We believe that testing our dogs hip health is paramount to longevity in breeding dogs. Osteoarthritis is a big issue for many dog breeds but for vizslas, we need to continue to improve our programs so we can continue to produce dogs that provide many years of enjoyable and memorable hunts!
There are two systems of testing in the United States that people use to evaluate breeding females and males of our breeding programs: PENNHIP and Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA). OFA has been the "go to" for many breeders and continues to provide valuable information to breeders in determining the health of their dogs. However, PENNHIP is considered the "newer" testing system. While it has been around for several decades, in more recent years, many breeders are adopting this system as their primary hip evaluation system.
Why do I use PENNHIP?
PENNHIP provides actual measurements of hip "distraction" index with hard data.
PENNHIP can provide data early in the dog's working career to evaluate it's breeding potential before substantial financial investment is made in an animal for training.
PENNHIP is not objective, it is based on hard science and data collections for each breed.
PENNHIP evaluations can be done numerous times throughout the dogs career to understand the effect of working and hunting on hip joint health.
When both dam and sire are evaluated under this system, there is relative predictability as to hip distraction indices of progeny. If progeny are evaluated, the breeder can determine success of breeding program.
Vizsla Breed Average Hip Distraction Index is 0.44. The average is a conglomeration of over 1300 vizslas currently tested. This average continues to improve as more breeders use this system.
A lower hip distraction index represents a healthier hip evaluation. A number greater that 0.44 could indicate significant risk for pups of the tested individual to be dysplastic if not paired carefully with a lower indexed mate.