You may be interested to know a little about the process and procedures involved with health
tests. To state the obvious the main purpose of doing a health test is to try to breed as healthy a litter as possible. There are some awful hereditary conditions that can be breed out if a little time and effort was taken by people who breed from
their dogs. One of the reasons why I wanted to be a member of the Kennel Club Assured Breeder Scheme is that I wish to disassociate myself with people who breed dogs, who are in effect puppy farmers. People who breed for money and couldn’t
care less about the harm that they are doing to the puppy, the expense and hurt to the puppy parent, puppy farmers. There may be some well meaning people who just want to earn a few bob by breeding from their dog, but who do not consider it necessary or even
have any understanding about health checks. Breeding a healthy litter is a priority in my opinion, as is the health and wellbeing of the dam. There is a cost to carrying out health checks and a process to follow. So I thought that I would
write a little about the process.
Hip scoring, or BVA/KC hip dysplasia scheme. The animal will need to be still for several minutes, most will require an anesthetic at the very least they will need to be sedated. An X-ray is taken
then sent off to the BVA, where specially trained vets carry out the scoring. The results are then sent to the kennel club and back to the vet who did the X-ray. The results will then be recorded under the dam’s name. The owner should
also receive a copy of the results, but this will be sent on from the vet who carried out the X-ray not from the BVA. However, hip scoring isn’t going to stop an older dog from developing arthritic joints, especially if they have spend their life
time running up and down hills. Joint care is as much about diet and sensible exercise for dogs (just like humans). However, we don’t want to see a young dog who will not be able to lead a normal life due to hip dysplasia.
testing can also be carried out by the vet. Although once the laboratory have a sample of the animal’s DNA, I use http://www.antagene.com/en/antagene/about-us then further testing is less
time consuming for the owner and the animal. The laboratory send a DNA kit that the owner then has to arrange for the vet to take. With this type of testing the laboratory will send the results back to the owner, in my case via email, the vet who
took the swab (or blood sample) will also receive a copy of the results. However, it is up to the owner to request that the kennel club record the results under their animal’s name. This will involve scanning or sending the document to the
kennel club. Most tests are only needed once in the animals life time for example DNA test – prcd-PRA and DNA test – FN.
However, there are some tests that need to be carried out annually. The BVA/KC/ISDS Goniscopy is an
annual test that all breeding English Cocker Spaniels will need to be tested for. This involves visiting a vet who is qualified to carry out the test. I take my dogs to Optivet in Havant, Hampshire. The dogs are also tested under the BVA/KC/ISDS
More about DNA testing
Antagene have a really good informative website, mention above.
Figures on AMS in the English Cocker Spaniel in England
* figures based on the dogs tested at ANTAGENE (June 2016)
1 English Cocker Spaniel out of 6 is concerned by Acral Mutilation Syndrom (AMS) in UK
As of today, more than 475 English Cocker Spaniels from UK have been tested
by us within 2 years, and here is what we found (figures as of June 2016)
Prevalence of AMS in the English Cocker Spaniel breed (in UK) June 2016 :
of 475 ECS tested :
57 carriers (12%) : Do not develop the disease but transmits the mutation to 50% of its offspring.
14 affected (2,9%): Will develop the disease and transmits the mutation to 100% of its offspring.
Which means that in one way or another, 1/6 of the English Cocker Spaniels from England are concerned by AMS*.
Consequences for reproduction
: Mate your dogs (recessive disease)
FN - Familial Nephropathy - Cocker Spaniel Anglais
Juvenile-onset renal failure
Abnormal kidney basement membrane protein and structure
Excessive water consumption, excessive urine volume, weight loss, vomiting, diarrhoea, progressive and ultimately
fatal renal failure
From birth, death before 2 years old
carriers in European population
ANTAGENE European exclusive License
This DNA test is the result of researches and efforts to improve the health of purebreed dogs and cats. Only ANTAGENE masters the performing process of these DNA tests to garantee a
99.9% accuracy of the results delivered Legal mention : FN test : Merlogen patent ANTAGENE license