At 05:33 PM 07/10/2000 -0500, you wrote:
>Hi Kathi,
>Neither dog has been x-rayed.  Judah is only a year and x-rays
>would not show much at this point unless he had a serious hip
>problem.  We feel confident this is not the case just by watching
>his movements and range of motion.  Ellie has no apparent problem
>with movement and no history of hip problems in her background.
>I am not entirely convinced that any benefits of OFA certification
>would out weigh the potential harm of the x-rays themselves (radiation
>directed at the dogs reproductive organs as well as the anesthesia).
>In researching CHD, I've discovered that environmental factors (diet,
>excercise etc...) play just as much if not more of a role in the
>manifestation of the disease.   CHD does not always result in
>degeneration of the joint.  How does the OFA explain why some dogs
>with fair or even poor ratings never show clinical symptoms? There
>are so many unknowns as far as the heritability and the genetics of
>it.  My concern with OFA certification is that by using this as a bench
>mark of sound dogs and culling those dogs that do not measure up
>that we are losing genetic diversity and opening up the door to many
>more problems and diseases within the different breeds.
>There is alot of controversy over this subject and arguments can be
>made for both sides.  My postition may be a bit unconventional but
>I just don't see the iron clad evidence in favor of going the OFA  route.
>I bet that more than answers your question but I guess I wanted to
>back up my answer with a "why"   :-)

Amy-----------I guess I will throw in my opinion on this, too.  I can
perhaps understand why one does not want to OFA, although with it's low
cost, and low potential for problems,  but I will personally OFA all my
dogs, even though they are altered.....just so I can see what is going on,
and let the breeder know for their information.

However, if one wants a dog for agility, obedience, schutzhund, or other
jumping sports, it is definetely worth their while to attain a dog from
lines which have as much OFA info as possible.  Parents, siblings,
grandparents, etc...

Case in BC (also a lovely mellow dog), came from non-OFA
lines.  I was told that hip problems do not run in the BC breed.  Had her
OFA'd at 2, with moderate hip dysplasia in one hip.  There were no symptoms,
though!  None.  She loved to jump.  I had been training her in competition
obedience from the time I got her as a pup (no jumping until she was over
one, though), and she loved it.  She was spayed, and training went on, but I
tried to not jump her as much as training other things.  Well.....around the
age of 3, she started not to really enjoy doing the jumps anymore.  She
would still do them, but I saw a hesitancy that I had not seen before.  I
stopped jumping her altogether.  We did other things, but no jumping.  Then
around the age of 5, she developed noticeable arthritis in her dysplastic
hip.  She was moving like an old dog at 5.  Slowly getting up from lying
down.....stuff like that.

Put her on glucosamine, and it helped considerably......had radiographs done
recently (she is now 11 1/2 years old) due to apparent back pain.  She has
terrible back spurs, and her hips look aweful!  The one that was certified
dysplastic is, of course, the worst looking of the two, but they are both
bad now.  So, there was definite degeneration.  It is only a matter of time
now, before it will be too painful for her to get around, and then we'll
have to let her go.  She is the love of my life.

Now, 11 1/2 is old for a dog, so i am glad she has done this well for so
long.  However, I purchased her to do competition obedience.  That dream
stopped while training for open.  I could not do that to her knowing the
stress that puts on hips.

My Terv, who passed away a year and a half ago, had great hips.  Even at the
end.....because we had to do a radiograph on him to see what was happening
at the end.  He was also in competition obedience, and always did great
through the jumps.  Belgians love to jump!  He came from OFA good and
excellent lines.

OFA is no guarantee, but I feel that environement and diet have much more
influence on a dog if they are already genetically predisposed to having bad
hips.  I know my BCs bad hips were not caused by jumping, because we did
everything we were supposed to to prevent it (my husband being a vet and
all).  We did not let her jump until she was over one year old, and watched
her diet to prevent accelerated growth, etc....

The Terv was raised the same way.

If someone is wanting a farm dog, hips are probably less important, because
less jumping is needed.  OFA is no guarantee, but I feel it increases the
chances of getting a good hipped dog, considerably.  So, perhaps it depends
on what you want your dog for?  Just my opinion------------Marna