At 5:33 PM -0500 7/10/00, Misty Dale Farm wrote:

>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

        PennHip claims to be able to make a good diagnosis at 5 months (or
is ti even earlier). OFA does prelims at a year and only sees a small
percentages of change in ratings between the prelim and the actual ost age
2 certification. What both are looking for in their different ways is early
signs, exactly the stuff you really can't tell from movement (unless the
dog is very bad)

>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).

        OFA can be done without anesthesia (although your rating might be
one step lower). As for xrays - boys get a whole new batch of sperm every 4
to 6 weeks so any you zap now will be gone and replaced in a couple months.

>How does the OFA explain why some dogs
>with fair or even poor ratings never show clinical symptoms?

        some dogs are very stoic. I had a dog with a totally shattered leg
who still jumped in the truck (and wanted to jumpout but by then I was
ready for him) for the ride to the vet - never a whimper. With working dogs
the drive to work can override just about anything.

> 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.

        You can still choose to breed a dog, but at least then you are
making an informed decision. If all your pups are going to be spayed and
neutered then maybe it doesn't matter. But if you or anyone else is
planning on further breeding down this line then the more information you
have the more informed decisions you can make.