Annabelle Doodles of New England
Why do we test so much?
Dogs carry many recessive genes. These are the genes you can't see and don't know they are there UNTIL you breed your dog with another carrying the same recessive gene. Some recessives are good genes (parti coloring) and some are minor and don't hurt the function of the dog in any way (underbites). Then there are the big guns like Hip Dysplasia, Addison's Disease and blindness.
Some tests can clear your dog of a problem through DNA. This is a one time test that if your dog is 'CLEAR' it will never have the disease or pass it to its progeny. If the dog's test result is 'CARRIER', that means you must only breed that dog to a 'CLEAR', so none of the progeny will express the disease. Breeding a dog that is 'AFFECTED' is not recommended.
Other tests require repeating annually as the problem can show up at any time and you have no idea if it has developed unless you test. Problems such as Thyroid, eye cataracts, liver or kidney dysfunction, autoimmune issues - to name a few.
The tests we do are listed below each dog. They are done to prove to you that we are doing everything possible to breed responsibly and to promote our Labradoodles to be an asset to the breed. We also take drastic measures to not breed to any lines that are suspect of carrying Addison's Disease as this disease is very difficult to diagnose and treat.
von Willanbrand's Disease (DNA test) - vWD is a prevalent disease in Poodles, especially the standards and other breeds. If affected can cause internal bleeding and death.
PennHip & OFA tests - Both these tests are for hips and to expose Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD) commonly known as Hip Dysplasia. The PennHip test checks for laxity or 'looseness' in the hip joints. OFA looks for the 'fit' of the ball and socket within the hip area. Both tests tell you a different story and should be used together to determine breeding strategy.
LCP (Legg-Calves-Perthes) - This is seen typically in smaller size dogs and causes the 'death' of the head of the femur which in turn causes lameness and pain. Symptoms typically occur between the ages of 4 and 12 months.
Canine heart auscultations/ECHOcardiograms - Checks the heart rate, rhythm and shows if there are any irregularities in the heart's performance.
Complete Blood Workups & Chemistry Profiles - This should be an annual test to be sure that all liver, kidney, endocrine, adrenal and thyroid levels
Thyroid TgAA - A genetic portion of the chemical profile that determines if your dog's levels are leaning toward an autoimmune problem. Any level below 10 is normal.
Patella (knees) & Elbow X-rays - Many small dogs are afflicted with either or both of these 'slippage' problems and should be ruled out by an x-ray.
C.E.R.F. - This is an annual eye check. All breeding dogs should be certified 'NORMAL' by a Canine Ophthalmologist who has been board certified by the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists. This organization researches trends in eye disease and breed susceptibility. (Please note that the condition 'Distichiasis' is rarely a health threat to the eye with the doodle hybrid. It simply means that the dog has some 'extra eyelashes' that can tickle the eye and make it weep. Sometimes a simple surgery to remove that eyelash root is all that is needed if the weeping/scratching persists.)
PRA/prcd is a disease of the eye that is quite prevalent in many breeds - one being the Labrador and the Miniature Poodle - hence the Labradoodle too! If your dog is affected with this disease, it will go blind. The time frame cannot be determined, but the occurrence is inevitable. The DNA test that is available tells you if your dog is affected, a carrier or clear. Dogs that are carriers should be bred with clear dogs. If this is done, none of the resulting pups will have this disease.
Geneticists continue to strive for testing to help eradicate the many diseases that can affect our canine friends. We, at Annabelle Doodles, will always strive to add these tests to our health protocol and make the proper decisions regarding the results.