DNA TESTING = HEALTHIER PUPPIES = RESPONSIBLE BREEDING
I can not emphasize enough how important DNA disease testing and OFA Hip & Elbow certification (see below) is for labs! One in three dogs we've tested comes back as a 'carrier' of EIC or PRCD - it is that common! So if a breeder isn't doing DNA testing, its quite certain they will breed two carriers together at some point and be producing pups with these incurable diseases. And it only takes a quick youtube search to see how devastating they are. We test our dogs to ensure ALL of our breedings will produce pups free from the follow genetic diseases (as described on the DDC Veterinary & Genomia websites). THESE DISEASES CAN NOT BE CURED, BUT IT IS POSSIBLE TO ELIMINATE THEIR OCCURRENCE THROUGH GENETIC TESTING!!!
- Centronuclear Myopathy (CNM) - inherited disorder characterized by muscle weakness and exercise intolerance.
- Cystinuria - a metabolic disorder that can cause stones in the urinary tract. Most usually found in males and occurs in approximately 70 breeds.
- Degenerative Myelopathy (DM) - is a degenerative disease of the spinal cord, characterized by muscle weakness in the hind limbs eventually leading to paraplegia.
- Exercise Induced Collapse (EIC) - a genetic syndrome where affected dogs show signs of muscle weakness, incoordination, and life threatening collapse when participating in just 5 - 15 mins of strenuous exercise or activity. Signs become apparant in young dogs and can range from dragging of the hind legs to complete collapse.
- Progressive Rod-Cone Degeneration (PRCD) - affected dogs first become night blind, and then progress to cataracts and total blindness.
OFA Hips & Elbows
We also have ALL our dogs OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) Certified FREE from Hip & Elbow Dysplasia at two years of age (minimum age required for certification). This is a heritable trait most common in medium-large dogs and symptoms can range anywhere from mild (stiff and sore joints) to severely crippling (osteoarthritis). Dysplasia also can have environmental influences such as being overweight, injury, and overexertion or repetitive motion on forming joints (ie. rountinely jogging with a pup under the age of 1 year). So although OFA certification in itself is not a guarantee a pup won't develop dysplasia, it is your best defense against a pup inherting it - and another way a breeder can prove accountable!
"If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you; that is the principal difference between a dog and a man." Mark Twain