More and more, we hear of Newfy's with a crazy temperament, hyperactive or dominant, or with painful health issues that could have been avoided. Some of these issues are 100% preventable.
#1). Cystinuria is a devastating and painful genetic disease that is TOTALLY PREVENTABLE! A simple $50-$60 test will determine if a breeding Newf has Cystinuria. Cystinuria certifications will show if a Newf is Affected, a Carrier, or Clear. #2). Health issues are drastically reduced by responsible breeders who ensure each breeding Newf is fully health tested before breeding. Commonly, untested or partially health-tested bloodlines are offered online at $1200-$1500 pup. When it becomes more important to sell puppies than to perform the necessary health testing, it is not uncommon for these pups to become a financial nightmare in veterinary treatment. Hip replacement surgery is usually well-over $10,000. A torn Cruciate ligament can easily cost around $3,000-$4,000. Food allergies can be difficult to diagnose, as well as thyroid issues. 3). HEALTH TESTED GENERATIONS~~Why are health tested generations important and how do they effect your pup? We learned the hard way, suffering through losses and rehoming Newfs we had purchased from multiple other breeders. We didn't see any of the issues we were going to encounter along the way. Just in the past 12-months we have purchased, raised, and rehomed at least a dozen Newfs of whom later we found to either have serious health issues, or they had developed serious genetic issues as they grew older. Out of the 6 breeders we had gotten pups from, five did not stand by their contract and only one actually had real health certifications on their bloodlines. A responsible breeder is happy to show you their complete health testing certifications for the parents bloodlines. A bloodline lacking in complete health testing is more likely to lack in sound structure and correct temperament as well. Without seeing the parents health certifications, you'll only be left with knowing what the breeder wants you to believe. 4). There are NO Newfoundland bloodlines that are 100% healthy, however there are identifying genetic factors. A reputable vet will tell you genetic issues are not something you can visibly see with the naked eye! Only genetic testing can help determine if a Newf carries preventable issues. Dysplasia is a very controversial subject among the extra-large breeds, with studies showing up to 90% of dysplasia factors are possibly environmental. This is why every large breed dog owner needs to be aware of what there pup can and shouldn't do, what they should feed and what not, and how joints can be effected by the owners choices. 5). Many terms are often used to sell puppies such as Champion Bloodlines, and phrases such as "I don't need to do health testing; I bought my dogs from good bloodlines and I know a healthy dog when I see one!", and claims of "I'm selling Tenderheart puppies (from untested/unknown bloodlines)". Several breeders have claimed our name in an effort to sell their own puppies, and have made false claims of full health certifications. It's impossible to see genetic issues with the naked eye. The ONLY claims made to sell pups by a breeder should be health certifications, and these certifications should be accessible to the puppy buyer for verification.
We encourage puppy buyers to ask questions, visit your breeder if possible, and to take advantage of the health and pedigree info provided on our pages to help make your buying experience easier. The Newfoundland Club of America and AKC advise breeders to have all breeding stock evaluated before breeding! A reputable breeder will be happy to show you the complete health certifications on their breeding Newfs! Reputable vets do not tell breeders to skip health certifications. The NCA recommendations for all breeding Newfs includes Cystinuria testing, OFA Heart, OFA Hip or PennHip, OFA Elbows and Patella, and OFA Thyroid. These are the standard health certs for the Newfoundland breed. While there are no perfect bloodlines, continual testing of breeding Newfs by dedicated breeders is absolutely necessary. The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) is a public resource (see link below), specifically developed for the use of Veterinarians and responsible breeders. Without guidelines to healthy breeding, the Newfoundland breed would be lost to unethical breeding practices.
*************************************************************** A HELPFUL GUIDE TO: HEALTH ISSUES FOR THE NEWFOUNDLAND BREED
Even among the best bloodlines, genetic and other health issues may potentially develop. Consolidated health screening results (for each breeding Newf) are often gathered from multiple sources, for use in reducing the incidence of genetic disease and in improving canine health. Such information is often submitted to CHIC, which is a database for health screening results (Co-sponsored by the OFA and the AKC Canine Health Foundation). CHIC is meant to encourage health testing and sharing of all results, both normal and abnormal, so that more informed breeding practices may be improved upon. The main purpose in Newfoundland health testing is to help breeders make better decisions in breeding for the Newfoundland breed. Untested Newf's are at high risk of passing on serious genetic issues to their offspring.
~~HIP DYSPLASIA~~ Hip Dysplasia refers to the malformation of the hip joint occurring during development. Eventually, it's possible arthritic changes and remolding of the joint may occur (which may lead to substantial disability and pain, particularly as the dog ages). The degree of individual difficulty a dog can suffer can vary. Some with very poor x-ray results, display very few mobility symptoms (if any) as they age. This may cause a long-term analysis of dysplasia unpredictable to fully analyze. Studies also show dysplasia has environmental contributions and nutritional contributions, as well as genetic inheritance.
~~PATELLA"S AND ELBOW DYSPLASIA~~ Patella's and Elbow dysplasia are technically, like hip dysplasia, the abnormal development of the joint.
~~HEART~~ Regardless of age, heart evaluations should always be done by a Board-Certified Cardiologist (such as OFA Heart). The cardiac issue of most concern in Newfie's is Subaortic Stenosis. In its severe forms, it is serious and sometimes fatal. Breeders generally have ALL breeding stock evaluated by a Board-Certified Cardiologist.
~~CYSTINURIA~~ Cystinuria is a urinary disorder easily preventable with a single simple test. With Cystinuria, aa dog is unable to resorb the amino acid (Cystine) from the urine. The resulting increases in urinary Cystine concentration may result in stone formation. This can have potentially fatal consequences, particularly in males. Unlike other health problems, the inheritance of Cystinuria is straight forward. Because there is genetic testing available which directly detects the mutation that causes the disorder, breeders are able to control and/or eliminate this disease from their bloodlines. Since use of this test allows breeders to detect carriers of this recessive gene, breeders can avoid ever producing this disease. 1.) Cystinuria disease - Meaning, the Newfy unfortunately has the Cystinuria gene inherited from BOTH parents. 2.) Cystinuria "Carrier" - Meaning, the Newfy has inherited only one gene copy from one parent (but not the other), and is now a carrier (but does not actually carry the disease itself). 3.) Cystinuria Clear - Meaning, the dog has NO Cystinuria gene from either parent, making the dog Cystinuria "Clear".
~~DEGENERATIVE MYELOPATHY~~ Canine Degenerative Myelopathy, also known as Chronic Degenerative Radiculomyelopathy, is an incurable and progressive disease of the Canine spinal cord. It typically begins to show after the age of 7, and has been found in at least 43 breeds. Progressive weakness and incoordination of the rear limbs are often the first signs in affected dogs, with progression over time resulting in complete paralysis. Affected dogs usually show symptoms of triping and loss of coordination, weakness in the hind quarters, lack of urination control, etc. Dogs showing symptoms can go on 3 months, or as long as 3 years or more though this is a deteriorating condition and will continue to worsen over time (often leading to complete paralysis).
~Normal/Normal (N/N, or 'clear'): The dog does not have the mutation and is extremely unlikely to develop Degenerative Myelopathy. ~Normal/Abnormal (N/A, or 'carrier'): The dog has one mutated copy of the gene and is a carrier, but is not likely to have Degenerative Myelopathy (though there have been some cases of carriers developing DM. ~Abnormal/Abnormal (A/A), or 'At Risk'): The dog has two copies for the mutation and is at risk for DM.