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Hello,

Currently I am on the search for a puppy (for companion, not showing) and I understand the importance of health-testing, but I am still fairly new to all of that. As I am reaching out to different breeders to find out if they do health-testing and what they test for, I would like to know what exactly I should be looking for (or not looking for). I have glanced around some at OFA's website to see how information is reported. But for Paw Print Genetics, is it on par with OFA? I've also heard the site Embark thrown around some.

Overall, I am wondering what could be possible red-flags (testing company, missing certain testing, etc.) since many breeders now claim their sires and dams are health-tested on their websites and of the such. Essentially the do's and don'ts for what to be on the look out for health testing results.

Thank you!
 

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You are on the right track, and hopefully I can help to make it completely clear. OFA has a basic set of tests recommended for each individual breed based on disease prevalence in that breed. Dogs meeting these basic health screening requirements will be issued Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) numbers. But in order for this to happen, a breeder must send the results of these tests into OFA. OFA approves many different testing labs including Pawprint and Embark. So if a breeder tests for a disease with Pawprint, they must send the results to OFA to be listed under the dog. But Pawprint is a perfectly approved testing lab.

Here are the breed tests recommended for

Miniature poodles
Toy Poodles


You should be able to locate an individual OFA page for each of the breeder's dogs. You can do this if you know the dog's registered name. If they have a CHIC number listed, and the test results of the tests are good, then great! You're done. If they don't have a CHIC number listed, it doesn't necessarily mean they haven't been tested for all recommended tests. It's possible the breeder simply hasn't yet sent results in to OFA. They should still be able to provide you with proof of the test results.
 

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Good info from Raindrops. You can also search OFA by kennel name, if the dam and sire of the pup you're interested in aren't named. Sometimes tests aren't done because the pups dam or sire is "cleared by parentage". If their dam/sire didn't have it, the next gen can't inherit it. Any further breeding down the line would need the testing to actually verify though.

To qualify for a CHIC number not only do the tests need to be done (not necessarily passed btw) but the pup needs to be permanently ID'd by tattoo or microchip.

Another resource is the Poodle Health Registry database where breeders can report issues within their lines. You'll need to register and be authorized to view the info.

I'm learning as I go further into the List project that not that many breeders necessarily do all the minimum tests or register all the results. This might be because their lines have been clear for several generations and they feel confident not testing. Ask the breeder if you don't see the tests you expect and look at their registered results as a whole to get a bigger picture.

Keep arming yourself with info and asking questions!
 

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Thank you so much for your responses! I know I am still in the learning stages for all of this but it does help!

Now a more specific question! I finally found a breeder and a toy litter that I am interested in.

The sire has a full Poodle panel done by Paw Print from what I can tell and is clear.
467518

And the dam is a carrier for PRA
467520


From my understanding, PRA is a recessive trait and therefore the puppies would not exhibit PRA but could possibly be carriers (I am not breeding so I don't believe this would be an issue for me). Is there any other tests I should be concerned about that the dam has not had done or is the sire being clear make the rest of the diseases "clear" for puppies (in the sense that they won't exhibit them)?
 

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Thank you so much for your responses! I know I am still in the learning stages for all of this but it does help!

Now a more specific question! I finally found a breeder and a toy litter that I am interested in.

The sire has a full Poodle panel done by Paw Print from what I can tell and is clear. View attachment 467518
And the dam is a carrier for PRA View attachment 467520

From my understanding, PRA is a recessive trait and therefore the puppies would not exhibit PRA but could possibly be carriers (I am not breeding so I don't believe this would be an issue for me). Is there any other tests I should be concerned about that the dam has not had done or is the sire being clear make the rest of the diseases "clear" for puppies (in the sense that they won't exhibit them)?
That's it for genetic tests on toy poodles. The two evaluations they still need are an eye examination by a board certified ophthalmologist and a patellar luxation OFA evaluation.
 

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The OFA patella exam should be done after the age of two, patella luxation isn't usually diagnosed before that.
It bothers me that the dam hasn't had the same testing as the sire.
You do your own research on PRA, but after being stung with patella issues, and genetic eye issues in my own pups both financially and emotionally I personally would give this litter a hard pass.
Still do your own research and make sure both parents have had board certified eye exams and an OFA patella exam
 

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I'm going to expand on some things.

First, while looking at many websites and searching OFA for kennel names while putting the Breeder List together, I've noticed that a large number of toy breeders are only doing the PRA prcd. This means it's going to be a more difficult search to find a breeder that follows the Minimum Required Testing to meet OFA CHIC requirements.

These Minimum tests aren't "required" by any governing body, not that there is a governing body, but they have been determined to be some of the most common and most life affecting issues and so make the cut for Minimum testing.

