Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Canine Health Information Center

CHIC, Canine Health Information Center, is a storage research center for dogs' health information. CHIC is a branch of the OFA

Currently CHIC is storing three 'facts' about our dogs: - a blood sample from each participating dog, plus CERF, Canine Eye Registration Foundation, eye test results, and the hip dysplasia results from either the OFA, Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, or the PennHIP, University of Pennsylvania Hip Improvement Program.

It may be several dog-generations before more information is discovered about some of the genetic issues and problems our dogs face.

The hope is that we can learn about the genes that control juvenile cataracts, hip dysplasia, and other issues facing Icelandics.

Even though it may be years before we can get useful information, we can start now working on some of the problems our breed may face.

We know that a few of our dogs carry one hidden recessive gene that results in juvenile cataracts. Those dogs are perfectly normal, they do not have juvenile (early onset) cataracts. They can pass that hidden gene on to half of their offspring - all of which will not develop juvenile cataracts. However, those dogs, those carrier dogs should not be bred with other carriers because 25% of their puppies will eventually develop cataracts. (Cataracts can be fixed by veterinary ophthalmologists but the operation is expensive.) Breeding carriers to safe dogs saves their other "good" genes and continues to add diversity to our gene pool.

We have been told by the University of Pennsylvania how to increase hip health. Many breeders are listening to their advice.

They advise us to breed dogs with poor hip test results to dogs with better hips. In that way we will have improved the puppies' hip scores, improved the breed's overall average hip scores and, importantly, we will have kept the diversity which will be so important to future breeders for the continued good genetic health of our dogs.

N.B. - I do the hips (PennHIP -University of Pennsylvania Hip Improvement Program) and eye tests for my adult  dogs (hips and eyes) and for their puppies (eyes). I do save the test results; I don't send them to the CHIC. I approve of what they do; it's just one too many hoops for me though. I highly recommend the PennHIP over the more familiar OFA - Orthopedic Foundation for Animals.)
(https://info.antechimagingservices.com/pennhip/ and https://www.ofa.org/ )

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