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Teddy and Dakota's Mommy
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Does anyone get there normal "pets" certified? I'm not even sure if that is the right term. Dakota is our family pet and getting trained to be a therapy dog but she is spayed and will never be bred. I have no reason to believe there is anything wrong with her. Her parents had their certifications done but I was wondering if there was any reason at all for me to look into getting her checked.
 

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Do you mean like for healthy hips, eyes, heart, etc? Personally, I wouldn't bother. If your dog is spayed, it doesn't really matter. Seems like a potentially costly thing for no reason.

On the other hand, I wonder if it is useful information for a breeder to know whether the pups of a certified healthy breeding were all healthy? In that case, I think it is legit for the BREEDER to pay the costs for testing on a puppy that will NOT be bred, simply to get the information. I don't think the owner of a puppy that will not be bred should have to take on those costs. If my breeder had ever wanted to have my (spayed) girl tested, I would have allowed it for their own research.
 

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Kate
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Look at your puppy contract...

With my guy his breeder will not acknowledge hip issues unless it comes from the OFA. This was not the case when I purchased my guy, but they now added it to the contract.

As a dog owner I would have xrays done anyway simply because hip and elbow dysplasia is such a prevalent issue with our breed. This is a one time thing at 24 months. The xrays cost about $200 for hips alone. Some vets might give a discount for the elbows if done at the same time. I know one vet who just charges $10 for the elbows to be done at the same time as the hips (which are $80 at some vets) Sending to the OFA is an additional $30, I think.

I wouldn't necessarily bother with the OFA, but as I said - if there is a problem, your breeder may require that specific evaluation.

And eyes are another thing I would have checked every year thanks to Pointgold bringing the issue of PU to all our attention. I had additional interest in this because there are other hereditary eye issues which may be minor compared to PU, but may also cause discomfort to your dog. This is only a $40 yearly cost.

Heart - I've never had this done. My guy's ticker is checked every year in the wellness check though.
 

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I didn't realize that certification tests were the same as the tests Megora mentions above. My ignorance shining through!! :)

I would have hips done if I saw any signs of HD.

Eyes - would be worth it for reasons other than certification.

Heart - I agree with Megora. I know my dog's heart is checked every year as routine vet wellness.
 

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Tracer, Rumor & Cady
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If you plan to participate in any dog sports, hunting or even if you are lookign at your dog as a running/jogging buddy... it is well worth getting hips elbows hearts and eyes checked ...
 

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I would be sure to get his eyes checked by a specialist when he is maybe 4 or 5 and then again every few years but that is for PU because I think, help me here if I am wrong, but they can do things to stop it if caught early.
 

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I think it is a good idea for a couple of reasons....

First of all when I was looking for my puppies, I looked hard at all siblings, relatives, ancestors, to make sure there was a strong healthy background. I want to aid the next puppy buyers out there so they can see my dogs clearances, and help them with their puppy decision.

Secondly, piece of mind. You would know where you stand with your dog for age related issues. The better the results the better chances your dog has for an active healthy life.

I spay my dogs too, Gabby's contract requires that I get her hips (and elbows?) done. Quinn's did not. This year when I take Teddi in for her annual hip check, I plan to see if I can make an appointment the same day to get Quinn's hips and elbows radiographed for OFA.

I plan to do 'some' of the other clearances but still not sure which ones. It really will help others looking at lines with your dog in there. Yes it is expensive, and other than your puppy contract, may not be required.
 

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Many reputable breeders will require them to be done at the owner's expense.

I am getting Flip's done, not only for my own peace of mind that everything is good, but also for the education of the breed for everyone. I want to know not only direct ancestors and descendants of dogs I'm interested in, but also their siblings etc. If I am looking at a litter and the dam has passed her clearances but she has 8 siblings with HD, that would be reason for concern. Doesn't matter if those 8 won't ever be bred. I believe it is just as important to get these clearances for nonbreeding dogs as it is for breeding dogs.
 
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I would be sure to get his eyes checked by a specialist when he is maybe 4 or 5 and then again every few years but that is for PU because I think, help me here if I am wrong, but they can do things to stop it if caught early.
I agree with this-PU is a terrible and painful disease and early diagnosis can go a long way to preventing pain and the loss of one or both eyes. PG's girl is a perfect example of this. Her PU was caught early and she seems to be doing really well on the treatment.

I don't think hips and elbows are necessary unless you think there may be a problem, or you want to do some activities like hunting, obedience, agility, etc. Or, if your breeder requires it for her records.
 

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where the tails wag
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I would just like to add that if you do choose to have the clearances done (either the one shots, hips, elbows, heart, PRA etc or the annual eye exams) look for Health Clinics which can save you a lot of money. A golden health clinic would be ideal and are usually presented by the breed clubs.
 

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As the mom of a 4 year old (neutered male) that participates in different venues I think it makes sense to have exams by specialists for peace of mind for others who have active dogs.

I just had a baseline eye exam done by a Vet Opthamologist because of the rise of PU even though his eyes are checked as part of wellness exams. Everything checked out and she said to come back in 3 years. I want folks to know that the regular exam is way more expensive than a CERF exam so folks might want to do that instead. I paid $250 vs $76 for for a CERF exam by the same vet. I was told that CERF is for dogs that will be bred only.... Our regular vet's speciality is Orthopedics so I had hips and elbows done when he was around 22 months just to do it - he had no problems then and has no problems now. The vet said they were good/excellent based on his experience it wasn't necessary to send into OFA. I listened but probably should have anyway - it was not the cost and I guess I can still do it. His heart is checked as part of his wellness exams or any other time we might be there so there hasn't been a need to go to a cardiologist.
 

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I am one of the few on here that is likely going to be doing a certification on Mirabelle, my female. And no, its not for breeding, but its because next Winter I'm putting her into a pulling contest and I want to make sure she has no known joint issues before I even consider it.
 

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My dogs participate in the sport of obedience but even if they didn't I have hips and elbows done and sent to OFA for review and certification.
Since my golden girl, Baylee has pigmentary uveitis I plan on all my dogs getting their eyes checked. I also had Baylee's heart checked by a cardiologist.
I do not plan on breeding my dogs and I don't feel it is just a way of spending "extra" money.
It is important for me to know my dogs are sound and fit for the activities I enjoy.
 
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All of our dogs were adopted from shelters or rescue. One of them, Toby, came with AKC papers. His parents had hips, heart and elbow clearances, but no eyes. Toby had a congenital cataract--and developed another one last year. Both were removed yesterday at significant expense to us (but worth it). I wish the breeder had done eye exams because there is a good chance he would not have bred Toby's parents.

Eye exams are a must for our future dogs. We learned so much through Toby's experiences. Not only is PU a big concern for Golden owners, but there are a whole host of other painful issues an eye exam, by a specialist, can uncover.

Toby also taught us the importance of checking for heart issues. We did this in a round about way last year when investigating heat and exercise intolerance--and discovered his mitral valve issues. This was important information for his ophthalmologist yesterday during the surgery and I definitely see the benefit of getting an echo cardiogram done on dogs just to check things out.
 
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