The Australian Labradoodle is known for being a particularly healthy breed. In part, this is due to the way they are bred - the lack of inbreeding and lack of desire to exaggerate traits for the show-ring, but health testing also plays an important role.
We take health testing very seriously at Lomond Hills and have an extensive and religious screening regime to ensure that all of our puppies have the best possible chance of health and longevity.
Some of the tests we conduct are genetic and involve a DNA sample (usually some cheek cells in a mouth swab) being sent off to the laboratory we use in the USA for testing. The genetic tests we currently conduct are:
prcdPRA - Progressive rod-cone degeneration progressive retinal atrophy - results in loss of vision.
PRA, RCD4 - Progressive retinal Atrophy, Rod-cone dysplasia 4 - is a late-onset inherited eye disease resulting in loss of vision.
vWD - Von Willebrand disease - blood clotting disorder.
EIC - Exercise-induced collapse - strenuous activity can result in weakness or collapse.
DM - Degenerative myelopathy - a progressive disease of the spinal cord.
IC - Improper coat/furnishings - results in the dog having less facial hair/the facial hair taking longer to grow in.
NEWS - Neonatal encephalopathy with seizures - an autosomal recessive developmental brain disease.
The results of these genetic tests is either clear, carrier or at risk.
Clear means the dog is not at risk and does not carry the condition.
Carrier means the dog is not at risk, but does carry the condition and can pass it on.
At risk means the dog is at risk of developing the condition and can pass it on.
No result rules a dog out of our breeding programme as even those dogs 'at risk' can produce 100% carrier offspring when paired with a clear dog. The table below shows how we use test results to ensure that we don't produce puppies that are at risk.
In the last few years we have introduced the PRA,RCD4 and NEWS tests, therefore as you will see on the profiles of our dogs not everyone has been tested yet. You will see all of our studs are 'clear' so we know our puppies are not at risk of developing either disease, whether the mother has been tested yet or not.
We also hip score, elbow score and patella test our breeding dogs. These tests are not genetic - purely because genetic tests have not been developed for these conditions as yet. It is important to remember that from a breeding perspective, we are only interested in the genetics - not environmental ware and tear or injury, as these cannot be passed onto the next generation. So how do we assess genetics from radiographs and physical vet examinations? We do the tests as early as possible so that we are minimising the environmental influence on the result and getting a more accurate representation of the genetics. We are also mindful of any particular injuries that we know of which could have influenced the results. These tests are not genetic, they are not fool-proof, but they are the best we have available to us and we work with them as best we can.
Hip Scoring - we use the OFA/Dr Wallace hip scoring programme. Radiographs are sent to the specialists and we get a result. Possible results are:
Elbow Scoring - we use the OFA/Dr Wallace elbow scoring programme. Radiographs are sent to the specialists and we get a result.
The only result that we breed forwards with is Negative for Dysplasia/Normal.
Patella Testing - we use the OFA patella testing programme. Our vet manipulates each patella in efforts to produce luxation. If no patellar luxation can be produced, the dog gets a Normal result. If a degree of patellar luxation can be produced, this is graded somewhere between 1 and 4.
The only result we breed forwards with is Normal.
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Lomond Hills Labradoodles is a trading name of LHL Limited, a company registered in Scotland