Info... health testing and certifications

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Sandy asked about Oscar's hip and elbow x-rays in the comments for Monday's entry, so I thought I'd take a moment to talk about OFA -- Orthopedic Foundation for Animals -- and some of the other health testing and certifications that are available.

Ethical breeders will have these tests done to ensure that their breeding animals are free from the genetic disorders that are common to their breed. For larger dogs, such as my Rottweilers, hip dysplasia would be a concern. For small dogs, like Sandy's Korki, a Pomeranian, patellar luxation (where the kneecap will pop out of place) would be more of a possible concern. Many Code of Ethics breed clubs would also consider these certifications a requirement for a breeding done by a club member in good standing.

Although I don't currently own any dogs that are part of a breeding program, I still felt it was important to have my dogs' hips x-rayed for several reasons. First, the information would be helpful to their breeders; most reputable breeders would want to know if any of their dogs were producing dysplastic puppies. Second, since we were training and hoping to compete in some dog sports, it was important to me to know if my dogs were sound enough to participate safely in these activities. Third, if there were signs of any potential problems, we'd be able to immediately start nutritional supplements, physical therapy, modified activities, or whatever else it took to keep the dogs healthy and injury-free.

On the downside, these tests are not foolproof, and the reading of the x-rays can be somewhat subjective. Having the tests done by an experienced vet is important as well.

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This page contains a single entry by published on October 24, 2002 7:57 PM.

Update... The "golden years"? was the previous entry in this blog.

Update... The "golden years"? part 2 is the next entry in this blog.

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