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  1. #1
    Best Friend Retriever Sue's Avatar
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    May 2014
    New England
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    Clearances For Labs

    Originally posted by Darwin'sMom (now picadilly) this was also a sticky with very important information that was lost in the Great Lab Board Server Fry of 2014. Reposting here.


    Mandatory tests for labradors Hips, Elbows and Eyes. A lot of people do more and a lot of people look for more, but those are the what the parent club "requires". For hips and elbows, the vast majority test through OFA. The dog gets xrays shot at a vet and those get sent in to OFA. OFA then sends them out to three separate vets on their rotating panel for grading. Those grades are averaged for a final grand and that's what you can see at Orthopedic Foundation for Animals. Here's a link to how the grades work...

    Orthopedic Foundation for Animals: Hip Dysplasia
    Orthopedic Foundation for Animals: Elbow Dysplasia

    Some people grade there hips through PennHip (PennHIP Home). There is no public database for results and you'd still want the elbows graded through OFA.

    Eyes should be evaluated by a veterinary ophthalmologist annually. They are looking for a number of different eye issues and fill out a CERF form. You can send that CERF form in to CERF for an official clearance number and that will also appear on the OFA site. Unlike OFA, CERF doesn't do any sort of grading, so many breeders simply hold on to the evaluation form. A breeder should be able to show you either a CERF certificate or Evaluation Form for any of their dogs, but it's a must for the dogs being bred.

    Another test many labrador breeders do is a Cardiac (Heart) Exam, these can also show up on the OFA site but at this point, OFA becomes a database not a grading system. The current standard for Cardiac Exams is an Auscultation, which is a vet listening to the heart with a stethoscope. You can find more info here... Orthopedic Foundation for Animals: Cardiac Disease. Many breeders go beyond simply the standard in this area and have an echocardiogram done. You can find info on that here... Orthopedic Foundation for Animals: Cardiac Disease. Tricuspid Valve Dysplasia is a real problem in the breed and the best way to show a breeding dog doesn't have the condition is an echocardiogram through a cardiologist.

    There are a number of DNA tests that are done on labradors... PRA, EIC, CNM, Coat Color and Long Coat are most of them (I think ). DNA tests are done by either sending blood to a lab or a cheek swab.

    prcd-PRA is an eye condition that will cause blindness at a young age. OptiGen - prcd-PRA Test - canine genetic testing If at least one parent is Clear, none of the puppies will be affected by this condition.

    EIC is a condition where the dog loses control of it's rear limbs due to excitement. Exercise Induced Collapse - CVM - VDL, University of Minnesota If at least one parent is Clear, none of the puppies will be affected by this condition.

    CNM is a muscle disease and is usually seen at a couple months old. VetGen: Veterinary Genetic Services - Canine - List of Services - Centronuclear Myopathy (CNM) If at least one parent is Clear, none of the puppies will be affected by this condition.

    Breeders are able to test to see what hidden colors their dogs carry through a number of different DNA labs. Example, the dog is Black but carries (and can produce) both yellow and chocolate. This doesn't affect the health of the dog at all but is nice to know for planning breedings. In the same respect, breeders can test to see if their dog carries the gene to produce a long coat. Not terribly common, and not usually done unless certain dogs are present in the pedigree, but a nice option. You can see more info on long coated labradors here... Long-coated Labradors

    Basically when it comes to clearances, a breeder should be very willing to talk about and show you proof of all they've done. If they baulk for any reason, i.e. "there's never been any hip/elbow/heart/eye issues in these lines", they're full of it and you should look elsewhere for a puppy

  2. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Sue For This Useful Post:

    LoveLab (10-04-2014), Melly (07-14-2017)


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