Hip Dysplasia in Australian Cattle Dogs
Simply put, Hip Dysplasia (or HD) occurs when the ball and socket of the hip joints (rear legs) just don't fit together right. HD can afflict just one joint or both joints of a dog.
HD is a serious problem in Australian Cattle Dogs and thus care should be taken to find a breeder that does their best to screen their breeding stock.
There are two different registry bodies in the US that evaluate hips. The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (or OFA) is the older and most commonly used evaluation service. PennHIP is a newer evaluation technique and registry.
Breeders that do not use these services will often have a long list of excuses for not doing so. Unsuspecting puppy buyers will often hear "My vet looked at the dogs/bitches hips and says they are O.K." or "I don't believe in OFA".
PLEASE do not fall into the trap of believing ANY excuse for not evaluating the hips of both the sire and the dam of a litter you are interested in !! Preferably, the breeder should be able to tell you the hip history of several generations behind the litter you are interested in. OFA statistics have shown that not only is it important to inquire about the hip rating of the sire and dam of a litter, but that the hip ratings of the siblings of the sire and dam of any litter (ie, "aunts" and "uncles") as well.
Breeders that completely deny the existence of HD in the breed (or in their lines) should be avoided at ALL costs !!