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page last updated January 26, 2015  


Canine health registries can help lower incidence of inherited disease in a breed for complex multigenic diseases, like hip dysplasia, as well as for simpler recessive diseases, such as Musladin-Lueke Syndrome.   Registries also can be a valuable tool in the control of genetic disease in dogs.   Submitting results, of both affected and unaffected dogs, are important to determine the incidence of a problem within a breed.  These statistics are of value to researchers and breeders.  Knowing what genetic problems exist in a breed enables a breeder to make a judicious and educated decision on future breeding partners.  Without this information, breeders may not know the genetic problems they could be passing on in their dogs' offspring.  They could even be perpetuating a problem that will plague pet owners with costly vet bills and perhaps the loss of their companions.  A breeder has a responsibility to the Breed to improve upon the current problems within the breed and in their own dogs, not to continue the production of dogs with the same conformation, health, or temperment problems currently evident.  No puppy should be kept that is not an improvement upon the parent of the same sex.  An old Bedouin said this many years before the birth of Christ, and it is still true, today.

Registries differ in the amount of information they divulge to the public.

  • Open Registries provide information on all properly diagnosed dogs whose owners submit results.  That includes affected dogs and carriers.

  • Semi-Open Registries releases test results as directed by owners.  Owners choose to release normal AND abnormal results or only normal results.
  • Closed Registries only release normal results.
  • Reasons to Use Registries
    • To document disease status in individual dogs.
    • To assist healthy breeding decisions.
    • To provide historic records.
    • To show incidence of disease in a breed.
    • To provide peer pressure for testing.
    • To publicly reward those who value testing.
    • To assure buyers of decreased risk of disease.
    • To provide data researchers need.
    • To locate affected dogs and relatives when researchers need DNA.

    Registries can't exist without testing.  A  small percentage of beagle breeders do health testing and health certifications.   From 1974 through 2007, only 662 beagles have been screened for hip dysplasia.  Of those x-rays submitted to OFA 18.6 % were dysplastic.    During this same time period only 78 beagles have been submitted to OFA for thyroid certification.  Approximately 18% of those submitted did not receive normal evaluations.

    The Health and Genetics Committee recommends that breeders utilize screening tests on all
    breeding animals.

    Screening Tests Available and where to get them done