Are Health Clearances Really that Expensive? - Golden Retrievers : Golden Retriever Dog Forums
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-17-2017, 10:36 AM Thread Starter
New Member
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 11
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks: 0
Thanked 19 Times in 6 Posts
Are Health Clearances Really that Expensive?

Hey Everyone!

This is my first post. I've been reading through the forum for the past week. There is such a wealth of knowledge here, I'd really appreciate your insight on selecting a breeder.

We know a "family breeder" who is a personal friend. They're planning on having a litter of goldens soon and we started asking some basic questions. Thanks to reading the information on this site, we specifically requested to see the health clearance information.

They replied that they don't bother with clearances since they're not a professional breeder and it's too expensive.

Is it really that expensive to obtain clearances? This sounds like a cop-out to me...but I couldn't find the information on the costs.
RufusTFirefly is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-17-2017, 10:45 AM
Super Moderator
ArchersMom's Avatar
Join Date: May 2013
Location: NW Oregon
Posts: 2,667
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Quoted: 121 Post(s)
Thanks: 3,365
Thanked 3,279 Times in 1,320 Posts
They're not that expensive. You can complete them for less than $500 around here. So definitely a cop out. Sounds like they are a "professional breeder" if they're in it for money. I'm sure the purchase price of just 1 puppy would more than cover the price of clearances.

Archer the golden - 2/26/2013
Lottie the mix - 10/5/2013
Teal the golden - 7/4/2015
ArchersMom is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to ArchersMom For This Useful Post:
Siandvm (02-17-2017)
post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-17-2017, 10:56 AM
Advanced Member
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 949
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Quoted: 147 Post(s)
Thanks: 338
Thanked 676 Times in 413 Posts
My girl is just a pet and will never be bred but will be doing clearances and I'm a senior living on a small, fixed income. I can't imagine selling puppies without doing clearances on the parents. It would tear me up if any family had to deal with hip or elbow dysplasia because of me. I look at it as my responsibility to provide the best possible chance for a happy, healthy pup so the families can enjoy a long and healthy life together. But then, I'm not sure I could ever let the pups go... a very good reason for me NOT to breed.

Getting clearances is no guarantee but if you have decades of dogs in their pedigree with them, well you are increasing the chances of getting a dog free from heredity problems. Putting out puppies just because you can is just not a practice I would support, this is just my opinion.
puddles everywhere is offline  
post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-17-2017, 11:41 AM
Prism Goldens's Avatar
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Ocala,FL
Posts: 2,810
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Quoted: 187 Post(s)
Images: 1
Thanks: 1,750
Thanked 3,276 Times in 1,522 Posts
Depending on where you are, they could be less than $300 for all of them on up to way more- but whether a breeder or not, if they breed a litter they ARE breeding and doing it less than responsibly is irresponsible.

If you list your state, city, we can look up the nearest ophthalmologist and cardiologist for you- and depending on where you are, may know of a good OFA vet to do hips/elbows. Figuring they'll sell their puppies for over $1000, it'd cost them one puppy's price to do both dogs and then they can feel like they've covered their health bases. If they find that one of them does not pass something, well, they shouldn't breed them anyway and finding out beforehand will save all the humans and puppies involved lots of heartache and possibly pain. And if one of their two dogs has dysplasia or an eye or heart disease, it'd be a good thing for their beloved pet to know that on the front end so that they can fix or treat whatever it is.
Prism Goldens is offline  
post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-17-2017, 11:58 AM Thread Starter
New Member
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 11
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks: 0
Thanked 19 Times in 6 Posts
Thank you for your replies! This is what I suspected.

I don't really understand why they wouldn't get clearances either - especially with a breed that has such a high incidence rate of dysplasia. It makes me wonder if they're worried some of the tests might come back with bad news. Of course, that makes it even worse if they suspect it and won't get the tests.

They offered that we could speak with owners of puppies from previous litters, but that's not really the same thing. Plus, this will be a new sire and dam so the genetic profile is different anyway.

