Health Testing & Clearances – A Guide To Tests & Abbreviations

There are certain tests to be aware of that can help determine how healthy the parents of your prospective puppy are. Unfortunately, these tests can only examine the outward appearance of the dogs, but cannot truly certify that the dogs do not genetically carry the diseases. Therefore, none of these tests are a guarantee that the puppies will be perfect, but they are the best way to reduce your risks. It is very difficult for breeders to say definitively “No dog from my kennel will get these diseases”. Testing cannot gaurantee anything other than a reduced chance that these conditions will be passed on. They are not perfect tests, but they are a start, and are our only weapon in the fight to eradicate genetic diseases from pure bred dogs.

It is an erroneous myth that pure bred dogs are more prone to disease than mixed breeds (or mutts). In fact, this has never been proven. Most owners of mixed breeds never have their dogs put through the genetic tests that pure breds under go, so their chance of producing affected offspring is much greater than a pair of rigorously tested pure breds. “Hybrid Vigor”, another popular myth, has been repeatedly proven to only have any resonance in the first generation of offspring, and the same genetic diseases rapidly re appear by the second generation of offspring of mixed breed pairs. Add to this the fact that you cannot accurately predict the size, temperment or appearance of mixed breed puppies.

In short, pure bred dogs are not perfect, but many caring breeders are doing their best to improve their over all condtion. Here are some of the things that are being tested for, what their signifigance is, who governs the testing, and what you should look for. Most breeders will perform some or all of these tests, please take the time to ask first. A general site for more info on genetic disease in pure bred dogs is “Eliminating Genetic Diseases in Dogs: A Buyer’s Perspective”

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