Jackson (our first show dog) has had his CERF this year, is having his hips and elbows X-rayed next week (he's two) and we have an opportunity to get his heart clearance done at a show in September. My question is about the heart clearance. It sounds like a cardiologist listens to him for a clearance ($50) and if there's a problem will do a echocardiogram for an extra $150. However you can opt for the echo as primary and it'll cost $150 total.
Times have been tough with a dog with cancer and the other dog arthritic so we have to be careful with money. Jackson is unlikely to be bred often at least until he's four or so. What would be the benefit of a echocardiogram in terms of a health clearance and would it be worth the money?
Thanks for any input
I would say that is a 'that depends' kind of question
I can honestly say that you are likely throwing $50 away for the ascultation. If you are going to do it, I would just do the echo myself as it a much more accurate test (and that is a good price as we pay $275 out here!).
If you do the echo, that is a catch 22. Many breeders wrongly assume there are heart problems behind your dog when they see the heart has been tested. In addition, the echo only clears your dog, but he may still produce it. It is a nice to have but I'm not sure that most breeders are convinced it's a need to have yet.
I would say ask your mentor. She knows the lines and she knows how likely he is to be used and by whom. Most boys are never used more than once, maybe twice, so it may or may not be a good investment. I would never count on him being used to recoup that money but it is a small piece of insurance that you have done everything you can to prevent your dog from producing TVD (although he still may). I can only tell you that I will be doing my boys once a clinic is offered in my area.
Clear as mud?
To err is human:To forgive, canine."
I would personally probably recommend a stud dog being used for breeding get the color doppler echocardiogram done as the heart clearance (there are definitely various forms of heart disease that won't be detected just by listening). Having said that, if he isn't going to be used for a couple of years, then you can probably hold off on that until finances are a little better? In the meantime, you could definitely get the auscultation done (I had that done when Monty was in for his prelims at a year of age), or you could save that money and invest it eventually in an echo. Either way, it doesn't necessarily mean that he won't produce a problem...just verifies that he doesn't *have* a problem.
Those heart clinics at shows are a Godsend... most cardiologists charge somewhere close to $350+ for a color doppler echo around here. At a specialty show last Sept, I was able to get one for $165- and the cardiologist doing it has actually authored a new cardiology textbook for veterinarians. He told me at the shows (2 days of specialty shows and 2 days of all-breed shows, supported-entry for labs) that he had picked up on 2 cases of TVD- 1 confirmatory based on a heart murmur that was present and 1 that hadn't ever been auscultated before...obviously devastating to the owners.
~Julie, Rogue, Monty, and Eddy~
"The reason a dog has so many friends is that he wags his tail instead of his tongue." -Anon
If you are going to stud him at all, you'll want the OFA Cardiac Echo. But since it won't be for a few years, there will surely be another clinic that you can attend, so you "could" save your money now. Or just do the ascultation, get the OFA clearance, and do the echo later on if breeding really seems like it will happen.
There is alot of dissent on do we do ALL dogs for this, even though like mentioned, these tests only show if YOUR dog has it. And even if your dog is cleared, he could still produce it. It's good to arm yourself with as many passed clearances as possible, but it's still not a guarantee TVD won't be produced.
First do the Hips and elbows. If that passes go for the echo and forget about the 50.00 preliminary test. Are you and Jackson coming to Maine this Sept? My next show is this weekend. I will be doing the echo at the next clinic I find for Q. Where is your clinic?
Kris...Q must be a year old for OFA to accept his clearance.Originally Posted by krisinme
Jeanine...If you dont think he will be used much, then get his other clearances first and then do whichever you personally want to do. I just do the ausculation by a Cardiologist. If the Cardiologist heard something, then I would get the Echo done. If someone wants to use your boy they will use him.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't all of the clearances people do only tell if YOUR dog has something (except for the one eye test that I can't remember the name of - and a lot of people still just get the physical exam).
Thanks everyone!...and yes the waters are a bit murkier but at least I now know that they are murky!
Kris..we're going to North Conway and Lewiston-Auburn (just Sunday) that's where the cardio clinic is. We might not have the OFA results by the time we have to decide on the cardio clinic but we'll have an opinion from the vet taking the x rays before we have to decide. Where's your show this weekend? I might just take a ride myself and watch. I've been wanting to do that for awhile...not worry about Jack...try to learn something.
Patm, yes, I guess Optigen is really the ONLY test out there of all the clearances that will tell you if your dogs is clear, carries or is effected with PRA.