PRE-SCREENING – EXAMINATION HEALTH TESTING
Whether you’re buying for the show ring or to add a companion to your life, health screenings are among the key factors potential owners should consider before choosing a puppy. Increasingly, breeders are turning to health testing to ensure they are doing all they can to create strong matches between dogs that result in healthier puppies. The Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) is a health database sponsored by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA). The OFA created CHIC by partnering with parent clubs with the purpose of gathering information on health issues that arise in specific breeds. Standardized health screenings for these common issues were established to help breeders to recognize the best matches for their breeding stock. (akc.org)
Hip Dysplasia – OFA or PennHip evaluation. Visit Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) and/or DogMD for more information.
Eyes – Annual eye exam by a boarded ACVO veterinary ophthalmologist. Visit Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) for more information.
Elective (Cardiac, Thyroid, or Sebaceous Adenitis) –
Cardiac – many diseases of the heart can be screened through exam. Visit Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) for more information. December 2020, OFA revised their recommendations for cardiac screening to include annual exams.
Thyroid – Hypothyroidism is discussed in the next section, Symptomatic Health Screens. Periodic testing is recommended throughout the dog’s lifetime; annually between 2 to 5 years of age and every other year after that. Visit Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) for more information.
Sebaceous Adenitis (SA) – SA is also discussed in the next section. This is a disorder of the sebaceous glands. False negatives are common if the skin punch biopsy does not gather affected/symptomatic cells since these may be focal rather than extensive in coverage area. Visit Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) and/or Poodle Club of America for more information.
SYMPTOMATIC HEALTH SCREENS
Addison’s Disease (AD) – also known as hypoadrenocorticism which is insufficient production of adrenal hormones. Visit Poodle Club of America and/or AddisonDogs for more information.
Bloat (Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus) – deep chested dogs are prone to this condition where gas builds up in the stomach causing abdominal pain. In extreme cases, the stomach can rotate and twist, shutting off blood flow and the path for gas to release. Immediate treatment is required. Read the article I authored for United Poodle Association. Visit VIPoodle, Poodle Club of America and/or Veterinary Partner for more information.
Ear infections – poodles tend to grow thick hair even in their ears. Often, hair must be removed to allow air flow and to prevent infections. Visit DogMD for more information.
Hypothyroidism – an under-functioning thyroid that may cause skin conditions, inability to maintain a healthy weight, excessive hunger, irregular heat cycles, excessive coarse coat texture, inability to stay warm, and lethargy. Visit Poodle Club of America or Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) for more information.
Sebaceous Adenitis (SA) – a disorder of the sebaceous glands that normally lubricate skin and hair follicles causing inflammation, scaling, flaking, thickening of the skin, hair loss and sometimes odor and sores. Visit Poodle Club of America for more information.
links provided by Poodle Club of America
American Animal Hospital Association – Canine Vaccination Guidelines for General Veterinary Practice
Dr. Dodds Vaccination Protocol (and click here for Dr. Dodds site with lots more info!)
SMART AND EDUCATED BUYERS MAKE GREAT OWNERS
We share all of this with our potential families so that you can make smart and educated decisions, and avoid possible pain and regret. Look for sellers who post all test results to OFA – even if they aren’t ideal. Beware of sellers that only post the positive results of certain tests on their site, while omitting any ‘negative’ results. Research BOTH parents and check both of their OFA records for litters you are interested in. When you have done the research, you will feel confident in asking questions about why they chose a specific pairing and/or why they chose to breed a dog with a less than ideal result and how the breeder will guarantee the puppies from those parent(s). We provided links to many reputable resources, but if you don’t find what you are looking for, I am happy to help anyone find the information they seek, no matter where you get your puppy.