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Discussion Starter #1
Happy Thursday!

I have been looking into health kits/ single health tests for our dober-pups.
VetGen has a few of the Doberman specific tests that they are most tested for. ( vWD, DINGS 1+2, DCM 1+2, OCA)

Does anyone have any advice for a good testing kit that would include these tests in a bundle? Is it better to do one by one? Would also like some input on testing for COI, hips, CERF, and any others anyone has to recommend!

Thank you ! (=
 

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Eyes, hips, and heart have to be done with a veterinarian - heart specifically needs a cardiologist. You may be able to find a cardio clinic near you, and those clinics MAY provide testing for PRA as well. Hips can be done at a vet's office that has experience doing OFA x-rays.
 

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I believe that GenSol sometimes has bundle deals on breed specific tests, or else discounts for buying multiples.

If they aren't clear by parentage, or you don't know if their parents were tested, then vWD testing would be the absolute minimum you'd need to do. The two DCM tests are more in the realm of research at the moment, since there seem to be so many variables.

For coefficient of inbreeding, you might want to contact the Doberman Diversity Project.

For hips, you need x-rays evaluated by either the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) or the PennHIP program. Elbows would be checked by OFA, as well.

CERF eye exams are now done the OFA as well, I think? I'm pretty sure that they need to be done by a board certified ophthalmologist in order to be submitted.
 

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If you want all of the current genetic tests as a bundle probably the best deal would be the Embark test (through Embark or I think the Doberman Diversity project also offers it) It runs around $200 and you do have to know what genetic tests exist for Doberman. Because the record you get includes genetic tests for every genetic test for dogs that exists. But doing them singly is the expensive way to do them.

Rosemary also pointed out that there are a number of things that are genetic but that is no test at present for them. Cardiologist for heart in the form of both a Holter (24 hour ECG) and echo done starting between 2 and 3 years is the best way to track cardiac issues on your own dog and looking at pedigrees that include information on the ancestors is almost the only realistic way of even reliably guessing what you are likely to find in a puppy you are considering.

Hips, elbows are x-ray submitted to OFA for a panel of Orthopedist's to issue a certificate of those structures.

Eyes are done by a vet Opthamologist--everyone still refers to it as a CERF but it's had another name which was developed quite a few years ago--but by any other name it's still a test that doesn't have a gene test and must be done by a vet.

There are some specific eye problems that do have genetic tests--but I don't think any of them are those likely to be found in the doberman.

dobebug
 

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I think I remember that at least one of your pups is still a little guy?

Some of the tests you mention should be performed on the parents before breeding them—they can't be done on a young puppy, generally until they are about 2 years old.

vWD and DCM1&2 are genetic tests and can be done at any age—but a dog needs to be 2 before he can get his OFA certification for hips and elbows dysplasia (though he can get preliminary testing at 1 or 1 1/2.) Heart testing should be done yearly, usually starting with your dog at about age 2 or so for a baseline. CERF is also a yearly test, though you can start those when your puppy is younger.
 

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I believe that the Embark tests are $139 through the Doberman Diversity Project. UC Davis VGL is also offering a similar DNA health testing package at $139.

If you are looking at DNA Genetic Diversity Testing, the $80 test through UCD VGL and listing in the BetterBred data gives far more information than Embark.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Wow! Thank you for all the feedback!

Yes, both are pups still! 16 week male 14 week female!

Both sets of parents were clear for all of the mentioned below prior to breeding!

All lines are tracked through AKC. All parents are in good health. (Female parents were imported with all health records, male parents state side w stud sire & dam a family dog)

I was just curious on how important/ the most-least important to get done sooner rather than later. Even with clean health from parents, is it good to do?

Thanks everyone! I will look further into those organizations & website for test options! (=
 

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You won't need to do a vWD test if you have test results that say one of the parents is clear. Otherwise, you should run a genetic vWD somewhat early—you should have results in hand before neutering or spaying.

DCM 1&2 are basically theoretical at this point—they won't necessarily help you know about your own dog's possible health problems on down the line.

Hips to me are somewhat optional in a non-breeding dog, but if you are planning any kind of sport, especially the active ones like agility or protection work, you should check things like hips and elbows, and maybe even have an assessment done of the dog's body structure, looking for things like poor angulation, anatomically weak joints, and so on, that may predispose the dog to injury.

In a puppy you have just acquired, a general health check at your own vet within 2-3 days of getting him is mandatory, in my mind. A parasite check at that point might be a good idea, too. And then of course, there are the various shots to give on schedule, where the vet can do a bit of an exam just to keep track of how the puppy is doing.

For me, the tests I like to be sure to keep track of in my own personal doberman, once a pup gets past 2 or so, are

1. Yearly cardiogram and 24 hour holter to pick up on possible developing heart problems
2. Full thyroid panel yearly as my dog gets past 5 or so, or earlier if I see suspicious symptoms
3. Full chemistry panel, especially liver values, yearly

For a dog that is going to be bred, naturally there are more tests to run….
 

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Discussion Starter #9
We’ve had our female since 7 weeks old (now 14 weeks) and our male since 9 weeks (now 16 weeks)
All vet checks and normal vaccines have been administered accordingly. Pups are healthy as can be!

Thank you melbrod for the tips! We haven’t decided if we want to do protection work just yet, but if we do it will be our confident female! She shows so much potential!
 

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I believe that the Embark tests are $139 through the Doberman Diversity Project. UC Davis VGL is also offering a similar DNA health testing package at $139.

