It's not just DNA that needs testing either!
Following on from the DNA testing post, there are more types of health tests that need to be done with certain breeds.
All dogs should be BVA (British Veterinary Association) eye tested as briefly mentioned in the last post. This looks for both congenital (conditions that exist from birth) and non-congenital (conditions that can appear later in life) conditions that can affect all breeds of dogs. Clinically unaffected is the only acceptable result here.
Some breeds can be susceptible to hereditary hip and elbow dysplasia (HD and ED), or osteoarthritis, which can also be tested for in order to prevent these issues being passed down when breeding. This should be done by an experienced vet who will take x-rays which are then sent off for evaluation. The scores that come back are given as two numbers (i.e. 1-1) indicating at what level the hips and elbows are affected with dysplasia. Elbow scores range from 0 to 3 and hip scores from 0 to 53. The scores can be combined to give a total.
Acceptable results can vary from breed to breed but the BVA recommend that no dog with anything other than a perfect elbow score of 0-0 should be bred from. An acceptable hip score is on or around the breed median and is also a balanced one. For example, with the Labrador Retriever, the breed median is 9 so an acceptable, balanced score between the two hips could be 4-5. Being able to see correct movement is helpful as well. Even if knowledge of this subject is limited, this is certainly enough to make informed decisions from when buying a pup or breeding. If you would like to know more about Elbow Dysplasia click here or for more info on Hip Dysplasia click here.
So there you have it, a basic run down of health testing that should be done on the parents on any litter (obviously specifics can differ between breeds). There is no need for any puppy to be born into a life of pain and suffering when it is so easy to prevent.