Let's Talk Testing

We test our dogs above OFA recommendations for the breed. All our results are posted publicly on the OFA website. OFA partnered with the parent club for all breeds to create the Canine Health Information Center or CHIC program. Dogs earn their CHIC certification once they’ve completed all the recommended tests identified by the parent club. For Standard Poodles, OFA-CHIC recommends testing for:

  • Hips evaluated for Hip Dysplasia
  • An eye examination by a boarded ACVO Ophthalmologist

  • And one of the following:
  • OFA Thyroid evaluation from an approved laboratory
  • OFA SA Evaluation from an approved dermatopathologist
  • Congenital Cardiac Exam
  • Advanced Cardiac Exam
  • Basic Cardiac Exam

We test for the following:

  • Hip Dysplasia We chose to utilize the PennHIP evaluation. For this, the dog is put under light sedation so the vet can manipulate the hips to get three different x-ray images to evaluate the laxity of the joint, how it’s placed in the sockets, and give an estimate for the risk of Osteoarthritis. :
  • CAER Eye Exam: CAER (Companion Animal Eye Registry) eye exams can only be done by ACVO (American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologist) boarded vets. This exam is not like a normal eye health exam done by your regular vet. This is a specialized appointment in which the canine ophthalmologist dilates the eyes and uses indirect ophthalmoscopy and slit lamp biomicroscopy to examine the eyes. This exam should be done yearly in breeding dogs.
  • Cardiac Exam: Poodles are not known for having heart issues, therefore we choose to do the basic cardiac exam performed by my regular veterinarian. He listens for any congenital heart defects like murmurs. This exam should be done Yearly.
  • Thyroid Evaluation: The veterinarian takes a blood sample(serum) to be sent off to an OFA approved lab. The laboratory will then determine the levels of Free T4s, Canine Thyroid Stimulating Hormone, and Thyroglobulin Antibodies. If everything is within normal range, a normal rating is given. This exam is typically done at ages 2, 3, 4, 6 and 8.
  • Degenerative Myelopathy (DM/SOD1A): DM is a disease that affects the spinal cord and progresses to weakness/paralysis of the back end. It is similar to ALS in humans. Dogs with two copies of the mutated SOD-1 gene can develop DM. Atlas and Iris are both clear for this disease, meaning they do not carry the mutated gene.
  • Neonatal Encephalopathy with Seizures (NEWS): NEWS is a horrible inherited brain disease that causes weakness, mobility issues and seizures in newborn puppies. Puppies have to be humanely euthanized or they pass on their own due to the inability to control the seizures with medications. This test is so important for breeding dogs.

  • Von Willebrand Disease Type 1 (vWB): vWB disease is a bleeding disorder due to the lack of or reduced blood clotting protein found in the bloodstream. This protein must be present to control bleeding. If it is not present, bleeding will not be controlled and dogs will hemorrhage.
  • Osteochondrodysplasia: Osteochondrodysplasia is a form of skeletal dwarfism in which the body doesn’t convert the cartilage into bone properly leading to malformations like shortened legs with a normal sized trunk.
  • Day Blindness/Retinal Degeneration (DB/RD): Achromatopsia or day blindness is when cone cells in the retina fail to function properly. Cone cells are responsible for vision in bright lights, while the rod cells are needed for dim light vision. This DNA based test was developed specifically towards the standard poodle identifying the DB/RD gene. Dogs are clear for the mutation if they have two normal copies of the gene. This is an early onset eye disease meaning that puppies will show signs.
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy, Rod-Cone Dysplasia 4 (PRA4): PRA4 is a late onset eye disease meaning it generally appears in dogs from 7-12 years old. The rod cells are needed for seeing in dim lights. Dogs with this disease will start out with night time vision loss, progressing to peripheral vision loss, then complete loss of vision. Two copies of the gene mutation are needed for development of PRA4.
  • Diversity Testing through UC Davis