The OFA was created in 1966 to help evaluate and track the incidence of canine hip dysplasia in German Shepherd dogs. Since then, the OFA has gradually added other evaluations and certifications for a variety of other health concerns in dogs, including elbows, luxating patellas, thyroid, CERF and cardiac testing. However, despite what some on this forum would have us believe, they have not tested for all of those the entire 40 years since the OFA was created.
http://www.offa.org/ Out of curiosity, I emailed OFA and asked them what year they started tracking the other health evaluations that they certify on their site, and I got the email back a few minutes ago.
They started tracking elbows in 1990. Patella registry began in 1994, CERF records began in 1995, and cardiac and thyroid tracking began in 1996.
So in terms of numbers and reports, the results you see on the website are not from 40 years of doing reports, but 12-20 years.
It is important to note that as time goes on, the National Breed clubs for each dog breed has certain health tests that it recommends be done, and most of those testing recommendations have been greatly expanded within the last 5-10 years as we learn more about canine genetics, diseases and disorders. If you are interested in breeding your dog, or are currently in the process of breeding your dog, and wish to know what to test for to ensure your dog will be as healthy as possible, I strongly urge that you consult your National Breed Club. Most will have a part of their website specifically devoted to breed health and responsible breeding.
If you don't know what your dog's national breed club title is, generally speaking, if you google, "(dog breed) club of america" you are going to be directed to the proper site.
For example, you'd google "Akita club of america"
***Edited By: Minniyar on 3/6/2008 8:29:12 AM*** Reason: add
Never trust a tall dwarf... he's lying about something.
"So in terms of numbers and reports, the results you see on the website are not from 40 years of doing reports, but 12-20 years.ď
Just keep in mind that if you consider that those 12-20 years are in "dogís years", we are talking about 6-10 generations. In human terms, that would be the equivalent of 150-250 years of data, which is nothing to scoff at.
***Edited By: cushi on 2/27/2008 12:01:54 AM*** Reason: sp
Subtlety is the art of saying what you think and getting out of the way before it is understood.
As the OFAs are submitted voluntarily by responsible breeders, and not required of every breeder (unfortunately), I don't think that kind of comparison to human ailments works. Again, as time goes on the national breed clubs are recommending more tests be done. For example, it's only been within the last 5-10 years that elbows and eye exams were recommended for the Labrador Club.
***Edited By: Minniyar on 2/26/2008 11:52:20 PM*** Reason: add
Never trust a tall dwarf... he's lying about something.
As part of their breeder recommendation link they had actually copied a 'recommended testing' page from another breed. It said that people inquiring about puppies should make sure both parents were OFA hip tested, patella, blah blah blah.
Well I found that interesting, because when you go on to the OFA website,
You will notice that only 64 Pomeranians had EVER been hip tested by OFA.
So, when I contacted award winning Pom breeders, Parent club board members and just what would be considered reputable breeders, (15 e-mails in all) most were flabbergasted about that link.
All of the breeders tested for different things that they felt were important, but no one tested all of their breeding dogs for hips.
I was told that the only health testing that the Pom club could agree on for sure was CERF testing. I think contacting the people I did, sort of cause a buzz, because going back right now, that link is gone.
This is perfect example of a breed, not even paying attention to the real problems in the breed and in NAME ONLY jumping on the bandwagon of 'blanket testing' that NO ONE really even does.
Kind of silly huh? Even weirder that it had to be pointed out by little old me, for a breed I know nothing about.
So the next time someone comes on to TP with a litter of Poms and you jump on them about the 'required testing' that would be CERF only guys.
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To me, that just means that the vast majority of boxers being bred out there are being bred by irresponsible breeders. Yourself included, Alicat, despite the fact that you have had some of your boxers OFAed for hips and cardiac tested. Alicat, the irony here is that you're not irresponsible because you didn't health test but because you are deceitful in regards to your 'stealth breedings' of puggles.
But the truth is, it's not just boxers of course, the vast majority of most breeds are being irresponsibly bred. I'm sorry but being a responsible breeder isn't about doing what everyone else is doing. When an irresponsible breeder starts breeding, it's not because they're doing out of interest in preserving the healthiest puppy possible, but out of stupidity and to cater to the almighty dollar, because they are looking to make a little cash.
Being a responsible breeder is about being honest, setting a high standard for yourself and your breeding program, about doing everything you can to ensure that the puppies your dogs produce have the best possible chance at being healthy.
