Fit for Function and Fit for Life!
Here at Orchard Veterinary Group we take our patients’ health very seriously. We don’t just treat sick and injured animals, but aim to provide services to ensure your pets stay fit and healthy. We are pleased to announce the launch of our new Genetic Health Testing Clinics, run by our Head Nurse Jo Page.
Some of the tests we run include PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy), Fucosidosis, Von Willebrand Disease, Familial Nephropathy, Polycystic Kidney Disease and taking radiographs for scoring under the Hip and Elbow Dysplasia Scheme. The list of tests we can run is extensive so please get in contact if there is something you would like to test for.
The clinics are run Monday to Friday and focus on testing animals for genetic diseases they may be predisposed to. Most tests require a small blood sample which is non invasive and requires no sedation or general anaesthetic. For radiographs taken for scoring under the British Veterinary Association and Kennel Club (BVA/KC) Hip and Elbow Dysplasia scheme, a sedation or anaesthetic is required to ensure we can take the x-rays in the quickest and safest way and ensure we get the right view the first time.
The KC have issued guidelines suggesting what tests are done for specific breeds and if you are a member of their assured breeder scheme some tests are mandatory.
It isn’t just health tests that Orchard Veterinary Group can do for you – we are also able to take blood samples to help you determine when your bitch is most fertile and the most ideal time to mate her – this will save time and money on wasted trips to visit stud dogs if she is not ready. Other tests we offer are able to test what colour puppies your dog is able to produce (this wont tell you what they WILL produce, just what they are genetically capable of producing).
It is down to us as pet owners and breeders to ensure the welfare of the breeds we know and love – the topic has been the height of discussion following recent television documentaries and responsibility needs to be taken to ensure that all pets we breed from are tested clear or are genetically clear from diseases that will essentially cause problems at any stage of their lives. Animals don’t have a choice in whether they breed – this is a decision that is made on their behalf and it is our responsibility to make sure that healthy puppies and kittens are produced.
It is heartbreaking as an owner to pick up a new puppy to find that the intermittent lameness at 6 months old is actually a sign of hip or elbow dysplasia, and that puppy will never lead a normal active life – this problem could be limited if more people had their dogs hip scored prior to breeding. Another example is the young cocker spaniel with Familial Nephropathy, this is the acute and early onset of kidney failure which will dramatically reduce life expectancy. This condition can again be tested for to see if a dog carries the gene and can be avoided in being passed on to offspring by not breeding with it.
LATEST UPDATE – Orchard Veterinary Group Genetic Health Testing Clinics now has its own facebook page; click the link and see for yourself!!!
Jo Page, RVN MBVNA 20-3-12