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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-03-2020, 07:51 AM Thread Starter
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Genetic testing

I noticed that chondrodysplasia is a recessive disease that can be genetically tested for. Are there any other inheritable diseases that havanese are prone to that can be genetically tested for, and do most breeders do this?
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-03-2020, 11:46 AM
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I noticed that chondrodysplasia is a recessive disease that can be genetically tested for. Are there any other inheritable diseases that havanese are prone to that can be genetically tested for, and do most breeders do this?
As far as I know, there are not any other disease we have genetic markers for. The other confusing thing is that you can have horribly crooked legs without being genetically chondrodysplastic, and you can have a dog who is NOT very crooked (or showing much if any dwarf characteristics) who carries the gene. So the jury is still out on how useful the test will be, I think.

Most of the “problems” in Havanese (and, quite frankly) in other dog breeds, are not as easy as things that can be easily tested for with genetic markers. If they were, they would be easy to remove from the gene pool. So health testing is mostly looking for known “breed problems” in the prospective breeding stock, and trying to breed away from those. And THAT is not easy, because we don’t really understand the way many of these are inherited. The Havanese breeders did a REALLY good job breeding juvenile cataracts out of the breed. While we still test for them, they are REALLY uncommon these days.

I think there are MANY less truly chondrodysplastic dogs around than we used to have, but we still see LOTS of pretty darned poor fronts. A number of not great ones, even in the show ring.

I’m not sure why the emphasis on testing for hip dysplasia in the breed, because I have never met a clinically dysplastic Havanese, even an old one. Maybe there were in older generations. There are CERTAINLY still Havanese with bad patellas, but this tends to be an over-all problem that needs to be watched for in ALL toy breeds, so no surprise.

While HCA does not require it, all my dogs have been tested for thyroid function. (all are normal) Thyroid problems are HUGE in Havanese, and, IMO, this is something Havanese breeders can and SHOULD be addressing in their breeding programs.

And, of course, while we are blessed with more genetic diversity in our breed than many, I think breeders should be VERY cognizant of the need to KEEP that genetic diversity to as great an extent possible, and not get sucked into genetic bottlenecks caused by the over-breeding of popular sires. No dog is THAT good.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-03-2020, 12:09 PM
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While HCA does not require it, all my dogs have been tested for thyroid function. (all are normal) Thyroid problems are HUGE in Havanese, and, IMO, this is something Havanese breeders can and SHOULD be addressing in their breeding programs.
I have read many articles on hypothyroidism by Dr. Jean Dodds. My understanding is that this is typically an autoimmune disease. Is there a genetic component also? I believe she mentions it could be related to over vaccination and the use of flea and tick preventatives which can wreak havoc on the thyroid.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-03-2020, 04:01 PM
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Sonrisas Havanese Puppies- [email protected]: Havanese and Autoimmune Problems
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-03-2020, 05:08 PM
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I know several humans who have thyroid issues such as Hashimotos and hypothyroidism. These have shown up in their mid to later years. I wonder what is causing all this. It is not just dogs who suffer from thyroid issues.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-03-2020, 05:16 PM
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I have read many articles on hypothyroidism by Dr. Jean Dodds. My understanding is that this is typically an autoimmune disease. Is there a genetic component also? I believe she mentions it could be related to over vaccination and the use of flea and tick preventatives which can wreak havoc on the thyroid.
It is more prevalent in our breed than others. A LOT more prevalent. And IMO, that's a problem. I think breeders should be testing their breeding stock. It's a simple blood test that can be done at the time of all other yearly blood work. It's not a big deal.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-03-2020, 06:16 PM
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It is more prevalent in our breed than others. A LOT more prevalent. And IMO, that's a problem. I think breeders should be testing their breeding stock. It's a simple blood test that can be done at the time of all other yearly blood work. It's not a big deal.
Yes that makes sense. I always test mine every year. I thought that thyroid issues usually show up in middle aged or older dogs so thought the breeder may not always be able to catch it before breeding them. But great to try.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-04-2020, 09:09 AM
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Yes that makes sense. I always test mine every year. I thought that thyroid issues usually show up in middle aged or older dogs so thought the breeder may not always be able to catch it before breeding them. But great to try.
Yes, it might show up later, and one would hope breeders would be looking for that. But I do know a number of people with 2 year old Havanese who are already on thyroid supplements.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-04-2020, 10:05 AM
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I know several humans who have thyroid issues such as Hashimotos and hypothyroidism. These have shown up in their mid to later years. I wonder what is causing all this. It is not just dogs who suffer from thyroid issues.
My understanding is that in humans, Hashimotos and Graves are hereditary. I think thyroid disorders have always been somewhat common but diagnostics and awareness have improved. My mother clearly had problems as early as high school but wasn’t diagnosed until she was in her late 30’s. In hindsight, there were aunts and great aunts who also likely had thyroid disorders. Although I know there can be environmental triggers to symptoms in people with autoimmune disorders, I believe the disorders are hereditary.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-04-2020, 11:54 AM
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My understanding is that in humans, Hashimotos and Graves are hereditary. I think thyroid disorders have always been somewhat common but diagnostics and awareness have improved. My mother clearly had problems as early as high school but wasn’t diagnosed until she was in her late 30’s. In hindsight, there were aunts and great aunts who also likely had thyroid disorders. Although I know there can be environmental triggers to symptoms in people with autoimmune disorders, I believe the disorders are hereditary.
I think they can be... But they can also come out of no known hereditary background. My mother did have low thyroid, (which of course, is common in women anyway) but not Hashimotos. She had no auto-immune disorder. I have Hashimotos and RA, but it is well known that if you have one auto-immune disorder, you are more likely to develop another, so that's not unexpected. Neither of my sons have either (both in their late 20's) I did by their age, but being young men, their risk is also lower for both for that reason.


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