The Schwarz Kennels

and the Dire Wolf Project

Canine Hip X-rays


To the left is the best x-ray I have ever seen.  The lighting is perfect, the dog is placed on the table in the correct placement and the bones are clear, let alone the nice looking hips on this guy!

The second X-ray is hip dysplasia (above, on the right).

 Hip dysplasia is about the ball and socket fitting together and rotating around. The ball must have enough room  to rotate and the socket must be developed enough to keep the ball in the socket.
   Also, if the cartilage between the ball and socket is thin or worn down, the ball can rub on the inside of the socket causing pain.
   I went to the OFA site and the drawings that they have up are ridiculous!  For one thing the ball of the Femur bone is not round, is never round and is not the same size and shape in any two dogs.  #2 is that the ball can not be so tight in the socket as what they are showing.  Too loose is a problem but too tight would stop the rotation from moving freely and effortlessly or smoothly.  Besides that , I have never seen a dogs hip X-ray with a ball in the socket as tight as what they show!
Hip dysplasia is not anything else but the ball and socket...
   I grade as follows:

A. The Socket 
B.  The Ball 
C. The Cartilage and space between the ball and socket.

I grade each one of the above as: Excellent, Good, Fine, Ok, Poor, Bad. 

If a dog has hip dysplasia, it is possible for him to get up from a sitting position by throwing his head and neck down, thereby lightening the load on his rear.

He can also trot around with his head down.

The hips on this dog (Celeste) are not positioned right on the table. The right hip as you are looking at the photo, is closer to you and the x-ray machine than the left hip is. The dogs body is turned on the table and the settings are not really the best. There is an obstacle that was left under the table that someone forgot to pull out so the photo is double exposed.
  I didn't really care as all i wanted was to check out the ball and socket to make sure they were developed and not dysplastic, but... when this particular vet saw this x-ray he told me this dog was dysplastic on the one side. 
   We tend to agree with vets don't we? we think that they should know what hip dysplasia is, well, they should!
   I was wrong to think that this vet might know. I will be taking this dog to more vets until i get a good x-ray and the vet actually sees the hip ball and socket and doesn't give me any b.s.  I am also going to submit this dogs 'good' X-rays to others on the internet to see if i can get some other input..
   As I said this X-ray was done for me so I could see the ball and socket. Some folks can read poor X-rays, others can not.
   (As you are looking at the dog)  
I rate this dogs left hips as:  
A-Good B-Fine C-Good  
 I rate this dogs right hips as: 
A-Excellent  B-Good C-Excellent

Try and Rate these hips by yourself
A= socket      B=ball     C= the space or cartilage
That same vet took this X-ray and it is a good X-ray. This dogs name is Carlitta and she is also an American Alsatian with excellent hips.

These are Keno's hips and I have scored them as:
(as you are looking at the X-ray)
Left Hip:  A- Excellent    B- Excellent    C- Excellent
Right Hip:  A- Excellent    B- Excellent    C- Excellent

All our X-rays were taken by the same vet.  I should have insisted that he take OFA quality pics as he had done before. Maybe I will go back and see if I can get them redone by him. He doesn't put them out and it is a struggle to get the dog on the table correctly though. I might insist he put the dogs out first.
   Any ways, the above xrays are of our AM. SEL. CH. ZORRO and he also has Excellent ball, socket and cartilage space.

Great Hips and Elbows on all American Alsatians

I want to talk about my breeding practice and my NOT taking Xrays. 
When I first started with the two main breeds (Shepherd x Mal) I took Xrays when I felt it was necessary. When I did not know the dog, or when I felt that a dogs hips did not feel right to me.
   Having a lot of experience with animals I could kind of 'see' inside the animal by watching the animals. I used the xrays to confirm my convictions.  When I pick a pup (or two or three) to keep for breeding, I watch these dogs carefully. If one of the three pups has any slight problem, I sell the pup until I only have one left that I would use for breeding.
   After about 7 yrs of 'select breeding' I had dogs that had no problems.  When I 'OUTCROSSED' I would make sure that the pups were the best as I could get and I would only breed to that one. 
   Eventually I did not have to xray as I knew what I had. I could tell.
   Now some folks think I am full of BULL.  So I put my word out on the line, and I told folks that if they wanted an Xray of one of my dogs, they could pay for the xray and I would take one of my dogs in to have an xray done, but... If the dog had bad hips or elbows, I would 'REIMBURSE' them and I would pay for the xray.
   So here are my dogs hips for all you skeptics out there who seem to think that I am full of BULL. 
   Once again....  I DO NOT NEED TO TAKE XRAYS...  I know a bad hip when I see a dog walk, move, not jump, limp, or waddle.

Schwarz dogs are NOT working dogs

Books by Lois E. Schwarz