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311Hemi

Lab owners (or any breed for that matter), do you........??

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I have read a lot lately about owners of pups experiencing health issues and not having a clue whats going on. Once they track down the issue there is really not much they can do about said diseases but find the pup is affected for life. Some of these are worse than others, but many times it's heartbreaking non the less. The thing that comes to mind every time I hear of this is that in most cases they could have prevented this from happening (saving lots of time/money/frustration). Many of these diseases can be prevented by purchasing pups from parents (sire and dam) that have been tested for such diseases. I think a lot of this may stem from a lack of knowledge by the general public. I am sure many think they have never seen it so why bother or care, that it's not that prevalent since they have never heard of it or seen it......and unfortunately it can come back to bite any one of us (I have been bitten).

To get to my question.....I am wondering:

1) For lab owners - Do you know what CNM, EIC, PRA, CERF are?

2) Would you buy a pup that has not been tested for these?

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No lab, but we recently researched and bought a great dane (which can have a whole bundle of medical problems).

I would buy a non-screened pet, but I would be very careful. Ours came from a well-respected breeder who's been in business for a long time. We've got 5-generation pedigrees and she was very open about anything we asked. The sire and dam were screened for some things, but not everything.

Bottom line--you get what you pay for (for the most part). Good dogs are not cheap, but the price of a hip replacement is way more than a top-notch puppy!

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311 brings up a good point. W/O the public being educated and hopefully demanding and only buying pups from screened parents, the inherited disorders will never go away.

The latest are CNM (only one parent needs to be tested clear to insure puppies do not contract the disease... both insure that there will not be carriers...) nad EIC which I see they finally got the test on the market. We need to be ahead of especially the EIC as it is very prominant in one of the more extensive active trial lines.

As always ask the breeder for proof of the prents being screened (photo copies of clear certificates) and research the pedigree and lines. Myself? I want a minimum of 3 generations of hips / elbows and eyes being clear along with at least one parent being screened for CNM and from this point forward a clear EIC test.

None of these disorders contracted will even out the costs associated with buying a properly bred pup. A couple vet visits for any of the above disorders will easily run in the hundreds of dollars and potentially thousands of dollars, not to mention a very high possibility of a dimished quality of life for your pet.

Good Luck!

Ken

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I dont have a lab the breed I have is a Large Munsterlander. After lots of research with of the bread I decided to the LM because of the full linneage discloser. I can track the lineage all the way back to Germany and see if there is any history of diseases in line of the mom or pops. Mom and pops have to have a clean bill of health before breeding if to be recognized by the club.

And of course the decision to get an LM helped a great deal to know they are the best utility sports dog out there. grin

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1) For lab owners - Do you know what CNM, EIC, PRA, CERF are?

2) Would you buy a pup that has not been tested for these?

1) Honestly, no. I have no clue what any of those are.

2) I bought a pup 3 years ago without knowing if it was tested for anything.

I probably should have gone more in depth when I bought my pup, but never thought of it. I had wanted a dog for a long time, saw an ad and went and got him. Couldn't be happier though, great dog(chocolate lab), great hunter, and great with my kids. I will be sure to do more research when the time comes, hopefully many years from now. Thanks.

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I've paid attention to hips and eyes certified in the past but that is all. I have a kennel picked out for possibly getting a lab pup next spring, they only mention hips and eyes. I suppose if they tested for the other conditions they would advertise that. I guess I could ask them but how many kennels are testing for these other conditions? Probably pretty limited?

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If they are reputable kennel, they will be testing for all inherited disorders. The process of breeding dogs is not to put dogs on the earht, but to advance the breed! If they are not doing everything in their power to minimize and help curb the explosion of inherited disorders, they should not be breeding! period! I feel this is where the AKC falls flat on it's face... it is nothing but a clearinghouse of 'lines'. They should have the power to only allow registration of dogs that meet a minimum threshold of being clered form genetic disorders.