We're running in the other direction.
RufusTFirefly is offline  
post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-17-2017, 04:11 PM
nolefan's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 7,140
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Quoted: 135 Post(s)
Thanks: 5,246
Thanked 7,069 Times in 3,675 Posts
Here's a link to another thread you might be interested in. The whole thread, plus the Post about 5 down by k9Design is a great explanation of why you want many generations of clearances behind your puppy. (The Importance of Proper Clearances)

It's simply not worth the risk to buy a puppy without them. What a shame your friends won't see the light. Congratulations on doing your homework.

SHR Richwood Work Hard Play Harder CD WC

Mack the collie boy
nolefan is offline  
post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-19-2017, 02:58 PM
Grumpy Old Man
Swampcollie's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 3,912
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 27 Post(s)
Thanks: 205
Thanked 3,339 Times in 1,358 Posts
Clearances can be very expensive depending upon where you are in the country.

Around here it will set you back about $1100.00 if you undertake the full panel available today (eyes, heart, elbows, hips, and DNA screening).

"You own what you condone." ~ Mike Lardy
Swampcollie is offline  
post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-23-2017, 03:54 PM
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: St Louis, MO
Posts: 129
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 12 Post(s)
Thanks: 295
Thanked 167 Times in 81 Posts
Cost is a cop out.

Our club holds a clinic twice a year, and we offer everything except DNA testing.
Eyes: $39 + $7.50 OFA clinic rate = $46.50 annually
Heart (auscultation): $57 + $7.50 OFA clinic rate = $64.50 (once)
(Echo: $195, but I paid $150/each for 2 at the National Specialty last year)
Hips + Elbows: $180, no anesthetic, and Dr Bouillat does a very good job. + OFA fee $40 = $220.

So hips, elbows, and heart (ausc) are less than $300. ONCE. Even if you did the echo at our clinic, it is $415, and then less than $50/year.

Lesley Albin
Blazen's Reasonable Request RA MX MXJ MJB OF CCA
Blazen's 12 To 6 Curve Ball RA SH WCX CCA "Adam"
Blazen's Highsockssunday RN "Knicki"
Blazen's C U @ The Finish Line RN "Shelby"
Blazen's Think Outside The Box "Shannon"
BlazenGR is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to BlazenGR For This Useful Post:
Prism Goldens (02-23-2017)
post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-23-2017, 05:17 PM
Super Moderator
Pilgrim123's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Coleraine, Australia
Posts: 3,845
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Quoted: 221 Post(s)
Images: 3
Thanks: 2,835
Thanked 5,105 Times in 2,005 Posts
You said earlier something about previous litters - the emphasis here is on the final s. Good heavens - how many puppies have gone to new owners with no health clearances? How would you ever know what the likelihood of dysplasia of some sort is?
Pilgrim123 is offline  
post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-23-2017, 07:32 PM
Senior Member
DanaRuns's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Southern California
Posts: 3,147
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 76 Post(s)
Thanks: 2,605
Thanked 6,629 Times in 2,036 Posts
It's pretty expensive here.

Hips and elbows: $300 for xrays, + $40 for OFA = $340.
Heart: auscultation and echo $300 + $12 for OFA = $312
Eyes: exam by ophthalmologist $55 + $12 initial OFA = $67 for the first year. ($55 + $8 = $63 each additional year)

Total at 24 mos. = $340 + $312 + $67 + $63 = $782.00.

But we also do hip and elbow prelims ($300 xrays + $60 OFA = $360)

...and thyroid ($75 vet + $15 OFA = $90)

...and genetic testing @ ~$300 depending on sales and discounts.

So we end up spending over $1,500 for each dog by the time the dog is 24 mos. old, and that's if there are no problems. It goes up if you need retesting.

And then, of course, it's another $63 per year, per dog, for eyes for the rest of the dog's life.
DanaRuns is offline  
Sponsored Links


Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Golden Retrievers : Golden Retriever Dog Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome