In September of 2008, Dr. H. Bryan Sorrell was certified by the University of Pennsylvania to perform the PennHIP method of hip evaluation.
An early estimate of the dog’s hip integrity is invaluable, especially if the dog’s intended purpose is showing or breeding. The University of Pennsylvania Hip Improvement Program (PennHIP) technique assesses the quality of the canine hip and quantitatively measures canine hip joint laxity.
It is a more accurate method of evaluation than the current standard in its ability to predict the onset of osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis , also known as degenerative joint disease (DJD), is the hallmark of canine hip dysplasia (CHD).
The PennHIP radiographic procedure involves special positioning of the dog so that the dog’s passive hip laxity can be accurately measured. For the comfort of and safety of the dog and accuracy of radiography, the dog is sedated while the films are taken.
A PennHIP evaluation results in a confidential report to the owner indicating the dog’s Distraction Index (DI) and whether there are existing signs of DJD. 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 little joint laxity and very tight hips. A DI closer to 1 would indicate a high degree of laxity and very loose hips. The smaller the DI, the tighter the hips, and the less likely that the dog will develop hip dysplasia.
To learn more about PennHIP and canine hip dysplasia, click here.