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October Setters Offers to Fund OFA Evaluations for DeCoverly Kennels

Bridget Bodine, of DeCoverly Kennels, recently posted this on her Facebook page:

Confusion about the PennHIP method, the reports, and how to interpret them has been rampant since it’s inception. Much of the confusion stems from two sources. First is PennHIP’s use of the term “DJD” (degenerative joint disease) instead of it’s alternative and more common name: osteoarthritis. Hip dysplasia and DJD/arthritis are not the same thing. One is abnormal formation of the hip joint, the other is arthritis. Arthritis in the hip is usually caused by hip dysplasia, but it can also be caused by injury or infection.

The second source of confusion is that people instinctively try to translate PennHIP results into a diagnostic/OFA context, which is impossible. PennHIP is the only hip dysplasia control scheme in the world that does not diagnose hip dysplasia.

We think Bridget’s plan to OFA the .8 dog is a great idea, but results from one dog don’t give you much to go on so we have made the following proposal. We hope they see the value in taking us up on our offer, especially the potential for educational benefits regarding PennHIP for all concerned.


We read your post regarding PennHIP results. It is clear that you don’t understand the difference between dysplasia and DJD. DJD is not dysplasia. DJD is arthritis. The terms DJD and dysplasia are not interchangeable, so when you say “no dysplasia” you are literally saying the dog has normal hips and would pass an OFA. PennHIP does not assess the hip for the presence of dysplasia. All other dysplasia control methods in the world, OFA, FCI, BVA, etc., diagnosis the presence or absence of dysplasia.

In the interest of furthering knowledge about PennHIP we make the following offer. We will pay the OFA fee for diagnosis of dysplasia for all 30 of the recent dogs on your list. You already have the x-rays required for the OFAs as part of your PennHIP submissions. Have your vet submit them to OFA along with the applications, have them entered into the OFA’s open database, and we’ll pay the $450 OFA fee. With passing OFAs you can accurately state the dogs have no dysplasia.

This knowledge can only serve to help all of us make more informed breeding decisions that contribute to a better future for the dogs.

Cliff and Lisa


  1. Gary

    I’m curious if Bridget took you up on your offer? I only live 2 hours from DeCoverly. I purchased a pup off them 20 years ago when Ken Alexander ran the kennel. Unfortunately i had to put my dog Thorn down at 7 yrs of age due to cancer even after surgery.

    • October Setters


      Thanks for your interest in the subject. Bridget declined our offer. She said it was a waste of her Vet’s time.
      The offer is open ended so she can change her mind at any time.


      • Gary Pearson

        Your welcome Cliff,

        I had that impression myself. This is just my opinion, after doing a lot of research and asking questions and such. My personal instincts told me to go elsewhere for my pup. I like the fact of everyone working as a group of breeders and not being a lone wolf so to speak.Not that DeCoverly doesnt produce fine dogs, I’m sure they do, and Thorn hunted great for me, until his illness. But I like the way all of you work as a team. That went a long way with me.

    • Carol Clulow

      Our condolences on losing your dog, Thorn. Would you mind sharing the kind of cancer your dog had? We just lost our 9 yr old Ryman to pancreatic cancer.

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October Setters