Genetic Testing

FOR A GERMAN SHEPHERD DOG

Every Breed has specific genetic predispositions to certain diseases and conditions. This is due to many factors and the way all breeds of dogs were created - by breeding closely related dogs, similar dogs and dogs sharing similar genetic pool. To breed responsibly, means to have risks of producing unhealthy puppies be minimal. Responsible breeders always screen breeding stock for heritable diseases and remove affected animals from breeding program. Affected animals are altered; may be placed as pets as long as health issues are disclosed to buyers/adopters. Reputable breeders have working knowledge of genetics and generally avoids inbreeding. Of course, there is never 100% guarantee that two fully health tested dogs will not produce a puppy with a fault - no matter what a breeder tells you.  But a puppy produced by health-tested parents with a strong health-tested pedigree is a lot less likely to result with a genetic fault. We agree to breed-related risks the day we agree to purchase this specific breed and  the benefits of owning the dog of your dreams way outweighs the  risks related to the genetics of this breed. 

OFA lists the primary health screening tests that breeders should perform on their stock before breeding. This provides basic information for breeders to make more informed breeding decisions in order to reduce the incidence of inherited disease. The results also provide valuable information for potential puppy buyers looking for responsible breeders that health test their breeding stock.

RECOMMENDED TESTS FOR A GERMAN SHEPHERD DOG

Hip Dysplasia typically develops because of an abnormally developed hip joint, but can also be caused by cartilage damage from a traumatic fracture. With cartilage damage or a hip joint that isn’t formed properly, over time the existing cartilage will lose its thickness and elasticity. This breakdown of the cartilage will eventually result in pain with any joint movement.

No one can predict when or even if a dysplastic dog will start showing clinical signs of lameness due to pain. Severity of the disease can be affected by environmental factors, such as caloric intake or level of exercise. There are a number of dysplastic dogs with severe arthritis that run, jump, and play as if nothing is wrong and some dogs with barely any arthritic x-ray evidence that are severely lame.

Screenings for Hip Dysplasia are performed by a veterinarian with x-rays

Elbows Dysplasia

Elbow dysplasia is a general term used to identify an inherited polygenic disease in the elbow. Three specific etiologies make up this disease and they can occur independently or in conjunction with one another. These etiologies include:

  • Pathology involving the medial coronoid of the ulna (FCP)

  • Osteochondritis of the medial humeral condyle in the elbow joint (OCD)

  • Ununited anconeal process (UAP)

Studies have shown the inherited polygenic traits causing these etiologies are independent of one another. Clinical signs involve lameness which may remain subtle for long periods of time. No one can predict at what age lameness will occur in a dog due to a large number of genetic and environmental factors such as degree of severity of changes, rate of weight gain, amount of exercise, etc.. Subtle changes in gait may be characterized by excessive inward deviation of the paw which raises the outside of the paw so that it receives less weight and distributes more mechanical weight on the outside (lateral) aspect of the elbow joint away from the lesions located on the inside of the joint. Range of motion in the elbow is also decreased.

Degenerative Myelopathy is a debilitating disease that causes gradual paralysis in many dog breeds. It is caused by a degeneration of the spinal cord that onsets typically between 8 and 14 years of age. It presents first with the loss of coordination of the hind legs. It will typically worsen over six months to a year, resulting in paralysis of the hind legs. If signs progress for a longer period of time, loss of urinary and fecal continence may occur and eventually, weakness will develop in the front limbs. An important feature of Degenerative Myelopathy is that it is not a painful disease.

Temperament Test

Results of Temperament test performed at a club

Optional Testings
  • Cardiac Evaluation  - Congenital Cardiac Exam, Advanced Cardiac Exam

  • Autoimmune thyroiditis - evaluation from an approved laboratory - recommend yearly testing

  • Eye Examination by a boarded ACVO Ophthalmologist- recommend annually until age 6, every 2 years thereafter 
     

 
 
 
 
 
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Vom Geliebten Haus

German Shepherd Dogs

Puppies. Dogs. Support.

Serge and Veronika Zazovsky

Address: P.O. Box 213

Menomonie, WI 54751

Phone:  715-505-1422

E-mail: belovedgsd@gmail.com

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