Genetic Conditions in Whippets
A genetic condition is something that can be inherited or passed on from generation to generation. You cannot test for all conditions or diseases and even clear tests from the parents do not guarantee your dog’s future health. Testing the parents does drastically reduce the chances of your puppy coming down with a debilitating or life threatening condition in the prime or their life. So what tests should you look for?
- Eyes – tested yearly (CERF)
- Heart – echocardiogram done by a board certified cardiologist yearly (OFA)
- Hearing – a one time test to make sure the dog can hear in both ears (BAER)
These are the three big ones. You really don’t want to buy a pup unless the parents have been screened for eyes, ears and heart. I personally know of people who had puppies start going blind before age one, as well as puppies who needed expensive heart surgery so they would make it to their first birthday. There’s nothing more heart breaking than having your little puppy become seriously ill. There are also health tests that are recommended but not as vital as the top three.
- Thyroid – recommended every other year by the Whippet Health Foundation
- Von Willebrand’s disease – screening done before breeding
- Myostatin deficiency – one time test (this test is important if your pup is coming from racing lines)
- Hips and Elbows – checked once
Also – make sure you meet the parents and as many relatives as possible. There is a good deal of evidence that temperament is heritable. Make sure the dam especially is a well rounded individual since she will have the most affect on the puppies temperament.
For more information on whippet health including the most recent testing recommendations please visit the Whippet Health Foundation.