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Health Testing

Like other dogs and humans, Poodles and Golden Retrievers may have health problems, some common among all dogs and some specific to the breed and even to one Golden Retriever or Poodle variety. Health tests already allow us to screen breeding stock for some of these problems, and today’s exciting era of DNA technology is putting researchers on the fast track to find abnormal genes and develop more tests to help eradicate genetic disease.

Here are some health issues of concern to Poodle owner:

• Addison’s
• Atrial Septal Defect (ASD)
• Basic Genetics
• Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (Bloat)
• Chronic Active Hepatitis
• Cushings
• Epilepsy
• Hip Dysplasia
• Hypothyroidism
• Legg-Calve-Perthes
• Neonatal Encephalopathy (NewS)
• Patellar Luxation
• PRA and other Eye Health Issues
• Optic Nerve Hypoplasia
• Sabaceous Adenitis (SA)
• Von Willebrand’s disease (vWD)

Here are some health issues that concern Golden Retrievers

• Hips Dysplasia
• Elbows Dysplasia
• Heart
• Eyes
• Hypothyroidism
• Ichthyosis
• Cancer
• Bleeding Disorders
• Vector-Borne Diseases
(e.g: Anaplasma, Bartonella, Babesia, Borrieia, Ehrilichia, Hepatazoon, Rickettsia)

There are some health issues that all GOOD Breeders test for before breeding their dogs. Other health issues are dealt with by knowing the history of the lines that their dogs decended from.
Here are some of the main health test that we have conducted:
Hips and Elbows – Canine hip dysplasia (CHD) is a developmental malformation of the hip joints resulting in secondary joint disease (arthrosis, arthritis) and corresponding clinical symptoms such as pain and lameness. The major cause of CHD is an excessive laxity of the hip joint, characterized by subluxation of the femoral head out of the acetabulum. The disease is hereditary.

Here at Sunset Goldendoodles we use one or both of the scoring modes used in the USA.

PennHIP, which measures the laxity and OFA which measures the conformation (how the ball sits in the socket). OFA x-rays can be done by a regular Vet, however, the PennHIP must be preformed by a trained and certified Veterinarian.
The PennHIP method assess, measure and interpret hip joint laxity. It consists of three separate radiographs: the distraction view, the compression view and the hip-extended view. The distraction view and compression view are used to obtain accurate and precise measurements of joint laxity and congruity. The hip-extended view is used to obtain supplementary information regarding the existence of osteoarthritis (OA) of the hip joint. (The hip-extended view is the conventional radiographic view used to evaluate the integrity of the canine hip joint.) The PennHIP technique is more accurate than the current standard, and it has been shown to be a better predictor for the onset of OA.

Since hip dysplasia is a problem in both breeds, the Poodle and the Golden Retriever, we at Sunset Goldendoodles feel we need to have full knowledge before breeding our dogs so that we can make an intelligent decision. This is the responsibility of a breeder.

Patellar Luxation – Patellar luxation is the dislocation (slipping) of the patella (kneecap). In dogs the patella is a small bone that shields the front of the stifle joint. This bone is held in place by ligaments. As the knee joint is moved the patella slides in a grove in the femur. The kneecap may dislocate toward the inside (medial) or outside (lateral) of the leg. This condition may be the result of injury or congenital deformities (present at birth). Patellar luxation can affect either of both legs.

The most common occurrence of luxating patella is the medial presentation in small or miniature dog breeds. Shallow femoral groove, weak ligaments and malaligment of the tendons and muscles that straighten the joint are all conditions that will predispose a dog toward luxating patellae.

Indications of patellar luxation are difficulty in straightening the knee, pain in the stifle, limping, or the tip of the hock points outward while the toes point inward.

Sunset Goldendoodles has this test done on all dogs.

CERF – Canine Eye Registration Foundation provides a number for breeders if their dog has past their eye exam and are breedable. A Canine Ophthalmologist is the only one who can preform the test.

Heart – This test must be preformed by a Canine Cardiologist.

Health eyes and hearts is a must for our dogs at Sunset Goldendoodles.

Hypothyroidism (malfunctioning thyroid) is caused by an inadequate production of the thyroid hormone. Symptoms include skin conditions, obesity, excessive hunger, irregular heat cycles, excessive coarse coat texture, inability to stay warm and lathargy. Testing for thyroid malfunction is obtained by taking a blood sample.

At Sunset Goldendoodles we require all out dogs to have a Normal thyroid test result to be apart of our breeders.

Neonatal Encephalopathy (NEwS) – Neonatal Encephalopathy with Seizures is a fatal disease of the brain in newborn Standard Poodles. Affected pups are weak, uncoordinated, and mentally dull from birth. If they survive the first few days their growth may be stunted. When normal puppies in the litter start walking, some pups with NEwS cannot stand at all and others struggle to their feet with jerky steps, falling frequently. Seizures develop in most at 4/5 weeks, and the puppies die or are euthanized before they reach weaning age. Researchers have identifies the gene mutatin that causes NEwS, and a DNA test is now available that allows breeders to avoid producing affected puppies by never breeding two dogs to each other if they are both carriers of the abnormal gene.