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Poodle Health

Knowing what testing is being done and why it's being done can be confusing.  Here is a brief description of all the health testing that we do.

Kandansk encourages you to continue your research.  A great place to start is The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA).  Please see the link below for the recommended minimal clearances as recommended by our breed parent club (The Poodle Club of America).  We do additional health testing beyond these, but all reputable breeders should meet these minimums for Miniature Poodles.

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Hips, Elbows and Patellas

Hip dysplasia is an abnormal formation of the hip socket that, in its more severe form, can eventually cause lameness and arthritis of the joints. It is a genetic (polygenic) trait that is affected by environmental factors. It is common in many dog breeds, particularly the larger breeds, and is the most common single cause of arthritis of the hips.

Elbow dysplasia is a condition involving multiple developmental abnormalities of the elbow-joint in the dog, specifically the growth of cartilage or the structures surrounding it. These abnormalities, known as 'primary lesions', give rise to osteoarthritic processes. Elbow dysplasia is a common condition of certain breeds of dogs.

Luxating Patella or sometimes called a trick knee, is a condition in which the patella, or kneecap, dislocates or moves out of its normal location.  Patellar luxation is a common condition in dogs, particularly small and miniature breeds. 

Leg Calve-Perthes disease is also known as avascular or aseptic necrosis of the femoral head. This is a condition in which the head of the femur (the ‘ball’ in the ball-and-socket joint that forms the hip) spontaneously begins to degenerate. Over time, this degeneration will cause collapse of the hip and lead to arthritis.

Eye Diseases

Progressive Retinal Atrophy,  (PRA) is a well-recognized inherited condition to which many breeds of dogs are predisposed. The condition is characterized by bilateral degeneration of the retina which causes progressive vision loss that culminates in total blindness.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy, Rod-Cone Dysplasia 4 - (PRA-crd4) is an inherited eye disease affecting dogs. PRA-crd4 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.

CERF (Canine Eye Registration Foundation) examination (eye exam) is performed by a Veterinary Ophthalmologist. The purpose of this examination is to identify whether or not a dog is affected by hereditary eye disease. 

Hereditary Cataracts are the result of a progressive disease of the lens. The lens is normally a transparent structure of precisely organized fibers that lives in the pupil and focuses light. Cataracts cause the lens fibers to become disordered and turns the lens into a milky blue color. The lens is no longer transparent, light fails to reach the retina, and blindness is the end result. With this genetic mutation, dogs can develop cataracts at only a few weeks to months of age.

DNA - Genetic testing

Von Willebrand disease type I (VWDI) is an inherited bleeding disorder affecting many breeds of dog. Dogs affected with VWDI have less than half of the normal level of von Willebrand coagulation factor (vWf), which is an essential protein needed for normal blood clotting.  Affected dogs may bruise easily, have frequent nosebleeds, bleed from the mouth when juvenile teeth are lost, and experience prolonged bleeding after surgery or trauma. Less often, the bleeding may be severe enough to cause death. 

Degenerative myelopathy (DM) caused by Mutation of the SOD1 gene is an inherited neurologic disorder of dogs. 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.

Osteochondrodysplasia (OCD) is an inherited Musculoskeletal disease affecting dogs. Affected dogs typically present at about 3 weeks of age with stunted growth. Puppies often walk differently than unaffected littermates and stand with their feet turned out and hind legs splayed. Their legs are short and bent with enlarged joints and clubbed feet. They also have flatted rib cages and under bites, which can affect their ability to nurse and breathe. While affected dogs can survive for many years with supportive care, they will develop arthritis and will likely have breathing difficulty due to their deformed ribcages.

GM2 gangliosidosis (poodle type) is an inherited Lysosomal Storage Disorder affecting dogs. Affected dogs have insufficient activity of the Enzyme hexosaminidase B, which is responsible for breaking down specific carbohydrates in the cells. As a result, there is an accumulation of a glycoprotein, GM2 ganglioside, in cells, especially cells of the brain and nervous system. Affected dogs typically present with symptoms of neurologic disease around 9 to 12 months of age. Symptoms include vision loss, difficulties walking, loss of balance, head tremors and vomiting. Once an affected dog begins to show signs of the disease, the disease progression is rapid and dogs usually die between the ages of 18 and 23 months.

For more information on these and additional genetic test for other breeds, please click the link below to be redirected to Pawprint genetics.

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