HEALTH TESTING


BAER TESTING

The hearing test known as the brainstem auditory evoked response (BAER) or brainstem auditory evoked potential (BAEP) detects electrical activity in the cochlea and auditory pathways in the brain in much the same way that an antenna detects radio or TV signals or an EKG detects electrical activity of the heart. The response waveform consists of a series of peaks numbered with Roman numerals: peak I is produced by the cochlear nerve and later peaks are produced within the brain. The response from an ear that is deaf is an essentially flat line. In the sample recordings shown below, Puppy 1 heard in both ears, Puppy 2 was deaf in the left ear, Puppy 3 was deaf in the right ear, and Puppy 4 was deaf in both ears. Because the response amplitude is so small it is necessary to average the responses to multiple stimuli (clicks) to unmask them from the other unrelated electrical activity that is also present on the scalp (EEG, muscle activity, etc).

The response is collected with a special computer through extremely small electrodes placed under the skin of the scalp: one in front of each ear, one at the top of the head, and one between the shoulders. It is rare for a dog to show any evidence of pain from the placement of the electrodes - if anything the dog objects to the gentle restraint and the irritation of wires hanging in front of its face. The stimulus click produced by the computer is directed into the ear with a foam insert earphone. Each ear is tested individually, and the test usually is complete in 10-15 minutes. Sedation or anesthesia are usually not necessary unless the dog becomes extremely agitated, which can usually be avoided with patient and gentle handling. A printout of the test results, showing the actual recorded waveform, is provided at the end of the procedure. Test results are confidential. 

http://www.lsu.edu/deafness/baerexpl.htm

CERF TESTING

The Canine Eye Registration Foundation (CERF) is an organization that was founded by a group of concerned, purebred owner/breeders who recognized that the quality of their dog's lives were being affected by heritable eye disease. CERF was then established in conjunction with cooperating, board certified, veterinary ophthalmologists, as a means to accomplish the goal of elimination of heritable eye disease in all purebred and recently hybrid dogs by forming a centralized, national registry.

The CERF Registry not only registers those dog's certified free of heritable eye disease by board certified Veterinary Ophthalmologists (A.C.V.O. ), but also collects data on all dogs examined by A.C.V.O. Diplomates. These data are used to form the CERF research database which is useful in researching trends in eye disease and breed susceptibility. Not only are these data useful to clinicians and students of ophthalmology, but to interested breed clubs and individual breeders and owners of specific breeds.

HOW DOES CERF WORK?

After the painless examination of the dogs eyes, the A.C.V.O. Diplomate will complete the CERF form and indicate any specific disease(s) found. Breeding advice will be offered based on guidelines established for that particular breed by the genetics Committee of the A.C.V.O. Bear in mind that CERF and the A.C.V.O. are separate, but cooperating entities. The A.C.V.O only provides their professional services and expertise to ensure that uniform standards are upheld for the certification of dog's eyes with the CERF organization.

If your dog is certified to be free of heritable eye disease, you can then send in the completed owner's copy of the CERF form with the appropriate fee

CERF certificate numbers of dogs without permanent identification, in the form of microchip, tattoo or DNA profile, will be appended with an "N"

Certification is good for 12 months from the date of the eye exam. Annual re-examination is recommended.

Regardless of the outcome of the dog's exam, the research copy of the CERF form will be sent to the CERF office at V.M.D.B (Veterinary Medical Database) where its information will be entered into the research database. This information will be used in generating research reports, but the individual dog's identities will become confidential and will never be released.

WHAT CAN CERF DO FOR ME?

- Provide a registry of purebred and hybrid dogs that have been certified free of heritable eye disease.

- Provide various registration and research reports to keep you up-to-date on various topics in canine ophthalmology.

- Provide various reports on the prevalence of eye diseases in certain breeds, including reports generated by the Veterinary Medical Data Base (V.M.D.B.) which compiles data from 24 participating veterinary colleges in the U.S. and Canada.

-If you are interested in learning more about the CERF organization, the CERF process, or would like to inquire about the CERF status of a prospective mate for your dog, please visit www.vmbd.com or by calling 217-693-4800.

CERF is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the ocular health of the Dog.


OFA Testing

The Mission of the OFA

To promote the health and welfare of companion animals through a reduction in the incidence of genetic disease

The OFA is guided by the following four specific objectives:

  • To collate and disseminate information concerning orthopedic and genetic diseases of animals.
  • To advise, encourage and establish control programs to lower the incidence of orthopedic and genetic diseases.
  • To encourage and finance research in orthopedic and genetic disease in animals.
  • To receive funds and make grants to carry out these objectives.

The OFA Databases

The OFA databases are core to the organization’s objective of establishing control programs to lower the incidence of inherited disease.  Responsible breeders have an inherent responsibility to breed healthy dogs.  The OFA databases serve all breeds of dogs and cats, and provide breeders a means to respond to the challenge of improving the genetic health of their breed through better breeding practices.  The testing methodology and the criteria for evaluating the test results for each database were independently established by veterinary scientists from their respective specialty areas, and the standards used are generally accepted throughout the world. The OFA databases are listed to the left of this page and are expanded as more tests become available.

OFA DNA Testing

The OFA now offers DNA based disease testing through an exclusive license arrangement with the University of Missouri. 

All tests offered as well as information about kits, etc. are on the OFA's DNA Test page.