noteworthy archives
24 May
  • By Calli Zeilenga
  • Cause in Africa

Why do hip results come at different times?

This concerns a question we get at OFA on a daily basis, so although we’ve covered it previously, it’s worth mentioning again.

Once a Hip/Elbow application and x-rays that go with it arrive at the OFA offices and are logged into the computer, every Hip/Elbow submission—each individual dog—is randomly assigned to three radiologists based on a computer program at OFA.

Here’s how it works: We typically enter several hundred submissions per day, some that come in the mail as old fashioned hard copy x-rays, some that come on a disc and many that come via email. Once we log a dog into the OFA computer system, it is separated from any other dog it might have come in with. Each dog’s x-rays are then randomly assigned to OFA’s approximately 24 veterinary radiologists in batches of 20 to 50 dogs at a time.

Even if your vet sends apps and x-rays for littermates Buffy, Muffy and Snuffy in the same envelope (or email), even if they are all owned by the same person, it’s highly unlikely that they’ll get assigned to the same veterinary radiologists. And it’s unlikely that they’ll all finish at the same time, because some of the radiologists read all of the x-rays they are assigned the day they get them, and some of them take a day or two to read their “batches” of x-rays. Some of them read faster on weekends and some read faster on weekdays. Our veterinary radiologists are ordinary human beings, some are practicing vets, some work in academia and they all do things other than reading OFA x-rays, so the time it takes varies.

Once the radiologists have finished reading the x-rays they were assigned, there are still several more steps in the process before OFA mails out the certificates for each dog, so you can see that you might get Snuffy’s certificates in the mail one day, Buffy’s a few days later and Muffy’s even later.

So don’t panic if you had x-rays taken for three or four dogs but you don’t get all of the results at one time. It’s just the way the system works!