Information about Diseases/Testing/Registeries
RESULTS FOR ANY TESTS ARE GENERALLY KNOWN WITHIN A MONTH, IF THE BREEDER STATES PENDING FOR LONGER THAN A MONTH, CHANCES ARE THE TEST HAS NOT BEEN DONE. I HAVE RECIEVED BOTH EIC AND CNM RESULTS IN LESS THAN TWO WEEKS FROM SENDING OUT THE BLOOD/SWABS. THIS IS NOT MEANT TO BE AN ALL INCLUSIVE LIST, BUT THE "CORE" TESTING THAT SHOULD BE DONE. MOST OF THE GENETIC DISEASES ARE SIMPLE RECESSIVE, MEANING AS LONG AS ONE PARENT IS CLEAR, THE PUPPIES WILL NOT BE AFFECTED. This also means it can "hide" and "the parents don't have a problem" doesn't mean anything...they can still produce affected offspring!! It is best to be safe and have the parents DNA tested to ensure all offspring are healthy.
Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) www.offa.org
OFA has the best orthopedic vets in the country working for them. They analyse many x-rays and are the leading authority on many structural problems in dogs.
Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD) This is degeneration or malformation of the hip joint. While there is nothing that can totally eliminate the risk of CHD, having both parents certified by OFA greatly reduces the chances. Some dogs can lead healthy lives with CHD, but some are crippled by it at an early age.
Elbow Dysplasia (ED)/Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD)
Tricuspid Valve Dysplasia (TVD)
OFA also offers DNA testing through labratories and a database to have all information in one place. They verify results with the labratories, so testing listed here is trustworthy.
Canine Eye Registration Foundation (Cerf) http://www.vmdb.org/cerf.html
Board certified opthalmologists examine the dogs eyes for a variety of problems including cataracts, eyelid malformations, and other abnormalities of the canine eye.
Centronuclear Myopathy (CNM) http://www.labradorcnm.com/
CNM is a recessive genetic disease that is very devistating. Having two copies of this gene causes the muscles not to form normally. A young puppy will appear normal, but may seem not as bouncy or seems to tire easily. As it gets older, the condition worsens, usually stabilizing to a dog that is very weak and cannot build muscle mass. Please visit the website for more information and videos of an affected dog. There is also a "White List" to verify the clear status of the dogs. There are a couple of well known labradors that were carriers of this disease, two of them being NFC's. Carriers of this disease are normal healthy dogs, so to avoid the risk of getting an affected puppy, make sure at least one parent has been tested and clear of the gene.
Exercise Induced Collapse (EIC) http://www.cvm.umn.edu/vdl/ourservices/canineneuromuscular/home.html
EIC is another recessive genetic disease that can have a big impact on the lives of the dog and it's owner. An affected dog, one with two copies of the gene will most likely have collapse episodes. We have had two that were affected, Hickory we were fortunate to never have an episode. The other that we had, would show signs of weakness leading to a collapse from just taking a stroll with him off lead. Please see the website above for more information. You can see a list of tested dogs on OFA's website by clicking here. It is a voluntary listing, so not all dogs are listed. Any dog that is listed as affected, both of their parents are carriers. There are several FC and NAFC carriers of this disease. Carriers of this disease are normal healthy dogs, so to avoid the risk of getting and affected puppy, make sure at least one parent has been tested and is clear of the gene.
