They are still lacking.

 

And statistics aren't the answer.

 

I quite like Denise Wall, and think she does a wonderful job on the Committee and applaud her work, by the way...I think we have to go farther - MUCH farther, in determining just what the disease is...and how to predict and contain.

 

Because in my mind, if a disease doesn't cause dis-ease - it isn't there, no matter how an xray is interpreted...

 

Let me say, just for the record, that every dog I have on my place is good or excellent - as rated by the University of Minnesota Veterinary Teaching Hospital Orthopedic Department. So it would be easy to fall into line and claim happiness all around - "Look, see, good hips"...

 

I just want it all to be good science as well...and APPROPRIATE science...

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Bill Gary wrote:

 

"It is, possibly, genetically passed on...we just don't quite understand how - after all, "excellent" parents can give rise to "affected" dogs - at close to the same percentage of affected offspring as "affected" parents - 12% for the "excellent" ratings to 14% for the "lesser rated dogs".

 

A percentage derived by the Genetics Committee, by the way, and that, personally, a difference I would consider statistically insignificant..."

 

That study was not done by the ABCA Genetics Committee. The reference for that study is as follows:

 

Reed AL, Keller GG, Vogt DW, Ellersieck MR, Corley EA. Effect of dam and sire qualitative hip conformation scores on progeny hip conformation. J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2000 Sep 1;217(5):675-80.

 

My summary of their study is:

 

1. When dogs with Good or Excellent ratings are mated, there is a 12.5% incidence of puppies developing CHD, 87.5% will have normal hips.

 

2. When a dog with hips rated Good or Excellent is mated to a dog with hips rated Fair, the incidence of CHD puppies rises to 15%, with 85% normal.

 

3. When a dog which is dysplastic is mated to a dog rated Good or Excellent, the incidence of normal-hipped puppies drops to 75%, and the incidence of CHD jumps to 25%.

 

For those who want to read other details on statistical significance -

 

The abstract

 

Effect of dam and sire qualitative hip conformation scores on progeny hip conformation.

 

Reed AL, Keller GG, Vogt DW, Ellersieck MR, Corley EA.

 

Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, Columbia, MO 65201, USA.

 

OBJECTIVE: To determine in dogs what effect using hip conformation scores assigned by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) as a criterion for breeding selections would have on hip conformation scores of the progeny. DESIGN: Longitudinal study. ANIMALS: English Setters, Portuguese Water Dogs, Chinese Shar-peis, and Bernese Mountain Dogs for which OFA hip conformation scores were known. PROCEDURE: Pedigree data were obtained from the national breed clubs and the American Kennel Club and merged with data from the OFA hip conformation score database. An ANOVA was used to evaluate the effects of sex, age at the time of radiographic evaluation, and year of birth on the variation in hip conformation scores among the progeny. Heritability was estimated by use of within-year midparent offspring regression analyses. RESULTS: Significant differences in progeny hip conformation scores between sexes were not detected, but age at the time of radiographic evaluation and year of birth had a significant effect on hip joint conformation of the progeny. Estimated heritability (mean +/- SE) was 0.26 +/- 0.03, and dam and sire hip conformation scores had a significant effect on progeny hip conformation scores. Annual decreases in percentage of dysplastic progeny and increases in percentages of progeny and breeding dogs with phenotypically normal hip joint conformation were detected. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Results indicated that hip conformation scores have moderate heritability in dogs and selection of breeding stock with better hip conformation scores will increase the percentage of progeny with phenotypically normal hip joint conformation.

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Bill G.,

 

I can sympathize on the knee warmups. I am 30 years old and already have had 2 knee surgeries and need another but I still play soccer even though it hurts. I wish I never had the first surgery and feel that is why my knee is as bad as it is. The other one has the same problems but not nearly as bad and I never had surgery and it is my dominant leg.

 

I figure that a dog will stop their activities when they no longer can deal with the pain or discomfort.

 

My teammate moved from CA and her dogs were out of flyball for almost 3-4 months. In that time, she played ball with her dogs but they did not get flyball. Eli started loosing his muscle tone and started having a lot more limping and other problems associated with his hip. Once the flyball started backup, his muscle tone came back and the constant limping subsided. So I truly think that when people limit the activities of their dysplasic dogs, they are actually only making it worse. The dogs need activity to keep their mobility and strength. The length of activity needs to be increased over time not in a drastic manner.

