Genetic Testing

At Butterfly Butte Australian Cattle dogs, we use Embark and Orivet to test our dogs DNA for genetically inherited diseases. Additionally, we screen for hip & elbow dysplasia, patellar luxation, congenital deafness, eye diseases, and cardiac diseases. We register all results with the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA).

Genetic testing is the bare minimum you should expect of a breeder. All responsible breeders of purebred dogs understand inherited diseases can be controlled by careful, selective breeding programs. 

The OFA created the Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) by partnering with participating parent clubs to research and maintain information on the health issues prevalent in specific breeds. A recommended protocol for breed-specific health screenings was established, and dogs tested in accordance with that protocol are recognized with a CHIC number and certification. Listed below are the recommended screenings, and definitions, required to be given a CHIC certification from the OFA.

Hip dysplasia - A condition that occurs during the growth stage in dogs. It results in the loosening of the hip joint, which causes dysfunction and pain. As the dog grows, the cartilage and bone of the hip begin to wear down. Over time, this causes arthritis, muscle atrophy, and limited mobility.

Elbow dysplasia - An abnormal development of the elbow joint in young, large, rapidly growing dogs. It involves abnormal bone growth, cartilage development, or joint stresses.

Companion Animal Eye Registry (CAER) eye exam - Screening exam performed by a board certified veterinary ophthalmologist checking for disorders such as cataracts.

prcd-PRA - Progressive rod-cone degeneration - Progressive Retinal Atrophy is a late-onset inherited eye disease and affects the photoreceptor cells in the eye involved in both night and day vision. Subsequently, most affected dogs have noticeable visual impairment by 4 years of age, typically progressing to complete blindness.

PLL - Primary Lens Luxation is an inherited eye disorder where the lens of the eye moves from its normal position, causing inflammation and glaucoma (extremely painful and requires surgery).

BAER Hearing test - A neurological hearing test certified by a specialized neurological center.

RCD4-PRA (optional) - Rod-cone dysplasia 4 - Progressive Rentinal Atrophy is a late-onset inherited eye disease, characterized by degeneration of the photoreceptor cells of the retina which causes progressive vision loss that culminates in total blindness.

Patellar Luxation (optional) - A kneecap that 'pops out' or moves out of its normal location.

Cardiac evaluation (optional) - A clinical examination performed by an individual with advanced training in cardiac diagnosis.

PennHIP (optional) - A multifaceted radiographic screening method for hip evaluation. The technique assesses the quality of the canine hip and quantitatively measures canine hip joint laxity.

Due to the great progress being made in identifying genetically inherited disorders, we now have the opportunity to wipe out these diseases from our breed. Breeders should have all recordable results available for viewing on the OFA database. Irresponsible breeders will often skip genetic testing since testing is the breeders choice. This means it is the responsibility of the buyer to ask for proof of tested dogs. 

Link to OFA website