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Discussion Starter #1
Hello!

I was wondering if you’d be able to help.

We have been waiting - YEARS - for the right time to find a Labrador puppy, get our ducks all lined up in a row so to speak and put ourselves on waiting lists then lockdown happened...

I’ve had a breeder contact to say that they’ve had a litter. The breeder has been good at communicating, from what I can tell reviews are very good from others that have had puppies from them and dogs and bitches are health checked (good hip/elbow scores and genetic testing clear for each) HOWEVER...the BVA eye tests expired April 2020.

I know lockdown has stopped eye testing and I’m assuming (at the minute as I will query the breeder but I’d like to do that from an informed position) that this is the reason that they weren’t renewed. So...is this/should this be a deal breaker? Are they carried out annually because eye conditions that weren’t there one year can appear the next? If so what s I should add that when I was added to the waiting list the tests were “in date”.

It’s so frustrating to have waited so long and gotten the call to be hampered by lockdown and now by this.

Advice gratefully received
 

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Actually, I'm an organiser of eye testing sessions, so know a little about whats happening at the moment.

Yes it's perfectly correct that eye testing had come to a stand still. We were due to hold a session in April, but had to cancel. We have another session scheduled for October. Will it happen? Your guess is as good as mine. Sessions are starting to restart, but only sessions held in vets surgeries, not independent sessions like ours. The rider is that the owner cannot go in with the dog, a vet nurse must take the dog in, then return it to the owner after testing, and the test must be paid for by debit or credit card, not cash. Also the price of the tests has increased to allow for a slower throughput and because it now needs a vet nurse to hold the dog where in normal times the owner would do that. But add to that, I'd not want a nursing bitch subjected to the stress of eye testing, particularly when the owner is not allowed to be present to reassure the bitch.

But the eye test for the dam ran out in April. To me, considering the corvid19 problems I would accept that as unavoidable. There was simply no way the breeder could get his/her bitch tested. If everything else is good then I would certainly not hold that against them. Just accept they have done their best in very trying times. :)
 

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Just to add to what John has said, the other thing you can do is look at the eye tests behind the bitch, have they had any problems that might concern you? I know with my two old girls both passed the HC aspect of the BVA eye test when in double figures, as they took part in a KC run project to collect health data for the aging population of Labradors in the UK. Sadly, I lost one earlier this year, but still have the other who is now fast approaching 14 and pretty fit and no signs of losing her eye sight. So look at that sort of information behind the bitch, that may help you as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you both for your responses! Very helpful and appreciated.

John thank you for clarifying how lockdown affected testing, much like car MOTs I guess! But helpful understand better the difficulties breeders have faced with tests. I have had a response from the BVA to say certificates that expired during lockdown have been extended for 6 months but I’m still not clear or what conditions are the sort that could appear inbetweeners annual tests.

Tarimoor, thank you for your point about checking the bitch’s results but same issue, her’s expired April 2020 - do you mean looking at her family tree? Sorry to read you lost one of your dogs, must be so hard when it’s their time.
 

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Thank you both for your responses! Very helpful and appreciated.

John thank you for clarifying how lockdown affected testing, much like car MOTs I guess! But helpful understand better the difficulties breeders have faced with tests. I have had a response from the BVA to say certificates that expired during lockdown have been extended for 6 months but I’m still not clear or what conditions are the sort that could appear inbetweeners annual tests.

Tarimoor, thank you for your point about checking the bitch’s results but same issue, her’s expired April 2020 - do you mean looking at her family tree? Sorry to read you lost one of your dogs, must be so hard when it’s their time.
Yes, if you look at her parents, and grandparents (all the information should be on the KC website and you can join myKC for free as well) that should give you an idea of whether there are any issues with the BVA eye certificate, if any have failed the information will be there. Stud dogs in particular, usually get tested until later in life, as they are still actively bred from after most bitches have finished having litters.

And thank you, it is a big, big loss when you lose a family member, which all my girls are xx
 
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