Regarding pomeranian breeders who only recommend CERF, that's rather sad. I wouldn't expect the breed to be OFAed for hips, as that's generally speaking a condition associated with large breeds of dogs. But I've known and personally encountered enough pomeranians with luxating patellas that I would expect more responsible breeders were testing for it, as it is definitely an issue with the breed, despite the fact that only 295 patella evaluations have been done by the OFA. However, of those 295 evaluations, 45.8% of the dogs evaluated have had abnormal patellas. That's almost half of the dogs tested.
Cardiac issues are a known problem in boxers, but only 1533 boxers have been tested for that and of those tested, 97.2% have had normal results. Does that mean that because so few dogs have been tested for cardiac problems, no one should test for it? Of course not.
However, comparitively speaking, 4442 boxers have had their hips evaluated, and of those, 10.9% have dysplastic hips. That's a far higher percentage with bad hips than the percentage of boxers with heart defects... but we should test for one but not the other? What sense does that make?
Never trust a tall dwarf... he's lying about something.
alicat1: "...In 10 years of breeding boxers that would still be about 350,000 dogs. Since 4442 were EVER tested for hips that is BARELY 1% if you just include those dogs bred in the last 10 years alone..."
Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't publication of OFA results voluntary? Meaning if you don't get good results, you could choose not to have those results available to the general public? Unpublished results couldn't be included in a statistical review. Now, I'm no statistician, but I think missing data would skew the statistics dramatically.
I'm of the opinion that all breeders should do as much testing as they can and let the results be published, good or bad. Breeding shouldn't be about making bucks, it should be about bettering the breed (without drastically narrowing the gene pool, of course--sometimes hard decisions must be made in this area--to carry on with a known issue to try to rid a breed of a more serious known issue).
***Edited By: gbroxon on 3/6/2008 1:37:52 PM*** Reason: Typo.
You know Ali, you keep coming on her spouting that "no one else does so why should I" and try to convince us that you must be a good breeder for this reason, so I have to ask WHY? Why keep coming back with the same excuses for your poor breeding practices when you know none of us agree with you? The only reason to no do the health tests is because you clearly do not care one bit for the future of the Boxer breed, or you would test, and yes this goes for any breeder who is not doing health tests, the only reason is because the all mighty dollar is more important than the future of their breeds. I dont care if they are the "top breeder for _____________ in the USA" if they are not doing health tests they are not doing it right, IMO. It doesnt matter weather they breed 1 pup a year or 100 they are no better than every other BYB out there if they are not health testing, worse in fact since they KNOW that their are problems in EVERY SINGLE BREED and you can help with some of them. No one but you has ever brought up the "testing for everything under the sun, only you because it is part of your cop out. Minn clearly said that she would not thing Poms should have hips OFA'ed, since it is largly a large breed problem, but patellas should be and CERF as you mentioned. Testing needs to be done for the problems that affect the breed. Now you will probably ignore this totally as you do most posts, but whatever.
ruffian, "You know Ali, you keep coming on her spouting that "no one else does so why should I" and try to convince us that you must be a good breeder for this reason, so I have to ask WHY? Why keep coming back with the same excuses for your poor breeding practices when you know none of us agree with you?" (Jepordy Music playing......) What is? http://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r137/irishacres/humiliation.jpg
I like him a lot better than I like most people. To you he's a dog. TO me he's an adopted son who is short, hairy, walks on all fours and doesn't speak clearly. I have no problem with any of these. <
Alicat1, is that truly your take? "Since hardly anybody else does it, I don't have to do it either?" Since you've been on this forum for so long, I can't believe that you'd choose not to for that lame reason.
Please reconsider with your breed's overall health and well-being foremost in your mind. Work against the grain if you need to, maybe you can be the frontrunner in ridding your breed of serious health issues!
I am a Boxer breeder. And I try to be a responsible one. Let me share what health testing I have completed on my 2 year old AKC pointed girl.
Brandi had her heart SAS cleared by Dr Keinle, DMV Cardiologist. He is a graduate of UC Davis and works closely with Dr Kate Meurs, DVM Cardiologist, whom has done specific heart testing for Boxers with grants from the American Boxer Club. OFA has her clearance on their website.
Brandi had a 24 hour Holter test run. The results were given by Dr Kate Meurs, DVM Cardiologist. "0" VPC and no arrythmia (sp?) present. I just sent off the OFA registration for these results. LOL--or none results, as I am very happy to brag.
