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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-20-2012, 06:19 AM Thread Starter
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Health Testing

Good morning,

at what age do I have BAER, CERF, and OFA testing done?

I will be shopping for a vet that performs these services and want to make sure I have a little insight.

Thanks, Pam
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-20-2012, 08:21 AM
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BAER can be done at any age. We do our puppies before they leave here.

CERF has to be done by a vet opthamologist. It's up to the vet doing the test to say at what age he/she will certify. We carry ours to a vet at NCSU who has been doing it for over 30 years, and won't certify one until it is over 1 year old. He says there is a lot of stuff floating around in the eye before 1 year old, and likes for that to all settle out. Since he is head of the department, and has probably looked in as many thousand eyes as anyone, we go by his advice.

OFA hips can only be certified after age 2. You can have a preliminary done at 1 year. It's very subjective, and depends on the quality of, and presentation in the xray, as much as the hips themselves. It's easy to make good hips look bad, but you can't make bad hips look good. We know of one dog that failed preliminary twice, and then got excellent after age two. In short, you have to know what you are doing. We dont' even bother with Preliminaries, since we don't breed one until after age two anyway. Knees and Patellas can be done by a lot more vets than hips.

Also, you have to be careful in picking vets. We carried dogs to get their eyes CERFed somewhere else once just out of convienience, and happened to get a vet who had some sort of agenda. She found something wrong with every dog, that we found out not to be true, because Pam immediately took them to the vet school at NC STate, and found out that everything she said was not true. Mean, a++hole people will try to take advantage of you if a health test is recorded not in favor of your dogs, and try to run down the reputation of your breeding program. Some of these people still talk against us about Belle getting a punctate scored against her once (by the vet with the agenda) even though the head of the department at NCSU said that she had no problem, and she has passed clear every year after that. Somehow that vet managed to keep and send in Belles paperwork, even when Pam said we were going to get a second opinion, and did not request that the results be sent in.

There are also other tests that we feel like it's important to have breeding dogs do, but I think these cover your questions.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-21-2012, 05:45 AM Thread Starter
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Health Tests

Thanks for the heads up - I will pass on the preliminary tests also

It looks like I will have to travel to Columbia University for testing here in MO. I am still checking on sponsored clinics in my area - but no luck so far.

I have time - my pups are still "pups" and don't intend to breed them until everything checks out; 2 year OFA as per you

They say to get a mentor in this business - your insight has been unsurpassed. It seems so many are unwilling to give information of any kind.

I honestly do want the very best for my dogs - they truly are a gift.

Thanks again
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-21-2012, 08:17 AM
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I'm not recommending skipping the hip Prelims. We've bred 6 generations of our own line, and know that the chance of getting a fail closely approach zero. But you do need a vet who knows what they are doing to get a good xray. We won't anesthesize one just to get a better xray. To get an Excellent rating you either need to put the dog under-in some xrays you can even see the clamp they put on the legs, have your own xray machine, or get really good luck.

A lot of breeders put a lot of stock in the hip ratings, and say things like they won't breed a fair to a fair, or this to that, but unless you know what you are looking at, and have the xrays available to see yourself, it's really more of a crap shoot.

Other tests we do are: complete blood panel with Bile acids. We'd not breed a dog with high bile acids.

Cardiac, especially if you didn't know many ancestors on the pedigree to know what their longevity was.

We also test now for the curly gene. Curly dogs are so much more of a pain to keep groomed than the silky coat, that we have selected it out of our line. One problem with curly is that sometimes you can't tell it's there until the adult coat comes in. The puppy coat may be almost straight, but when the adult coat comes in, it can even be tight curls like a toy poodle. Our first stud dog was like this. He was Sable, and I've seen this happen with a lot of Sables, but it can happen with any color. We also got fooled with Fifth, who was otherwise everything we wanted to produce. Of course, curly does really good in the show ring when blow dried and brushed out-it's what the bushy coated ones have that you see so many pictures of, but we don't want it in our line any more since we can select away from it so easily now.

And also test for the shorthair gene.

Probably others, but I can't think of them right now. My wife, Pam, looks after all that, but she doesn't read or post on the internet.

But that just gets you past the health testing. There is also conformation, temperament, teeth, and a long list of other things, including early puppyhood training.

The #1 reason dogs are given up to shelters and rescue is housetraining issues. That makes it the #1 reason dogs are put to sleep, and the #1 most important responsibility for the breeder to give the babies the best start on a good life by training them to succeed to start with.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-21-2012, 05:14 PM Thread Starter
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I am so glad you re-approached the topic - I would have skipped the prelims but now I will plan to make a trip to Columbia University (MO) at the 1 year point. I sure do hope that is a good place to take them - the only other option is in Manchester, MO which is suburb of St. Louis and not sure what that would be like.............. but I do know Columbia has a real good education program. It's kind of like holding your breath hoping for the right vet.

Thanks again
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-21-2012, 06:27 PM
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I have BAER done at U of TN vet hospital or at a show the neuroligist from Louisiana happens to come if in my area. I usually have CERF done at a dog show, but only if done by a retired opthomologist from GA or the male one from UT. OFA from either a local vet or one about 3 1/2 hours from me and both show in conformation. Any vet can do patellas. I have cardiac done at clinics at shows. If I'd ever had one to come out abnormal, I'd take the dog to the UT vet clinic.

Becky C
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-21-2012, 06:48 PM
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Hi Pam,

There's an upcoming health clinic on April 15 in Washington, MO. The only thing they don't do is BAER. If you want CERF & BAER they usually have a clinic for those in September at the Purina/Gray Summit dog shows.

http://www.cavalierhealth.org/health...Washington,_MO

Hope this helps!
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-21-2012, 07:14 PM Thread Starter
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Oh Thank you so much!!!! Helps a bunch!!!
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