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Health Testing at Coots

I thought it was time to blog about Health Tests as it seems a topic of great confusion, not only for those of you who are looking to buy a dachshund to join your family, but also amongst breeders themselves.

Health Testing is the single most important action a breeder takes prior to mating their dog.

If you understand this, then you should never buy a dog that’s parents haven’t been health tested and matched carefully as a result.

Yes a temperament match is highly important too, but ensuring correct genetic compatibility is essential to avoid genetic diseases and mutations.

We volunteer this information to our customers when they enquire, whilst it’s also accessible on our website, yet rarely do customers ask to see it. Clearly this is due to a lack of understanding about its importance.

A responsible breeder, as a minimum, will health test their dachshund for PRA* and if a miniature dachshund, for IVDD* ( this is a tricky one so I’ll come back to this one later).

If, for example, the Mommy of the litter is a carrier of PRA then it is essential that the Father is PRA clear, otherwise 6 months later the pup is at risk of becoming blind. Can you imagine the devastation this would cause for the family and the breeder? But believe me when I say that many breeders are not testing and are unaware of the implications of their actions when they mate incompatible dogs.

At Coots we go one step further with our tests.

Not only do we DNA test for genetic diseases and mutations but we test to understand colour and coat traits. We work with a company called Embark Vet Based in the USA. We believe that this organisation is able to provide the most extensive DNA findings of all our Sausages. Their test covers Coat Colour, Coat Traits eg. Length, shedding, furnishings like beards, texture, and body features such as muzzle length, eye colour, back muscling, body size, and performance. Then they examines the Clinical side. Over 200 genetics conditions are tested.

That’s how we breed with confidence. We breed with the knowledge that our Sire and our Dam are truly compatible.

Breeding is a huge responsibility. Working to improve the Breed Standards at all times takes financial investment, commitment, research and understanding. Producing healthy pups is the most important factor. Happy Healthy Sausages!

My advice to anyone getting bogged down in this topic is, its simple, NEVER buy from a breeder that hasn’t invested in Health Testing their dogs.

Ive attached a sample Health Test of one of our Coots Sausages Miss Nutella. Here you can see what we test for at Coots. Its thorough and extensive.

*PRA – Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) is an inherited eye disease that leads to blindness in dogs. PRA is a non-painful condition that tends to progress slowly over time, often starting with a decreased ability to see well at night.]

*IVDD – IVDD, or Intervertebral Disc Disease, is a spinal disorder that follows from the herniating of an intervertebral disc inside an afflicted dog. A gelatinous substance that is surrounded by a thick outer layer can be found between the bones and spine in dogs.