Brandi had her hips xrayed for OFA. The testing was done by Dr Gary Brown, DVM Orthopedic Surgeon. OFA rated her hips EXCELLENT! Only 3% of all Boxers rated by OFA (with passing scores) got an Excellent. OFA has this on their website as well.
Back up a generation since I own her mother. Her mother was SAS cleared by the same Cardiologist and Holter tested by the Dr Kate Meurs as well. She was rated GOOD by OFA for her hips. Brandi's sire also had his SAS clearance by a Cardiologist, 24 hour Holter tested by Dr Kienle, and has OFA EXCELLENT hips.
So please, those on this board, know that many Boxers breeders are responsible and are trying. Sadly it is only a small percentage of the tons of breeders out there. But I suspect that is the same for so many other popular breeds.
Another thing to consider is the fact that many genes are involved in how a dog's physical structure developes. You can have 3 or 4 generations of dogs pass OFA for hip dysplasia and still have pups born that will not pass OFA. I know this for a fact because I have been x-raying all my Bullmastiffs since 1990 and have had many rated excellent and most of the rest rated good and only a couple rated fair. Yet, I have a 3 year old bitch that is dysplastic. Her dam was not of my bloodline and I took this pup instead of a stud fee. Her dam was OFA rated good and elbows clear . I have had the same thing happen once before and there were 3 generations of OFA certifications behind that dog. I will continue to do this testing on all my dogs but I want to caution others to not assume this will guarantee no pups will have bad hips.
Definitely there is never any guarantees when it comes to Mother Nature; she does things her own way. However, health testing is a large portion of what makes a responsible breeder. It is a basic requirement and of the utmost importance.
Breeding a dog that has passed all breed specific health testing means the breeder is doing the best they can. A dog that does not pass should be removed from any breeding program. That makes a responsible breeder.
Health testing is an area where anyone has the same even chance to be a responsible breeder. Health testing and adhering to your breed standard are your first basic 2 important steps :)
OFA certification is highly subjective. It is an opinion by 3 certified x-ray readers, and as stated here isn't all that accurate. I have some breeders of other breeds trying to put pressure on me to OFA certify each of my producers. OFA certification gives you a paper opinion to brag about. Let me brag on the other side of that sheet. In 8 generations we have no evidence of HD, etc. and have not payed OFA for their opinion. My customers are not asking for OFA. I don't see any reason to do it. My dogs were chosen b/c they were free of the health problems OFA certifies in this breed. Not " a few " but " all " of my pets have been sound because I started with sound and have not watered it down. I get a lot of requests to breed for pick of the litter and decline due to possibility of watering down stock. We do breed for cash occasionally to stock with excellent OFA or a great genealogy with clear history, with good conformation.These cases are rare. There may come a time when we OFA all our dogs, but that time isn't now. Good luck to all of you.
Quality is not expensive, it's priceless. I love blues!
Blocker wrote: "OFA certification gives you a paper opinion to brag about."
I disagree. In making that statement, you belittle the efforts of truly responsible breeders whom do health test their dogs and are willing to be public with those results. A Responsible breeder has been willing to put their breeding program on the line in order to obtain that piece of paper. And such courage is to be commended rather than belittled.
I have seen far too many lesser breeders brag on long lines of "healthy" dogs in efforts to forgo costs of health testing. And the result is so many sad people contacting me personally to say they have a sick or genetically ill pet. A Boxer puppy without hip sockets bought from a breeder who claimed no HD in their line. A Boxer puppy with such a murmer as to pant just laying down, from a breeder whom claimed no Heart issues in their line. A Boxer puppy with a whole in its heart and a dam that dropped dead soon after it was born. The common thread here was none of these breeders health tested their dogs before breeding them. Perhaps one or may not have passed their testing? And if so, removing them might have been able to save at least one puppy buyer's heartache.
A Responsible breeder will health test their breeding animals for illnesses that are known to be a problem in that breed. That includes cats as well as dogs. A Responsible breeder cares about the health of their adult dogs long before they consider breeding them.
Unless you are keeping all of the dogs/cats you breed yourself, you have a responsibility to those whom are being asked to trust you. Not to mention the peace of mind being a Responsible breeder brings to you on a personal level :)
With that.I do health test my dogs.Now over and above what is called for in the breed. But I also know that I am paying for an opinion.Right or wrong. Elwood came back fair.I saw his x-rays and they looked great.The Vet Dr.Link gave him a Good or better.I got a fair,why.Maybe the his good wasn't as good as the goods they just looked at. I could send them in and have them re do them and possible get a better reading. But I am happy with a passing and a number. It is great to health test,but you must remember humans are reading them and we are so not perfect.
