VCA Old River Animal Hospital

PennHip Evaluations

Our hospital offers PennHIP x-Rays, a diagnostic method used by the University of Pennsylvania Hip Improvement Program (PennHIP) that uses unique x-ray views of a dog's hips to accurately identify and quantify joint laxity. PennHIP x-rays are performed only by veterinarians that have been certified by the PennHIP organization. These veterinarians have received special training to insure proper technique and have shown consistency with their technique. Reputable breeders and our veterinarians use PennHIP x-rays as a screening tool for hip dysplasia as it has proven to be one of the best techniques available to screen dogs for this condition. This technique involves general anesthesia and three different x-ray positions; 1) extended hips to evaluate hip joint conformation, 2) legs in a standing position (compression view) to evaluate how tight the joint can be, and 3) legs in a standing position with the hip joints pulled out (distraction view) which evaluates how loose the hip joint can be. The x-ray images are then sent to PennHIP and specific measurements are taken to determine hip joint laxity and the likelihood of a dog developing arthritis due to hip dysplasia. Dogs are evaluated as individuals and are then compared to their specific breed. If breeders follow PennHIP recommendations to pick their breeding candidates, they can make genetic improvement over generations by progressively breeding tighter hips and subsequently less dysplasia. Please ask our staff or veterinarians about the PennHIP technique. 
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Specialty Care

Sometimes sick or injured pets need the care of a veterinary medical specialist. When that happens, VCA specialty hospitals work closely with the general practitioner veterinarians who refer cases to us in order to provide seamless veterinary care to your pet. When your pet is facing any kind of serious illness or injury, our specialty referral hospitals will provide the compassionate and expert care your beloved pet needs.

Our goal is to make sure that when you and your pet are in need that you have access to board certified specialists who are up to date on the very latest developments in their field. In our state of the art hospitals, our specialists also have access to the most sophisticated diagnostic and treatment tools and techniques from ultrasonography and endoscopy to CAT scans and even MRI.

As part of the VCA family, we have over 83 specialty hospitals across the US and Canada which provide referral specialty care, so there may be one near you. Our specialized services include: behavior, cardiology, critical care, dentistry, dermatology, integrative medicine, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, radiology, rehabilitation, reproduction, and surgery.

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Emergency Care

In case of emergency, please call us immediately. If it is after hours, check with a local animal hospital emergency clinic.

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