Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The Frauds at PUPscan

I forgot to mention Carol Beuchat's excellent two-part series on PUPscan (part 1, part 2). Mostly, what they appear to be doing is taking the public's money and playing with an ultrasound imaging device. As Carol writes in her second piece, "A published, peer-reviewed study failed to find any evidence that ultrasound examination of young puppies was predictive of the development of hip dysplasia as adults."
We don't know what they are measuring. We don't know if they have any evidence that these mystery measurements tell us anything about hip dysplasia. We don't know how measurements of a structure that is cartilage in a puppy can tell us something useful about what to expect in the adult dog after it has been converted to bone. We don't know why they think they can ascribe to genetics any problems they see in their ultrasound examination.

As far as I can tell, they have no data that link whatever they are measuring to a diagnosis of or predisposition to hip dysplasia. If that's the case, then this is essentially a research project (and note that they call it the "PUPscan Project") in which the owners of the dogs will pay for collection of data that may or may not be useful, and at best it will be several years before they will even be able to say.

What I find especially disturbing is the fact that they are leading people to believe that they are providing useful information and "new hope for breeders of 'dysplastic' dogs", as in the title of their published article. Unless they can provide answers to the very basic questions I have asked them, I don't see that they have anything useful to offer.
But they still want your money, I'm sure.

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