As a responsible breeder we test all our males & females for the following:
1. Hips: Dogs are pre-limbed x-rayed or PENN Hipped before 1 year old. If they were pre-limbed x-rayed, they are re-x-rayed at 2 years old to get their OFA certification.
2. Elbows: Dogs are pre-limbed x-rayed before 1 year old & re x-rayed at 2 years old to get their OFA certification.
3. Hearts: Puppies are checked at 8 weeks old & rechecked at 1 year old to get their OFA certification.
4. Eyes: Puppies are OFAed / CERFed / EYES CLEARED by a dog ophthalmologist.
Hip dysplasia is a condition in dogs where the bones in the dogs' hind legs that join the dogs' pelvis don't match up perfectly. The only way to determine for sure that a dog has or does not have hip dysplasia is with a high quality X-ray. The dog is stretched out on its back with the rear legs extended as far as possible. Positioning of the dog for the X-ray is critical.
OFA stands for Orthopedic Foundation for Animals. This is the most trusted entity when it comes to hip certification in dogs. The OFA receives your x-ray and sends it out to a random 3 individuals on their reading panel. These are veterinarians with vast experience in reading films and making hip determinations. There are many recognized individuals on this panel and the three that read your dogs x-ray are chosen at random.
PENN HIP: This is also an excellent way to check hips for hip dysplasia : 3 x-rays are taken in different positions by a certified veterinarian and sent in for evaluation.
The only way you can make sure the parents of your puppies do not have these conditions is by the tests listed above. While this does not guarantee 100% that your puppy will not have a problem, it definitely cuts down on the number and the severity of cases. So if a breeder tells you his dogs have never had a problem, that doesn't mean they don't have hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, a heart murmur or hereditary eye problems which would greatly increase the risk of your