CERF (CANINE EYE REGISTRATION FOUNDATION)
The Canine Eye Registration Foundation was established in 1974 to track and monitor heritable eye diseases in registered purebred dogs. Board certified Veterinarian Ophthalmologists perform eye exams to detect a multitude of eye diseases. Dogs that are registered within the CERF database have been examined and found clear of heritable eye diseases. Annual re exams are recommended for all dogs used in breeding programs.
“Designer Aussies” adult dogs are examined anually by Dr. Olivero and have cerfed clear for all eye diseases. Our puppies are cerfed clear at 7 weeks of age, prior to going to their new homes.
For more information about CERF exams and the categories of diseases that are tested for check out vmbd.org
The genetic disorder Progressive Rod cone Degeneration-Progressive Retinal Atrophy is a disease that causes cells in the retina (at the back of the eye) to degenerate slowly over time. The result is declining vision and eventual blindness. The “rod” cells operate in low light levels and are the first to lose normal function. The result is night blindness. Then the “cone” cells gradually lose normal function in full light. Most affected dogs eventually go blind. Please note: not every retinal disease is PRA and not all PRA is the Prcd form of PRA. Annual eye exams build a history of eye health that helps to diagnose disease. DNA testing detects or diagnoses a potential problem prior to the onset of a disease. Unfortunately there is no cure or treatment for PRA. In most cases, Prcd-PRA is inherited as a recessive gene. This means that both parents must pass a recessive gene to their offspring in order to cause the disease. The parents are either clear, carrier, or affected.
A normal dog does not carry a disease gene (both genes are normal) and is termed "homozygous".
A carrier dog has one normal gene and and one disease gene and is termed "heterozygous" for the disease.
An affected dog has two disease genes and is termed “homozygous affected” (both genes are abnormal).
“Designer Aussies” adult dogs have been tested.
For more information about PRA- Prcd, check out optigen.com
OFA (Orthopedic Foundation of Animals)
The Orthopedic Foundation of Animals was founded in 1966 to provide radiographic evaluation of hips and elbows, data management and genetic counseling. Their focus is to improve the health and well being of companion animals by reducing the incidence of genetic inheritable canine diseases such as hip and elbow dysplasia, cardiac, and thyroid diseases. Veterinarians forward radiographs of hips and elbows to the OFA specialists for their evaluation. Dogs with normal hips are rated (excellent, good, or fair). Dysplastic hips are rated (borderline to severe).Preliminary hip radiographs may be taken as young as four months of age. For
OFA evaluation, dogs should be two years of age before official (hip and elbow) radiographs are taken.
The Miniature Australian Shepherd ranks 102 out of 157 breeds with a dysplastic rate of 8.6 %.
For more information about canine hip or elbow dysplasia and OFA Checkout ofa.org