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I did a search but found a thread from 2007 so I thought I should still ask in case things have changed. If there is a more current thread, feel free to link and I'll read up on it there.

Looking for a concise list of what/when I should begin testing for (DCM/thyroid, etc.) and at what frequency. Koa has just hit a year and we'll have an appointment in the next couple of months and I want to make sure I don't miss anything.

:thanx:
 

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This thread is a few months old, but I came upon it while searching for threads on health testing.

I'm in the same place as you of gearing up for all of my dog's health testing - she is 2 now. Here is my understanding of recommended tests. But by bumping this thread, hopefully others more experienced may chime in! My understanding is that the majority of these tests begin after age 2.

  1. Thyroid - test around age 2 to get baseline and yearly test thereafter
  2. Liver & Kidney - Not sure on actual recommendation, but I decided to do these at same time I did blood work for thyroid test; I've been reading about a lot of dogs w/ liver disease / CAH so figured it's a good idea to get baseline values.
  3. Cardio - Echo & Holter done annually starting age 2; Can also do vetgen DNA cardio test but it is recommended that echos and holters also be done.
  4. vWD - DNA test through vetgen or vetdiagnostics (have heard that the latter is cheaper). The DPCA also offers a discount to purchase the DNA swab kits through vetgen sometimes. You can check their website. I know they just had a "special" through Dec 2011 but not sure when it will be offered again. You can also order a combined swab kit for vetgen vWD and cardio gene at same time.
  5. Hips/elbows - age 2 or later - can use either OFA or Pennhips for certification; it seems some people only do hips and not elbows. I'm interested to hear other views on this.
  6. CERF - eye testing - I believe this is done only once but not positive
Note- This is everything I can think of but my understanding is that items 1-4 are more important from a health perspective than the last 2. The last two may not be as critical, unless perhaps you are concerned about hip dysplasia in your dog's line, worried about eye disease, etc.

Experts, what else am I missing?? :)

BTW, in the event you are interested in submitting any of your test results to the OFA database, make sure you understand the process and get the forms in advance.

I did not realize this and blew it with the full blood panel I had done on my dog two weeks ago. I assumed because the vet said "we have submitted to OFA before" they knew the process. Wrong. Looks like I just paid to have her blood work done and will need to re-do to ensure the specimen is sent to proper lab and they know in advance that it will be submitted to OFA. Grrr...

You can order a packet w/ forms from OFA's website and the instructions for submitting each type of test is outlined. Wish I had gotten that packet before and not after Lucy's recent appt!
 

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Thanks Sam & Macks mom! This thread did not come up when I searched "health testing".

From Murreydobe in other thread:
"If a dog is going to be doing agility or any advanced performance work that involves jumping, I'd do OFA hips/elbows. If they're not going to have an extensive performance career, I don't think it's necessary. Nice for the breeder to have the info, but that's about it.

There is no benefit in doing CERF testing on a dog who isn't going to be used for breeding-there isn't anything you could do to treat any eye problems seen in this breed anyway."

This is really helpful as I was wondering what testing differentiation there is for breeding vs. non-breeding dogs, in particular for these hips/elbows and eyes.
 

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sufferin succotash
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Sam is a non-breeding dog. Here are the tests I have done:

Cardio- echo/EKG are done yearly. Holtered every 6 months due to his age.

Hips- evaluated but not sent to OFA

Thyroid- tested every 8 months due to borderline hypo

Senior panel: completed yearly, liver and kidney are included with this.
 

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Eat Poo and Die
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In 2011, Niz's tests were

March: Yearly wellness exam, EKG, Echo

June: OFA Hips (OFA good!) and full thyroid panel (normal)

Sept: 24 hr holter

Depending on how his EKG and Echo check out this coming march, compared to last year's, I don't know if his heart testing schedule will change in frequency. I may do OFA elbows this year as well, since Niz is jumping a bit for agility class. Niz is a neutered companion.
 

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From Murreydobe in other thread:
"If a dog is going to be doing agility or any advanced performance work that involves jumping, I'd do OFA hips/elbows. If they're not going to have an extensive performance career, I don't think it's necessary. Nice for the breeder to have the info, but that's about it.
I always do hips and elbows on all dogs. Mine always start out as show prospects and even though they are rarely bred I want to know if there are any potential problems lurking in their future. So at two they get hips and elbows done and I always send the rads to OFA. Dobes don't have a lot of elbow problems but it shows up occasionally and is worth knowing about even if you aren't planning an extensive performance career--it might make a difference whether you decide to do tracking with the dog or agility. And I always make sure the breeder gets all the information on all the tests I do.