Elbow displasia while not as prominant as hip, is equally as nasty. There is no reason why they do not do that. They should be providing you with a minimum of 2 generations of clear hip, elbows and eyes.... The parents should be screened and tested for CNM and EIC... cuz' if your pup has one or the other, it willbe devastating! Your dog can at least provide some service with dysplasia... not with these last 2. They should also guarntee that both parents are free of epliepsy and that dogs with allergies were not bred. All guarantees should be a written contract and 24 months does not cut it! 36 months should be the minimum. Ask the breeder for copies of the OFA certificates and CERF (eye) certificates also.

In the end, you get what you pay for... I'd rather pay big money to buy a pup from a breeder who has gone through all the hurdles, than t roll the dice and save on the pup and pay a vet for treatment and in the end buy another pup!

Look at it this way, $1000.00 puppy divided by 10 years of service = $100 per year... less than gas for a days hunt!

Good Luck!

Ken

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1) For lab owners - Do you know what CNM, EIC, PRA, CERF are?

2) Would you buy a pup that has not been tested for these?

1. No

2. Yes. I paid $50, and $0 for my mutts, kinda a rescue ordeal and would do it all over again in a heartbeat. Now, if I was ever to pay some serious $$$$$$ I would start really doing background and health checks on my new pup.

Are any of "CNM, EIC, PRA, CERF" a problem with lab mutts?

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CNM probably not. Both parents need to be carriers...

EIC... maybe I think it can be passed down by one carrying parent

PRA... maybe same as EIC

CERF stands for 'Canine Eye Registry Foundation' and is not a disorder.

Good Luck!

Ken

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I am going to ask the kennel I am looking at for exactly what they test for. Their pups range from $700-$1000.

Could someone give me the full names for all the 3-letter abreviations we have been discussing and any other questions I should ask? Thanks.

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* CNM - Central Neuromyopathy. At least one parent should be tested clear to insure that the pups do not contract this hideous disease... this test should be done. If only one parent is cleared and the other is a carrier, 50% of the pups will be carriers, bt none will have clinical signs or symptoms but they can pass it down to their progeny.

* EIC - Exercise Induced Collapse. Terrible disease. A new test is out and the parents should be tested clear. This and CNM are diseases that are prevalent in a couple of trial lines and if your dog has it, the odds are good that you will not have a hunting dog... maybe not even a dog at all

CERF - Is the registry for eyes. PRA is Progressive retinal atrophy. Dogs who have this will be blind, usually bind by 6. Retinal dysplasia and retnal folds are very prominant in retriever lines. Though vision problems with these dogs is rare, they should not be bred. There is evidence that retinal dysplasia and hip dysplasia have a symbiotic relationship.

Hip Dysplasia and Elbow dysplasia need no introduction. The OFA (Orthopedics Foundation for Animals) is the clearinghouse for evaluations and registrations of the hips and elbows.

The above should be the threshold for a breeder to meet and consider to breed and sell pups. Why risk buying an animal and have it come up with one of these insidious diseases. I know many many people who roll the dice on a cheap dog, have issues, muddle through 6-10 years of health issues and swear they will never do it again... some actually still do because they complain about the price of a quality pup... but one vet bill WILL even that out. It's not to say that you can't find a good pup for $200-$400 dollars, but why not stack the odds in your favor and buy from a kennel screening for all these disorders.. It would be rare to find a pup in the above price range that will meet all this criteria. Most will start at $600 and go up accordingly to the level of the parents from there.

Good Luck!

Ken

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but one vet bill WILL even that out. It's not to say that you can't find a good pup for $200-$400 dollars, but why not stack the odds in your favor and buy from a kennel screening for all these disorders.

Still hoping to hear from some more people. Very interested to see what others think....or if they may change things going forward. This is not a post to single people out.....I think this in is VERY important.

Thanks Ken....for posting this info....and the above is a great point!

I will add that CNM can be much more debilitating than EIC. I think many/most labs with CNM will be put down because they are too difficult to deal with. EIC dogs can be affected to different levels, some will be able to hunt just fine while others will collapse after two happy bumpers. Either way the owner much watch the dog for any signs of an on setting collapse (wobbly rear end).