 

And when it comes to arthritis...I think that whether the dog has surgery or not, arthritis is almost inevitable. If not arthritis, the dog will probably still be able to predict the weather

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Guest PrairieFire

Well, Denise, consider my numbers of 12% and 14% corrected to 12.5% and 15%...and chalk it up to a senior moment...

 

Still not much difference - and quoting a study by the OFA is pretty darn similar to quoting a drug companies study on their latest wonder drug isn't it?

 

Do you really maintain that 12.5% and 15% are statistically significant?

 

And that you can predict the offsprings hip scores?

 

And that the hips of "English Setters, Portuguese Water Dogs, Chinese Shar-peis, and Bernese Mountain Dogs", incidently registered with the akc - indicating conformation breeding - are used in an equivalent manner as a working Border Collie?

 

I don't think so.

 

No matter how much you defend the OFA, the point is still one that the information is lacking in conclusive evidence - as a scientist you should understand that.

 

Knowing about your dogs hips are important - PRETENDING to know by spouting an unproven scoring system - especially unproven on Border Collies - is careless.

 

I agree that we need to know more about hips and genetic hereditability, but I KNOW we need to know more - the present system is lacking.

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Bill wrote:

 

>Well, Denise, consider my numbers of 12% and 14% corrected to 12.5% and 15%...and chalk it up to a senior moment...<

 

No, this is what you wrote:

 

"after all, "excellent" parents can give rise to "affected" dogs - at close to the same percentage of affected offspring as "affected" parents - 12% for the "excellent" ratings to 14% for the "lesser rated dogs". "

 

Bill, the study finds 12.5% dysplastic puppies are produced when two OFA good or excellent dogs are crossed [most of these would be OFA good since the percentage of excellent isn't that high]. That figure doubles to 25% when ONE dysplastic parent is crossed with an OFA good or excellent parent. That is statistically significant to me.

 

Bill wrote:

 

>And that the hips of "English Setters, Portuguese Water Dogs, Chinese Shar-peis, and Bernese Mountain Dogs", incidently registered with the akc - indicating conformation breeding - are used in an equivalent manner as a working Border Collie?

 

I don't think so.

 

No matter how much you defend the OFA, the point is still one that the information is lacking in conclusive evidence - as a scientist you should understand that. <

 

I didn't bring this study up, you did!!! I was just correcting the stats that you were using to prove a point. I don't see any defending of OFA on my part in that post.

 

As I have said before, OFA isn't perfect. If it were we on the Health and Genetics committee would not be searching for and researching new and possibly more effective procedures like we are. OFA is a tool with some proven effectiveness. Some people want to use the tools we have available now, even though not perfect, to increase their odds of preventing or diagnosing HD. It pretty much boils down to this - If you want to increase your odds, then OFA is a good bet. If you want 100% assurance, then OFA will not suit you.

 

Denise

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Guest PrairieFire

Well, Denise, I guess the party line is strong...and the dogma of the church runs deep...

 

I seem to remember a discussion where you were concerned about "red zone" and "orange zone" dogs - losing genetic diversity and all that...

 

Since, no matter the statistics, it is IMPOSSIBLE to prove whether there will be ANY "affected" pups in a litter, or whether they will ALL be "affected" (in ANY litter from ANY rated dog)...it would seem to be safer, "increasing one's odds" in your words, to simply breed excellent hips to excellent hips...

 

Interesting gene pool, that one.

 

Since most "anecdotal" evidence of studying ancestors, siblings, etc., of "key" dogs "appears" to provide the population with LESS than 25% "affected" dogs (again, "Where are all the lame Open dogs?") one would think that someone interested in breeding would follow a time proven method rather than a method that, by it's very own statistics, FAILS more often than it predicts...

 

As mentioned, if all you have is a hammer, then you will find a use for a nail.

 

Performance is as performance does.

 

Conformation is as conformation judges.

 

The "look" of a hip simply cannot predict the performance of the dog - and it is not a reliable predictor of genetics - at least at this time - either.

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Guest PrairieFire

I thought it important that I clarify my thoughts - and not let the discussion control the content...

 

I believe that the "real" danger in OFA'ing dogs hips is simply that it provides a false (or misinterpreted, or perhaps even deliberately misused) sense of "security".

 

In other words, "My dogs hips are good - therefore I can breed him with impunity."

