The results are in: Ozzy has been upgraded from FAIR to GOOD, and Ava received a GOOD as well. Both sets of elbows are fine. (By the way, if hips are non-dysplastic you can assume the elbows to be as well; dysplasia is a systemic, not localized, condition, and you will never see a dog with good hips and bad elbows. It is possible to see the opposite, but it's rare. I do elbows anyway just to keep people happy...and critics quiet.)
At this point I’m completely disgusted with the OFA, because a rating of hip joint structure should not be and is not dependent on the patient's positioning in a radiograph. In addition, every single one of Ava’s ancestors have justifiably received the European equivalent of excellent, and this ruling is in no way a bonus for her. At least Ozzy's rating is slightly more accurate, and, more importantly, less of a "problem". Besides thoroughly screening for health issues prior to breeding, this is the sort of ammunition some of the US breeders we've discussed would love to use when the inevitable WWK critics start making themselves heard. The reason PennHip was developed by veterinarians is that the OFA system is, and has always has been, entirely subjective and therefore deeply flawed.
To remove any doubts regarding hip health from my lines, I am now going to provide each dog with both OFA and PennHip evaluations: The OFA results will be posted primarily to satisfy the general public, and PennHip results will be posted to satisfy those individuals who understand the value of a completely objective system of evaluation and who understand how subjective, and therefore less reliable, OFA evaluations are. It's an additional expense, but I want to ensure that no one will have an opportunity to criticize or cast doubts on my health screening process and breeding practices. If it were practical, I'd dispense with the OFA altogether, but that would open the door to criticism, and I want to save filing a defamation suit unless absolutely actionable and justifiable. Both Ava and Ozzy are scheduled for their PennHip radiographs this coming Friday. -mn