PennHIP scoring is a technique used to measure and assess hip joint laxity. PennHIP x-rays can be performed from the age of 16 weeks and older. Assessing puppies hips before they are fully developed could allow veterinarians to recommend surgical interventions sooner. This could help improve the shape of the puppies hip and potentially avoid the onset of osteoarthritis later in life. If you are concerned about your puppy's hips, pleas discuss with your veterinarian at your next visit. Studies have shown, breeders that consistently bred from PennHIP scores that were better than the breed average reduced the rates of osteoarthritis in their breed


PennHIP x-rays can only be taken by veterinarians trained in this technique. Our clinic has several veterinarians who are able to perform this test. The x-rays must be taken under sedation or full general anaesthetic. Our clinic will sedate your dog for the x-rays. This is often a short procedure which may take a couple of hours in clinic.


We will take three x-ray views for the radiologists to assess

  • Extended hip view
  • Compression view
  • Distraction view

Often the distraction view shows greater laxity (looseness) in the hip than the hip extended view. This is because the hip extended view often masks hip laxity due to the position the socket is stretched into. This is why both views are required to be assessed with PennHIP scoring. The compression view allows the radiologist to assess the fit of the femoral head (ball) into the acetabulum (socket).