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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association



To examine the effectiveness of applying selective pressure to improve hip joint quality in purpose-bred detection dogs by use of PennHIP distraction index (DI) values along with Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) hip joint scores and to determine whether age, sex, coat color, breed, and body weight were associated with hip joint quality.


615 purpose-bred detection dogs assessed for hip joint quality.


Orthopedic records of 615 purpose-bred detection dogs (569 Labrador Retrievers and 46 Labrador Retriever–German Wirehaired Pointer crossbred dogs) from 2000 through 2017 were analyzed. From 2000 to 2014, hip joint quality scores were determined by OFA evaluation only (429 dogs). Beginning in 2015, both PennHIP and OFA evaluations were used to select male and female breeding stock (179 dogs; 7 dogs were removed from analysis because they did not undergo both evaluations). Selection threshold DI value for sires and dams was ≤ 0.30; all had hip joint scores of excellent or good by OFA standards. Standard ventrodorsal hip joint–extended and stress (compression and distraction) pelvic radiographs were submitted for OFA and PennHIP evaluations.


Hip joint quality scores were unchanged by use of OFA measurements only. When both PennHIP and OFA measurements were used for the selection of breeding stock, hip joint quality scores improved significantly. Sex and age were significant predictors of DI values.


PennHIP DI values were an effective measurement of hip joint quality for selecting breeding stock, and the addition of DI values to OFA measurements significantly improved hip joint quality in a population of purpose-bred dogs.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To study the musculoskeletal development of Great Dane puppies fed various dietary concentrations of calcium (Ca) and phosphorus (P) in fixed ratio by use of dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA), determination of serum insulin-like growth factor I and parathyroid hormone concentrations, radiography, and blood chemistry analysis results.

Animals—32 purebred Great Dane puppies from 4 litters.

Procedure—At weaning, puppies were assigned randomly to 1 of 3 diets. Blood was collected for biochemical analyses and hormone assays, and radiography and DEXA were performed through 18 months of age. Changes in body weight, bone mineral content, fat tissue weight, lean mass, result of serum biochemical analyses, hormonal concentrations, and radius lengths were analyzed through 18 months of age.

Results—Bone mineral content of puppies correlated positively with Ca and P content of the diets fed. Significant differences between groups in bone mineral content, lean mass, and body fat were apparent early. The disparity among groups increased until 6 months of age and then declined until body composition was no longer different at 12 months of age. Accretion rates for skeletal mineral content, fat, and lean tissue differed from each other and by diet group.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Ca and P concentrations in the diet of young Great Dane puppies are rapidly reflected in the bone mineral content of the puppies until 5 to 6 months of age, after which hormonal regulation adjusts absorption and excretion of these minerals. Appropriate Ca and P concentrations in diets are important in young puppies < 6 months of age. (Am J Vet Res 2002;63:1036–1047)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research