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Discussion Starter #1
Prior to breeding -

As copied by -

http://www.americanboxerclub.org/health-screening.html


RECOMMENDATIONS FOR HEALTH SCREENING OF BOXERS
IN BREEDING PROGRAMS

TESTING AND REPORTING GUIDELINES
ABC HEALTH & RESEARCH COMMITTEE

Use and interpretation of tests should be in consultation with your veterinarian or veterinary specialist. These guidelines will be updated as further knowledge is gained.

Condition Tested Test Used Minimum Age Frequency Reported As
Hip/Elbow Dysplasia Radiograph
Radiograph 2 years
6 mos. Once
Once OFA# or
PennHip%

Hypothyroidism Thyroid Panel2 2 years Annually for Breeding date tested**

Aortic Valve Disease Auscultation / Doppler1 None None date tested**

AS / SAS Auscultation & Doppler Echocardiogram1 24 mos. 1 Once by Echo date tested**

Boxer Cardiomyopathy1 Holter Monitor 12 mos. Annually for Breeding date tested**


Heart disease can be inherited or it can be caused by bacterial, viral or parasitic agents these are NOT inherited. The damage appears the same in some cases. A screening program can help determine the origin.

All hearts should be ausculted at each veterinary visit. This is particularly important prior to any surgery, including ear cropping. If a murmur is detected the dog should be evaluated to determine the cause and significance of the murmur. Murmurs may be innocent (“flow” murmurs) or may be an indication of structural heart disease such as aortic stenosis, sub aortic stenosis, septal defects or defects of the mitral, tricuspid or pulmonic valves. Echo with Doppler measurements can accurately find and diagnose the origin of murmurs which cannot always be heard or reliably pinpointed by auscultation alone.

1. Maximum flow values have recently been reevaluated and raised to 2.4 IF there is no evidence of structural causes. The cardiologist should determine if the flow value for an individual Boxer is of concern. Current information is that AS/SAS may develop upon sexual maturity in dogs that were previously tested clear, thus the new recommendation for 24 mos. minimum age. Boxer Cardiomyopathy is a complex condition that is still under study.

2. Thyroid panel must include the following tests: TGAA (Thyroglobulin auto antibodies), Total T4AA, Free T4AA (by equilibrium dialysis), cTSH. (Optional tests include T3 and free T3)

3. Because these results can change over time, or because the age at testing may be significant, it is essential to list the date of the most recent test in each case. There are no normal values for some of the recommended tests, and there can be differing opinions between experts in the field.
 

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Re: What Heath Tests Should be Done...

Thanks for that information.  With the red boy coming I was reading up on immunization.  The article from Cornell, said they do a bloodtest for titers on the Dam before pregnancy I think.  Then they can gauge how long the puppies will have immuity, and not risk adverse reactions.  Somewhat off topic, but I wondered if you knew anything about this.

Thanks - Ann WI
 

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Re: What Heath Tests Should be Done...

I'm not sure if titer testing will tell how long maternal immunity will last; it will tell whether the bitch has immunity herself.  From what I recall maternal immunity isn't disease-specific, but I'm not sure if that means that the bitch doesn't pass on specific immunity at all....I'm just drawing a blank, there.

Add the genetic test for Degenerative Myelopathy to that list; the Health & Research Committee hasn't met since the test has become available, so these recommendations have not been updated to include it, but they will be. :)
 

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Re: What Heath Tests Should be Done...

Just out of curiosity, if you had both the bitch and the stud, and you did every single recommended check that the ABC recommends, how much money (average) would you spend? Agree that it's important but I think the cost is also a factor for many people who are new to breeding, trying to do the right thing, but not rich.

I know this is a controversal subject and I totally agree that all those checks should be done but for many people, it's not feasibile. Then the next argument is, well they should not be breeding. Okey, agree. But at some point, one has to decide what they can live with not doing-knowing the risks.

There is most likely a lot of negative feedback that I am going to get by stating my opinion but the facts are, people who can't afford all these checks are going to breed and people who want a boxer will be satisfied if one or two of these checks are not completed.

It's great to do things right and when you have the money, time, and if breeding is your full time venture there is no excuse not to. But, I think that we also have to be realistic and provide all the options. When I called my vet to ask about breeding Shamrock, she recommended a blood test for dog STDs. Shamrock and Maddie both tested negative. As I have stated in another post, many of the equipment for these checks is not offered in Hawaii and the two top boxer breeders on island don't do all of these checks. I can live with my choice and still think we breed ethically. If potential buyers ask us what checks we did, we will be honest.

And, I am not even sure Shamrock had every ABC check. I never asked, and was not as educated as I am now. I just know he is beautiful, healthy, and IMO a perfect representation of the Boxer standard. Fiona was a rescue dog so will we never know on her. She is also perfectly healthy.

By the way, Maddie is pregnant and we are very happy:)
 

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Re: What Heath Tests Should be Done...

T - you make a point and I think many people feel that way.   I see it as this (this is my viewpoint  :wink: )  If you skip out on the health testing esp the heart (numbero uno in boxers) due to cost, what happens if your litter produces two dogs that have grade 3-4 heart murmurs and develop mild AS and these pups get returned to you because you picked a bad mate?  Or oyour dog was the carrier of the genetic issue??  (BTW - not saying you specifically but in general).  The cost associated for caring for a heart condition pup can be expensive, and can make you think that an echo (that is costing me $165.00 in two weeks) may have just been worth it in the beginning.   Also kennel name and rep are on the line.  