Wow! I realize that this is a dormant topic, but I want to thank many of you for responding! It's been a great read and comforting to know that there are breeders on this website who share my views on health testing and upholding/improving their breed!!
I advertised on this website because I believe in educating new owners; irresponsible breeders make some of the best marketers and I have to combat that. So...When I constructed my ad, I also posed the health recommendations for our breed. I emplore people who read my ad to ask for specific health results (and I name them), regardless of whether they buy a pup from me or somewhere else. I refer them to my breeds parent-club website and also our rescue program.
Ive been on this site for 3 months, and while we have found three wonderful homes through our ad, we have also been able to talk to many people about our breed. Hopefully, even if they just did a little more research because of our ad, I will feel my money has been well spent. (And those three homes? I think that these are people who will become involved in our breed for a long, long time.)
Were you at the Nationals this week? I think a few of the dogs there had your kennel name? I went to the health forum on Degenerative Myelopathy (DM) and right now 54% of all the Boxers tested have both genes. 32% are carriers and only 14% are completely clear of the gene.
The specialist speaking said that right now the test is just a tool. That we (as Boxer breeders) can not eliminate all dogs testing at risk (having both AA genes). If we did it would create a "bottle neck" in the breed, and probably cause even more problems later on, since possibly the gene for DM also produces longevity.
Since the dogs affected with DM are at least living long enough to come up with the symptoms. Meaning the dogs that die of DM at 9-12 are at least living to 9-12 and not dying of cancer or heart at 0-9.
What I took from it is that health testing is an important tool, but you have to carefully consider what you are eliminating from the limited pool of purebred dogs.
She actually said, with the more testing that we are now having... it is unlikely that dogs will pass every test.
So with more and more testing, you will know your dogs weaknesses but that should NOT AUTOMATICALLY eliminate them for breeding. If you eliminate every dog with a weakness then what you may be leaving in the gene pool are dogs with more serious problems that are not now prevalent in the breed, but could be if narrowing the gene pool.
I missed the Cardio seminar with Dr. Meurs seminar on the brand new cardio test, but in theory if over 50% carried the cardio gene and over 50% carry the DM gene if every breeder eliminated every dog carrying the the gene... people couldn't breed Boxers any more and that would just be sad.
I am all for improving the breed with the available testing, but for this breed it is going to be a long road before all the desired goals are achieved. Going too quickly could be disastrous.
No dogs are perfect, and they all are going to die of something. As breeders we just need to do our best to raise healthy and sound, total dogs with our best judgment. I hope what we do trying to improve things today does not hurt things 50-100 years from now when even more science catches up with the dog/breeding/health world.
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I am replying to the Boxer breeder whom posted on May 2009. I was not only at the Nationals, I was working there the entire week and serve on a couple of committees <g>. I was the internet "voice" as I was ringside the entire week and posting the class results. In addition to helping out with events at the Top 20, attending the seminars and of course socializing my arse off. Yes, I was proud that some of my kids and grandkids were there. Am/Can Ch PawPrint's Plainly Spoken, CGC was awesome. Just shy of 10 years old at the Nationals, he went 2nd place in a very competitive 8-10 year veteran class. Amazing to know this was his 2nd year competing and placing 2nd.
You misstate the "cardio gene". It was never called that and it is too bad you missed that very important seminar. I am glad you attended the DM seminar, but know that is a fairly new test, though a valuable one. Having had a 12-1/2 year old Boxer that had DM, I have a personal state in wanting to learn more. The newest heart test you mentioned is for a genetic mutation in the hinge between two cells. Go to the AmericanBoxerClub.org website to get the correct information. You may have since done more research, but I wanted to correct the information you posted for others to see. It is important. And as to your theory of 50% penetration for this newest flaw, you are off (thankfully). It is just such assumptions, based on no facts, which dissuade otherwise responsible people from exploring our most important studies. As honest breeders report their results form this newest test, and also report the reports of their other heart tests, we will slowly learn more. And as usual, have more questions.
We should always have more questions :-)
I am proud to say my newest 4 month old Boxer puppy has tested Negative for the genetic mutation. She will still be fully health testing when she is an adult and long before she is bred. But her mother was tested for this and it was important she also be tested. Just one small piece of the overall puzzle. Each piece is important.
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