Dilute aka Color Dilution Alopecia Other Names: Alopecia, Black hair follicular dysplasia, Blue Doberman syndrome, coat color dilution, Color dilution alopecia, Color mutant alopecia, D locus, D-allele, D-locus, Dilution gene, BHFD, CDA
Detailed Summary: The D Locus (Dilute) corresponds to a region of the MLPH gene that is important in determining coat color in dogs. This gene variant modifies the expression of the pigments, eumelanin and phaeomelanin in the hair. A genetic variant within this gene results in a “diluting” or lightening of the coat color of dogs. Canine coat color determination is complex due to interactions of multiple genes responsible for both color and anatomic placement of the color. A dog with two variant copies of the MLPH gene will have a blue, charcoal, Isabella (lilac) or fawn coat color depending on the other coat color genes present in the individual. Disease Association Note: Variants of the D locus are sometimes responsible for a condition called color dilution Alopecia, black hair follicular dysplasia, or blue Doberman syndrome (depending on the breed) because dilute coat color can be associated with development of alopecia (hair loss). The clinical presentation of alopecia associated with dilute coat color is variable within and between breeds; therefore only a portion of individuals carrying two copies of the MLPH gene variant will show hair loss with some breeds being much more likely to develop the condition. Though two copies of the MLPH gene variant are necessary to develop color dilution alopecia, the variable presentation of this condition suggests that additional environmental or genetic factors contribute to the development of alopecia. Dogs affected with alopecia typically present with loss of hair between the ages of four months and two years. Hair of affected dogs can also appear dry and dull. The hair loss is caused by abnormal Melanin storage in the hair, which leads to breakage of the hair shaft and the lack of normal regrowth of hair. Dogs with this condition can also be affected with recurrent bacterial skin infections originating in the hair follicles (folliculitis). Given that the modifying environmental or genetic factors responsible for alopecia are unknown, the only way to prevent color dilution alopecia is to avoid transmitting the dilute coat color variant to offspring in susceptible breeds.
Testing Tips Genetic testing of the MLPH gene will reliably determine the number of copies of the color dilution gene variant that a dog carries. Coat color dilution associated with this particular MLPH variant is known to be inherited in an Autosomal Recessive manner in dogs. Carrier dogs do not display a dilute color and are not at risk for Alopecia but when bred with another dog that also is a carrier of the same variant, there is a 25% chance of having pups with diluted coat color that may also be susceptible to alopecia. Reliable genetic testing is important for determining breeding practices. Dogs that are not carriers of this variant have no increased chance of having pups with diluted coat color or alopecia.
**The dilute gene is not "native" to the Labrador Retriever breed. ALL true purebred Labrador Retrievers should test negative for this gene. Any dog that is affected, carries this gene or has any ancestors with this gene is not a purebred Labrador Retriever. We will not breed nor knowingly allow any of our studs to be used with a dog that is affected/carrier of the dilute gene, nor any decendant of any known dilute carrier/affected dog. We are testing all of our dogs even though we KNOW they are CLEAR on the advice of the LRC. Please visit The Labrador Club, AKC parent club for the Labrador Retriever for more information: http://www.thelabradorclub.com/subpages/show_contents.php?page=Silver+Labradors
Progressive retinal atrophy, Progressive rod-cone degeneration PRA
Common Symptoms Progressive retinal Atrophy, progressive Rod-cone degeneration (PRA-prcd) is a late onset, inherited eye disease affecting Labrador Retrievers. PRA-prcd occurs as a result of degeneration of both rod and cone type Photoreceptor Cells of the Retina, which are important for vision in dim and bright light, respectively. Evidence of retinal disease in affected Labrador Retrievers can first be seen on an Electroretinogram around 1.5 years of age, but most affected dogs will not show signs of vision loss until 4 to 6 years of age or later. The rod type cells are affected first and affected dogs will initially have vision deficits in dim light (night blindness) and loss of peripheral vision. Over time affected dogs continue to lose night vision and begin to show visual deficits in bright light. Other signs of progressive retinal atrophy involve changes in reflectivity and appearance of a structure behind the retina called the Tapetum that can be observed on a veterinary eye exam. Although there is individual and breed variation in the age of onset and the rate of disease progression, the disease eventually progresses to complete blindness in most dogs. Other inherited disorders of the eye can appear similar to PRA-prcd. Genetic testing may help clarify if a dog is affected with PRA-prcd or another inherited condition of the eye. (From www.pawprintgenetics.com)
*We have not had any dogs affected with PRA, all have had good vision beyond 10 years old, none have shown signs of detaching on their yearly eye exams, even at 8-10 years old. Since it is recessive, we have started DNA testing to further ensure that we do not produce any affected puppies.
