Pets.ca - Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 

-->

Health Testing and Cockers

mafiaprincess
November 13th, 2006, 10:29 PM
I've been perusing breeders sites.. And have found many only do cerf and ofa. Then I found one who did VWd, cerf, ofa, thyroid, heart and liver testing. Why is it that within the 'decent' breeders I could find, lets say 6 out of 30 kennels I looked at, only one tests extensively, yet they all look better than average otherwise?

As it is, the American Spaniel Club suggests testing for 8 issues
1. eye defects;
2. blood disorders;
3. endocrine disorders;
4. skeletal defects;
5. metabolic disorders;
6. heart disorders,
7. skin disorders,
8. neuromuscular disorders.

But I wasn't sure how skin problems or epilepsy were tested or if it was that easy..

I would consider not screening for VWd in a breed carrying it is kinda major.. but looking at pages for the last 2 months no one mentioned it.. versus looking in past at dobe breeders, many mentioned it..

Any thoughts on why so many 'better' breeders wouldn't bother testing for more?

Prin
November 13th, 2006, 10:43 PM
These links might help you find info:
http://offa.org/

DNA testing:
http://www.healthgene.com/canine/
http://www.vetgen.com/

AKC Canine health (research):
http://www.akcchf.org/

mafiaprincess
November 13th, 2006, 11:01 PM
So it looks like VW carried in cockers is 'type 2' and there's likely no test for it ence it's not mentioned often. So it's kinda queer to bring it up as a huge health concern in cockers if you can't really do anything about it...

Makes me question the breeder who seemed 'better' since she's testing something that you can't test right...

OntarioGreys
November 14th, 2006, 12:36 PM
Actually any sites I have found says its very rare and sporatic. Cockers get the type 3 VW and more apparent in cockers with hypothroidism, treat the hypothyrodism and the bleeding stops being a problem.

http://moonstruckmeadows.com/vonWillebrands.htm

Prin
November 14th, 2006, 03:53 PM
This link says different:
http://www.terrier.com/breed/vonwill.php3

Type II vWD is characterized by a low concentration of abnormal vWF. Breeds in which severe type II has been diagnosed include American Cocker Spaniel, German Shorthaired Pointer, and German Wirehaired Pointer.

Type III vWD is essentially the complete absence of vWF. Severe type III vWD has been diagnosed in Australian Cattle Dog, Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Fox Terrier, German Shepherd, Scottie, and Shetland Sheepdog.

mafiaprincess
November 14th, 2006, 07:22 PM
I've read multiple links about type two being common enough to be a worry in cockers. But none have gone into detail onto percentages of affected cockers, but that would require people to send in data.. Or if they are making any attempt to get towards being able to test for it.

MaryAndDobes
November 17th, 2006, 10:21 AM
I've read multiple links about type two being common enough to be a worry in cockers. But none have gone into detail onto percentages of affected cockers, but that would require people to send in data.. Or if they are making any attempt to get towards being able to test for it.

I have Dobermans so I have experience with type 1. I also have had German shorthaired pointers (type 2) for the last 20 years so know a bit there.

Dobermans, as you probably know, have a DNA test for vWD. The problem was big enough that the parent club was concerned enough to help provide funding to find the responsible gene and to find a DNA test for it.

Prior to that, all we had was Elisa blood assay tests, which are unreliable. They have to be handled correctly, and even when they are the results still change constantly within a dog depending on stress, disease, illness, hormones, etc.

For breeds that do not have a DNA test, all there is is the Elisa test. Many won't be bothered with it because it's only a snapshot in time, not truly definitive of a dog's status.

Several of my Dobermans took part in a vWD study at OVC where they were trying to understand why dogs with lower numbers are still genetically clear, why dog with high numbers are genetically carriers or affected, etc. I'm not sure they were able to draw any conclusions. The last time I spoke to them about it, they said it wasn't going as expected, that it's not easy to categorize dogs by Elisa results.

If all that was available for a breed is the Elisa, then I don't think I'd worry too much about breeders not using it. If they do, fine. But neither would I discount someone who doesn't use an unreliable test.

As for sending results somewhere, someone has to want the results and be funded into looking into the problem. If it truly is a problem in a breed, I'd hope the breed club would be helping to fund an accurate test.

mafiaprincess
November 17th, 2006, 11:09 AM
Thank you. That makes more sense. The few people I talked to about it trying to learn didn't know anything about type two (or three). I'ts good to know that one breeder wasn't lying.. there's something that can be tested for.. even if it's not the most reliable.. But I'll look harder into breeders handling the other major testing issues.