If you are looking at DNA Genetic Diversity Testing, the $80 test through UCD VGL and listing in the BetterBred data gives far more information than Embark.
Thanks, for updating my information (and the stuff I pass out to other people) I knew that UC Davis vet school was working on a DNA package and on the what they are now calling the "BetterBred" package? is that correct? My good source graduated while the genetic packages were still being created so I need to find another veterinary program person to keep me updated--I never remember to just go and access Davis' site which has information about many of their programs.

dobebug
 

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Thanks, for updating my information (and the stuff I pass out to other people) I knew that UC Davis vet school was working on a DNA package and on the what they are now calling the "BetterBred" package? is that correct? My good source graduated while the genetic packages were still being created so I need to find another veterinary program person to keep me updated--I never remember to just go and access Davis' site which has information about many of their programs.

dobebug
Well, not exactly. The UCD/VGL/BetterBred genetic diversity test has been around for several years. It Only tests the genetic diversity of the animal compared to the Doberman population in the database. They just recently (within the past several weeks) introduced the DNA health testing panel similar to Embark.

The Embark test has also been around for a few years. I think it is a good value for the genetic health tests if you do not already know the genetic health status of your dog. It tests for 130 some diseases, but only 5 or so affect Dobermans.

Now, at the risk of getting off in the weeds on this, so to speak, The Embark test gives you the color status as part of the package where UCD/VGL has it as a seperate test, last I knew. On the other hand, there has been a small number of mis-handled samples and erroneous readings at Embark from what I have read. So, some think the UCD/VGL tests are more accurate/reliable. I am no authority on this issue. It is just what I have read from claims on various internet chat forums.

The Embark panel also gives genetic diversity information, but we do not find it nearly as useful, particularly with the breeding tools as what you receive through UCD/VGL and listing in the BetterBred database.

I hope I have not made this too complicated, but the information should be useful for those interested.
 

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Well, not exactly. The UCD/VGL/BetterBred genetic diversity test has been around for several years. It Only tests the genetic diversity of the animal compared to the Doberman population in the database. They just recently (within the past several weeks) introduced the DNA health testing panel similar to Embark.

The Embark test has also been around for a few years. I think it is a good value for the genetic health tests if you do not already know the genetic health status of your dog. It tests for 130 some diseases, but only 5 or so affect Dobermans.

Now, at the risk of getting off in the weeds on this, so to speak, The Embark test gives you the color status as part of the package where UCD/VGL has it as a seperate test, last I knew. On the other hand, there has been a small number of mis-handled samples and erroneous readings at Embark from what I have read. So, some think the UCD/VGL tests are more accurate/reliable. I am no authority on this issue. It is just what I have read from claims on various internet chat forums.

The Embark panel also gives genetic diversity information, but we do not find it nearly as useful, particularly with the breeding tools as what you receive through UCD/VGL and listing in the BetterBred database.

I hope I have not made this too complicated, but the information should be useful for those interested.
I don't think you have and even though I made a decision many years ago to NOT breed (my first and only litter--two male puppies--taught me that I was NOT suitable material to be an active breeder--had a lengthy unhappy experience trying to select 'good' homes for the two puppies) but I know many breeders and have known many more who should never have even considered being breeders.

So I kind of keep track of advances in what's happening in the area of health and genetics in Dobes. And pass it on when it seems helpful.

So thanks again.

dobebug
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Kansadobe, thank you for that it makes sense the more i look into it. I appreciate your time posting this for not just me, but anyone else interested!

Greenkouki, i am interested in breeding, yes. If my pups are capable & are deemed in well health to have puppies, i will continue to do what is best for them if/when i come to that decision. Thank you for asking.
But our previous female (whom we still have) had lots of unknown health problems and i would like to get ahead of it in case our pups happen to have something wrong in the future. Even though the testing isn’t always going to be 100% guarantee of things happening, i am just curious on how extensive/not it is to ensure proper health of my pups & maybe future pups/ litter 🙂
 

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Kansadobe, thank you for that it makes sense the more i look into it. I appreciate your time posting this for not just me, but anyone else interested!

Greenkouki, i am interested in breeding, yes. If my pups are capable & are deemed in well health to have puppies, i will continue to do what is best for them if/when i come to that decision. Thank you for asking.
But our previous female (whom we still have) had lots of unknown health problems and i would like to get ahead of it in case our pups happen to have something wrong in the future. Even though the testing isn’t always going to be 100% guarantee of things happening, i am just curious on how extensive/not it is to ensure proper health of my pups & maybe future pups/ litter 🙂
Unless your dogs excel in sport or Conformation, please reconsider and keep them as pets. You cannot guarantee your dog is the best for your bitch.
 

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Thank you falnfenix for your advice!

They are both still pups. It will be a little while until they are able to “excel” in sports &/or conformation.

You are correct in not being able to guarantee him (or both of them for that matter) being best for each other.
I come here for all these responses & advice from professional/ knowledgeable people & I appreciate it all! Im no expert. Hence my undecided choice on breeding, showing, protection, or sport.
I would love for them to excel in whatever i chose for them to do! If they arent “cut out” for it, then so be it.
“Pets” they will stay 🙂
 

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I would also carefully study pedigrees. There's a lot more to it than just titling and health testing. How many of your puppies' ancestors are still alive? Of those who died, what caused those death, and at what ages? Do you have popular sires in their pedigrees?

If you've never bred before, find a good mentor NOW.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thank you! I will most definitely look into all those things.

Do you have any recommendations for a good mentor in San Diego, CA or surrounding areas?
 

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It was not until recently I was able to read along to understand all the responsibilities involved with breeding Dobermans.

You will find several threads regarding their journey during breeding.

Look up threads from Red Gretchen or Artemis.

Absolutely amazing the amount of work and emotion that goes into reputable breeding.

Check it out.
 

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