Please read Our Policies before applying for a puppy or dog and to get more information on us!
We test all of our breeding dogs to contribute in improving the breed and help back our guarantee and. We believe any good breeder that strives to improve the breed will test their dogs. We believe not only should we have a “guarantee” but should test our dogs to insure that we cut down on the incidence of hereditary defects in the Australian Shepherd breed. Although it is impossible to completely and totally "guarantee" no defects will show up, it is much better than not testing at all.
One of our biggest goals here at Prairie Ridge is to produce beautiful, athletic, smart and happy and healthy puppies for you to enjoy for many, many years. We strive to give you the assurance and peace of mind, with our testing and guarantee, for the purchase of your next companion. If you do not purchase a puppy from us please find a responsible breeder to purchase from.
Below is a list of the testing we do.
Click on the links below to read about the different hereditary problems
ASCA ~ Australian Shepherd Club of America
ASCA was the first breed registry to require breeders to DNA Certify all their breeding dogs. This is another assurance for puppy owners that you are getting.
HIPS ~ OFA ~ Orthopedic Foundation of Animals
The Orthopedic Foundation of Animals provides a database of inheritable canine diseases, including but not limited to hip and elbow dysplasia, caridac, and thyroid disease. Hip testing is done via a radiograph that is examined by the specialists at OFA. The dogs with normal hips will be given a rating of Excellent, Good or Fair. There are also ratings for dysplastic hips ranging from borderline to severe. Preliminary hip radiographs can be done at as young as four months of age. The official hip report is not done until the dog has reached two years of age. You can look up any dog’s OFA results on this website.
We test for hip dysplasia in all our breeding dogs. We only breed dogs with a Excellent or Good rating.
DM ~ Degenerative Myelopathy
HSF4 ~ Hereditary Cataracts
The typical inherited cataract involves both eyes, and is present on the back side of the lens, these cataracts usually begin in an outer layer of the lens. Cataracts can usually be detected during a CERF eye exam on an adult, but they can appear at any age. The progression of cataracts varies in each dog diagnosed. Some progress very slowly that the dog will retain functional vision, if not full, throughout their lives. While others are so affected that they become blind in a very short period of time. Also some Aussies will develop cataracts in one eye while the other might not show any evidence for months. There is now a DNA test available for the presence of the HSF4 gene. All dogs testing as affected WILL develop cataracts.. This tests for about 70% of hereditary cataracts. Not all cataracts are hereditary, cataracts can also be caused by old age and injury. Get more information on the two links below.
MDR1 ~ Multi-Drug Resistance 1
In dogs affected with MDR1, the blood brain barrier is compromised. This gene encodes a protein, P-glycoprotein, that is responsible for pumping many drugs and other toxins out of the brain. Dogs with the mutant gene can not pump some drugs out of the brain as a normal dog would, which may result in abnormal neurologic signs. The result may be an illness requiring an extended hospital stay--or even death. It is well known that all sizes of Australian Shepherds and related breeds can have adverse reactions to drugs such as ivermectin, loperamide (Imodium®), and others. DNA testing is now available through Washington State University.
CEA ~ Collie Eye Abnormality
CEA affected puppies appear normal. The defects are within the eye and cannot be detected without special instruments. Positive diagnosis can only be made by a veterinary ophthalmologist or with the DNA test. The specific defects the examiner will note are choroidal hypoplasia (chorioretinal dysplasia), optic nerve coloboma/staphloma and, rarely, retinal detachment. Both eyes will be affected but the specific defects may differ from eye to eye.
k .Prcd-PRA ~ Progressive Retinal Atrophy
The genetic disorder Progressive Rod-cone Degeneration-Progressive Retinal Atrophy, causes cells in the retina at the back of the eye to degenerate and die, even though the cells seem to develop normally early in life. The result is declining vision and eventual blindness. The “rod” cells operate in low light levels and are the first to lose normal function. Night blindness results. Then the “cone” cells gradually lose their normal function in full light situations. Most affected dogs will eventually go blind. It’s important to remember that not all retinal disease is PRA and not all PRA is the prcd form of PRA. DNA testing will make the diagnosis, prior to the onset of disease.
Prcd-PRA is inherited as a recessive trait in most cases. This means a disease gene must be inherited from each parent in order to cause disease in an offspring. Parents were either clear, carrier or affected. A carrier has one disease gene and one normal gene, and is termed “heterozygous” for the disease. A normal dog has no disease gene and is termed "homozygous normal" - both copies of the gene are the same. And a dog with two disease genes is termed "homozygous affected" - both copies of the gene are abnormal.
CERF ~ Canine Eye Registration Foundation