There is no benefit in doing CERF testing on a dog who isn't going to be used for breeding-there isn't anything you could do to treat any eye problems seen in this breed anyway."
I agree--and again Dobes don't have a lot of hereditary eye problems. If I had a dog with Euro breeding in his immediate background I'd probably CERF even if he was never going to be used for breeding. Euro dogs particularly those from Dutch breeding lines are those who most often turn up with the only common eye problem we really see often in Dobes. By the way--a CERF should be done yearly on a dog who was being used extensively at stud--even though I really can't think of a problem common in Dobes that would show up late in life.

This is really helpful as I was wondering what testing differentiation there is for breeding vs. non-breeding dogs, in particular for these hips/elbows and eyes.
Hip and elbow testing is nearly always done once and not again.
 

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Sea Hag
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BTW, in the event you are interested in submitting any of your test results to the OFA database, make sure you understand the process and get the forms in advance.

I did not realize this and blew it with the full blood panel I had done on my dog two weeks ago. I assumed because the vet said "we have submitted to OFA before" they knew the process. Wrong. Looks like I just paid to have her blood work done and will need to re-do to ensure the specimen is sent to proper lab and they know in advance that it will be submitted to OFA. Grrr...

You can order a packet w/ forms from OFA's website and the instructions for submitting each type of test is outlined. Wish I had gotten that packet before and not after Lucy's recent appt!
More than likely your blood sample was sent to an OFA approved lab, however, since no OFA form accompanied the sample, you're **** out of luck. Pretty much every major outside lab that does thyroid panels is OFA approved.

I just download the necessary forms from the OFA website as I need them.

It's a good idea to make a bunch of copies of your dog's registration paper ahead of time, OFA really prefers it if you send a copy of that along with any submissions to them.
 

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Can someone elaborate more on holters and echos? I guess I'm wondering if it's actually beneficial to do those tests. If you got an undesired result, then what? You go on to holter more frequently? You change diet? I'm just trying to figure out if this is something I would even bother with. I feel like if my Dobe has DCM, there's not much at all I can do about it. :(
 

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Sea Hag
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Can someone elaborate more on holters and echos? I guess I'm wondering if it's actually beneficial to do those tests. If you got an undesired result, then what? You go on to holter more frequently? You change diet? I'm just trying to figure out if this is something I would even bother with. I feel like if my Dobe has DCM, there's not much at all I can do about it. :(
There *is* something you can do about it if you diagnose DCM early enough! No, you can't cure them, but you can extend lifespan with treatment, and the earlier the diagnosis is made, the better the chances are of doing that.
 

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I always do hips and elbows on all dogs. Mine always start out as show prospects and even though they are rarely bred I want to know if there are any potential problems lurking in their future. So at two they get hips and elbows done and I always send the rads to OFA. Dobes don't have a lot of elbow problems but it shows up occasionally and is worth knowing about even if you aren't planning an extensive performance career--it might make a difference whether you decide to do tracking with the dog or agility. And I always make sure the breeder gets all the information on all the tests I do.

I agree--and again Dobes don't have a lot of hereditary eye problems. If I had a dog with Euro breeding in his immediate background I'd probably CERF even if he was never going to be used for breeding. Euro dogs particularly those from Dutch breeding lines are those who most often turn up with the only common eye problem we really see often in Dobes. By the way--a CERF should be done yearly on a dog who was being used extensively at stud--even though I really can't think of a problem common in Dobes that would show up late in life.

Hip and elbow testing is nearly always done once and not again.
Thank you! This is all very helpful. It also helps me prioritize the order of tests I plan to have done. Sounds like CERF is not that critical - maybe I can find an upcoming show that offers a CERF clinic. We do jump in both OB and agility and plan to compete, so I definitely want to do both hips and elbows on her. My vet was really pushing penn hip over OFA but after talking to my dog's breeder I am sticking with OFA.

