Pluperfect, Merrymoon
& Puddleduck
Top class breeders of high quality, healthy and happy Cardigan Welsh Corgis


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Pluperfect & Merrymoon's
 Current Views on Publishing Health Testing

We absolutely take the breeding of healthy dogs as a critical aspect of being a successful breeder.  We are pleased with the great advances in genetic research that have moved us along so quickly in such a short period of time.  At the same time, one must be cognizant of what these "tests" mean and their significance.  We do not confuse the good faith effort of breeding healthy dogs with some notion that we are going to eventually breed  "perfect" health in dogs.  We are always vigilant in working to eliminate unhealthy genetic patterns in our stock and perform whatever tests are required to help us in identifying issues.  However, we have become more and more wary of trends of pressuring breeders to use certain  "tests" marketed by labs because we feel many of these procedures are more focused on revenue generation for the laboratory or non-profit organization than truly aiding breeders with significant and useful diagnostics. 

The point has been made by researchers that making an effort to eliminate all dogs who carry certain genes from the gene pool will likely result in other diseases surfacing as the gene pool narrows and the chance for those combinations increase.   We therefore must be certain we eliminate  dogs who will truly harm the breed's population and not be duped into believing  marketing spin.

Here is our current position on publishing test results on the three "main" areas (which, by the way,  are driven not necessarily by prevalence or risk in the breed, but by the mere availability of a "testing" procedure):

1) PRA - we have complete confidence in the genetic testing to identify the presence of the gene which in its double recessive form causes progressive retinal atrophy in the Cardigan.  We therefore will always test puppies intended for breeding or show if one of the parents is a carrier of this recessive gene.  We see no need to remove a carrier from the breeding pool as long as genetic testing demonstrates 100% accuracy in identifiying carriers.

2) Canine Hip Dysplasia - the information on CHD is confusing at best.  We feel there is a wildy misunderstood belief by many breeders that dogs who are OFA rated  "excellent," "good," or "fair" can be considered "unaffected" and that dogs scoring lower should be removed from a breeding program.  Research demonstrates that dogs who show ANY imperfection (i.e., not "excellent") most likely carry at least some genes for this disease and even "excellent" dogs can carry some genes.  In short, we believe we are all fooling ourselves into believing we are making inroads into the presence of this disease by obtaining OFA ratings when, in fact, we are not.  Statistics show little to no improvement over generations of radiographed dogs.  Obviously, the impression that this diagnosis is somehow beneficial is flawed.

Only by strictly limiting a breeding program to "excellent" dogs would a significant improvement be made.  Yet we find many people who believe they are fulfilling their concept of stewardship by being very judgemental of those who use dogs who score otherwise; there is no such supporting evidence to indicate such prejudice improves CHD incidence.  In terms of the Cardigan, we have seen very little evidence of physical effects of CHD.  We also believe that if the specimen is not "excellent" we know they carry at least some genes for this disease.  Therefore, the only Cardigans which will be listed on our site for OFA will be those that rate "excellent."  The rarity of this rating in the Cardigan population and the disease's relatively minor impact in this breed dictates  that we cannot effectively limit our breeding program to only "excellent" rated dogs.  We do not guarantee a Cardigan purchased from our kennel will radiograph at a specific rating.  We do provide a guarantee if a Cardigan we breed develops clinical effects (meaning actual physical impairment effects not just a radiographic reading) of the disease. 

We cite the following research which we believe to be the most unbiased study we have found to date:

3) Degenerative Myelopathy - this is the most recent test to emerge under the guise of a "genetic" test.  In fact, the research on DM was performed only on the Pembroke Welsh Corgi and then only using a small group of dogs.  The gene tested for is not the sole cause - if it is a cause at all - of DM.  The fact that dogs diagnosed with DM were homozygous for this gene is less than significant when it is understood that there were also dogs who DID NOT have the disease who were also homozygous for this gene.  In fact, no one knows how many genes are involved in DM and we believe testing for DM gives a false security when in fact the same dog may possess other - unidentified - genes for the disease.  We feel at this time this test is of little significance.  We therefore do not publish DM results.

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