HEALTH TESTED GENERATIONS~~Why are health tested generations important and how do they effect your pup? We have learned the hard way through our losses, having purchased and raised (and rehomed) close to a dozen Newfs over the past few years, carrying serious genetic health issues. 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, which can also be in the Newfoundland Dog Database online as well. Without seeing the parents health certifications, you'll only be left with knowing what the breeder wants you to believe. 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. 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.
Even among the best bloodlines, genetic and other health issues may potentially develop. Individual health certification results are used to evaluate and reduce the incidence of genetic disease; improving canine health. Such information is often submitted to CHIC, which is co-sponsored by the OFA and the AKC Canine Health Foundation. CHIC supports research into canine disease and provides health informations to both breeders and owners. Untested bloodlines are at higher risk of passing on serious genetic issues to their offspring. Recommended OFA Health certifications for the Newfoundland breed include Hips, Elbows, Patella, Heart, Thyroid, and Cystinuria.
~~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.