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grace0005 02-14-2014 02:51 AM

OFA equivocal results?
I'm new here and joined mainly so I could talk to others about equivocal test results. We got two pups (sisters) from a "show breeder" who did all the tests and told us how healthy the pups were and told us everything we wanted to hear. She has bred a lot of champions and are girls have some of those champs in their pedigree as well as siblings and half sibling champs.

We took our girls to the vet the day after we brought them home. We have used the same vet for years but he had a new younger DR working there and he is who saw our girls that day. He told us one of them had a heart murmur. We were sad and upset and called the breeder. After some nasty words from her the next day she called and said she would take the vet back to her vet...who said the pup had no murmur.

We believed it (or told ourselves that she belonged with us and hoped for the best), probably because we were already attached and our new vet was so young we thought he was wrong. A few days later we took her back to our vets office and saw the owner (who before this incident it the only one who treated our animals up until then). He said yes she did have a murmur.

At a year old we took her to another vet who did quite a few tests and now she is on costly meds each month. Sorry for this being so long but after learning a little more like I can look up dogs on OFA I looked up our girls parents (grandparents etc) Their mom tested equivocal for heart.

I didn't know what that meant to looked it up. It was my understanding that it meant the test couldn't prove or disprove the animal had what was being tested for. We have appointments for one of our girls (the sister or the one with the murmur) and both of our boys.

I am thinking about taking Sky to have her tested and submit to OFA just so if anyone is smarter than me and looks up the testing and not take this breeders word for it they will see Sky on there with her bad results and hopefully that will make them think twice before buying a puppy from this "reputable show breeder".

Sky's full brother (same litter) is on his way to having a CH placed before his name...which to me explains why this breeder was willing to take a chance (Sky's mom also has 2 or 3 if I remember right CH pups from other litters).

Unfortunately Sky is the one really paying for her being unethical. My family and I wouldn't trade Sky for the world... She is beautiful inside and out. We have five boxers and she is by far the most loveable and cuddly. Its like she is trying to soak up and give all the love she can like somehow she just knows she wont be around as long as she should be.

Basically the reason I joined here is to see what other people think about equivocal test results and if I should have Sky tested so I can have her listed on OFA?

cadkids 02-14-2014 08:28 AM

so sorry you are going through this personally I would have her tested and put on OFA just to protect others from this "breeder"

SaharaNight Boxers 02-14-2014 04:11 PM

What test was it and what was the result?

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MattyM 02-15-2014 02:36 AM

If you were able to look up both parents on the OFA site, what was the sire's heart results?

Kaco Boxers 02-15-2014 05:19 PM

I need more information. Such as what testing was done, what was she diagnosed with and what medications is she on. Equivocal is exactly what you's not a clear pass but it's not a fail.

You need to understand that genetic issues such as heart disease, juvenile kidney disease, hip dysplasia etc can pop up generations later even though you have multiple generations of health tested and cleared parents. There is no 100% guarantee, health testing is there to help reduce the risk.

Puppy murmurs are actually very common on our breed and I can tell you I have had my vet clear puppies and had others try and tell my clients they had grade 3's and needed to see cardiologists at 9 weeks of age. Sadly there are many vets that can not be trusted...they see your breed and try to profit off of it.

grace0005 02-21-2014 10:55 AM

This is the OFA link for the dam:

Orthopedic Foundation for Animals

And for the sire:

Orthopedic Foundation for Animals

SaharaNight Boxers 02-21-2014 04:46 PM

The rest of the health tests look great for them both. Do you happen to have the actual overall flow rate for the echo? Equivocal for echo could depend on the vet who performed the echo also. If they are more conservative than other vets in their allowance of flow rate than what is standard or more widely used they may pass it as equivocal. Equivocal isn't a failure though. If the dam had a fine holter also they may have used that to make sure she didn't pass on the possibility of heart disease. It may have just been a fluke that resulted in a problem for your puppy, which can happen, not necessarily a genetic one. Sometimes things just go wrong.

I would also recommend holtering or echo'ing your puppy before being sure she really has a heart problem.

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Mom2Rocky 02-21-2014 07:19 PM

Equivocal means that the test result isn't in a clear passing range for that specific test. The result is slightly out of the passing range. I would guess that the flow rate is slightly higher than what OFA accepts for passing, but isn't totally out of range to where the dog fails. I'm not 100% sure if OFA gives equivocal results on heart murmur grades. One way to find out is to question your breeder why the results were given as equivocal and if a retest was performed.

My male actually had an equivocal thyroid result and OFA just recommends to restest in 6 months as many things can cause a slightly low result. His T4 was just very slightly out of range, but there is not any evidene of thyroid disease.

Ogien 02-21-2014 07:37 PM

Really sorry to hear about this happening to you. Many breeders are simply in the business of making money instead of actually looking out for the future generational health of the breed. Many vets also use Boxer health quirks to bilk money out of unsuspecting owners.

I'm not saying that either your Breeder or Vet did anything right or wrong, I have no way of knowing that. I just wanted you to be aware of that.

I tell everyone with a Boxer, or any dog really, to do your homework on anything and everything related to Boxers and their health and health issues. You practically need to become an amateur veterinarian in order to access whether the vet you're using is one of the good ones or a charlatan.

Knowing as much as possible will also help you weed out good breeders from bad ones. I'm not saying that it's foolproof but being informed, especially about Boxer health issues and quirks is extremely important.

Finally, if I hadn't convinced you yet to study up on Boxer health then maybe the following will. If you know about their health issues and health quirks then you'll be more likely to see the signs of a potential health problem based on symptoms while it can still be treated with minimally invasive procedures or medicine regiments. Trust me, it's always better to notice the signs of a health issue early on in it's progression than later.

So just to finish up, I don't know if the breeder is a charlatan or if the vet is a charlatan so I recommend not jumping to conclusions. This is a very emotionally charged issue for you, as it would be for me or anyone else on this board, and it's important to take a deep breath, count to ten and look at the information as objectively as possible.

Kaco Boxers 02-21-2014 07:57 PM

We need to see what the flow rates were on the dog given the equivocal heart rating. OFA allows up to a 1.90 flow rate to be considered normal. I had a male with a 1.93 and he was also given an equivocal rating. He was heart holtered annually and cleared every time. Many breeders will breed up to a 2.0

Again, what testing was done on your girl and what were the results. Vets don't just place dogs on medications without valid heart testing.

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