Poodle Forum banner

1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
3,152 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm sharing this information to help those wanting to buy a puppy or to breed their poodle, and interpret the health information. This post will cover eye and several other inheritable conditions of poodles.

Recently I've been weighing whether to get a 2nd puppy or to breed Bella next year. In addition I have an interest in genetics, and in the past year with learning about dog genetics and DNA testing.

For those who don't know, the OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) is a comprehensive health screening & informational site, where people can submit test results for their dogs. The rules are strict and they verify with veterinarians and OFA-approved labs.

The OFA BLUE BOOK - V10 is a 970 page downloadable pdf document of all eye diseases of dogs, by breed. This is by the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists.

Pages 4 to 5:
What is the purpose of this book?
How can this information be used?
How do we identify an inherited eye disease?
When do we suspect that a disorder is inherited in a given breed?

Pages 6 to 9:
Guidelines Used by the ACVO Genetics Committee in Making Breeding Recommendations, and Breeding Advice, with a list of eleven disorders for which there is an unequivocal recommendation against breeding in all breeds.
What can be detected during an Eye Certification Examination?
What is the role of the responsible dog breeder?
Other ocular conditions which are a direct result of selection for a facial conformation considered desirable by breeders.

Pages 10 to 17:
Breeder Option Codes - for the eye conditions, and
Glossary of Terms - names and descriptions of conditions

Pages 755 to 762:
Eye disorders related to poodles

*******************​

In addition, here's the link to "A Guide To Interpreting OFA Certification Numbers".

For example:

Hip Dysplasia
Example: LR-100E24M-PI

LR = Breed Code, in this case a Labrador Retriever
100 = Ascending numerical identifier given to each animal within a breed evaluated as normal and given a number, in this case the 100th Labrador to be given a number
E = The phenotypic OFA evaluation, in this case E = Excellent, other normal phenotypes include G (Good) and F (Fair).
24 = The age in months when the testing was done, in this case 24 months
M = Sex, in this case a male
PI or VPI = Indicates that the animal has been permanently identified in the form of tattoo or microchip. If the dog is permanently identified AND the ID has been verified and signed off by the attending veterinarian, a suffix of VPI is applied. If the animals lacks permanent identification, a suffix of NOPI is applied.
******************​


Here's an example I made of a random Standard Poodle, blacking out the name and AKC number for privacy. It's owner did a nice set of DNA testing on it and went beyond what is required for OFA CHIC (see footnote links below), and was honest in making all info available.

So, this is an OFA-CHIC dog, but it's also a carrier for Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA).




This dog will never develop PRA. Like any dog, it could develop future eye problems that can't be DNA tested and become known through an eye exam by a vet ophthalmologist. Some of those disorders, however, make a dog unfit for breeding as mentioned on Pages 6 to 9 in the Blue Book mentioned above or here.

If that particular owner is a breeder, she/he will have to make sure it won't be bred to another PRA carrier.


********************​


Go Here to Search The Parents of That Pup You Want on the OFA Site (link)

So you're interested in getting an expensive puppy and have the names of the sire and dam. Or maybe you have a lovely, health tested female and want to breed her and are looking for a great stud dog. Go to that link and see if sire and dam are listed.

You can also only select "Poodles" without a name or number. Choose the size and/or gender and or CHIC, and hit 'search', and it will pull up all poodles in their database. Then you can download it in an Excel sheet where you can quickly run thru the names and tests and even color in seconds.

Unfortunately, not every breeder lists DNA lab and other test results on OFA; more don't than do for a variety of reasons. Some will list some things and have lab tests to show you. Some publicly list only the good lab test results there or at the testing site, others cite the costs for not doing either.

An application for OFA very reasonable. It's only $7.50 per test result if you send in 5+ results on the same dog, aka the 'kennel rate'. So if you have Toy, and send in results for five tests, plus patellas and the eye exam, it's only $52.50. Mind you, that's just for the OFA applications, not the lab tests or exams.

It's the testing that can be pricey if you don't wait for lab discounts or are unable to use OFA health clinics b/c they're too far away from your home or come around your area only once or twice a year.

Approved OFA labs are here. My personal favorite is Paw Print Genetics for these reasons, and UC Davis, which does DNA testing, and also for Standard Poodles, Genetic Diversity Testing for $80.

Btw, many labs run discounts so wait and check before buying a cheek swab test kit as you might get up to 50% on a Full Poodle Disease Panel, which covers:

1. Progressive Retinal Atrophy, Progressive Rod-Cone Degeneration
2. Degenerative Myelopathy
3. Von Willebrand Disease I
4. GM2 Gangliosidosis (Poodle Type)
5. Osteochondrodysplasia

I got the above five on a 50% discount for only $137.50 in their July 4th sale, which you can mail in anytime you're ready. Add in the $52 for OFA, it's under $200 bucks.

This makes it hard for me to understand why so many breeders don't do more of this since

1) It's far less than the price of a puppy,
2) Gives them guidance about matings,
3) Gives the buyer (you) a peace of mind.

Here's one reason some people are reluctant to publicly share test results. I know of a breeder who has a few of her dogs' lab tests listed. One was a PRA carrier. After it got it's championship, she removed that dog entirely from the possibly fearing others would not understand that her truly stunning dog is a only a PRA carrier, and they might not want to buy a puppy from her or worse, say mean things behind her back at dog shows.

