Health Testing

Understanding Health Testing

PRA-PRCD, GR-PRA1, GR-PRA2- PRA stands for Progressive Retinal Atrophy, PRCD is progressive rod-cone degeneration. Both are diseases (of which there are several types) of the eye that can lead to blindness. Only one parent in the breeding pair needs to be clear of PRA in order to be bred together. PRA is more common is toy and minature poodles, although Standard Poodles and Golden Retrievers can also be at risk for this disease. Over time affected dogs continue to lose night vision and begin to show visual deficits in bright light. Affected dogs initially have vision loss in dim light (night blindness) and loss of peripheral vision, eventually progressing to complete blindness in most affected dogs.
VWD- Type 1 and Type 2 VWD stands for: VonWildebrands Disease. There are 2 types of VWD in canines that can cause a bleeding disorder. VWD is an inherited bleeding disorder affecting dogs. Dogs affected with VWD have decreased levels and abnormal function of von Willebrand coagulation factor (vWf), which is an essential protein needed for normal blood clotting. Affected dogs generally have moderate to severe signs of a bleeding disorder. Less often, the bleeding may be severe enough to cause death.

PATELLAS The patella is the "Knee" of the rear leg of the dog. These are necessary to check on any Toy or Mini Poodles or with any small or medium Goldendoodles. A veterinarian can by feeling the patella and it's movement determine whether or not the dog is affected.

NEONATAL ENCEPHALOPATHY - NE Neonatal” refers to the time immediately after birth. “Encephalopathy” refers to a disease affecting the brain. Thus Neonatal Encephalopathy means a disease of the brain that becomes apparent soon after pups are born. Affected pups have been weak, uncoordinated, and mentally dull from birth. If they survive the first few days, they nurse adequately. They may not, however, be able to compete with stronger pups in the litter and their growth may be stunted. Some cannot stand at all. Others manage to struggle to their feet and walk with jerky movements, falling frequently. Seizures develop in most affected pups at 4-5 weeks of age. Attempts to control these seizures with medication have proven futile, and the pups die or are euthanized before they reach weaning age.

DEGENERATIVE MYELOPATHY - DM is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that occurs in many breeds of dog. Research done at the University of Missouri has identified mutations in the SOD1 gene. To date, the major mutation associated with this disease has been detected in 124 breeds. The disease is an adult-onset condition that has ALS like symptoms: progressive limb weakness and muscle loss, tremors, difficulty rising, and stumbling.  It is inherited as a recessive disease based on these mutations, but there is also ongoing work to determine other factors that may play a role in severity and age of onset.

GM2 GANGLIOSIDOSIS (poodle type) GM2 is an inherited disorder affecting dogs. Affected dogs have insufficient activity of the enzyme hexosaminidase B, which is responsible for breaking down specific carbohydrates in the cells. As a result, there is an accumulation of a glycoprotein, GM2 ganglioside, in cells, especially cells of the brain and nervous system. Affected dogs typically present with symptoms of neurologic disease around 9 to 12 months of age. Symptoms include vision loss, difficulties walking, loss of balance, head tremors and vomiting. Once an affected dog begins to show signs of the disease, the disease progression is rapid and dogs usually die between the ages of 18 and 23 months.

ICHTHYOSIS (golden retriever type)is an inherited condition of the skin affecting dogs. The age of onset and severity of disease are highly variable, however most affected dogs present before one year of age with flaky skin and dull hair. Over time the skin develops a grayish color and appears thick and scaly, especially over the abdomen. The symptoms may progress to severe scaling all over the body, may improve with age, or may come and go over the dog’s lifetime. While the prognosis is generally good for affected dogs, they are at increased risk for skin infections.

GOLDEN RETRIEVER MUSCULAR DYSTROPHY - GRMD is an inherited disease affecting Golden Retrievers. Affected dogs are unable to produce adequate amounts of a protein important for muscle contraction and relaxation. By 10 weeks of age affected puppies are noticeably smaller than littermates shortly after birth due to decreased growth associated with the inability to nurse. Affected dogs often need to be hand or bottle fed to prevent starvation. Beginning around 6 weeks of age, dogs begin to develop a progressively abnormal gait, muscle weakness, excessive drooling, muscle atrophy of the head and trunk, abnormal extension or flexion of joints and a “roach backed” appearance in the lumbar spine that eventually progresses to a concave flexion. Affected dogs may also suffer from aspiration pneumonia and cardiac disease. The prognosis is related to disease severity with some dogs dying soon after birth due to disease complications and others surviving for years with only mild symptoms.

SENSORY ATAXIC NEUROPATHY- SAN is an inherited neurologic condition affecting Golden Retrievers. Affected dogs typically present between 2 to 8 months of age with signs of neurologic disease. Symptoms include a lack of muscle coordination, abnormal gait and difficulty balancing especially affecting the hind limbs. Muscle mass appears normal and the condition does not appear to be painful. Although the disease progresses slowly, dogs are often humanely euthanized before three years of age.

OSTEOCHONDRODYSPLASIA- OCD is an inherited musculskeletal disease affecting dogs. Affected dogs typically present at about 3 weeks of age with stunted growth. Puppies often walk differently than unaffected littermates and stand with their feet turned out and hind legs splayed. Their legs are short and bent with enlarged joints and clubbed feet. They also have flatted rib cages and under bites, which can affect their ability to nurse and breathe. While affected dogs can survive for many years with supportive care, they will develop arthritis and will likely have breathing difficulty due to their deformed ribcages.
OFA HIPS The hip of the dog is a ball and socket type joint. These two joints are held into position with ligaments that attach the ball to the socket. Inside this joint there is a layer of spongy cartilage that helps to cushion the joint. When these two joints separate hip dysplasia can be evident. Hip dysplasia can cause limping and an uneven gate. Dogs that are effected may look as though they have arthritis - being stiffer in the morning or after exercise.
PennHIP -AIS PennHIP testing is accurate in future breeding stock as young as 16 weeks of age. It gives an estimate of the risk for painful osteoarthritis (OA) of canine hip dysplasia (CHD) later in life. This information aids breeders in makeing decisions using strategies based on the rusults, for future breeding stock.

OFA ELBOWS The elbows are also x-rayed much like the hips, for very similar reasons. The grading system is slightly different than with the hips in that it is either passing or failing. A passing grade will be considered "Normal". In this case only the non passing x-rays will be graded according to the severity of the problem.

CARDIAC   This means that they have been examined by a Veterinary Cardiologist who has had training specific to canine cardiology or that they have been given OFA cardiac clearance by our vet. They listen for symptoms of sub aortic stenosis or hereditary heart murmurs. If something is noted the dog will then be sent for an echo cardiogram to determine the status of the dog. If the veterinarian found no problems with the dog they will be issued a "Normal" status.