Safari Standard Poodles
Cynthia Huff & Joel Haefner
Currently the Poodle Club of America
recommends five health tests for any dogs who are to be
bred. At Safari, we try to ensure that all our puppies'
parents have passed these tests for
- Hip Dysplasia. This hip degenerative disease
is diagnosed through radiographs. These hip x-rays are
evaluated by the Orthopedic
Foundation of America, founded 1966, by three
qualified veterinarians, and receive certification and
ranking if they qualify and if the dog is over two years
of age. OFA's database is on-line and any dog can be
checked for certification, including the ranking of his
or her hips. Safari Standard Poodles have been
checked for hip dysplasia since 1970.
- Genetic Eye Disease. This eye examination by
a certified veterinarian opthamologist checks for any
abnormalities in the eye, especially juvenile cataracts.
The official results of the examination are certified
and archived by the Canine
Eye Registry Foundation (CERF). CERF's database is
on-line and any dog can be checked for certification.
- von Willebrand's Disease (VWD). This is a
blood-clotting disorder that can lead to excessive
bleeding in affected dogs. In 1998, with research money
provided in part by the Poodle Club of American
Foundation, a company named VetGen
developed a non-invasive cheek swab DNA profiling test
which determines if a dog is clear, a carrier, or
affected. Less than 1% of poodles are affected; you can
view VetGen's statistics here.
The Orthopedic Foundation of America is registering dogs
based on VetGen's DNA test.
- Sebaceous Adenitis (SA). SA is a malfunction
of the sebaceous glands of the skin which causes
thickening and flaking of the skin, loss of hair, and
odor; there is no cure, but dogs suffering from SA can
be washed frequently and lead satisfactory lives. A skin
biopsy is taken after 2 years of age and is evaluated at
two research centers in the U.S. A leader in the field
is Dr. Robert Dunstan at Texas
A & M's Department of Veterinary Pathobiology.
Registry for SA is through the University
of California at Davis.
- Thyroid Malfunction. A blood sample is drawn
to test for normal thyroid levels in parents; dogs must
have reached sexual maturity. Unfortunately, this is not
a highly reliable test.
- Degenerative Myelopathy. Diagnosed with a DNA
genetic test, DM is a progrerssive neurolotical disorder
that affects the spinal cord. Dogs that have inherited
two defective copies can experience a breakdown of the
cells responsible for sending and receiving signals from
- NEwS. Neonatal Encephalopathy with
Seizures is an autosomal recessive disease.Also
identified with a DNA genetic test.
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy. PRA, a genetic
disease, causes the cells in the retina to degenerate
and die, causing blindness.
- vWD1 von Willebrand's Disease Type 1. This
disease, the least serious of the three types of vWD, is
an inherited bleeding disorder that inhibits the normal
blood clotting process; it is identified through a DNA