What Health Testing Matters
Updated: Aug 10
I’m sure you have heard about “Hips and Elbows”,well believe it or not..... Thats NOT all that a Weimaraner Breeder should be testing for.
Let me start out by saying “Why” health testing is important.......
Health testing believe it or not is a road map in our breeding programs. It provides guardrails to help us understand and to ensure that the sire and dam that are being mated are health wise suitable for one another...:
So what does OFA stand for? Orthopedic Foundation For Animals. OFA provides a CHIC number to those dogs who have completed all recommended Health screenings designated by the National Club. For Weimaraners our national club suggests we do the following tests; Hips, Elbows, Thyroid, Cerf. We also have DNA testing to track Genetic Markers for “carrier, affected, and clear” on the Following tests; HUU, HYM, SD (which should always be done). https://www.ofa.org/recommended-tests
“So to do your due diligence on vetting your Breeder, it is important to be able to navigate OFA.org on your own!
All you need to know is the Sire and Dams registration names. With these names you enter them on OFA and the completed health testing will pop up.
For hips you will see ratings such as “Excellent, Good, Fair, Moderate HD, Severe HD”
Excellent and Good are considered ideal, but Fair should not be deemed as unfit. I’d show caution with both Moderate and Severe HD.
For Elbows most commonly you will see “Normal” which means there are no signs of elbow dysplasia. However the score to look out for is Grade I Elbow Dysplasia: Minimal bone change along anconeal process of ulna (less than 2mm).
Grade II Elbow Dysplasia:Additional bone proliferation along anconeal process (2-5 mm) and subchondral bone changes (trochlear notch sclerosis).
Grade III Elbow Dysplasia: Well developed degenerative joint disease with bone proliferation along anconeal process being greater than 5 mm. (Sited from OFA.org)
Weimaraners are also susceptible to a variety of eye issues. If there is a concern it will usually state what it is such as cataract or “breeder option”, it is important you talk to your breeder on how that may affect your puppy! This test is also known as CERF.
A note on DM •Degenerative Myopathy • our breed does not have a approved DNA marker at this time for this test, so your reputable breeder should not be listing this as a completed clear test as those results are not proven for the Weimaraner breed.
Some additional testing a breeder can opt to do but not required to do is, Cardiac. Extra testing is always a plus, but generally our breed has pretty healthy hearts and until our national club requires for our CHIC number you may notice very few are completing this testing.
Thyroid is another breed required test, while it is very Rare for a 2 year old receiving its health testing to have issues as a young dog, it’s possible and the testing is reccomended.
Is health testing a guarantee that your puppy will not be effected? The simple answer is NO, while some testing like Hips and elbows is just testing the animal in front of us, the DNA testing for genetic markers are black and white. (meaning two clear parents will produce clear offspring).
Health testing is another way for breeders to do their due diligence to ensure their breeding dogs are fit to be bred. So along with health testing, you’ll want to be sure that your breeder will be there to support you should anything arises.