German Shepherd Precise X-ray positioning is critical for accurate OFA certifications. Dogs rated with hip dysplasia may pass with accurate positioning.
X-ray shown above of my long haired (long coat) German Shepherd dog rated by the OFA with Mild Hip Dysplasia. To read about my ordeal getting this dog OFA certified CLICK HERE. This dog received THREE different OFA ratings due to improper positioning! He was OFA rated with Mild hip dysplasia, Fair hips, and finally Good hips!
Article used with Dr. Davis’s permission.
Hip dysplasia is one of the most common medical disorders in dogs. It is a disease of the hip joint which causes ongoing deterioration and subsequent loss of function of the hips. The founder of Troy Animal Hospital and Bird Clinic, Dr. Lonnie Davis has had a special interest in the diagnosis, treatment and management of this condition since opening the practice in the 1970’s. Over the years, he has worked on perfecting and honing his craft, ultimately leading up to the development of his very own Precise Positioning Technique™.
Dr. Davis is available for consultations over the email or in person.
In the words of Dr. Davis himself:
“I started my practice here in beautiful Troy, Ohio in the late 1970′s and it wasn’t long before I did my first hip x-ray. Initially, I did what everyone else did: I gave the dog general anesthetic in order to take the x-rays. Twice the dog failed. The owner of the dog, an employee at my hospital, begged me to do the films for a third time and promised he would control the head of the dog if I would take them without a sedative or anesthesia.
Reluctantly, I agreed. The film was submitted to the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals for a third time and lo, and behold, he passed!
I then went back and compared the three films we had taken and that’s when I realized the importance of precise positioning in order to achieve an accurate evaluation and grade. In the years since, I have fine-tuned my technique to what I feel results in the best possible positioning. I use a radiolucent tray to provide greater support and stability for the dog during the radiograph. I position the dog’s hips, a technician runs the equipment and the owner/handler controls the head. I have realized great success and consistent results with this approach and only a small percentage of x-rays now require the use of a sedative.
Word spread and in an average year, I do 300 to 400 hip radiographs. These films have been submitted to the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (O.F.A.), the Ontario Veterinary College (O.V.C.), PennHIP, and USA/SV A-Stamp.
I also offer a consulting service for owners/handlers who would like my opinion on the positioning of hip radiographs taken elsewhere, whether they have been submitted to an official body for evaluation or not.