On top of vet bills (which can easily surpass the purchase price of the pup), you have to think about the cost of a second dog if you are wanting a hunting dog. You get a pup with any of these conditions and you may not have a hunting partner very long.

My 3.5 year old lab is being semi retired this year and will continue to see less hunting (maybe only earlier season duck hunting after this year). I purchased from a reputable breeder (trying to stack my odds)....so that goes to show it can still happen to anyone. My dogs situation is fairly rare though with everything he is dealing with. My vet bills.....well.....I wont even say.

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Labs & 311,

Thanks for all the info. I want to do my homework before purchasing the next pup. I don't know if this is "cosher" or not but I wouldn't mind knowing the trial lines which carry EIC if anyone wants to volunteer that info. Below is my email. I don't want to talk about particular kennels on the thread.

Bowfin357@yahoo.com

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(Labs...remove if these links are not appropriate)

If you don't know what CNM and EIC are, please watch the following video's. Warning....they are not easy to watch:

CNM Affected Dog

EIC Affected Dog - video download

Bowfin, I don't have any lists put together. I know of some dogs but don't have them readily available....but many have been posted on other retriever sites. Either way, you as a buyer can make sure this does not happen to your pup by requiring the breeder to test for these diseases, or finding one that does. There are MANY responsible breeders out there that do care about the breed and do test their dogs for these diseases.

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good information here and good topic. I thought i would add to the definitions for people who dont understand what they mean.

1. PRA, Progressive retinal atrophy, Progressive retinal atrophy, PRA refers to a wide group of inherited or sometimes acquired eye conditions which eventually causes blindness in dogs. The disease first attacks the rods and the first symptom usually is nyctalopia. The disease is progressive so it will also attack the cones. This could result in total blindness. Usually loss of eye vision starts to impair at the age of 4-6 but it is possible that symptoms begin to show until age 7-8. There is no cure for PRA at the moment. Both parents would have to be carries of the gene for this to happen. Pretty unlikley if you are buying from a long line of Field trial champions and or field trial winners but not imposible. One note i would like to say here is i have had dogs that are what i call Naturally good markers and others that strugle and both could test negative for all tests. Good breeders will only use the better of the dogs to use as breeding stock. Use the one that has good genes from mom and dad, this is how we try to improve the breed. You can take a average labrador and make him very good in the right hands but this does not mean he is breeding stock. I prefer to use the ones that stand out in training with good natural abilities. The backyard breeder will not have this option as he may only have 1 labrador to choose from.

EIC, exercise intolerance and collapse, Both parents would have to be carries of the gene for this to happen. Again coming from a long line of champions and winners this would be unlikley but not imposible.

CNM, Much like muscular dystrophy in humans, both parents would have to be carries of this gene.

AKC, all this means to me is a place to register your dog. As it could be much much more!! A lot of people put to much emphasis on the title as it really means very little. They think if the dog is registered with the AKC it should be ok health wise, very untrue.

STDW, see the dog work, One of the main things i could advise is to go to several kennels and see the dogs work. If you drive a pinto and never drove a corvette you would not know the difference. Any good kennel will take the time to show you the dogs working or atleast one parent. I will take the dogs out and shoot over them for people. I dont mind doing this and it should be a requirement for someone looking to buy from working stock. Any serious breeder will be willing to do this for you.

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Lynch....good info!

One thing I will comment on though is that the EIC may be fairly prevalent in the FT lines, and that buying from a FT/championship line does not mean you should not buy a pup without these tests (just so new pup buyers don't take your statements the wrong way).

Current numbers being thrown around right now for EIC are mentioning a possible 40% carrier rate. I don't know that I agree with this number as the sample population was small and was from FT's in the midwest only (and was not a randomized study). So that may be somewhat limiting. But be assured there are big name FT dogs that are carriers........and now we have a test to be sure affected pups are not produced.

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