More than likely your blood sample was sent to an OFA approved lab, however, since no OFA form accompanied the sample, you're **** out of luck. Pretty much every major outside lab that does thyroid panels is OFA approved.

I just download the necessary forms from the OFA website as I need them.

It's a good idea to make a bunch of copies of your dog's registration paper ahead of time, OFA really prefers it if you send a copy of that along with any submissions to them.
Good to know Murrey! I have to say the whole OFA submission seems somewhat daunting - different processes and requirements for each test, etc. I got a little overwhelmed with it and still trying to understand it all. I guess once you've done it, it's no big deal. :)
 

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I have to say the whole OFA submission seems somewhat daunting - different processes and requirements for each test, etc. I got a little overwhelmed with it and still trying to understand it all. I guess once you've done it, it's no big deal. :)
Actually, the CERF form is the one that's an absolute horror to fill out. It's got those little bubbles you have to color in, one for each letter and number-you know what I mean? And the paper is very thin, you have to press hard enough to make a legible impression on multiple copies, etc. After doing that form, anything OFA throws at you is a piece of cake.
 

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Actually, the CERF form is the one that's an absolute horror to fill out. It's got those little bubbles you have to color in, one for each letter and number-you know what I mean? And the paper is very thin, you have to press hard enough to make a legible impression on multiple copies, etc. After doing that form, anything OFA throws at you is a piece of cake.
And the room is dark if you do it at a show and if you don't bring your glasses you PRAY you actually darkened the right little bubbles. That form IS AWFUL.
 
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Harvest- is there a reason your vet recommended PennHip over OFA? Just curious.
I am trying to remember the exact term he used, but he basically felt that it was a better gauge of their "hip health"; a more extensive evaluation. Hip health is not the word he used though. Darn, I wish I had written it down or could remember the exact term!

However, I honestly did not realize that the actual methodology used for OFA vs pennhip was different until I came home and did some research online. I thought they were just different entities that evaluated the x-rays. My bad.

I have to say, I was not overly impressed with the guy, unfortunately. I was hoping we had found our new vet, as this clinic came recommended by another local Dobe person. But when he referred to vWD as a major health issue (over say cardio for example) and he seemed clueless when I told him for fact I knew my dog was either clear or carrier by parentage (vetgen test is on order to confirm which) he kinda lost me. :(
 

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Sea Hag
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I have to say, I was not overly impressed with the guy, unfortunately. I was hoping we had found our new vet, as this clinic came recommended by another local Dobe person. But when he referred to vWD as a major health issue (over say cardio for example) and he seemed clueless when I told him for fact I knew my dog was either clear or carrier by parentage (vetgen test is on order to confirm which) he kinda lost me. :(
You might want to try Dr. Dana Bleifer at Warner Pet Center in Woodland Hills. She's a chesapeake bay retriever breeder, but I know a few doberman people who use her, and speak very highly of her.

Another vet who I've used in the past is Dr. Yves Galea. He's in Culver City. Yves is the vet my best friend (also a vet) used to use for her own dogs when she lived in this area.

I don't know which one would be closer for you, but I'd feel pretty comfortable using either.
 

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sufferin succotash
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yikes...

btw, if you're near Woodland Hills, CA, there's an upcoming OFA health clinic on Jan 15th.

Warner Center Marriott; 21850 Oxnard St; Woodland Hills, CA 91367

Cardiac auscultation; Dr. Michael Lesser; $35
CERF; Dr. Tony Basher; $35

Pre-registratio​n_required by January 8, 2012
Contact Toni Wade [email protected]​om or 360-856-2276

Orthopedic Foundation for Animals


I am trying to remember the exact term he used, but he basically felt that it was a better gauge of their "hip health"; a more extensive evaluation. Hip health is not the word he used though. Darn, I wish I had written it down or could remember the exact term!

However, I honestly did not realize that the actual methodology used for OFA vs pennhip was different until I came home and did some research online. I thought they were just different entities that evaluated the x-rays. My bad.

I have to say, I was not overly impressed with the guy, unfortunately. I was hoping we had found our new vet, as this clinic came recommended by another local Dobe person. But when he referred to vWD as a major health issue (over say cardio for example) and he seemed clueless when I told him for fact I knew my dog was either clear or carrier by parentage (vetgen test is on order to confirm which) he kinda lost me. :(
 
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