 

I won't even get into the "proven ability" dogs at this point - let's assume the dog has already proven it's a worker...although most of us know the stories of "versatile" and "other" breeders who use OFA ratings as selling points for their dogs/lines (just browse the internet for awhile).

 

Let's even consider a statement made in this thread by a person with a dog from "top working lines"...a dog with obviously distressing hip problems (CHD - I dunno, but obviously a hip malformation of some sort).

 

It becomes very easy to say - "Those working lines threw a dysplastic dog".

 

Even though "those working lines" may NEVER have thrown another dysplastic dog in the past, and may NEVER throw another dysplastic dog in the future.

 

The problem is simply that, human nature being what it is, an OFA rating is seen as meaning something WAY beyond what it truly means.

 

To reiterate - statistics being what they are (and I have seen this "anecdotally") two Excellent rated dogs, with NO affected relatives anywhere in their lines, may throw an entire litter of dysplastic dogs.

 

It can happen, I have a friend who researched the pup he was getting thoroughly - and it turned out that every single pup in that litter of 5 developed debilitating problems.

 

OFA may be a tool - but the problem is, in my mind, it isn't a "predictive" tool - it is only a "measurement" tool.

 

A tape measure cannot tell you the size of the room you want to build - but it can measure the size of it afterwards.

 

And I'm pretty sure that OFA ratings don't even adequately measure the "true" effects on an individual dogs performance. For reasons I have waxed eloquently on above...

 

I trust the "tool" to provide SOME information to SOME people - but I have seen it misused and misrepresented more often than not...

 

Which perhaps isn't the fault of the OFA - but they don't talk much about those problems, either...

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I trust the "tool" to provide SOME information to SOME people - but I have seen it misused and misrepresented more often than not...

 

But that's not the fault of the tool -- and I still have a hard time getting my brain around the idea that more information is a bad thing.

 

People breed crappily and make all sorts of excuses for it. If their selling point isn't a hip score, it'll be something else. I don't think hip scores are the be-all and end-all of a breeding program, but they are data and in that sense I consider them neutral, not good or bad. It all depends on what breeders do with the data at hand, and any puppy buyer who rates breeders solely by the criteria of hip scores deserves whatever he or she gets.

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"Let's even consider a statement made in this thread by a person with a dog from "top working lines"...a dog with obviously distressing hip problems (CHD - I dunno, but obviously a hip malformation of some sort).

 

It becomes very easy to say - "Those working lines threw a dysplastic dog".

 

Even though "those working lines" may NEVER have thrown another dysplastic dog in the past, and may NEVER throw another dysplastic dog in the future."

 

Well, I do know of other dysplastic dogs from these working lines, but if we look at the number of dogs produced by these lines I'm sure the percentage is still quite small. I am not saying that "these lines" are producing dogs with CHD. From what I have read it seems it is going to show up no matter what the status of the parents, grandparents etc is. As for my dog having CHD, I am going by what the vet said that did the x-ray. He does have some good qualifications and came recommended. What is the exact definition of CHD? Is it a disease? or is it any malformation of the hip joint?

I think I had mentioned in another thread a while back about a conformation dog I had (NOT BORDER COLLIE)that I had x-rayed by my local vets office and that vet said my dog had CHD. I then took her to another vet who did not use anesthesia. This vet had also served on the OFA board at one time. She OFA'd fair. When I showed him the previous x-ray done under anesthesia, he said he would have said she was dysplastic. So based on my own personal experience I don't have a lot of confidence in the OFA. I will have my dogs x-rayed and in the case of my pup I know there is something wrong, not because of the x-ray, but because of the physical signs he shows.

JES.

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Guest PrairieFire

Melanie - do the terms "misleading" and "misrepresented" mean anything to you..?

 

That is the crux, simply read JES's expereince and know that expereince is repeated over and over...

 

"But that's not the fault of the tool"

 

I disagree - especially when the people selling the tool say it works properly...when it obviously doesn't do what it is represented to do.

 

Jes - If I offended you, I think I must not have been clear - I was only using your expereince as how people WILL take the entire process as gospel - which you obviously haven't...I think your experinces are probably typical - with different ratings from different people on different days.

 

How a dog is posed is incredibly important.

 

I have a friend in the gun dog world who says it is common knowledge which vets have an understanding of how to pose a dog - they can't hide everything, but apparently can make a borderline appraisal slightly better...

