Health Screening

Testing

The science and technology available nowadays is incredible. Scientists are discovering genetic markers for diseases, thus identifying "Carriers". If we select the right combination of parents from this knowledge, the puppies CANNOT BE AFFECTED. We would never breed Recessive/Affected genes together as it would produce affected puppies. 

We detail our DNA screening list in the health document you receive when you contact us. It's also on most dogs' pages under SCREENING TAB.

Why is Health screening necessary?

Information about health, screening and genetic type of testing is vital. It would be devastating to take your new puppy home only to discover they are Affected by an avoidable hereditary disease. 

Screening parents and identifying any Affected or Carriers improves future dogs' quality and well-being over time. It enables us to continue the best bloodlines (which are clear of the disease) only. 

As dog-lovers, this is excellent news! We can start eliminating the likelihood of certain higher-risk diseases!

How do we screen?

With 36 DNA parental screening tests, we can check for some of the most severe problems dogs might face. PRA, for example, causes loss of vision. However, it's completely avoidable if parents are clear of the recessive gene. 

Difference between an affected/carrier/clear dog?

  1. Affected dogs suffer from the disease.
  2. Carriers carry the gene but are unaffected (it's Recessive). If they have puppies, they will likely pass the disease onto their offspring (who would be affected). 
  3. Clear means they are unaffected and will not pass the disease onto their offspring.

How does inbreeding affect your puppy?

Having a low inbreeding percentage reduces the risk for hereditary problems that we can't screen for. These Recessive/Affected disease genes run in bloodlines. Therefore, having parents that aren't closely related helps minimise the risk to your puppy.

We work within an inbreeding ratio of 8%. It's calculated by computer software to reduce human error.

General Health/Vet Checks

Wherever you adopt your puppy, their parents should be in good health. This includes being up-to-date on their vaccines/flea/worm treatment. They also need to be unaffected by any severe hereditary heart problems.

 

Parental Health Screening

BVA Hip Scheme

The parents' hip joint is graded out of 106 (so a possible 53 faults on each hip). The original form is green in colour and will state a score for each hip. E.g. 6/4. This would be a BVA Hip Score of 10. The lower the score, the better. Therefore, 0/0 would be the perfect hip formation. We currently have the lowest score in the UK with the only BVA 0/0 Labradoodle that I've heard of. Associations suggest a BVA up to 18 is acceptable. The average score in the UK is around BVA 12.

The BVA Elbow Scheme 

The score is out of 6 (so three possible faults per elbow). The original grading sheet is orange and will state a mark on the bottom. 

  1. 0/0 means perfect elbows
  2. 0/1 or 1/0 is considered acceptable. 
  3. >1/0 is worrisome
  4. 2/0+ is cause for concern

OFA Scheme for Hips and Elbows 

Simpler to understand, it uses a description instead of a comparison score. Joint confirmation grades are either:

  1. Excellent
  2. Good
  3. Fair
  4. Borderline
  5. Mild Dysplasia
  6. Moderate Dysplasia
  7. Severe Dysplasia
  8. Out of the seven evaluations, the first three are generally considered breed-able. The elbows are either negative or, if it's not clear, graded 1-3. This report also helpfully states any problems such as Degenerative Joint Disease, Osteochondrosis etc.

 

Excellent Hips

x ray Excellent hip score labradoodle

Severe Hip Dysplasia

x-ray Severe Hip dysplasia

Negative Elbow

Negative elbow x-ray

Elbow Dysplasia

x-ray elbow dysplasia

Patellas (kneecaps) 

This is an often overlooked issue for dogs despite being extremely painful. When a kneecap is slipping, it's referred to as luxation. There is no BVA scheme for patellas; however, there is an American OFA test. This can be performed in the UK. Luxation, if present, is graded 1-4. 4 would mean permanently slipped out kneecaps. 

Patella X-ray

Patella x-ray dog

Eyes

The BVA Eye scheme or it's American counterpart CERF looks for eye problems in the parents. the certificate should be clear of Schedule A and Schedule B problems:

  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
  • Hereditary Cataract (HC)
  • Multifocal Retinal Dysplasia (MRD)

Unfortunately, parents who are "Recessive" (so not "Affected" themselves but born with half of the gene for the disease) will still pass Eye Certification. This is the main problem with non-genetic screening methods. It only tells the breeder if the parent HAS the disease, not whether they can produce puppies with the disease.

 

Vet Checks

Parents are vet-checked before breeding, and our puppies are vet checked at least three times before adoption. Doing so reduces the risk of hereditary and congenital defects. In particular, structural issues (kneecaps) and also incidences of heart defects. We use a highly respected vet; however, these checks are no substitute for the above checks. They are not the absolute screening of DNA testing.

What traning a puppy can receive at a specific age? Vet checks included
vet check eyes