The Belgian Sheepdog Club of America's Health Committee urges breeders and owners to avail themselves of all testing possible, and suggests that prospective purchasers inquire about testing that has been done on sires, dams, and relatives. Tests that are particularly important to the Belgian breeds are certifications or equivalents of tests performed on hips, elbows, thyroids, and eyes. Hip and elbow certifications are a one-time test, and thyroid and eye tests should be done on a more frequent basis. It is particularly important to continue testing once the dog has been retired from breeding or has been neutered because both thyroid and eye disorders tend to show themselves in middle age and beyond.
Thank you for visiting this page. We hope you find it educational.Belgian Sheepdog Club of American Health Committee
Like many breeds that have a low fat to body weight ratio, Belgians are particularly susceptible to anesthesia. These link direct you to very important information which you will probably want to share with your veterinarian. Please feel free to print both the articles and share with any interested parties.
Tufts University Stomach Cancer Study:
JOINT DISORDERSAs well as other certifications -
An explanation of the certification process for the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA), as well as a searchable data base is at: http://www.offa.org/
The issues of interest to Belgians that OFA currently certifies are hips, elbows, thyroids, patellas, and cardiac disease.
The Canine Eye Research Foundation (CERF) web site is at http://www.vmdb.org/cerf.html . This site contains much information about varying eye diseases and a searchable data base.
One of the eye diseases that can afflict Belgians is PRA, or Progressive Retinal Atrophy. PRA robs dogs of their sight, and is a genetic disease. Should you own or know of a dog affected by PRA, please participate in the study being done to locate the gene responsible for this disease.The PRA study contact is:
- Dr. Simon Petersen-Jones
- Department of Small Animal Clinical Studies
- Michigan State University
- D-208 Veterinary Medical Center
- East Lansing
- MI 48824-1314
- Tel: 517 353 3278
- Fax: 517 355 5164
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
From Dr Petersen-Jones - "We can send out blood collection and shipping instructions (including for shipping from outside the USA), information forms for people to complete and return with their samples - these forms can be sent by email."
The University of California at Davis is the site of research being done by Dr. Anita Oberbauer. This research is going to pinpoint the gene responsible for epilepsy. The study has been well supported by owners of Belgian Sheepdogs, and we are very proud of that. To request swabs for the UCDavis Epilepsy Study, go to HTTP://CGAP.UCDAVIS.EDU
Here is a wonderful article about epilepsy by a Belgian owner. http://www.faqs.org/faqs/dogs-faq/medical-info/epilepsy/
Here is a wonderful site with links to a lot of information about epilepsy. http://www.canine-epilepsy-guardian-angels.com/site_map.htm
Here is the web site of the Epil-K9 list. On this site you will find a wealth of information as well as instructions to allow you to subscribe to the list. http://www.canine-epilepsy.com/If your dog should have a seizure, please make sure that your veterinarian draws blood for a thyroid test to be processed at one of the OFA-acceptable laboratories. (See the OFA web site (thyroid certification section) which is currently at http://www.offa.org/thycert.html, but can be located by going to the Genetic Database section, and then clicking on Autoimmune Thyroiditis.
If you read one thing about thyroid, please make it this particular article. It's found many places so you may have read it before. If so, please read it again. http://www.gdhfa.org/ThyroidLaBrie.htm
Poison Control Information:
ASPCA Poison Control http://www.aspca.org/apcc
Alternative Vet Med Web Site http://www.altvetmed.com/
Color genetics "DNA Testing, Lee Jiles and Libbye Miller DVM"
AND FINALLY, PLEASE contribute to support health research. Send your contributions to support the studies - both epilepsy and PRA. (Check out the web site - www.akcchf.org ) Checks should be sent to:
- 251 W. Garfield Rd.
- Suite 160
- Aurora, Ohio 44202-8856
Specify that they're on behalf of the BSCA and which study they are to be directed to. (Either the UC-Davis Epilepsy study or the MSU PRA study) As long as you send them thru the CHF, they will donate matching funds. If you're donating, you might as well make it worth twice as much as you're sending, right??
Belgian Sheepdog Club of America
Health Registry Questionnaire
The Health Registry Questionnaire can be viewed and printed online. You will need the Adobe Acrobat Reader to view this file. It is available at no cost at http://www.adobe.com/. If you think you have this reader (as many machines do), just click on the link below. There are also links to the instructions and to the litter form. If you have any questions or problems, contact Renee Artymyshyn