No one wants to pick a new puppy then find out it has a serious health problem. Unfortunately, this happens all too often even when purchasing from some of the "top" breeders.
VWK is taking steps to avoid as many health problems as possible.
Proper Health Testing of the parents is a way to avoid problems in the offspring. Although not all conditions can be tested for, many can.
DNA testing for parentage confirmation has long been used by the AKC. In accordance with that policy, VWK DNA tests it's often-used Sires and Dams.
DNA Testing for some genetic disorders that are common in the dachshund population like Progressive Retinal Atrophy and Narcolepsy has been available for a few years, but many breeders choose not to do this testing.
VWK has tested or will be testing for Progressive Retinal Atrophy(cord 1 type) in all it's breeding adults. This condition affects eyesight, causing decreasing vision, sometimes at an early age, sometimes in late life. By testing our breeding adults, we can known their particular PRA status and manage their mating in order to minimize the risk of their puppies being affected by PRA.
CERF eye exams are conducted by canine opthomologists at many dogshows. These tests are inexpensive, give the dogs' current state of sight and the clinics are open to the public. VWK CERF tests it's breeding adults annually.
Testing for hearing(Baer test) and hip or patella disorders(OFA or PENN) is also available, although on a very limited basis. VWK will use these tests when indicated.
Many USA labs are working on developing DNA tests for other conditions. Testing can be expensive and doesn't always give an absolute diagnosis. At VWK, we feel that health testing is important and will do certain tests regularly and others when the need arises.
When your puppy is taken to VWK's veterinarian to be checked before it's placement with you, a routine fecal exam is done. This test proves the absence of Coccidia,Giardia and other easily spread viral threats.
In addition, a complete examination of the puppy is done. It's heart is checked to be sure there is no heart murmer, it's ears are checked to be sure it has proper hearing, it's mouth is checked for proper bite, and the presence of any hernia is checked for. Any abnormality is noted and will be addressed. The vet report is available to you, the New Owner, at your request.
VWK practises careful pair selection...as outcross breeding. This is a first step in controlling genetic health issues. When the parents are from two entirely different bloodlines the chance of "doubling up" on an unseen and unsuspected genetic disorder is minimized. Linebreeding is a method used by many breeders, but should only be done when extensive knowledge of the dogs' health histories is known. Converging two closely bred bloodlines can bring out the best traits in the offspring, but it can also enhance the undesirable traits!
Below are links to many of the testing and database sites relating to canine and dachshund health. Please make yourself familiar with the conditions dachshunds are subject to before making a puppy purchase.
Choose a breeder wisely...not just because they have the "prettiest" or the "cutest" doxies, but because they have taken the time and expense to offer the healthiest and longest-living doxies available!