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Holding your breath

March 20, 2021
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Sammich, doing something goofy with his mouth.
Cali chasing the FastCat “bunny”

Breeders who have the best interest of the breed at heart spend a lot of time studying, testing and planning.  One of the things that brings any breeder stress is the wait for testing results.  

DNA tests that let you know how the genetic material has come together, Xrays to see how Hips and sometimes elbows line up.   Eye exams to make sure all is right in the eyeball.  Some tests results are pretty instant but some take time for lab results or Xray reviews.  And waiting for those results can have breeders on pins and needles.

Cardigans are a relatively long-lived and healthy breed and those of us who are heritage breeders continue to work hard to keep them that way.There are some standard tests breeders should be doing.  One of the longest available tests is for the DNA test for PRA – Progressive Retinal Atrophy which is a degeneration of the retina.  We also have a DNA test for DM – Degenerative Myelopathy which is the Canine version of ALS.  In addition to DNA tests breeders generally do Eye exams every couple of years on their breeding stock.  Hips X-Rays are done and sent for review from either OFA – Orthopedic Foundation for Animals or Penn Hip to evaluate for Hip Dysplasia.  Those are the standard expected health test for Cardigans. 

There are others things that breeders check just for more information. Outside of the health tests there are also some DNA tests that will let a breeder know about the possibilities of color and coat length which although cosmetic these have historical working connotations.

Not all test show up on the OFA database but some of them should or you should be able to review the results certificates. You can check out any dog in the database at http://www.ofa.org. Any breeder who isn’t testing doesn’t have the breed’s best interest in mind. Beware of marketing gimmicks. Breeders whose main motivations is to sell puppies use the term “triple” clear a lot. We are not sure what they mean by that term but you want to look for health tests that matter. There are several DNA companies that offer a battery of tests that have results for lots of DNA markers that are irrelevant to Cardigans. Don’t get fooled by seeing tests listed as not affected or DNA not carried, each breed has their own issues so again look for tests that mean something for the Cardigan Welsh Corgis. You can check out breed health information at the Parent Club website https://cardigancorgis.com/cwcca/breed/health/

So about our testing, prior to the Cali x Jimmy breeding we had done hip xrays. Cali was very uncooperative and OFA didn’t like the films, we reviewed them with other knowledgeable breeders and were OK with them so we moved forward without a Hip score, I redid them last month with a more cooperative Cali and we got the results of a PASS!  Hooray!  So we have a pending certificate for a normal eye test (should be done every couple of years) to be uploaded and all breeding health tests are current. Now we wait!

Cali’s OFA page https://www.ofa.org/advanced-search?f=sr&appnum=2004252

Test and Tell is what every breeder should be doing.

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