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We've added so many tests in the past few years, that I'm seeing there is a point that it's hard to convince people to add yet another $200 health test to their lines . . .

The previous quote is from the “Heart Disease in the Labrador Retriever" thread and it brings up a good point. If tests continue to be added at the current rate, how many clearances will there be in another 10 or 15 years? At what point will there be more than are justifiable? With so many tests will there be only a few dogs that are able to pass them all? Will breeders and puppy buyers be able to keep things in perspective or will we eliminate a large portion of the gene-pool in an attempt to breed "perfectly healthy" dogs? Where do you think this will lead us and what is the sensible way to deal with this impending situation?

Swack
 

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I look forward to the answers from others, but in my own mind (at least where I'm at, at this very moment!), I think at some point we all will have to step back and just prioritize based on what we know about our lines and history.

As one breeder told me, hardly any of the Lab folks test for patellas, narcolepsy and DM, but the tests are available. If you've never had it or heard of it in your lines, you probably won't bother. But, if there is evidence that there MAY have been or IS something a few generations back, maybe you want to raise the antennae a bit.

The severity of the disease will also likely need to be taken into consideration. CNM is one such example. For me, having heard there may have been TVD produced by a dog several generations behind my one girl, that was enough for me to go the extra mile there. I just did teh auscultations w/ the others. Mistake? In some folks' minds who have dealt w/ pups w/ heart issues, I'm sure it was.

Otoh, there are breeders who don't give any thought to breeding dogs w/ allergies or terrible temperaments.
 

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There are a number of people that post on here that will probably only buy "pure" puppies even though with each test the dogs will probably end up being more common and the prices will sky rocket to purchase that pure but common dog, while the rest of the breeders that understand that using testing that involves conditions that are readily heritable at a high frequency in their breed and breeding carriers to clear will still allow us to retain the characteristics we want without producing affected animals. The conditions of very low frequency in the population should be dealt with in a common sense manner. For instance, PRA in field dogs. While there are a few affected that have resulted from blended backgrounds (imports mostly), and more people are testing for PRA, there has not been one field dog that is affected on that sticky started over a year ago. Doing all the testing available is not going to make one a better breeder of performance dogs.
 

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I agree Nancy. The hardest thing is getting the "performance."

Better to have a good dog with a known manageable "problem" than a common genetically "clean" dog.
 

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I agree with Nancy and Ann. I've chosen lines that are optigen B, and EIC carriers. I'm pushed by some to do echo cardiograms though the pedigree's I use have no history of the condition.

You have to know what to test for and what not to. Again that involves research. The masses buying a puppy aren't going to do it so it's up to the conscientious breeders to do it.

If we have new tests come out that test for issues in our breed I'm all for it. Will those tests be relevant to my breeding stock?? Maybe, maybe not.

A person can see the forest for the tree's.

Angie
 

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Would it be more important to test popular stud dogs for pretty much all available tests, more so than the bitches?
 

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Just for the pure numbers of pups produced , yes.
A dog can produce 100's if not 1000's of pups in his lifetime
A bitch maybe 20-50 ( if she was bred often)

The purest will say all is equal and both dog and bitch should be cleared /tested for everything.
 

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Breeding and producing quality animals is both an art and science with mother nature tossing in a quirk every now and then. IMO the health checks are a means for the Breeder to be aware of conditions that are not readily apparent. The health checks help breeders weed through and find the better animals to use in their breeding program, such as which animal would help them eventually get a clear from an affected or carrier that has other aspects one likes. Notice I did not say clearances, because one should use the tests to include animals not just toss them out. I want to have an idea what the animal might be producing when I use any animal at stud or breed it. Too many health checks/screenings I don't think so.
 
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