Health Testing


Understanding Health Testing

The hip of the dog is a ball and socket type joint. They are supposed to perfectly line up with each other. These two joints are held into position with ligaments that attach the ball to the socket. Inside this joint there is a layer of spongy cartilage that helps to cushion the joint. When these two joints separate hip dysplasia can be evident. Hip dysplasia can cause limping and an uneven gate. Dogs that are effected may look as though they have arthritis - being stiffer in the morning or after exercise.

The x-ray to determine whether a dog has hip dysplasia or not is done while the dog is under anesthesia. The x-rays are then sent into the Orthopedic Foundation For Animals and are graded accordingly.

A "Passing Grade"  is considered to be a rating of Excellent, Good or Fair hip joint confirmation.

The elbows are also x-rayed much like the hips, for very similar reasons. The grading system is slightly different than with the hips in that it is either passing or failing. A passing grade will be considered "Normal". In this case only the non passing x-rays will be graded according to the severity of the problem.

CERF stands for Canine Eye Registration Foundation. When you see CERF in accordance to a specific dog on our website - this means that they have passed the thorough eye exam from a qualified Canine Ophthalmologist.

If you see cardiac clearances for our dogs - this means that we have taken them to a Veterinary Cardiologist who has had training specific to canine cardiology for a heart exam. The dogs heart is typically examined at a restful state as well as after physical exercise. They will be listening for symptoms of sub aortic stenosis or heart murmurs of any kind. If something is noted the dog will then be sent for an echo cardiogram to determine the status of the dog. If the veterinarian found no problems with the dog they will be issued a "Normal" status.

PRA stands for Progressive Retinal Atrophy and is a disease of the eye that can lead to blindness. Only one parent in the breeding pair needs to be clear of PRA in order to be bred together. PRA is much more common in toy and miniature poodles, although Standard Poodles can also be at risk for this disease.

VWD stands for: VonWildebrands Disease which is a canine bleeding disorder.

The patella is the "Knee" of the rear leg of the dog. These are necessary to check on any Toy or Mini Poodles or with any small or medium Goldendoodles. A veterinarian can by feeling the patella and it's movement determine whether or not the dog is affected.


“Neonatal” refers to the time immediately after birth. “Encephalopathy” refers to a disease affecting the brain. Thus Neonatal Encephalopathy means a disease of the brain that becomes apparent soon after pups are born. Affected pups have been weak, uncoordinated, and mentally dull from birth. If they survive the first few days, they nurse adequately. They may not, however, be able to compete with stronger pups in the litter and their growth may be stunted. Some cannot stand at all. Others manage to struggle to their feet and walk with jerky movements, falling frequently. Seizures develop in most affected pups at 4-5 weeks of age. Attempts to control these seizures with medication have proven futile, and the pups die or are euthanized before they reach weaning age.


(DM) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that occurs in many breeds of dog. Research done at the University of Missouri has identified mutations in the SOD1 gene. To date, the major mutation associated with this disease has been detected in 124 breeds. The disease is an adult-onset condition that has ALS like symptoms: progressive limb weakness and muscle loss, tremors, difficulty rising, and stumbling.  It is inherited as a recessive disease based on these mutations, but there is also ongoing work to determine other factors that may play a role in severity and age of onset.