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University of Pennsylvania Hip Improvement Program

Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD) afflicts millions of dogs each year and can result in debilitating osteoarthritis (OA). It is estimated that more than 50% of the most popular large breed dogs will show evidence of hip dysplasia through x-rays.  Many will suffer pain and lameness, costing owners and breeders millions of dollars in veterinary care, and reduced performance for working dogs.

PennHIP (University of Pennsylvania Hip Improvement Program) is a not-for-profit program, wholly owned and operated, by the University of Pennsylvania. It consists of 3 components:

  • A radiographic technique to accurately screen canine hips for the susceptibility to OA.
  • A worldwide network of specifically trained veterinarians to perform the procedure.
  • A database designed to report on breed-specific trends in OA and hip dysplasia control.

PennHIP's mission is to develop and apply this evidence based technology to direct breeding strategies aimed at reducing the frequency and severity of  osteoarthritis and canine hip dysplasia. The beneficiaries will be the many dogs who suffer with this controllable genetic disease and, of course, the owners.  PennHIP incorporates a modern method for evaluating the integrity canine hips. It is accurate in puppies as young as 16 weeks. It has great potential to lower the frequency of CHD when used as a selection criterion.

River Road Animal Hospital is proud to be the only facility in Brunswick County certified to offer PennHip.