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Health Issues

 

 

 

 

Knowledge is power!
This motto depicts our way of life. We like to be very informed of the many aspects of the k9 world, especially health issues, thus we are reading, researching, confronting our ideas with other fellow breeders.
We are totally in favor of DNA testing for the early detection of genetic life threatening diseases or diseases that will seriously compromise the quality of life of the dog.  To know if a dog is affected, carrier or clear of a certain gene is very important for the wellbeing of the dog and to make informed choices in the breeding program.
EYES
At present there are 2 DNA tests available for the Golden Retrievers: PRA1 and PRA2 (Progressive Retinal Atrophy). PRA is a blinding disease but nowadays is not a hopeless one anymore, early detection is the key.
All our dogs are clear from PRA1 and PRA2; in our breeding program we will never consider to breed to a carrier. PRA and other eye diseases is not something to be taken lightheartedly, that's why, yearly, our dogs undergo a routine ophthalmic examination and a gonioscopy every three years. Primary glaucoma is an inherited condition. The majority of breeders do not do gonioscopies as they feel glaucoma is not a problem of the breed. Well, it might not be a big problem as it is in other breeds, but there have been cases, the possibility is there, so why taking the risk?
HIPS and ELBOWS
Goldens can be affected by hips and elbows dysplasia. Dysplasia is not life threatening  although it can compromise the wellbeing of the dogs. Dysplasia is a multi-factor disease, that means that the clearances of the parents and relatives are important, but other factors are just as important if not more: the life the puppy/young dog conducts during the first two years of its life, the food and the supplement he is given.
All our dogs are cleared of HD and ED.
HEART
All our dogs undergo a complete heart screening between their first and second year of age.
SAS - Subaortic Stenosis it's a life threatening disease and it appears to be genetic in origin; the first signs of it may be present at birth (heart murmur: moderate or severe cases) or may appear in the first year of life (usually milder cases). 
In mild sub-aortic stenosis no signs are observed. In moderate (sometimes) and severe (almost always) cases, symptoms such as weakness, breathing difficulty (dyspnea), fainting (syncope), and, in extreme cases, sudden death are all possible as a result of subaortic stenosis. Realize that dogs with subaortic stenosis, even severe subaortic stenosis, may look perfectly healthy and active. These dogs generally do not realize that their hearts are compromised.
All our dogs are cleared of SAS.
ICHTYOSIS
In other words: dandruff. Mainly puppy dandruff that will disappear in the first 6 months of the life of the dogs. I've never had a puppy showing any flakes, nor do my grown dogs. I am sure this is due to the high quality raw food and supplements they are fed, as well as to their quality of life and to the chemical free life I am striving to guarantee them. Up until the 1990s no one knew what Ichtyosis was, it was merely some dandruff. Then someone with obviously too much time on his hands, came up with a DNA test for this "disease". I said it earlier and I am repeating this now, I am 200% pro DNA testing for genetic life-threatening diseases. A bit of dandruff has NEVER killed anyone, yet the DNA test for Ichtyosis is one of the most expensive around, the drive for this test is money, not certainly the betterment of the breed or the defeat of a disease that kills Golden Retrievers.
I wish these scientists would use their resources in a better way, to implement a dna test to detect cancer for example.
The following is  is taken from an article published on the GRCA website - please look for the document here http://www.grca.org/pdf/health/Ichthyosis.pdf - : "An ongoing survey conducted by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals in conjunction with the Golden Retriever Club of America (GRCA) reports that ichthyosis accounts for 0.2 percent of skin disorders in the breed. “Overall, this is a very low percentage,” says Rhonda Hovan, the GRCA research facilitator."
I rest my case.

 

 

 


 

 

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Email: Arianna Rosellini-Briscoe

Vicenza, Italy
Cell: 3489062621

 

 

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