Health Screening Tests
Boca Palms Animal Hospital offers screening for certain conditions and diseases, as well as for breeding purposes.
Von Willebrand’s Disease
This is a canine version of hemophilia, and it’s important you know if your dog has this condition before an emergency arises. Since it is genetic, many owners aren’t aware their pet has the disease until a minor injury occurs or their pet has surgery and there’s significant blood loss. Certain breeds are more prone to this condition than others, including:
- German shepherds
- German shorthair/wirehair pointers
- Chesapeake Bay retrievers
- Golden retrievers
- Pembroke Welsh corgis
- Scottish/Manchester terriers
- Shetland sheepdogs
If you have one of these at-risk breeds, we highly recommend you have your dog tested.
This genetic disease prevents the kidneys from developing normally and dogs usually become ill before they’re a year old. Breeds most affected by this condition are shih tzus, Lhasa apsos, and soft-coated wheaten terriers. Sadly, this disease has no cure and some dogs who don’t develop the condition are still carriers and can pass it to their puppies. Before breeding, we highly recommend you test high-risk dogs for renal dysplasia.
This condition occurs when the hip joint of a young dog becomes loose or unstable in some way. If this health issue isn’t identified and treated, it causes a wearing down of the hip cartilage and progresses until the dog has significant arthritis or degenerative joint disease. Symptoms of hip dysplasia include:
- Reluctance to get up or exercise
- Problems climbing stairs
- Walking with a “hop”
- Limping/lameness, especially after exercise
At Boca Palms Animal Hospital, we can identify developing hip dysplasia and ensure your dog gets proper exercise as he or she ages. The earlier we diagnose the problem, the better it is for your dog’s future mobility and quality of life.
OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) Certification
We X-ray a dog’s hips for hip dysplasia and then forward the results to the OFA, where board-certified radiologists evaluate and grade your dog’s hips for certification. Used by the majority or canine breeders to determines medical soundness for breeding, OFA certification requires specific positioning of your dog during the X-ray process, so general anesthesia is used for the process.
This method of evaluating hip dysplasia for breeding soundness can be done at 16 weeks of age—much earlier than the OFA certification. It also requires a general anesthetic as it involves obtaining X-rays of your dog’s hips in three different positions. This method of evaluating dogs is good if your pet competes athletically or to select breeding candidates at a younger age.
We can assist with PennHip certification as well assessing your dog’s risk of hip dysplasia and treatment options if necessary.
If you have questions about these screening tests or would like to schedule your pet for an appointment, call us at 561-395-4030.