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Discussion Starter #1
My pup is from a good breeder, and she has a 26 month guarantee for various health issues. She is a pet, and will not be bred. Do you usually get OFA certs still? I'm guessing you would, right? To make sure there is nothing amiss with hips/heart/eyes? Having never done it myself, does a regular vet do this or do I need to locate a specialist vet?

Thank you!
 

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Here is a thread about Eye exams/certs, it's an older thread but has a lot of good info in it.

 

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It's good information to have for your own pet, but it also adds to the depth of knowledge your breeder has on their line of dogs. It's a really good idea to have eye exams done on your dog to watch for things like PU, and a heart exam to rule out serious heart defects.

You will need to find a vet that does OFA xrays for the hips and elbows, you need an eye specialist for the eye exam, and a cardiologist for the heart exam. Sometimes there are "clinics" held at the conformation dog shows, so you could look and see if there are any shows scheduled near you and contact the hosting club to see if there would be any clinics held at that show.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Ok so it sounds like a must do thing, as one who doesn't show or anything like that can you advise how I find the appropriate places to do the tests? Do I just call around to vets?
 

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If you live in same general region as your breeder, ask her who does nice positioning. Go there.
OFA vets expect to not know most of their clients I would imagine. Or if not, ask around. It's a talent, not every vet does a good job. You want someone who does tens of them a week.
Your eyes- I ask my puppy people to do eyes at least every other year if not yearly, everyone left with the nearest ophthalmologist info. You can look on www.acvo.org for list.
Pet hearts, again depends on where you live, how much you will pay. Your breeder can show you how to see [email protected] in your [email protected] dog shows. That'll be your least expensive option. OFA also has listings but their listings are only rarely complete, most clubs don't ask to be listed there.
I think all these give you hugely important info, and your vet should appreciate being given copies of all your dog's clearances. In my area, eyes are about $35-40, and heart @ show or vet clinic (some vets here hold clinics w cardio from UF) about $55 for auscultation and $200 for echo. Hips and elbows run about $350-400 total.
 
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Ok so it sounds like a must do thing, as one who doesn't show or anything like that can you advice how I find the appropriate places to do the tests? Do I just call around to vets?
First, no, it's not a "must do thing". But, as another "pet only" owner (we are planning to get our Kona spayed in the next month), it's a "should do" and a "really good thing to do". Not only does it provide you with potentially important information to help you take care of your golden, but it also helps to fill out the health histories for lines on OFA. You can see Kona's OFA entries from the link in my signature block, and it's disappointing that she has no siblings/half-siblings being shown.

Your vet should be able to help you with basic OFA clearances. Or, you can check with your local chapter of the Golden Retriever Club.
 

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I will likely do Mollys heart and eyes, but she is not going to be a sport dog or a hunting dog so we will not do her hips and elbows. She goes for leisure walks and plays as desired in the back yard. If a problem arises, we will deal with it then.

Molly is from a backyard breeder. While there is history of testing in her pedigree, her parents weren't..
 

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Kate
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Depends on activity levels, expectations, and as needed.

If you want to do agility with your dog, for example - it is responsible to check hips and elbows.

Eyes - I would get them checked every year for sure.

Heart.... I think with the DCM stuff, it would be worth getting the heart checked around age 2 and go from there. If anything, you'd have a baseline.
 

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I got my boys hips and elbows done, got an eye exam by a ophthalmologist in the area but didn’t send into OFA. I wanted to do hips and elbows especially because Denver parents were bred on prelims and he had a full sibling with severe hip dysplasia (like so severe, the hips were not even in the sockets.) We are also super active and wanted to make sure we were taking the ride precautions if he was dysplastic, or have peace of mind that he’s not dysplastic and we can continue regular activity. Our pet vet did them, they were decent and he got an OFA good/normal. We had an appointment for an echo with a cardiologist but it was cancelled due to covid unfortunately and we haven’t been able to get in since. Denver had two siblings drop dead of something cardiac....even though both parents were normal on OFA with cardiologist clearances. Nonetheless I wanted a complete picture of my dogs health first and foremost. I’m glad I got the clearances, and with active dogs I think it’s a great idea to know what you’re working with.
 

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Kate
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We had Kona's heart clearance done so that we could rule out any SAS concerns. This can be done anytime after 12 months for OFA.
That is what Joshua Stern said as well, however... have known of cases where dogs had echos done and passed- and they died suddenly as 4-6 year olds. Autopsies done did not find evidence of cancer. I think our minds would immediately consider DCM, but one particular case immediately in my mind was a dog being fed proplan. There have been rumbles in the last 1-2 years (probably related to DCM) where people been shaken up by similar things either happening to their breeding dogs or dogs they produced. I think people are worried about an adult onset of SAS or other heart disease... maybe.

That's pretty much why I waited until 2 years old with my dogs.
 

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Yes! I got my pet-only boy's hips and elbows done last year. I was hoping to get his eyes/heart last year too but that didn't happen for obvious reasons. I have a show-prospect bitch who turns a year in May so I figure two birds with one stone LOL.
 

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Maegan
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I actually don’t think full clearances are necessary for a “just a pet” dog that is healthy. I do think eyes are necessary because of PU, but the rest... ehh.
Exceptions:

Cardiac - your dog’s ancestors have spotty or in inadequate heart clearances or you’ve been feeding grain free.

Hips/Elbows - your dog is symptomatic or you are planning on competing. Side note: I did not get hips/elbows done on my Rally dog because the jump heights are low and I don’t see that as a risk to his joints.

DNA Testing - parents are completely untested or are both carriers for something.

Of course it is fantastic for “just pets” to get clearances, but I don’t think it’s necessary by any means.
 

