Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Lake Gaston, N.C.
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Only if we have a good reason to breed one before they turn two. There is really no good reason to put off OFA hip testing in Havanese until two years old, but not enough people in Havanese know, or care enough about the whole hip testing picture to change the minimum testing age to 1, instead of 2. I think 2 was the default when people starting doing OFA hips, and no one thought to question it.
So few understand the OFA hip rating methods, and I'm sure many dogs have been thrown out of the breeding pool simply because of a bad Xray. I'd say it would be a safe bet to say that at least half, probably way more than that, of the Havanese listed with Mild Dysplasia on the OFA site is because of poor quality xrays. Havanese have very flexible hips, and if there is any pulling on a hip, by either the person holding the dog, or the dog itself, while taking the xray, the rating is going to be lower than it would be with a good xray. If one just hands the dog off to go get the xray, the average technician if not going to get a good Havanese xray very often.
If one was paying attention, there have been dogs with Good preliminary that might have come back MD later, but the hips don't normally deteriorate, so the rating would just be from a poor quality xray. We know of a couple of Havanese, that belonged to other people who didn't understand how to look at the xrays, that had dogs to get Mild Dysplastic on preliminary, but got Excellent on the final one, after they turned 2. Those dogs didn't have hips that improved like that. It was from the xray quality. They both had Pam look at the Prelim xrays, and knew better what to do for Finals after Pam explained it to them. Both of those MD prelims had the dogs rotated, and one leg pulled on.
Pam always looks at the first xray taken, and if the positioning wasn't good, she'll have another one taken. We don't put our dogs under just to get the best rating, but if we know one will get a Good rating, that's good enough for us. It's not hard to grade the xray if you know what to look for.
There are good reasons for breeding a dog before it turned 2, or before you could get an appointment for the xray to be done after it turns two. For instance, if you have a female who has a long period between heat cycles, and it would put her close to 3 before you could breed her after getting the xray taken after she was 2, or you have a Male you want to breed before he turns two who got a good Prelim OFA hip.
For those that don't know, the reason to not breed a Havanese until after 2 is because you can't get a final on OFA hips done until before that age. That's the only real reason. All other testing can be done before. Pennhips can be done before age 2. To get Penn Hips done, we have to travel an hour and a half farther than our Vet who does our xrays for OFA, and appointments can only be scheduled pretty far in advance.
It would be pretty simple for Havanese to get the minimum age for OFA testing changed, but so few understand much at all about hip testing.
edited to add: Personally, I only know of two Havanese that have actually had hip dysplasia, and it's likely, from evidence, that both came from injuries. I'm sure there must have been some, but those are the only two I've known about.
Last edited by Tom King; 09-04-2019 at 03:42 PM.