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 tripping 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.
~~EYES/CATARACTS~~ Board Certified Ophthalmologists perform CERF exams (Canine Eye Registration Foundation) to detect eye conditions, such as cataracts. While there are multiple causes of cataracts, our contract covers Hereditary/Genetic related Cataracts, and does not include normal aging and conditions such as Hypocalemia, Senile/Aging, Trama/Injury, Nutritional/Diabetic, Electric Shock (such as a puppy that bites an electric cord), Radiation, and Toxins (such as Disophenol used to treat hookworms).