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Here's a good reason to do them: my dog came from cleared parents, but fell into the 12% of dogs who come from cleared parents but get elbow dysplasia (grade 1). If I had not had her elbows tested, I likely would not have found out until she was older and maybe started to display signs of pain. I was shocked when I found out, but it has allowed me to be very proactive in preventative treatments for her and keep her symptom-free (she is 7 years old, does hunt and tracking and dock diving - and plays ball).

Eyes and heart - the whys of doing them have been well explained above. Bottom line, I think it's definitely worth getting them all done, even on non-breeding dogs.
 
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Here's a good reason to do them: my dog came from cleared parents, but fell into the 12% of dogs who come from cleared parents but get elbow dysplasia (grade 1). If I had not had her elbows tested, I likely would not have found out until she was older and maybe started to display signs of pain. I was shocked when I found out, but it has allowed me to be very proactive in preventative treatments for her and keep her symptom-free (she is 7 years old, does hunt and tracking and dock diving - and plays ball).

Eyes and heart - the whys of doing them have been well explained above. Bottom line, I think it's definitely worth getting them all done, even on non-breeding dogs.
In reading this response and considering the original post, I have come to the conclusion that the original post, while sincere, is a bit off-center.

As an owner of a golden (pet, show, field, or otherwise), I made a commitment to see to our golden's health. So, eye exams, heart exams, hip/elbow exams, DNA testing, etc. are all part of our commitment to looking after her health. So, irrespective of OFA's website, these are things that "should be done". Some may disagree, but my concern is to know about potential issues before they become a health problem, or, at least, to do what can be done to minimize their impacts. As an example, my understanding is that SAS, if detected, can be addressed surgically. But, if not detected, it's likely going to be a catastrophic, and fatal, event.

So, the question, for me becomes two-fold:

#1 - We will do the appropriate health checks on Kona, because that's a commitment we made when we brought her into our household.

#2 - Having done the appropriate health checks, we will share this information (both good and bad) on OFA and K9Data websites, so that others can find this information when researching any related goldens.
 

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Maegan
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In reading this response and considering the original post, I have come to the conclusion that the post, while sincere, is a bit off-center.

As an owner of a golden (pet, show, field, or otherwise), I made a commitment to see to our golden's health. So, eye exams, heart exams, hip/elbow exams, DNA testing, etc. are all part of our commitment to looking after her health. So, irrespective of OFA's website, these are things that "should be done". Some may disagree, but my concern is to know about potential issues before they become a health problem, or, at least, to do what can be done to minimize their impacts. As an example, my understanding is that SAS, if detected, can be addressed surgically. But, if not detected, it's likely going to be a catastrophic, and fatal, event.

So, the question, for me becomes two-fold:

#1 - We will do the appropriate health checks on Kona, because that's a commitment we made when we brought her into our household.

#2 - Having done the appropriate health checks, we will share this information (both good and bad) on OFA and K9Data websites, so that others can find this information when researching any related goldens.
Most people aren't as on top of things as you, and I am very glad you got Kona's heart done (side note, now that I know who your breeder is, he absolutely knows better than to get practitioner hearts... and I didn't realize he was commercial because I have seen his kennel name in lots of show catalogs, but I digress). For you, the echo was necessary.

However, I stand by the statement that hips and elbows aren't necessary for pet only dogs. @Sweet Girl 's situation is different because she does hunt tests with her dog. If a pet owner just really wants that peace of mind, then more power to them and I do genuinely applaud them, but the absolute largest contributor to later life joint issues is weight. The overwhelming majority of pet dogs of all breeds in the US is obese. The best thing you can do for Kona re: joints is keep her lean. If she is not symptomatic at this age, then she likely doesn't have anything that would require surgery, which is really where the benefit of the xrays would come into play. The number 1 best management practice for grade 1 elbows or mild hips is... you guessed it... Weight management. Not to mention all of the other benefits of keeping a dog lean, which are basically the same as humans.
 
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In reading this response and considering the original post, I have come to the conclusion that the post, while sincere, is a bit off-center.

As an owner of a golden (pet, show, field, or otherwise), I made a commitment to see to our golden's health. So, eye exams, heart exams, hip/elbow exams, DNA testing, etc. are all part of our commitment to looking after her health. So, irrespective of OFA's website, these are things that "should be done". Some may disagree, but my concern is to know about potential issues before they become a health problem, or, at least, to do what can be done to minimize their impacts. As an example, my understanding is that SAS, if detected, can be addressed surgically. But, if not detected, it's likely going to be a catastrophic, and fatal, event.

So, the question, for me becomes two-fold:

#1 - We will do the appropriate health checks on Kona, because that's a commitment we made when we brought her into our household.

#2 - Having done the appropriate health checks, we will share this information (both good and bad) on OFA and K9Data websites, so that others can find this information when researching any related goldens.
So, I'm confused. It sounds like we are coming from the same place. What is off-centre about my post?
 

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So, I'm confused. It sounds like we are coming from the same place. What is off-centre about my post?
My bad. I meant to say "original post". I am in agreement with your post, and was responding to indicate that I had re-thought and clarified my opinion, based on reading your post. I've edited my response to reflect "original post".

p.s. Enjoying "off-centre". 😁
 

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Discussion Starter #19
My post isn't off center. It's simply a question about whether or not people OFA dogs that are purely pets, not show dogs and not hunters.
 

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Maegan
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My post isn't off center. It's simply a question about whether or not people OFA dogs that are purely pets, not show dogs and not hunters.
The answer is generally "no" when it comes to what most pet people actually do regarding clearances. The majority don't truly understand clearances, they just know that breeding dogs should have them done and they should pass. This same majority also doesn't see the benefit to both themselves and the breed as a whole as worth the expense.
 
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