 

And I also think there can be important distinctions between CHD and other hip diseases - but they all get lumped, by the majority of people, into the "dsyplastic" category - with or without xrays...

 

I'm very sorry about your pup, it must be tough.

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A study on hip improvement not done by OFA

*************

 

J Am Vet Med Assoc 1997 Dec 15;211(12):1542-4

 

Retrospective cohort study of changes in hip joint phenotype of dogs in the United States.

 

Kaneene JB, Mostosky UV, Padgett GA.

 

Population Medicine Center, College of Veterinary Medicine, Michigan State University, East Lansing 48824-1314, USA.

 

OBJECTIVE: To determine whether there had been a significant improvement in hip joint phenotype of dogs in the United States by comparing results of evaluations done by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals of dogs born between 1972 and 1980 with those of dogs born between 1989 and 1992 and determining whether there had been an increase in the percentage of dogs classified as having excellent hip joint phenotype. DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study. SAMPLE POPULATION: 270,978 evaluations. PROCEDURE: Numbers and percentages of dogs classified as having excellent hip joint phenotype during each period and change between periods in percentages of dogs classified as having excellent hip joint phenotype were calculated. RESULTS: Percentage of dogs born between 1989 and 1992 that were classified as having excellent hip joint phenotype (15,289/143,668; 10.64%) was significantly higher than percentage of dogs born between 1972 and 1980 that were classified as having excellent hip joint phenotype (9,960/127,310; 7.82%). The increase in percentage of dogs classified as having excellent hip joint phenotype was significantly higher for male (51%) than for female (27%) dogs. CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: Results suggest that there has been an improvement in the hip joint phenotype of dogs in the United States between the 1970s and early 1990s and that the improvement has been greater among male than among female dogs.

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Interesting article on overall prevalence of HD with no prescreening of xrays.

 

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Vet Radiol Ultrasound 2002 Jul-Aug;43(4):313-8

 

Prevalence of canine hip dysplasia in a veterinary teaching hospital population.

 

Rettenmaier JL, Keller GG, Lattimer JC, Corley EA, Ellersieck MR.

 

Veterinary Services, Columbia, MO 65201, USA.

 

The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of canine HD in a population in which there was minimal or no prior screening of radiographs for the disorder. Patient information was obtained from the radiographic database at the University of Missouri-Columbia Veterinary Teaching Hospital during the five-year period of 1991-1995. The coxofemoral joints on ventrodorsal radiographs of the pelvis were independently evaluated by three veterinary radiologists. A consensus evaluation of normal, borderline, or dysplastic was compiled. There were 2885 dogs identified representing 116 breeds and the mixbreds. There were 2236 purebred dogs (1071 males and 1165 females) and the prevalence of HD was 19.7%. There were 649 mixbred dogs (340 males and 309 females) and the prevalence of HD was 17.7%. There was no significant difference in the prevalence of HD between sexes or between purebred and mixbred dogs (P = 0.16; P = 0.29). Degenerative joint disease (DJD) was the most common radiographic manifestation of HD and there appeared to be a threshold at 12 months of age after which the presence of DJD was the primary diagnostic criteria.

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From OFA site:

 

http://www.offa.org/hdproc.html

 

"Chemical restraint (anesthesia) is not required by OFA but chemical restraint to the point of muscle relaxation is recommended. With chemical restraint optimum patient positioning is easier with minimal repeat radiographs (less radiation exposure) and a truer representation of the hip status is obtained."

 

Dogs will often show more joint laxity in the hip when they are under general anesthesia, therefore, sometimes their ratings will be affected.

 

Also from the link above:

 

"When results of 1.8 million radiographic evaluations by 45 radiologists were analyzed, it was found that all three radiologists agreed as to whether the dog should be classified as having a normal phenotype, borderline phenotype, or HD 94.9% of the time. In addition, 73.5% of the time, all three radiologists agreed on the same hip phenotype (excellent, fair, good, borderline, mild, moderate or severe). Twenty-one percent of the time, two radiologists agreed on the same hip grade and the third radiologist was within one hip grade of the other two. Two radiologists agreed on the same hip grade and the third radiologist was within two hip grades of the other 2 5.4% of the time. This percentage of agreement is high considering the subjective nature of the evaluation."

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Heritability of HD

 

From Willis, Genetics of the Dog, 1989.

 

He has a table with the results of several studies on crosses that I've quickly compiled for ease of viewing. These data are from five studies done from 1959-1967 (before OFA) in the US and Sweden. The total number of dogs was 1,712. Exact references to follow.

