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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,

I've been thinking about getting a pup for a while, but then Covid happened and puppy prices went through the roof, so I've spent most of the last year holding off and just keeping an eye on puppy ads and prices (as well as the wonderful advice on this forum!). I've recently started taking a closer look at the litters being advertised and I'm feeling a bit frustrated as, although there seem to be more litters becoming available now, some of the test results I've seen are pretty mixed.

I've seen an advert where the elbow/hip scores look good, the breeder is breeding from their bitch to keep one of the pups, and they seem keen to offer lifetime support - all of which gives me a positive feeling. However, two areas bother me - although the bitch is clear of prcd-PRA and CNM, there aren't any other DNA tests, and neither the sire nor the dam has a current BVA eye test certificate.

There was no mention of eye certificates in the advert, so I checked on the KC website and the sire was last tested in February 2018 age 6 and the dam in January 2019. I'm guessing that it may not have been possible to get the dam re-tested due to Covid, and her parents and grandparents all seem to have had clear eye tests. The sire worries me, though. There's very little eye information available in his family tree on the KC site, but his grandfather was found to have HC at the age of 7. Given the sire's age and the fact that his certificate is from over 3 years ago, I'm suspicious that he just hasn't been tested in case he's developed an eye condition later on in life. Similarly, I don't understand why someone would go to the trouble of having DNA tests for prcd-PRA and CNM, but not test for EIC, HNPK and SD2 at the same time. Is partial DNA testing common?

Are my alarm bells justified? Or am I just being overly suspicious? I feel like finding a pup that ticks all the boxes is an impossible task, but I'm also wary of people cutting corners, as plenty of people seem to have used the pandemic as an excuse to charge silly money for pups with inadequate health testing (not saying that's what's going on here, but it just makes me extra cautious). It's important to me that my pup has the best possible chance of enjoying a long and happy life.
 

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Eye testing. This is in a way understandable. Since covid it has been difficult to get eyes tested. I co-organise eye testing and we had to cancel one session and had limits imposed on us for the others. In all our sessions we have had to turn people away. Also, when it comes to cataracts, the two major kinds are early forming, detectable by a year old, (which is the age when most breeders start testing,) and late forming, often not detectable until 6 to 8 years old. (My Beth was 8 years old before hers were found. But although early forming invariably progress to blindness, the late forming rarely cause problems. Many breeders stop testing at 6 to 8 years old, on the grounds that if nothing wrong has been found by then it's unlikely that there will be anything wrong. So as I said, on all counts, I can understand why they have not tested, but for all that it is still wrong! Eye testing IS possible and if a person intends to breed it should be done. One place I know which tests weekly has a 3 month waiting list, so it does need forward planning. But if a person is intending breeding then they SHOULD be forward planning.

DNA testing. To my knowledge there is no holdups there, so it should be possible to have had the testing done. I can imagine that there might be a slightly longer delay but I cannot think it would be that long. (But saying that, I have had no reason to DNA test recently so this is only my thought, not a proven fact.)

So there you are. I'm not saying "Dont buy this puppy!" That is your decision. What I am saying is that there is no excuse for not fully health testing. It could, and should have been done. As far as the dam is concerned, they have had nearly a year and a half to find somewhere to test, so there is simply no excuse.
 

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There has been little, if any, impact on DNA testing so no excuse for not testing, especially as so many companies now do offers of a number of conditions and at a very reasonable price. Eye tests have been a bit of an issue during the pandemic but for anyone who really wants to get one done, if they look hard enough they can book one.
 

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My two year old bitch has a current, clear BVA eye cert, there has been plenty of opportunity to have testing done, so absolutely no excuse. Bare in mind puppy farmers keep pups back, they have to get their breeding stock from somewhere, so keeping a puppy back doesn't always mean it's a good thing. I'm afraid I would steer well clear and look for a litter with health tests on both parents, good health tests behind them, good examples of the breed and get on the waiting list as soon as you can because that sort of litter will be spoken for before they are born usually.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks everyone for your replies. I think you've confirmed what I felt in my gut, that there were too many corners being cut. I'll keep looking!
 
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