OOPs puppies, health testing after the fact?
I have AKC English Mastiffs, Tugg and Rosie. Tugg is 13 months old, a very tall, big beautiful, funny, gentle giant who already weighs 165 pounds. He is still hip high and has a lot of filling out to do. No lameness or gait abnormalities, but did have Pano (growing pains) on his fronts when he grew too fast - he was on premium adult food, limited amounts, and NUPRO silver - vet said not to be concerned, sometimes Pano just can't be helped. She said he would outgrow it and he did.
Rosie is almost 4, smaller at about 125 pounds, very athletic, smart, loyal dog. She isn't much bigger than a large lab, and has never had any health issues - there is no doubt in my mind she'll pass tests with flying colors.
I was waiting to do hip and elbow testing on Tugg until he reaches age 2, because that's minimum age for OFA hip tests. Figured I'd take them both in when he hit two - both have excellent temperaments and I have had many requests for pups from them.
Well, we were evacuated for the Black Forest Fire, and though we had been separating them for Rosie's heats, when the fire started we put them in our backyard until we could come back from evacuating horses - felt the house and barn were at risk by embers, and being in the yard would give them a better chance. By the time we got our horses to safety, and went back to get the dogs, the roads were closed. We had to park on a side road, hike across a 400 acre open space to get to our back pasture, hop fences and then get our jeep (extra vehicle), take out the back seat, get the dogs in and get them out of the area. Took a few hours. The next days we were living at my daughters and focusing on the fire, the evacuation, and the chaos - dogs were together in the back yard, but no mating or even interest from Tugg was observed. Didn't think much about it until about 4 weeks later when Rosie started thickening.
65 days later a litter of 10 was born, 2 still born and two died in the first days, much smaller than the others. We now have 6 beautiful pups 12 days old. Three have already been reserved, and I am carefully going through the requests for the other three. I have been honest that though the parents are loved family pets and current on all normal shots, worming, etc - they have not been tested for genetic diseases. I have guaranteed the pups, and will bring them home if they are found to have genetic diseases, but to be honest, and somewhat surprisingly, the prospective owners aren't really concerned. My dogs are beautiful, and properly trained, and healthy.
For my peace of mind, I am considering doing a preliminary OFA testing now on Tugg so we can offer results to the new owners of the pups...
Husband thinks that is silly - pups are here, have homes, and we wont repeat the breeding until and IF the testing at two years comes back with good results.
Thoughts? And here is some eye candy of dad, mom, and pups :)
There is no passion to be found playing small - in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living. - Nelson Mandela