Mason Farms

Where it's all about: Drive, Desire, Determination and Companionship!

What do the testings done on our dogs actually mean?

Created: 9-10-2010 

To help understand the point of testings on dogs and what they mean when purchasing a puppy, we have added this new page to explain what we are working toward testing on our breeding dogs and why it is important to look at a dog that has tested parents when looking for a new companion.

It is our promise that now with these testings made available, that we will never produce a labrador affected from Centronuclear Myopathy or Exercise Induced Collapse.

EIC~ Exercise Induced Collapse ~ Exercise-Induced Collapse (EIC) is an autosomal recessive genetic disorder causing affected dogs to suffer from a loss of muscle control following periods of extreme exercise. Typically, an affected dog begins to show symptoms between 5 months and 3 years of age, usually around the age that more intensive training begins.

 EIC episodes generally occur after 5-25 minutes of extreme exercise. Not all types of exercise can induce an attack; generally the dog must be actively running and excited for an extended period of time. The attacks often begin with rocking, followed by the hind limbs becoming weak and giving out. The severity of these attacks ranges between different dogs; some will continue to attempt to retrieve, dragging their hind legs along, and other will be totally unable to move, acting disoriented. These attacks usually only last about 5-25 minutes, however, in some extreme cases, dogs have died immediately following an EIC attack.

 Dogs with Exercise-Induced Collapse can still lead full lives. However, it is important for dog owners to be familiar with what types of activities a dog can participate in and what types of games may trigger an episode.

 Because EIC is a recessive disorder, a dog must have two copies of the mutation in order for the disease to manifest. This means that a dog can have one copy of the mutation and not experience any signs or symptoms of EIC; this dog would be known as a carrier. The carrier can then pass on either the normal gene or the mutated gene to any offspring. If two carriers are bred, a dog could potentially receive the mutated gene from each parent and be affected by EIC.

DM~ Degenerative Myelopathy ~Degenerative myelopathy is a progressive disease of the spinal cord in older dogs. The disease has an insidious onset typically between 8 and 14 years of age. It begins with a loss of coordination (ataxia) in the hind limbs. The affected dog will wobble when walking, knuckle over or drag the feet. This can first occur in one hind limb and then affect the other. As the disease progresses, the limbs become weak and the dog begins to buckle and has difficulty standing. The weakness gets progressively worse until the dog is unable to walk. The clinical course can range from 6 months to 1 year before dogs become paraplegic. If signs progress for a longer period of time, loss of urinary and fecal continence may occur and eventually weakness will develop in the front limbs. Another key feature of DM is that it is not a painful disease.
CNM~ Centronuclear Mylopathy~ previously known as HMLR, or Hereditary Myopathy, is an autosomal recessive mutation that causes insufficient muscle function in the Labrador Retriever breed. This is due to the centralisation of the nuclei in muscle fibers, caused by a missense insertion in the PTPLA gene.

Puppies are born apparently normal; however, it quickly becomes evident that there is a problem. The puppy will often not gain weight adequately due to decreased muscle tone in the esophagus. Within 2 to 5 months, the disease has usually progressed to display the full range of symptoms, including a loss of muscle tone and control, an awkward gait, and extreme exercise intolerance. This condition is exacerbated in cold conditions.

RD/ OSD~ Retinal Dysplasia/ Oculoskeletal Disease~ Retinal dysplasia/oculoskeletal dysplasia 1 is an inherited Collagen disorder affecting Labrador retrievers. Dwarfism and eye abnormalities may be apparent as early as 4 to 6 weeks of age in affected puppies. The dwarfism is characterized by shortened forelimbs that become curved as the dog grows. In puppies, the top of the head may be noticeably dome shaped compared to littermates. A range of eye abnormalities is visible on a veterinary eye exam of which retinal detachment and cataracts are the most common. Carrier dogs do not have skeletal changes but may have mild eye abnormalities, including retinal folds.

SD2~ Skeletal Dysplasia 2 is an inherited Musculoskeletal disease affecting Labrador Retrievers. Affected dogs develop a mild form of “disproportionate dwarfism” consisting of short legs with normal body length and width. The leg bones are shorter, thicker, and slightly curved and the front legs are frequently more affected than rear legs. Joints and eyes are not typically affected with this disease. The height of affected dogs is variable, making diagnosis based on physical characteristics alone challenging in some individuals. Mildly affected dogs from bloodlines known to produce large dogs may still fall within their breed standard for height. The causal Mutation shows Incomplete Penetrance meaning that not all dogs inheriting two copies (one from each parent) will display obvious physical characteristics of dwarfism.
Cys~ Cystinuria (Labrador retriever type) is an inherited disease affecting kidney function in Labrador retrievers. The SLC3A1 gene codes for a protein that allows the kidneys to transport cystine and other amino acids from the urine. Normal kidneys reabsorb the Amino Acid cystine so that only small amounts pass into the urine, while dogs with mutations of both copies of the SLC3A1 gene fail to reabsorb cystine allowing large amounts to pass into the urine, hence the name cystinuria. Cystine can form crystals and/or stones in the urinary tract, which can block the ureters or Urethra and stop the normal flow of urine. Affected male dogs typically present with symptoms related to cysteine bladder stones at 6 to 14 months of age, however female dogs tend to develop symptoms later than males. Symptoms of disease include straining to urinate, frequent urination of small volumes or inability to urinate. In Labrador retrievers, males and females are equally affected with excess cysteine in the urine, but obstruction of urine flow is more common in males due to differences in anatomy and females tend to develop stones about a year later than males on average. Dogs with cystinuria often have recurrent inflammation of the urinary tract and if not treated, urinary stones can cause urinary tract infections, kidney failure and even death.
HNPK~ Hereditary Nasal Parakeratosis is an inherited disease affecting the nose of Labrador Retrievers. Beginning around 6 to 12 months of age, affected dogs develop dry, rough, gray to brown crusts and rarely, painful cracks on the tip of the nose. In some cases, lesions are also present on the haired area around the nose. The noses of affected dogs are prone to superficial bacterial infections and often become depigmented over time. Affected dogs are otherwise healthy. Symptoms often wax and wane in severity over the dog’s life. Though manageable, this disorder requires continuous topical therapy to prevent recurrence of excessive nasal crusting.

OFA HIP AND ELBOW TESTING~

Hip dysplasia is associated with abnormal joint structure and a laxity of the muscles, connective tissue, and ligaments that would normally support the joint. As joint laxity develops, the articular surfaces of the two bones lose contact with each other.

Elbow dysplasia is characterized by varying degrees of elbow incongruity, bony fragments (bone chips), and ultimately, severe arthritic change.It is an inherited disease which primarily affects intermediate and large breed dogs.


Supplemental Testings

Elliptocytosis~ Canine elliptocytosis is a rare inherited blood disorder. Normal red blood cells are round in shape but red blood cells in affected dogs appear oval-shaped and can have serrated edges. An affected dog may present with mild Anemia and may be smaller than its littermates. Severe health complications have not been reported in affected dogs.