 

Dogs crossed:

 

Normal X Normal = ~70% Normal Offspring/30% HD

Normal X Dysplastic = ~50% Normal Offspring/50% HD

Dysplastic X Dysplastic = ~12% Normal Offspring/ 88% HD

 

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I don't know the breeds used but the high incidence of HD (30% overall) in the N X N crosses is liklely due to high affected rates in the breeds and therefore high percentages of carrier rates even in the Normals.

 

I'll post the references tomorrow with a more refined analysis.

 

Denise

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Guest PrairieFire

Well, Denise, let's actually take a look at your studies...

 

The first simply "suggested" that there had been an improvement in hip phenotype between 1970 an 1990.

 

Any scientist worth their salt should be able to ask the question: "Why?" and realize there are absolutely NO conclusions drawn by that study.

 

Because breeders became aware of the problem and researched bloodlines?

 

The second set of data seems to have absolutely nothing to do with anything - unless you are posting it to indicate that your reference to CHD being twice as high in Border Collies as the 12% indicated by OFA records is a wrong conclusion - since this study quotes "purebred and mixed bred" dogs as being somewhere between 18% and 20%.

 

Now, lets look at the third case -

 

"Twenty-one percent of the time, two radiologists agreed on the same hip grade and the third radiologist was within one hip grade of the other two. Two radiologists agreed on the same hip grade and the third radiologist was within two hip grades of the other 25.4% of the time. This percentage of agreement is high considering the subjective nature of the evaluation."

 

So that means that 21% to 25.4% of the time (or 42% to 50.8%, depending on how one reads the above data, the report isn't very clear), a dog was given a WRONG rating by the "three radiologists" (any relation to the three tenors?)

 

And that a dog that deserved a "good" rating was given a "poor" rating 25.4% of the time?

 

Now I'd say THAT is statistically significant.

 

And the fact that a "poor" rated dog could be rated "good" in 25.4% of the cases would certainly provide some information about the inconsistency of predictive results.

 

As well as the fact that the "the subjective nature of the evaluation" will CAUSE this type of disagreement between trained, skilled, true beleivers.

 

And the fourth study is HOW many doggie generations removed? 1959, huh? I don't think most pedigrees go that far back anymore...

 

Alright, flippant answer, so let's cut to the chase...

 

It seems as if you are agreeing with me that there is little predictive value in ratings, since ANY rating can throw ANY hip status at ANY time...proving only that the "predictive" value of this form of rating is misleading...or at least inaccurate enough to produce a high percentage of dysplastic pups from excellent parents - and that a better method should be derived.

 

You can post all the studies you wish, Denise, I'm sure I can find flaws in most of them...and so can you if you look at them objectively rather than as a true believer.

 

All that proves is simply that using the present system as a predictor of performance - both individually and as a phenotype - is seriously flawed...

 

I might suggest rather than defending a flawed system, you spend time telling us what things you think can be changed in order to minimize or eliminate the flaws...

 

Now, picture me in front of a jury, wearing my three piece suit - and instead of a black glove, I have a set of xrays in my hand...

 

"CON-formance is no predictor of PER-formance."

 

What about the gene studies I've heard are coming along?

 

Is there any data suggesting that better tests are on thier way?

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I can see both sides of the argument.

 

OFA tries to keep track of the ratings but the problem still remains that vets do things differently.

 

Some vets prefer to use some kind of anesthetic on the dog so they can get the dogs in a particular position for the xrays

 

Some vets will do the same thing with minimal anesthetic in order to relax the dog

 

Still others use no anesthetic at all

 

Does OFA take into account the different ways vets administered the xrays?

 

Not only is there a difference on whether meds are used or not, vets will also position dogs just a little differently from another vet or some dogs just don't get into certain positions.

 

Considering that there are such differences, how can OFA be certain of the numbers and percentages that they are giving out? For OFA to be truly effective there should be a better standard for the xrays to be taken and the standard should be followed with minimal exceptions.

 

There are some breeders that advertise in big lights that their dogs are OFA-good/excellent but in small print you may see a dog with a fair or poor rating...Breeders are using the OFA and CERF ratings as a strong selling point. That is just the way it is.

 

OFA is trying to do right and they have made headway but their numbers are not accurate and won't be until a standard for taking these x-rays is followed.

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