- Global Canine Communication, The World's First Public Website Launched 1998




The dangerous dishonesty and risks of routine veterinary x-ray for hips, elbows, or to confirm pregnancy and why a dentist shields your reproductive organs!




X-RAY Risks Shielded From Dog Owners!

Barbara J. Andrews, Publisher - April 2011


The simple truth about profit-motivated radiation promotion for repeated x-rays for hip dysplasia, other joint deformities.  And why would an informed breeder x-ray a pregnant bitch to see how many puppies she's carrying?


The irradiated fetuses survive that first radiation exposure but in many breeds, they are then bombarded by elective radiographs of knees, elbows, and hip x-rays throughout their life.


When the dentist x-rays a tooth, your entire torso is shielded, including your pelvic area, which is a long way from your teeth! Yet when the vet does hip x-rays, the reproductive organs and genitals receive the full radiation blast.


Radiographs are a great diagnostic tool but X-rays were never meant to be used as a predictive tool.  As we learn more about the effects of radiation, concepts that we've held to be truth are falling like tattered leaves.  Here you will learn the truth about the effectiveness and/or necessity of elective x-rays.



Most (honest) long-time breeders would agree that relying on hip X-ray as a means of preventing hip dysplasia is totally ineffectual unless combined with meticulous selection and rearing.  Finally, after repeated exposure by readers are aware of genetic, dietary and management protocol that can effectively reduce the risk of canine hip dysplasia and any breed.


Even so, many dog breeders would rather risk a quick x-ray and hope to get the certificate than spend the time and effort necessary to eradicate hip dysplasia.  Likewise, to assess the environment and one's husbandry methods and then apply studied results is too much trouble in today's hurry-up world.


No one was listening when courageous veterinarians were speaking out against outdated theories which led valuable breeding stock down the primrose path to the x-ray machine.  The "Swedish Study" cited by Dr. Gerry Schnelle offered irrefutable evidence that selection of breeding partners based on radiographs failed to reduce the incidence of hip dysplasia.  Dr. Schnelle was the veterinary researcher who first discovered canine hip dysplasia and subsequently sat on the newly-formed OFA board until he publically resigned in professional frustration.


The health and medical facts were conveniently swept under the table in favor of the more profitable approach based on xray-xray-xray and re-x-ray.


For over ten years, I fought with Dr. Corley (head of OFA) over failure to recommend and read elbow and knee joint x-rays.  Since he "didn't want to hear it" we can safely assume he really didn't want to read about in the publications which carried my columns.  Just before AKC saved OFA, Corley finally bowed to pressure and orthopedic science.  OFA has since had a long over-due change in management and I guarantee Eddie Dziuk of Beagle fame, understands what breeders face since we first stepped down off a horse and looked at our dog's conformation with a new understanding.



Even with Dzuik at the helm, the cheating and hypocrisy associated with x-ray is as detrimental to purebred health as are repeated radiographs.


Breeders who wouldn't think of breeding a bitch without an OFA number will use a male under two years of age.  If a preliminary x-ray, usually done by their personal vet, is good enough for the yearling male, why isn't it sufficient for a bitch under two?  And way worse, some breeders use dogs who have OFA numbers but not much else - like AKC titles.


Equally controversial, in breeds known to have an orthopedic x-ray failure rate of over fifty percent, breeders are morally conflicted. The breeder can't keep puppies for two years but the low odds are discouraging to the buyer.  Some forward-thinking breeders in high-risk breeds have addressed the problem by charging less at time of sale, the balance to be paid when the dog is x-rayed clear or has passed whatever genetic tests are prevalent in the breed.  Hopefully they have a contract requiring the buyer to follow breeder-provided rearing recommendations as regards orthopedic and immune system health.


Read this 1992 OFA Press Release entitled "Role of the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals in the Control of Canine Hip Dysplasia" by E. A. Corley DVM, PhD.  One significant paragraph stands alone.  "Proper collimation and protection of attendants is the responsibility of the veterinarian. Gonadal shielding is recommended for male dogs. Radiography of pregnant or estrous bitches should be avoided."

REPEATED X-RAYS MAY PUT YOU AND YOUR PET AT RISKPeriod. Nothing more to say.  Presumably today's vets either are not taught the radiation risks or they choose to forget it when they routinely blast semen and eggs with radiation greater than is safe for nuclear plant workers!!!  How can it be possible that only your dentist (and now you) are aware of the serious risk?  If you have a vet who uses a lead shield when he x-rays your dog, please let me know.  (Editor's note: 6 months later, we have received only negative reports on reproductive organ shielding but two different breeders said that their veterinarian refused to use reproductive organ shielding.)


Please make an informed decision before saying yes to routine diagnostic x-rays, or x-raying to see how many puppies she is carrying.


Bottom line: To promote a certificate that is only as good as the vet who took the x-ray and the one who read it and the owner who hopefully submitted the right dog leads is patently DISHONEST, a commercially-motivated scheme that leads good breeders astray. EST 1998 © 1104RS1899



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HEALTH CERTIFICATION PART TWO - TESTING: Generations of no identity requirement for hip, heart, eye and other canine health certifications is the worst FRAUD in the gene pool and could affect your dog's health today.

X-RAY RADIATION RISKS REVEALED: What are the infertility and cancer risks from cumulative/repetitive radiation for bone and joint certifications combined with diagnostic x-rays on an unshielded dog over his lifetime?


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