When you’re into dog breeding, you should be aware that there will always be potential hereditary problems. Although this is not true all the time, you should be on the look out for such problems because it can be passed on to the puppies. Keep on reading and you will find out what these hereditary problems are.
Firstly, you need to learn as much information as possible about the particular dog breed you’re handling. Thorough screening is needed so that you can prevent additional problems in the future. Make sure that you also look into the bloodlines of your dogs. This is necessary to ensure the health and condition of the pups.
Eye problems are the most common dilemmas encountered by most dog breeders. These problems are:
1.) PRA or Progressive Retinal Atrophy – if this problem is not addressed at an early stage, your dog can suffer from total blindness. Some breeds are affected by PRA once they reach 2-3 years or before the breeding period. In some cases, dogs tend to suffer from PRA when they are already 4-8 years. If you’re breeding Irish Setters, you’re in luck because there is already a PRA test which is available to those who want to breed them. It is vital that breeders identify if their dog is a carrier of the eye problem. You see, late onset of PRA can affect breeding programs.
2.) CEA or Collie Eye Anomaly – collie breeds can be affected by this eye problem which can include the border, bearded, smooth, rough, and closely related breeds. The condition varies wherein some dogs are hardly affected but others get completely blind. This problem is hereditary. Even if the dogs you’re breeding are not suffering from the CEA but serves as a carrier of the problem, it can produce a pup that is severely affected by CEA.
3.) Retinal Dysplasia – eventual blindness is the result of retinal dysplasia. The problem can start as early as the puppy days of the dog but late onset of the problem can make it hard to identify which dogs have it.
4.) Entropion and Ectropion – try to look closely at the eyelids of your dog. This problem refers to the eyelids turning in (entropion) or out (ectropion). This eye problem can cause pain.
5.) Cataracts – you need to identify if your dog has juvenile cataract; if this is the case, find another dog to breed. Cataracts have different causes and they are also in different forms.
Every year, dogs should be checked by a vet certified by the AVCO. Visit the CERF or Canine Eye Registry Foundation if you live in the United States. Dogs registered under this foundation are free from any eye problems. It is vital for dogs to be checked annually to ensure that they are free from eye problems which are considered hereditary. There are times when the problems show up late but if you consult with CERF, you’re guaranteed to breed to a dog without potential eye problems.
Dog breeding is serious business. Even if you’re only doing it for pleasure or as a hobby, you should ensure that the puppies are in best condition. Who would want to purchase a pup with eye problems? It is your responsibility to make sure that the parents are not carriers of the eye problems or are not presently affected by it.