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What is Health Testing?

Not all testing is created equal

The term "Health Testing" means very different things to different people.  It is important to keep this in mind when  looking for a new puppy and interviewing breeders.

Health testing is the process of testing for inheritable diseases, as well as measuring risk factors for other genetically linked conditions.

Health testing is expensive and time consuming.  It can also reveal problems in a seemingly healthy dog, OR make a dog with hidden problems seem very healthy!

 

Please educate yourself on health testing, what testing is available to breeders, what the health risks are for the breed you are considering, and what your breeder is doing to measure and track these risk factors in their program.  

Scroll down to learn more about Rebecca Creek Retriever's health testing protocol

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Rebecca Creek Retriever's Health Testing Protocol
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We understand the importance of proper and thorough health testing in our program, however, we also acknowledge the limitations of health testing.

There are many things that we can test for, to ensure that we are breeding healthy dogs.  However, there are far more things that we cannot test for.

This means that family history is equally important, if not more important, than health testing.  We use both health testing and family history to choose breeding pairs.  And we use family history to determine which health tests we perform on which dogs.

Please do not misunderstand us.  Thorough health testing is critical when building a breeding program.  DNA testing alone is NOT thorough health testing.  Please be careful about breeders that claim that their dogs are "fully health tested," and all they can show you are DNA panels.

Sometimes, health testing and family history isn't enough.  Just like humans, dogs can develop many different problems throughout their lives even if they are born healthy.  This is why we always recommend purchasing health insurance for your puppy (we send them home with 30 days free!).

DNA Panel

Our favorite DNA panel is the Embark Labs panel.  This panel tests for over 175 different inheritable diseases and traits.

OFA Elbow Clearance

We get elbow clearances on our studs, and outside females.  We do not typically get elbow clearances on females that we keep from our own program.

OFA Patella Clearance

We get patella clearances on our studs, and outside females.  We do not typically get patella clearances on females that we keep from our own program.

PennHIP

PennHIP is the authority in hip clearances.  PennHIP measures hip laxity, and therefore measures risk factors for osteoarthritis and hip dysplasia. 

OFA Thyroid Clearance

We get thyroid clearances on our studs, and outside females.  We do not typically get thyroid clearances on females that we keep from our own program.

OFA CAER

The OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) CAER (Companion Animal Eye Registry) program evaluates eye health.  We test our dogs once when they are young to look for physical defects.  We do not test yearly.

OFA Cardiac Clearance

We get cardiac clearances on our studs, and outside females.  We do not typically get cardiac clearances on females that we keep from our own program.