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Health Issues

There are known health issues in the Spanish Water Dog, of which several are also common to other breeds. Through careful screening and selective breeding, we hope to eliminate or minimize the occurrence. The known issues are:

  • rcdPRA - Progressive Retinal Atrophy, rod/cone disease
  • EPI - Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Glaucoma
  • Cataracts
  • CHG - Congenital Hypothyroid with Goiter
  • Adult Onset Hypothyroidism (Autoimmune)
  • Allergies
  • Cushings
  • Addisons

rcdPRA and CHG are due to a recessive gene. We now have a marker test for each of these disorders and we can screen for carriers so that we do not produce affected pups.

Hip Dysplasia is screened for either through the Penn Hip program or through OFA via hip x-rays. Only dogs with sound hips will be bred.

EPI can be controlled with enzymes added to the food of the affected dog. Unlike rcdPRA or CHG, this is a very complex autoimmune disorder that does not have a simple genetic source and there is no way at the present to determine if a dog will develop the disorder. Once diagnosed, EPI can be controlled and the dog will live a normal life. The same is true of Autoimmune Hypothyroidism.

We screen for rcdPRA through Optigen, CHG through Michigan State and Hip Dysplasia through either Penn Hip or OFA. All test results of the parents are provided to you when you purchase your puppy.

Health Tests

rcdPRA is screened via cheek swab or blood sample sent to Optigen.

CHG is screened for via cheek swab or blood sample sent to Michigan State University 

Hip Dysplasia is screened for via hip x-rays sent to either PennHIP or to the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals

Cataracts and Glaucoma are screened for via annual eye exams.