Below we have listed the Health Tests and Schemes available to you if you elect to make an informed choice to use them.
Once you have read the information below you can click on the link at the end of the page to find out when to health test.
The BVA/KC Eye Scheme offers breeders the possibility of eye testing to screen for inherited eye disease in certain breeds. By screening breeding stock for these diseases, breeders can use the information to eliminate or reduce the frequency of eye disease being passed on to puppies. Although any breed can be examined for eye disease, currently only the results of those breeds that appear on Schedule A of the Eye Scheme are sent to the Kennel Club for inclusion on computer records and printing in the Breed Records Supplement. In general, the best age for eye testing is before a dog has reached one year old and thereafter on an annual basis. However, in some breeds, it is necessary to test them as young puppies (usually between six and twelve weeks of age) and so details of litter screening are also included in the literature although results of litter screening are not published.
Although any breed can be examined for eye disease, currently only the results of those breeds that appear on Schedule A of the Eye Scheme are sent to the Kennel Club for inclusion on computer records and printing in the Breed Records Supplement.
There is a list available, from either the BVA or the Kennel Club, of appointed eye panellists who can issue certificates under the scheme and owners can make an appointment with one of the panellists directly or through their own veterinary surgeon. Often, breed clubs will arrange for a BVA panellist to attend their shows. This allows many dogs to be examined on one occasion and may save time and money.
The genetic disorder, prcd-PRA , causes cells in the retina at the back of the eye to degenerate and die, even though the cells seem to develop normally early in life. The “rod” cells operate in low light levels and are the first to lose normal function. Night blindness results. Then the “cone” cells gradually lose their normal function in full light situations. Most affected dogs will eventually be blind. Typically, the clinical disease is recognized first in early adolescence or early adulthood. Since age at onset of disease varies among breeds, you should read specific information for your dog. Diagnosis of retinal disease can be difficult. Conditions that seem to be prcd-PRA might instead be another disease and might not be inherited. OptiGen’s genetic test assists in making the diagnosis. It’s important to remember that not all retinal disease is PRA and not all PRA is the prcd form of PRA. Annual eye exams by a veterinary ophthalmologist will build a history of eye health that will help to diagnose disease.
Unfortunately, at this time there is no treatment or cure for PRA.
Prcd-PRA is inherited as a recessive trait. This means a disease gene must be inherited from each parent in order to cause disease in an offspring. Parents were either “carrier” or affected. A carrier has one disease gene and one normal gene, and is termed “heterozygous” for the disease. A normal dog has no disease gene and is termed “homozygous normal” – both copies of the gene are the same. And a dog with two disease genes is termed “homozygous affected” – both copies of the gene are abnormal.
It’s been proven that all breeds being tested for prcd-PRA have the same disease caused by the same mutated gene. This is so, even though the disease might develop at different ages or with differing severity from one breed to another.
Although prcd-PRA is inherited, it can be avoided in future generations by testing dogs before breeding. Identification of dogs that do not carry disease genes is the key. These "clear" dogs can be bred to any mate - even to a prcd-affected dog which may be a desirable breeding prospect for other reasons. The chance of producing affected pups from such breedings depends on the certainty of test results.
THE GENETIC TEST
The OptiGen prcd test is done on a small sample of blood from the dog. The test analyzes the specific DNA mutation causing prcd-PRA. The OptiGen test detects the mutant, abnormal gene copy and the normal gene copy. The result of the test is a genotype and allows separation of dogs into three groups: Normal/Clear (homozygous normal), Carrier (heterozygous) and Affected (homozygous mutant).
TO FIND OUT MORE VISIT www.optigen.com
To see the test results visit
Familial Nephropathy (FN) is a recessively inherited renal disease that has been recognized in the English Cocker for more than 50 years . FN is a form of "hereditary nephritis" which refers to a group of glomerular diseases that are linked to genetic collagen defects.
Onset of renal failure due to FN typically occurs between six and 24 months of age . Clinical signs may include polydipsia (drinks more), polyuria (urinates more), weight loss, lack of appetite, vomiting, or diarrhea. These symptoms are commonly associated with any type of renal failure.
To see the test results so far visit
Hip dysplasia (HD) is a genetically transmitted condition, but environmental factors may influence the final score achieved. The score does not therefore absolutely reflect the potential for transmission of HD of an individual animal but should be regarded only as an indicator of possible transmission of the condition. For the Scheme to be meaningful and successful it is important that a film from EVERY dog radiographed be submitted for scoring, whether or not the animal is required for breeding and whatever the state of the hips, in order to provide the widest possible information for use by a geneticist.
The main purposes of the scheme are the examination of radiographs of hips of dogs for hip dysplasia and the issue of a certificate in respect of that examination. The examination is conducted by the evaluation of a radiograph for any anatomical and pathological changes indicative of hip dysplasia and a score is recorded. This score, and its relation to the Breed Mean Score, is intended to assist dog breeders in their selection of breeding stock. Breeders wishing to reduce the risk of HD should select their breeding stock (both dogs and bitches) only from animals with hip scores WELL BELOW the Breed Mean Score. Many clinically sound dogs may have high HD scores and should not therefore be used for breeding. The scheme does not cover any other hereditary or clinical defects which may need to be considered when choosing suitable breeding stock.
To learn more about HD please click on the link below.