"Normal for Age"
Sometimes while you are surfing through
breeder's webpages, you might come across the words "hips &
elbows normal for age". What does this mean? Depends
on where you see it and how it is used.
I was recently surfing through a website
and saw "normal for age" being used for an 8 week old
puppy. I was a bit startled and amused. Unless this
person has x-ray vision, there is no way they know for sure this
dog is normal. My first reaction is this person is a complete
newbie and has no clue as to what they are doing.
If you see it on a young puppy such
as this, then it means they have hips and elbows. Period.
Without a preliminary x-ray of the hips and elbows there
is NO WAY anyone can tell a puppy has normal hips and elbows for
age. They are misleading you and its time to click off that
page. Big red flag.
Generally, most breeders do preliminary
hip and elbow x-rays when the dog is approx. 14-15 months of age.
Anything before that time isn't considered as acurate. According
to the OFA,
"For normal hip conformations, the reliability was 89.6% at
3-6 months, 93.8% at 7-12 months, and 95.2% at 13-18 months."
I asked some prominant Labrador breeders
what they thought when someone claims "Hips/Elbows Normal for
age" on young puppies or dogs not prelimed and their responses
"I guess I'd think the
puppy wasn't obviously crippled. Nothing much more you can say"
"Hmmm... It's either
somebody who really doesn't know about such things, or, well,
somebody who just doesn't know. That's what I would think."
"Probably that it's "normal
for age" to have not x-rayed yet, and the dog doesn't limp"
"As for any dog who hasn't
been prelimed, there is no logical way anyone can say he/she is
normal for age! Only a specialist like those at OFA/OVC can determine
that!!! It would be great if we could just look at a dog and make
that statement but obviously that is not the case!!!"
"I think that either
the breeder isn't as experienced as they are trying to lead people
into believing or, they are playing to the ignorance of the dog
"For me, when I see something
like this, I automatically think the person is either very new
or trying to dupe the buying public"
So if you see a website which claims
"hips/elbows normal for age", please ask them when their
preliminary x-rays were done. If the animal hasn't had prelims,
then you are being deceived.
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