Most breed of dogs have certain conditions which they are historically known to suffer from. With this in mind the Kennel Club and the British Veterinary Association have schemes in place so that each breed can be tested for these conditions. These tests are usually required in order to breed and register pedigree dogs.
Old English Sheepdogs are no exception. For breeding purposes both the Sire and the Dam are required to be hip scored and eye tested.
Hip dysplasia is the abnormal development of the hip. Each hip is x-rayed to assess the degree of abnormality. A score is then assigned to each hip. Both scores are added together to give your dog it's hip score. Each breed has an average score, called the breed mean score, which in the O.E.S. is currently18. Potential breeders are advised to ensure that the breeding Sires and Dams have scores well below the breed mean score.
Hip scoring is done from the age of 1 year and is only done once in a dogs lifetime. Further information and curent pricing can be found on the British Veterinary Website http://www.bva.co.uk/
Eye tests are performed to detect hereditary eye conditions and is designed to eliminate these conditions in breeding dogs. Responsible breeders will ensure the Sire and Dam have current eye certificates (ie not more than a year old) and will not breed from any dog which is affected by a known hereditary disease or condition.
Some eye tests are annual.
The eye testing scheme has two schedules:-
Old English Sheepdogs
For the O.E.S schedule A the eye condition covered is Hereditary Cataracts (HC)
For the O.E.S schedule B the eye conditions covered are Multiocular Defects (MOD) and Congenital Hereditary Cataracts (CHC)
There are only a handful of Vets throughout the country who are on the British Veterinary Association (BVA) eye panel. There is also a certain procedure to follow in order to get your dog's eyes tested. Please go to the BVA website for futher information on Canine Health Schemes.
The Animal Health Trust are desperate for DNA specimens from OES for research into HC. If you have an OES, it does not need to have HC, please consider submitting specimens (cheek swabs) from your dog for research. Either contact me, or the AHT direct for testing kits. This is the ONLY way that a DNA test can be devised in order that HC can become preventable.
I love this breed, but not HC!! And until there is a DNA test available, no one can definitely say their dogs are free of HC, annual eye tests are not enough!!
Thank you on behalf of all OES
This scheme is to identify whether dogs are clear, carriers or affected with unwanted genes and inherited conditions.
DNA screening is not currently required for the Old English Sheepdog.
For more information click on the following link:- http://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/item/315
DNA profiling is designed as a method of permanently identifying a dog throughout its life.
DNA profiling does not give any information about inherited diseases or conditions.
For more information about DNA profiling click on the following link:- http://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/item/463