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
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
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.
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
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
I rest my case.