Thoughts on Health Testing
I'm going to break down each section of my health testing in blog posts to further explain why I do them and how to .
To preface, I want to note that my way isn't the only way to do things and I'm not saying I am the only right one, I am just giving more insight into how I do things with my program.
Genetic Testing: Genetic testing is step number one that can be done at any age. When I speak about genetic testing, I am not including color testing - that is something that is fun for us, not something that can save puppies lives. Genetic panels can be purchased from Paw Print Genetics, UC Davis, Optimal Selection, Embark, etc. Genetic panels do not always include PRA RCD4 nor do they include the Day Blindness/Retinal Degeneration test. Clear by Parentage refers to a puppy produced out of genetically tested parents that are clear/non carriers - which also means you can skip testing that puppy if you prefer - but the next generation will need to be tested even if you breed that dog to another clear dog. We don't want continuous generations of undocumented testing. Genetic testing is not fully health testing and if any breeder implies so, they are not being factual.
PRA RCD4 is a test that may or may not be included on your panel depending on where you purchase it from. PRA RCD4 is a relatively new test that has been seen in all three varieties. RCD4 is an eye disease that affects dogs in their elder years. While not one of our scarier diseases, I believe in testing since it's available to us and can protect our dogs. If it is not included in your panel, you can purchase it as a stand alone test. I really recommend testing your dogs, regardless of variety.
Day Blindness/Retinal Degeneration has been around for about 5+ years now and a test I am extremely serious about and a huge proponent of. It is a recessive disease but it is one that is without a doubt within our breed and we need to start taking it seriously. Day Blindness is a debilitating disease that affects young puppies and eventually takes away all their sight. They start out not being able to see in the daylight or even bright lights indoors. I've raised my own day blind affected puppy from a subpar breeder and it was not an easy thing to deal with. While it is an expensive test from Wisdom at $130, the future of our puppies far outweighs the price tag. For me, it is one of the things I absolutely will not budge on testing before breeding. I hope others begin to take this disease seriously and start testing their dogs. Even if you haven't produced it, I implore you to test your dogs prior to breeding. Watching these puppies terrified to be outdoors because they cannot see is absolutely heartbreaking and no puppy or family deserves to live like that.
For now those are all I will include in this blog post! More to come!