X-rays

According to the crazy calendar,  November 8 is X-ray day.  It marks the day in 1895, when a German physicist by the name of Wilhelm Röntgen produced the first X-rays.

And the topic made me think.   I wonder how many people out there who own dogs as pets, know that if you are getting your dog from a reputable breeder, that breeder will have performed certain health tests on the breeding dogs.  They do these tests to make the best attempt at producing healthy, long-lived dogs.  Different breeds can have different health challenges.   For example, some breeds may be prone to hip dysplasia.  So the last thing you want to do is to breed dogs who HAVE dysplasia. To check for this orthopedic condition, breeders do X-rays and then have them evaluated.   They submit them to a database that will provide the information to others.  One site is the OFA – or the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals.  The OFA has been around for over 50 years – and was started initially to  provide information just about hip dysplasia.  X-rays are sent to the OFA and as I understand it, three radiologists rate the hips – as  Fair, Good, Excellent, Borderline or Mild, Moderate or Severe Dysplasia. Today, the OFA site also stores information about other medical conditions may affect a dogs’ health including diseases of the eyes, elbows, thyroid and heart.

As an educated consumer – you should look at the health issues that could be prominent in your breed.  Check it out on the OFA site – there is a wealth of info there.  https://www.ofa.org/   IF a breeder is NOT doing clearances, keep in mind that you COULD be getting a dog who is more likely to have problems. 

NOW – you also need to keep in mind that even WITH all the correct clearances and health testing, stuff happens.  It’s nature.  Which humans cannot control.  They can make the best choices and that’s the best they can do.  And it’s importanat to know that your have started with healthy parents.

The more information that a breeder has about a dog, and their offspring, the more they have a good picture of their breeding program success.  Databases are good – but only as good as the information that is there!  Sometimes people do not submit data or allow their info to be public.   I’m not sure how that helps a breed….

It would be fabulous if breeders had data on ALL their puppies – but let’s face it, most pet owners don’t want to pay the price of finding out if their dog has an asymptomatic problem if there is no intent to ever breed or use that dog as a stud for breeding.   In an IDEAL world, breeders would charge extra for puppies – and would then provide a REBATE equivalent to the cost of the testing if it is done.   That way the breeder would have information about the health of ALL the puppies produced .  But it requires a fair bit of work to coordinate – so I haven’t seen anyone using this practice routinely.

Frodo had his hips X-rayed and evaluated and they were excellent.  And I know why.  First off he had good parents.  But another reason – it’s from all that countersurfing- it strengthens the hip muscles.  That’s MY take on it – so humans should not try to prevent us from countersurfing.  It’s good for us.  His X-rays are proof.  Suuuuuuuuure they are…..

Have an illuminating day.  Peace and paws up.
Seizure free days: 55

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