This chapter is divided into two parts, one for the more prevalent health issues, the other for less frequently occurring conditions.
At Brush Creek, we pay particular attention to the overall health of our Swissys. All our stud dogs and brood bitches are screened for hereditary diseases such as OCD, CHD, ED and ocular defects prior to breeding.
We use the following health registries:
PennHIP (Pennsylvania Hip Improvement Program: Hips
OFA (Orthopedic Foundation f Animals): Shoulders,Hips,Elbows
CERF (Canine Eye Registration Foundation): Eyes
There is currently no test available to screen for epilepsy carriers. However, since its inception in 2000, we have been participating in a research project conducted at the U of MO veterinary school in Columbia MO to find DNA markers for this insidious and often heartbreaking disease. Of the 900+ samples, about 400 are from our dogs as every puppy from everyone of our litters is sampled before it leaves for its new home.
a) a dog is a living being and not a piece of machinery that can be guaranteed to be free of defects
b) most of the hereditary diseases are not just simple recessives but polygenic often making the prediction of eventual occurrence in a puppy an educated guess at best,
we cannot guarantee the health of our puppies. What we guarantee is what we will do in case a genetic defect crops up after the pup has gone to its new home. For example, if you purchased a show/breeding prospect puppy that develops a showing and breeding excluding genetic defect such as OCD, we will refund the difference between the show prospect and companion rates. On a case by case basis, we will also reimburse some of the purchase price if a genetic defect requires surgical correction. We will also work with our owners to find the right solution should a puppy die at a young age as a result of a genetic disease.
Please do keep in mind that while breeding phenotypically sound animals will increase the odds for producing healthy progeny, it is not a foolproof guarantee that every single offspring will remain free of genetic disease as well. This is mainly due to the often complex mode of inheritance of many of the genetic diseases affecting Swissys.