Retinal dysplasia/Oculoskeletal dysplasia 1 (RD/OSD)
Common Symptoms Retinal dysplasia/oculoskeletal dysplasia 1 is an inherited Collagen disorder affecting Labrador retrievers. Dwarfism and eye abnormalities may be apparent as early as 4 to 6 weeks of age in affected puppies. The dwarfism is characterized by shortened forelimbs that become curved as the dog grows. In puppies, the top of the head may be noticeably dome shaped compared to littermates. A range of eye abnormalities is visible on a veterinary eye exam of which retinal detachment and cataracts are the most common. Carrier dogs do not have skeletal changes but may have mild eye abnormalities, including retinal folds. (from www.pawprintgenetics.com)
*We have never produced a dog that is affected by RD/OSD, but there are some carriers in some of the pedigrees. We have had one puppy with folds on one eye, she was not retained for our breeding program, another we sold was CERF clear but produced a dwarf. Because of this, we decided it was best to start DNA testing as well to ensure that we do not produce any affected puppies.
Hereditary nasal parakeratosis is an inherited disease affecting the nose of Labrador Retrievers. Beginning around 6 to 12 months of age, affected dogs develop dry, rough, gray to brown crusts and rarely, painful cracks on the tip of the nose. In some cases, lesions are also present on the haired area around the nose. The noses of affected dogs are prone to superficial bacterial infections and often become depigmented over time. Affected dogs are otherwise healthy. Symptoms often wax and wane in severity over the dog’s life. Though manageable, this disorder requires continuous topical therapy to prevent recurrence of excessive nasal crusting. (from www.pawprintgenetics.com)
*We know several affected and carrier dogs, mostly from show lines. While some cases are very mild, some are quite painful. We have never had any affected dogs, but to ensure we do not produce any, we are starting to test all of our dogs that are used for breeding.
Degenerative myelopathy (DM)
Common Symptoms Degenerative myelopathy is an inherited neurologic disorder caused by a Mutation of the SOD1 gene known to be carried by Labrador retrievers. This mutation is found in many breeds of dog, though it is not clear for Labrador retrievers whether all dogs carrying two copies of the mutation will develop the disease. The variable presentation between breeds suggests that there are environmental or other genetic factors responsible for modifying disease expression. The average age of onset for dogs with degenerative myelopathy is approximately nine years of age. The disease affects the White Matter tissue of the spinal cord and is considered the canine equivalent to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease) found in humans. Affected dogs usually present in adulthood with gradual muscle Atrophy and loss of coordination typically beginning in the hind limbs due to degeneration of the nerves. The condition is not typically painful for the dog, but will progress until the dog is no longer able to walk. The gait of dogs affected with degenerative myelopathy can be difficult to distinguish from the gait of dogs with hip dysplasia, arthritis of other joints of the hind limbs, or intervertebral disc disease. Late in the progression of disease, dogs may lose fecal and urinary continence and the forelimbs may be affected. Affected dogs may fully lose the ability to walk 6 months to 2 years after the onset of symptoms. Affected medium to large breed dogs, such as the Labrador retriever, can be difficult to manage and owners often elect euthanasia when their dog can no longer support weight in the hind limbs.
*The only Labrador Retrievers reported to OFA to be carriers or affected by DM are unregistered dogs or mixes, no pedigrees are linked in OFA's database at this time to registered Labrador Retrievers. The only way to difinitively diagnose DM is by necropsy examination of the spinal cord and through DNA testing. We do not consider this a "necessary" test at this time, but some of ours have been tested, due to being part of a "panel" or other "sale", those that have been tested are clear of the mutation.
Canine Epilepsy http://www.canine-epilepsy.net/
Labradors and other breeds do have epilepsy on occasion. If you have a dog with epilepsy, please consider donating blood and information to this research. There is currently no genetic testing available for epilepsy. It is up to the breeder to be ethical and NOT use animals that are affected by epilepsy for breeding.
Allergies are something that a good breeder will take into consideration when breeding. We will not use any dog for breeding that has allergies since they can be of hereditary nature. We believe that a dog "should" be "low maintainence" when it comes to veterinary visits. We sincerely hope that your puppy will have a healthy life with minimal vet visits. Our goal is health wise, your puppy only needing to go to the vet for vaccinations, hopefully, with your wonderful supervision, there will be no accidents such as broken limbs or swallowed objects (dogs will be dogs, and accidents are called that for a reason). While we cannot predict or even prevent EVERY disease or illness, you can rest assured we have done our due diligence by selecting the healtiest parents, even if it means spaying/neutering one that we really like.
CEDAR SWAMP RETRIEVERS