Havanese breed health screenings - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-22-2013, 09:06 AM Thread Starter
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Havanese breed health screenings

I'm in the process of looking for a reputable Havanese breeder, and I'm seeing consistency on what type of health screenings are done - BAER, patellas, hips, eyes, etc.

I find it interesting how many health screenings breeders do, because my understanding is that Havanese tend to be healthier than other breeds.

When I was looking at golden retriever breeders, I saw that the good breeders did hips, elbows, eyes, and heart screenings, but that made sense, considering the overall health of the breed has been diminishing over recent years due to lousy breeders (and perhaps a smaller gene pool?). I'm seeing more icthyosis screenings, as well.

Has there been a decrease in Havanese health over the past few years, or are these screenings more of a proactive approach?
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-22-2013, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by OptimistPrime View Post
I'm in the process of looking for a reputable Havanese breeder, and I'm seeing consistency on what type of health screenings are done - BAER, patellas, hips, eyes, etc.

I find it interesting how many health screenings breeders do, because my understanding is that Havanese tend to be healthier than other breeds.

When I was looking at golden retriever breeders, I saw that the good breeders did hips, elbows, eyes, and heart screenings, but that made sense, considering the overall health of the breed has been diminishing over recent years due to lousy breeders (and perhaps a smaller gene pool?). I'm seeing more icthyosis screenings, as well.

Has there been a decrease in Havanese health over the past few years, or are these screenings more of a proactive approach?
Havanese IS a healthier breed than many. Good breeders aim to KEEP it that way! Why wait until health issue become a "problem" in a breed before working to breed away from them?

The most common problem in the breed seems to continue to be very crooked, often dwarfed, front legs. This isn't a huge "problem" if all you want is a pet. It is a problem, of course, in a show or breeding animal, or, as in my case, when you are looking for a performance animal. For that reason, I chose to buy from a breeder who not only does all the appropriate testing, but who also provides "soaped" pictures of the parents and the pups. (In Kodi's specific case, we soaped and examined the puppies together, but that's unusual, and should NOT be "expected" of any breeder! )

Patellas are probably the next most common problem, as they are in most small dog breeds. The other "problems" are all much less common, but why take a chance on something if you can test for it and breed away from it?


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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-22-2013, 09:44 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply. Very helpful to get that insight. Can you explain what you mean by "soaped" pictures?

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Havanese IS a healthier breed than many. Good breeders aim to KEEP it that way! Why wait until health issue become a "problem" in a breed before working to breed away from them?

The most common problem in the breed seems to continue to be very crooked, often dwarfed, front legs. This isn't a huge "problem" if all you want is a pet. It is a problem, of course, in a show or breeding animal, or, as in my case, when you are looking for a performance animal. For that reason, I chose to buy from a breeder who not only does all the appropriate testing, but who also provides "soaped" pictures of the parents and the pups. (In Kodi's specific case, we soaped and examined the puppies together, but that's unusual, and should NOT be "expected" of any breeder! )

Patellas are probably the next most common problem, as they are in most small dog breeds. The other "problems" are all much less common, but why take a chance on something if you can test for it and breed away from it?
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-22-2013, 10:49 AM
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Thanks for the reply. Very helpful to get that insight. Can you explain what you mean by "soaped" pictures?
One of the problems with coated breeds is that pretty, fluffy coat can hide a LOT of sins! To get soaped pictures, you wet the dog down, then coat them liberally with shampoo. this allows you to slick the hair down and see the structure. Then you stand the dog (usually with a rolled towel between heir front and hind legs, to make it easier to see legs individually) and take photos from straight in front, straight behind and from the side.

Here's a side soap of Ch Starborn Black Tie Affair, Kodi's dad, from the Starborn web site. But I have front, back and side soaps of both of his parents, and got them before I bought him.

http://www.starbornhavanese.com/images/DSCN1363.JPG


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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-22-2013, 05:16 PM
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I think one reason that the breed is as healthy as it is, is because of health screening. Reputable breeders not only test their dogs, but only breed to health tested dogs.


Back in the '90s, there were some dogs going blind in the first year or two. That's when the big push to get breeding dogs CERF tested started. People stopped breeding dogs that were producing it, or had any signs of it, and I haven't heard of a case of juvenile cataracts in years.

Other breeds have some specific problems that they look for that don't exist in Havanese.

There are also increasing numbers of DNA tests coming up in the past few years. None that I can think of, right off, health related yet. They know what genes cause some things, but there is no commercial test yet.

With DNA testing for instance, we eliminated the curly coat in our line through DNA testing in a couple of generations, and could find out if our dogs carried the shorthair gene or not.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-23-2013, 09:34 PM
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Can you explain what you mean by "soaped" pictures?
I also have some good soaped pics of my Hav's front and back legs that Pam King helped me take. You can see them on my website on "Dance's Page".
www.heartsonghavanese.com


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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-24-2013, 07:11 PM
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I also have some good soaped pics of my Hav's front and back legs that Pam King helped me take. You can see them on my website on "Dance's Page".
www.heartsonghavanese.com
I've always liked the photos I've seen of her… I'm even more impressed when I see her structure! Beautiful dog! I love Jan's dogs too. That's going to be a mighty nice litter!!!


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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-24-2013, 08:35 PM
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I've always liked the photos I've seen of her… I'm even more impressed when I see her structure! Beautiful dog! I love Jan's dogs too. That's going to be a mighty nice litter!!!
Thank you, although Joan get's the credit for her breeding of course. Yes, I can't wait to see what she produces.


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