Do you want to be know as a breeder who produces pups with heart issues?   Or one that screens for them, and tries to put the best pups out there for families to enjoy for a long long time.   I know breeder can skip out on the testing, and produce some good litters and they can live long lives but to me, its the *what if* factor.    If I am placing a pup to a family, I want to make sure I have done everything possible to know that pup will be with that family for 10-12 health years.   I dont want to see one of my pup owners posting on a board like this that they had to put their baby to sleep due to severe CM or freaking out because the cost for meds is too much for their family to handle.  

Everyone who gets involved in breeding starts somewhere.  Some cut corners and some will do it the right way.  Sometimes those who cut corners, will learn the hard way, and in the end, the goal is to put your best out there, heath, temperment and confirmation.   How you do it - hey, its your perogatitive, and your peice of mind.   And to that, I wish you a healthy, safe litter.  :D
 

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Re: What Heath Tests Should be Done...

Generally speaking, the price of one puppy should recoup your health test costs.
 

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Re: What Heath Tests Should be Done...

I agree with both of you and if we breed again, I will do the research to figure out what could be done on island and what is out of the picture. Heather, you also bring up good points, especially on heart testing, and as the yahoo group moderator for Boxer Club of Hawaii it would be wise for me to find out costs and feasibility. This is something I have wondered or I would not have asked-thanks to both of you for a fair answer without being condesending. I do appreciate it and like I have stated, have learned a great deal and will continue to educate myself the more I learn about this beautiful breed.

Megan (Maddie's Mom) has mentioned that if all goes well this time, in a year and half we may want to breed again. So, this is where breeding is a habitual process and will feel better armed with required procedures, where to get the equipment, and how much it will cost.

Thanks for the advise.
 

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Re: What Heath Tests Should be Done...

Do either of you know of a web site that explaines some these tests in more detail? I can google each one but just wondered if there was a comprehensive "Boxer heath checks" site. I have read that same page on ABC's site and the 6 health tests (is there 6? and the genetic test for Degenerative Myelopathy that Jennifer mentions) with average costs associated with each test would be awesome. I am not a medical expert but it would be helpful to get a easy to understand explanation of each test, how often the associated diseases that the checks screen for appear in Boxers, etc.  If not, I can just google each one. Thanks:)
 

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Re: What Heath Tests Should be Done...

Not sure on any websites - give me a day (had a couple of Margs tonight) but T- you are in a perfect postion to make a differnce, esp with the boxer club.   Whats done is done  - like I said,  *WISH YOU ALL THE BEST** in your litter.  I know that you have it in your heart to do the best for the breed but sometimes we need to go a little bit beyond ourselves and dip into technology.  

If you can find a board certified Cardiologist to do a clinic or maybe get your boxer club (if one is not available) to come in for a weekend (do fundraisers).  You could be a huge part of making a difference for not only the boxer club, but for the breed.  If they were availbable, them more people would test.  The more people who test the higher percentage of heathy boxers that are put out there.  

IMO Hawaii should have all the resources people in the states have.  A body of water should not enable people not to do things correctly:)   I will look tomorrow when my head a little more clear on some links to help you out.
 

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Re: What Heath Tests Should be Done...

Thanks Heather, I also called my vet and requested a print out mentioning each test listed on this thread. I agree that we should have been more careful. It has been on my mind all day. When I called the vet, the tech mentioned that in order to get a dog heart tested, there is a guy who comes to Hawaii once a year (in May when we have the pet expo) and gives a test then. I am going to research this and also do a little of the health checks one at a time before we breed again. Thanks for the help. I realize the amount of responsibility that I have to educate and make wise choices and will do my best to equip this island with sound information about health testing in Hawaii.

Well, have drink for me and enjoy the rest of your evening:)
 

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Re: What Heath Tests Should be Done...

No T - that is great news.  Many of times if a doctor like that comes to down, they can offer a clinic at reduced pricing because the number of people requesting the service will increase.  Even offered once a year is great.  Good Luck and totally applaud your efforts:)

PS - beverages are done - moving on to my crab rangoons and chix fingers!!! LOL
 

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Re: What Heath Tests Should be Done...

Our contract with the breeder says that they will be sent copies of all veterinary records should the dog be seen for anything other than routine procedures.  Is this done often?
 

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Re: What Heath Tests Should be Done...

There is a page that explains the conditions and the tests, but I don't think I can post it here. :)
 

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Re: What Heath Tests Should be Done...

Everything except hip prices are based on what I've paid (or known our cardiologist has charged) within the last year, with my prices generally at the lower end and an estimated "cushion" for the upper end.  If your prices are higher let me know how much, because my upper end is obviously too low (if it's higher in OH, then it's probably much higher in CA!).
 

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Re: What Heath Tests Should be Done...

Thanks again Jennifer. Yes, I think they will be much higher out here in Hawaii but will begin the tests with Shamrock a little at a time. And, I am not breeding again till each test is completed.
 
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