UKC Forum Member
Registered: Jun 2003
Dog breeders have been testing for Thyroid disease (prior to breeding) for a long time. There is a database on the OFA website that you can go to look up any dog of any breed for ANY inherited health condition or disease. The OFA stands for "Orthopedic Foundation for Animals", and it has been involved in genetic testing & related research since the mid-1960's...
The OFA has been an enormous help to many of us, as we can simply go on that site to look up test results for any dog in our dogs' pedigrees. If the breeder tests, it is usually on the database, but if for some reason there is NO information on a particular dog, then you should ASK the breeder (before you buy OR breed to a stud) to send you a copy of the dog's CLEAR / NORMAL Thyroid certificate. IF A BREEDER HAS TESTED THEIR DOGS, THEY WILL HAVE A CERTIFICATE THAT PROVES THIS. If their dog is not on the database, AND the breeder has no certificate - then you don't buy the puppy or breed to the stud. Or - you can go along as you have been, and take your chances. The cost for a breeder to have the OFA certify the results for publication on the database is not that expensive, and they do give litter discounts for some of the tests.
Here is a link for you to go directly to the Thyroid page, and you should read the whole page, carefully. The problem with Thyroid testing is this (below info is taken directly from the OFA web page) :
Autoimmune thyroiditis is the most common cause of primary hypothyroidism in dogs. The disease has variable onset, but tends to clinically manifest itself at 2 to 5 years of age. Dogs may be clinically normal for years, only to become hypothyroid at a later date. The marker for autoimmune thyroiditis, thyroglobulin autoantibody formation, usually occurs prior to the occurrence of clinical signs. Therefore, periodic retesting is recommended.
The majority of dogs that develop autoantibodies have them by 3 to 4 years of age. Development of autoantibodies at any time in the dogís life is an indication that the dog most likely has the genetic form of the disease. Using todayís technology only a small fraction of false positive tests occur.
As a result of the variable onset of the presence of autoantibodies, periodic testing will be necessary. Dogs that are negative at 1 year of age may become positive at 6 years of age. Dogs should be tested every year or two in order to be certain they have not developed the condition. Since the majority of affected dogs will have autoantibodies by 4 years of age, annual testing for the first 4 years is recommended. After that, testing every other year should suffice. Unfortunately, a negative at any one time will not guarantee that the dog will not develop thyroiditis.
Here is that link to the OFA Thyroid Information page:
There is MUCH more information than what I have posted here. I hope this information helps some of you to decide what to do. When a disease or condition becomes "common" in a breed, it takes a lot of cooperation between breeders in order to "clean up the gene pool". But we all have to start somewhere... Good Luck !!
Report this post to a moderator | IP: Logged