Why is Health Testing Important?
Our adult dogs at Daisy Mountain Labs undergo health testing and are cleared for genetic problems prior to breeding. They are checked for heart murmurs, hip and elbow dysplasia, tested for EIC, CNM, PRA, and CERF (checked for hereditable eye diseases). They are also regularly tested for parasites and preventively treated. All puppies come with a full written health guarantee which covers hip and elbow dysplasia, heart murmurs, EIC, CNM, and PRA. Hip and elbow X-rays on our adults are evaluated and rated by Board Certified Veterinary Radiologists at the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals. All of this health testing insures you have a healthy, sound family member for years to come. All responsible breeders do this testing on all of their breeding stock prior to breeding. They also back up their puppies with a guarantee. Labradors that appear fine with no lameness can have terrible hips or elbows. That is why it is crucial to have them x-rayed and certified prior to breeding. If not, this can lead to the potential of so much pain and suffering to their offspring that is preventable. Please do not support unexperienced or irresponsible breeders that are not properly testing their dogs. A “cheap” purchase price may get you a puppy but it can come with life long medical expenses and pain and suffering to your pup.
Does this health testing guarantee 100% that your puppy cannot get EIC, CNM, PRA or hip or elbow dysplasia? It DOES guarantee that your puppy will never be affected by EIC, CNM, or PRA. It would be genetically impossible to be affected if both sire and dam have been tested and are compatible with their test results. However, It DOES NOT guarantee that your puppy will be unaffected by hip or elbow dysplasia but greatly improves the odds. The percentage of puppies affected out of parents that have been tested with normal results is very very low. Puppies from parents with bad hips and elbows have a very high likelihood of dysplasia. Puppies with hip or elbow dysplasia will normally show symptoms within the first 2 years of age. Can your lab still have a quality life with hip or elbow dysplasia? Yes, diet, therapy, reduced activity, and supplements can greatly reduce symptoms. In some severe cases, orthopedic surgery is the only option. Does this mean your lab will never get arthritis even in its old age? No, arthritis in a geriatric dog is common. It’s part of aging. Dogs will dysplasia have much more severe symptoms. Daisy Mountain Labs DOES back up our puppies 100%. In the unlikely event that your puppy is diagnosed with hip or elbow dysplasia, our contract outlines the details of our guarantee. Not all hip and elbow dysplasia is genetic. A large part of the responsibility is placed on the puppy owner making sure their puppy isn’t over exercised during it’s growth, is fed a high quality diet, and isn’t injured in any way. We give our puppies a great start at a healthy life with health tested parents, quality prenatal care of their dam, premium food and supplements, a clean environment. and of course lots of love and attention!
About CNM – Centronuclear Myopathy
Centronuclear Myopathy (CNM), formerly called Labrador Muscular Myopathy or Hereditary Myopathy of the Labrador Retriever (HMLR) as well as many other names, segregates in Labrador Retrievers. The disease was first observed in the 1970’s. By the 1990’s, the incidence had increased significantly. This increase is globally due to famous successful Labradors who are carriers being used extensively for breeding.
At this time, there is little on the disease in handbooks and clinical manuals typically used by veterinary clinics. This is due to the documents being published perhaps every five years, and because this myopathy is a breed-specific disease. There are extensive efforts to notify the thousands of veterinary clinics that there is now a simple DNA test, but it is a slow process.
CNM is a hereditary disease where the muscles of the Labrador do not develop properly. Affected pups are obvious by the time they are between three and six months of age. The pup will begin to stumble and fall when trying to walk. There are difficulties in swallowing since the muscles in the esophagus are often affected. There is no cure for the disease.
About exercise-induced collapse (EIC)
A syndrome of exercise intolerance and exercise induced collapse (EIC) is being observed with increasing frequency in young adult Labrador retrievers. It has also been observed in Chesapeake Bay retrievers and curly-coated retrievers. Affected dogs have been found in field-trial, hunt test, conformation, pet, and service lines. Black, yellow, and chocolate Labradors of both sexes are affected, with the distribution of colors and sexes closely reflecting the typical distribution in the population. Signs first become apparent in young dogs, usually between 5 months and 3 years of age (averaging 14 months). In dogs used for field trials, this usually coincides with the age at which they enter heavy training. Littermates and other related dogs are commonly affected, but depending on their temperament and lifestyle, they may or may not manifest signs. Affected dogs exhibiting signs of collapse are usually described as being extremely fit, muscular, prime athletic specimens of their breed with an excitable temperament and lots of drive.
Affected dogs can tolerate mild to moderate exercise, but 5 to 20 minutes of strenuous exercise with extreme excitement induces weakness and then collapse. Severely affected dogs may collapse whenever they are exercised to this extent; other dogs only exhibit collapse sporadically. The factors important in inducing an episode can vary among dogs. The first thing noted is usually a rocking or forced gait. The rear limbs then become weak and unable to support weight. Many affected dogs continue to run while dragging their back legs. Some of the dogs appear to be incoordinated, especially in the rear limbs, with a wide-based, long, loose stride rather than the short, stiff strides typically associated with muscle weakness. In some dogs, the rear limb collapse progresses to forelimb weakness and occasionally to a total inability to move. Some dogs appear to have a loss of balance and may fall over, particularly as they recover from complete collapse. Most collapsed dogs are totally conscious and alert, still trying to run
and retrieve, but affected dogs can appear stunned or disoriented during the episode. It is common for the signs to worsen for three to five minutes even after exercise has been terminated. Most dogs recover quickly and are normal within 5 to 25 minutes with no residual weakness or stiffness. Dogs are not in pain during the collapse or after recovery. Affected dogs are not stiff or sore or limping upon recovery.
About PRA– Progressive Retinal Atrophy is an eye disease in which the retina degenerates and the affected animal suffers impaired vision which often leads to blindness.
About recessive disorders– EIC, CNM, and PRA are all recessive disorders. For a dog to be affected by one of these diseases, they must inherit a mutated gene from each parent. A dog that is a carrier of the disease has 1 mutated gene and 1 normal gene. Being a carrier is not a problem unless bred to a carrier or affected dog because they can produce affected puppies. A carrier does not have symptoms of the disease but can pass a mutated gene to their offspring. A dog that is clear has 2 normal copies of the gene. A clear dog bred to a carrier dog cannot produce a dog that is affected. Therefore it is safe to breed a carrier dog but ONLY to a clear dog. 2 clear dogs can only produce clear puppies.