With the exception of Von Willebrand Disease (vWD), it would be a disservice to remove all carriers of certain recessive genes from the breeding population, namely, it would reduce the genetic diversity of poodles which is already a problem. The problem with vWD1 is that some carriers go on to get the disease (link) and IMHO should not be bred.

On breeding a carrier with a non-carrier: "using statistics as a guide, this strategy is expected to result in a litter consisting of approximately 50% carrier offspring and 50% normal or “clear” offspring. Thus, avoiding the removal of the carrier dog and its unique combination of genetic variants that contribute to the overall genetic diversity of the breed while limiting the number of puppies born with the known, disease-associated mutation. But why is genetic diversity in a population important for overall health of the breed?... (Continue here to learn more about this and genetic bottlenecks that lead to population extinction of a breed or species; it's an easy read.)

This may be why OFA grants CHIC status to dogs who are a genetic carrier of certain disorders that are testable in a lab.

The danger is when a backyard breeder or puppy mill throws together two dogs to mate who don't know about testing, are cheap to test, and/or are uncaring about the outcome of the puppies and the disastrous impact on the new owner who ends up with a blind or disabled poodle.

The other danger is when good breeders with CHIC dogs sell too many of their good puppies as pets only, not b/c the pup is lacking in beauty or structure, nor because they fear the pup will end up in a puppy mill, but because they don't want competition at dog shows or can find a buyer who will more. This reduces genetic diversity in the poodle population and fuels the bottleneck problem.


********************​


Footnotes/ Links:

OFA-CHIC Health Testing Requirements

Standard Poodle

Miniature Poodle

Toy Poodle

OFA Eye Certification

Annual Eye Examination by a boarded ACVO Ophthalmologist to retain a current CHIC status.

Because of the expense and inconvenience, I've discovered most CHIC breeders do not get vet eye exams every single year.

OFA Hip Dysplasia & Screenings (for Standard Poodles only)

Patellar Luxation Screening (for Miniature & Toys only)


Calendar of OFA Health Screenings Clinics!

They have these at low cost to screen for eyes, hips, cardiac, etc, around the country. They also pop up at dog shows and clubs which may not be advertised. For example, a local vets charge over $400 for an eye test, but a screening is runs $30 to $50 depending on location.

Genetic Diversity Testing for Standard Poodles thru UC Davis
Note: this is more advanced in interpreting the data and probably more of interest to pro-breeders. BetterBred has free intro lessons on this.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
173 Posts
Thank you Vita! This is very interesting and important to know.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Vita

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,213 Posts
For Standards Optigen now has a Day Blindness test. It is only available from them currently and is $130. They have more information on Day Blindness and the testing on their site here.

There are folks out there breeding who have never heard of day blindness as it has not gotten the press that other eye problems have so if you ask about it they may look puzzled. IT IS NOT PRA it is a seperate genetic disorder. If you are looking for an SD prospect I strongly recommend you put the testing on your list of required testing for the parents.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Vita

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
[...]
With the exception of Von Willebrand Disease (vWD), it would be a disservice to remove all carriers of certain recessive genes from the breeding population, namely, it would reduce the genetic diversity of poodles which is already a problem. The problem with vWD1 is that some carriers go on to get the disease (link) and IMHO should not be bred.

On breeding a carrier with a non-carrier: "using statistics as a guide, this strategy is expected to result in a litter consisting of approximately 50% carrier offspring and 50% normal or “clear” offspring. Thus, avoiding the removal of the carrier dog and its unique combination of genetic variants that contribute to the overall genetic diversity of the breed while limiting the number of puppies born with the known, disease-associated mutation. But why is genetic diversity in a population important for overall health of the breed?... (Continue here to learn more about this and genetic bottlenecks that lead to population extinction of a breed or species; it's an easy read.)

This may be why OFA grants CHIC status to dogs who are a genetic carrier of certain disorders that are testable in a lab.

The danger is when a backyard breeder or puppy mill throws together two dogs to mate who don't know about testing, are cheap to test, and/or are uncaring about the outcome of the puppies and the disastrous impact on the new owner who ends up with a blind or disabled poodle.

The other danger is when good breeders with CHIC dogs sell too many of their good puppies as pets only, not b/c the pup is lacking in beauty or structure, nor because they fear the pup will end up in a puppy mill, but because they don't want competition at dog shows or can find a buyer who will more. This reduces genetic diversity in the poodle population and fuels the bottleneck problem.
[...]
Wow. You’re saying all the things I’ve been saying, though mostly to myself! I keep seeing breeders selling all their pups as pets, even tho many of them have nothing wrong with them and could be excellent breeding animals. They’re shrinking the gene pool! Even the ones that aren’t perfect (and face it, no dog is ever flawless) can often be matched with a dog that counters its flaws. And even a dog that can’t win a show might have something unique or desirable that you might want in your breeding program. Some ugly dogs have many champion pups! And when we only breed the “best of the best”, we’re drastically shrinking the gene pool.

Thank you for the great info on testing. I have dogs to test, and have been looking for resources and information on how to go about it effectively without breaking the bank.
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top