Hip dysplasia (HD) is the most common genetic condition seen in veterinary practice, affecting virtually every breed. There is no effective cure for this condition.


The only practical means of eliminating or reducing hip dysplasia is through selective breeding, based on well-defined objective phenotypic criteria-physical make up such as x-ray appearance.

Most traditional screening systems looked at a single view of the hips, with the hips fully extended. Since this method underestimates true hip laxity, it cannot effectively predict the dog’s susceptibility to HD in later life. Using the extended hip method for selecting breeding dogs will retain a high level of HD in the offspring.

Hip laxity (looseness) can predict the animal’s susceptibility to develop HD and the osteoarthritis (OA) of HD late in life. PenHIP testing is the method for measuring joint laxity, the primary cause of degenerative joint disease. This pioneering method is unique for several reasons:

  • It is a well-researched, objective method
  • The distraction index assigned to each hip joint is based on precise measurements and mathematical calculations
  • Veterinarians who wish to submit films to PennHIP for analysis are required to be certified in the technique. This assures that the standard protocols will be used in obtaining the films for accurate data

Franklin Vets have accredited veterinarians to perform PennHIP testing. We can offer this effective means of testing the susceptibility of a dog developing OA from HD later in life, at both our Papakura and Pukekohe clinics.

Testing involves a full anaesthetic, and a day stay in the clinic. Results are normally available in a few weeks, since they have to be sent to the USA for reading.