Here they are again for this discussion:

Toy Minimum Testing Criteria
prcd Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) DNA testing from an approved laboratory
Eye clearance by the Companion Animal Eye Registry (CAER)
Patellar Luxation OFA evaluation

These requirements are for the CHIC certification. That also a/ requires the pup to be microchipped and b/ they don't have to "pass" the health test, just have to take it.

FYI, I just noticed that the age is 12 months and up for the patella evaluation on both these pages. (!)
I agree that 2 years would be better.

Here's the link to the details on minimum testing:
and the direct link to OFA re patellas

You've found a breeder that you like, the breeder has done a lot of testing on the sire but hasn't met the Minimum Requirements because the annual eye exam (different from the PRA) and patella's haven't been done. The dam was tested for PRA and is a carrier, not an issue for you, as you mentioned.

Twyla can very sadly attest to the patella issue, among other things, and we've had some members end up with dogs with vision loss. These are a real concern.

This is where it gets tricky. You're doing everything you can to make sure you get a pup that's cleared for some common conditions. You've found a breeder you like, who also seems interested in their line's health but they haven't, so far as you know, met the Minimum requirements for the OFA CHiC certification.

If you haven't already, I might ask the breeder if they're planning on doing those tests, or if they've been done but not yet published, and are they planning on registering the results with OFA?

If you haven't already, you can search OFA by the kennel name if you don't have the sire or dam's registered names or numbers

At some point, if you want to add a pup to your family, there will be risk assumed. Even all the testing can't do more than bring the odds way up, for those heritable conditions, DNA testing aside.
And other things happen in life.

Insurance on your pet is a good idea, at least for that first year or so, while it's still relatively inexpensive and there's no diagnosed or suspected conditions. If not insurance, a healthy 4 figure savings account dedicated to the pup for their health can be a literal life saver. It's sadly not that unusual for an owner to have to surrender a pup back to the breeder, or to a rescue, or even worse, because they couldn't afford a medical procedure. CareCredit is another option to cover medical expenses but it is credit and will need to be paid back.

Wishing you luck!
 

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Thank you guys for the responses, they always help so much!

I will ask the breeder about the Patella Luxation and CAER exams, and see from there if I want to take on some extra potential risks.

When I had gotten my first two Poodles (roughly 2002 and 2008), I had no idea about any sort of testing for preventable issues. I am so thankful for communities such as this one to help with that sort of information! Unfortunately one of my babies I believe to be poorly bred and her knee did pop out when running, thankfully it seemed to hardly phase her. She lived til 15 years. <3 My second that recently passed (at 12 years) unfortunately was diagnosed with Evans Syndrome at about 5 years old and from there on had Diabetes on and off. I did have Insurance for her until the end, which helped tremendously! While only about 5 lbs, she was definitely worth in weight in gold after so many health issues and scares.
 

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...It bothers me that the dam hasn't had the same testing as the sire....
That's what I thought too when I saw the test results. If the breeder owns both parents, it begs the question of if she is hiding something or why she was too cheap to do full testing on her dam. My best guess is she hired a fully tested stud dog.

Btw, many breeders will only do the bare bottom DNA test recommended by the OFA, which is for PRA-PRCD to "avoid costs". I'm not a fan of that breeding strategy and would not purchase a pup from such a breeder. For as much as they charge for their puppies, and the huge discounts many labs routinely offer, their paying well under $200 to test their dam is not unreasonable.

Other breeders may be aware of a genetic problem in the ancestry and don't want to know if their breeding dogs have a condition.

Yet in other cases, all four of the puppy's grandparents were cleared for genetic diseases and the parents do not need to be tested, but get proof.

Here's the inheritance pattern for PRCD (the genetic eye condition) and several other conditions:

467581


If PRCD-PRA carrier status was the only gene from a battery of tests, and I had zero plan to breed the puppy, this would not be a deal breaker for me. As you can see from the chart, half will be clear and the other half carriers. Carriers of this are asymptomatic.

I also agree that both parents should have normal patellas. It's a very simple, manual exam by a vet; my own didn't even charge for it during a routine health check. If the sire is listed on OFA, this should also be listed. Save that link, you'll find it useful and interesting in researching puppy parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, and uncles.

One of genetic conditions that labs do in the Full Poodle Panel tests is Von Willebrand Disease. Until recently, it was thought that a carrier could not develop this. See the research by UCDavis here, that shows at least one of the strains is dominant, meaning that a "carrier" could develop this awful neurological condition which is not uncommon in toy poodles.

People can be very good at lying by omission. I have seen them go as far as directing others to their DNA accounts like BetterBred or Paw Prints to prove their poodle is clear. If you don't know the names of all the diseases those panels screen for, you could easily be duped into thinking everything is fine.

Good luck in your search and take your time.
 
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