information - November 10th 2004.
I recently wrote to OFA and requested information
on animals in the "Wolf Hybrid"
Although some Wolfdogs are in the
"Hybrid" category, and some owners do
I still found the following response discouraging.
Approx 1/4 of the animals done are mine, and my
pages on testing originally went up in 1998.
So far in 2004 no "Wolf Hybrids" (that
show up in database, I have submitted two) have
have been tested
Fair – 14.7%,
did not pass
you for your inquiry.
I know all the animals in the lineage and
there is NO history of CHD anywhere.
The problem with that is
without having had their hips evaluated by an
expert, you can't really say for sure. The
inheritance of this disease is still not entirely
understood. Even if there was a somewhat low
incidence of HD in your lines, why would you not
OFA? Why would you give this disease a chance to
animals would be at more risk from anesthetic than
from passing on HD.
This is a
little scary, but breeding dysplastic animals is
risky too. Not all animals need to be medicated to
have this test, and some only require mild
sedation. Problem is that some vets will not do
the OFA without some form of sedation, nor will
some animals hold the correct position without it.
My vet used a drug called Domitor to sedate and
Antiseden to wake up. I really like this
medication! It caused no after effects like ACE
does. And if you run into any trouble it does have
a reversal. They gave the shot in the room and
then my animal laid down and *got sleepy*, mine
were not generally *knocked out*, simply relaxed.
When the vet gave the medicine to wake up, within
seconds to minutes the animal had returned to its
normal self. There appeared to be no discomfort or
any other effects.
It does not guarantee that the animal will
remain free of HD, their pups or offspring in
future generations. Only that they were rated and
how they rated at the time of the test. If it is
not fully guaranteed then why go through it?
are no guarantees, but, PennHip *is* meant to give
the likelihood of an animal becoming dysplastic in
the future. The OFA test may not guarantee that
there will never be a future problem with Hip
Dysplasia, but it will let you know IF there is a
problem. I OFA'd four of my animals so far, out of
these four one had VERY bad hips and was neutered.
On another animal we discovered an unknown hip
injury and she will not be in our breeding
program. One rated "good" and we are
waiting on the results of another that looked
promising. This test will help you to screen your
best breeding stock, of course you still need to
consider other things such as temperament, breed
standard, etc. The reason for doing it is to lower
the incidence of Hip Dysplasia, OFA figures have
shown how by doing the screening the incidence has
been lowered in certain breeds - some
I know of a couple of occasions where OFA
good and even excellent lines of animals threw
dysplastic offspring. This was in Wolfdogs and
true, and this is exactly why it is important to
have as much information as possible! OFA will
tell you that an animal with "fair" hips
but whose littermates all have excellent hips, is
probably a better breeding prospect than an animal
with excellent hips whose littermates are all
dysplastic. A lot of research needs to go into
Doesn't this hip problem usually show up in
a few years, by the time that they are of breeding
age (2 yrs) ? And wouldn't the chances be even
better if they were even older and not showing any
chances? Most vets will tell you that some
animals, ones with mild dysplasia or a high pain
tolerance may never show any clinical signs yet
carry the disease.
Is this not painful to the animal?
It did not
appear to be painful at all! It was not
Manipulative like I thought it would be. There was
medication given and then we carried him into the
room where the x-ray was taken. They lay them up
on the table placing the hip area over the x-ray.
The animal is then placed on its back. The vet
handled the lower end making sure the positioning
was correct. He pulled the legs in basically a
straight position and held them there. We were at
the head and helped to make sure that the entire
body was perfectly in line, head down to feet.
Then they took the x-ray. After making sure that
everything turned out well and the name and other
info could be easily read by the OFA folks, the
vet then gives the medicine to wake up. That is
all there is to it. The vet then sends them off to
OFA . One of our animals snored during the x-ray,
none of them appeared to have any soreness
Isn't this mostly a problem for breeds that
have been inbred extensively?
No, this is
a problem all breeds need to be concerned about.
There is even documented cases of wolves having
dysplasia. (Wobeser, J.Wildlife Diseases
28:268-75, 1992 April; Douglass, Vet Med Small
Anim Clin.76: 401-3, 1981 march.; Fritts and
Caywood, J. Wildlife Diseases 16: 413-7,1980
July.) Granted, the incidence of dysplasia in
populations of wild wolves is fairly low due to
natural selection, but it still happens. In fact I
have heard that There are about 30 Wolf hybrids
that passed the OFA. 19% did not (they don't list
the ones that are dysplastic. This is probably bit
biased, due to not enough animals, but still some
Special thanks to
Andrea for teaching me the importance of testing,
also Marge, HAW and Ghostwuppy.