As a responsible breeder we test all our males & females for the following:
1. Hips: Dogs are pre-limbed x-rayed or PENN Hipped before 1 year old. If they were pre-limbed x-rayed, they are re-x-rayed at 2 years old to get their OFA certification.
Hip dysplasia is a condition in dogs where the bones in the dogs' hind legs that join the dogs' pelvis don't match up perfectly. The only way to determine for sure that a dog has or does not have hip dysplasia is with a high quality X-ray. The dog is stretched out on its back with the rear legs extended as far as possible. Positioning of the dog for the X-ray is critical.
OFA stands for Orthopedic Foundation for Animals. This is the most trusted entity when it comes to hip certification in dogs. The OFA receives your x-ray and sends it out to a random 3 individuals on their reading panel. These are veterinarians with vast experience in reading films and making hip determinations. There
are many recognized individuals on this panel and the three that read your dogs x-ray are chosen at random.
PENN HIP: This is also an excellent way to check hips for hip dysplasia : 3 x-rays are taken in different positions by a certified veterinarian and sent in for evaluation.
2. Elbows: Dogs are pre-limbed x-rayed before 1 year old & re x-rayed at 2 years old to get their OFA certification.
3. Eyes: Puppies are OFAed / CERFed / EYES CLEARED by a dog ophthalmologist.
The only way you can make sure the parents of your puppies do not have these conditions is by the tests listed above. While this does not guarantee 100% that your puppy will not have a problem, it definitely cuts down on the number and the severity of cases. So if a breeder tells you his dogs have never had a problem, that doesn't mean they don't have hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia or hereditary eye problems which would greatly increase the risk of your puppy having a problem.
4. EIC: (Exercise Induced Collapse) Test is done before we breed the dog.
To produce a puppy that is affected by EIC both parents must be carriers or affected. Hillview will not produce any puppy that is EIC affected because 1 parent will always be clear. 25% of labs are carriers or affected. Symptoms below.
After 5–20 minutes of high energy exercise the dog will become weak in the hind quarters and ultimately get to a point where it becomes immobile. The dog will be wobbly on its hind quarters, seem uncoordinated and hazy and have no ability to move. Episodes of EIC will most likely last for about 15 minutes and after that period of time the dog will then return to a state where it will appear completely normal. EIC symptoms normally show up between seven months and two years of age. It is evenly distributed between the sexes and different colors of Labradors.
When buying a puppy, ask the breeder if they are testing for this disabling disease.
5. CNM (Canine Muscle Myopathy or Centronuclear Myopathy): Test is done before we breed the dog.
To produce a puppy that is affected by CNM, both parents must be carriers or affected. Hillview will not produce any puppy that is CNM affected because one parent will always be clear. Centronuclear Myopathy (CNM) is a grave disease that has been a major concern in Labrador Retrievers globally since the 1970’s.
* When a dog is affected, it is very evident before it is four to five months old. The physical symptoms cause the dog to fall and stumble and have difficulty eating. They never move normally. Symptoms worsen until the dog can't use the hind quarters at all and must be put to sleep. When buying a puppy, ask the breeder if they are testing for this disabling disease.