Is There a Bare Minimum of Tests I Should Ask a Breeder Have Done on their Breeding Dogs?

Of course we think that all the tests are important but the ones we personally know are in NZ are Type B PRA and Factor V11 Deficiency both of these can be DNA tested for and if the parents have a clear eye certificate do ask to see these results. A Breeder should never be offended about been asked for proof their dogs are clear.

How Can I Get a Healthy Puppy?

Your best chance of a healthy puppy is healthy DNA tested parents. Ask to see the parents DNA testing and their annual eye and heart certificates. All our parents have been tested for PRA-A, PRA-B, MAC, Myotonia Congenita, and Factor V11 Deficiency. All parents have eye certificates from a registered Veterinarian Optometrist (your local vet can’t do this just as a doctor can not see what is happening in your eyes) and a annual heart certificate. Insist that your breeder DNA and eye tests their dogs. If they say they have healthy dogs ask for and insist on a written guarantee that your puppy won’t be affected for one of these conditions.

Do your puppies come with any guarantees?

Yes, we guarantee our puppies not to be affected for their lifetime by PRA-A, PRA-B, MAC, Myotonia Congenita, Factor V11 Deficiency. We will replace any puppy or refund up to the purchase price of any puppy found to have an inherited condition that we could of prevented. We are always available for ongoing advice or support.

Why is an eye test from an optometrist not enough?

If you have a dog who is a carrier for PRA they can easily pass an eye test they will never be affected for PRA but they can pass that gene to their puppies if the dad is a carrier the same thing can happen so two dogs who have passed eye tests can pass on the genes for blindness and you have puppies that go blind but the parents both have clear eye certificates.

Why do you DNA test your dogs I am just looking for a pet not a show dog?

It is just as important for your pet to be healthy as it is for a show dog, after all it will not just be a pet it will be a family member.

What do you DNA test for?

We DNA test for PRA-A, PRA-B, MAC, Myotonia Congenita, Factor V11 Deficiency.

What other health tests do you do?

We do yearly check ups with our vets and each dog has a special health check with our vet and is issued a heart certificate. All our dogs have a yearly eye examination with a registered Veterinarian Optometrist.

What is PRA-A?

PRA stands for progressive retinal atrophy. This a progressive disorder of the retina that leads to blindness. This condition is often noticed first as night blindness and leads to full blindness. This can happen as early as 2 years old.Sadly there is no cure and the dog will go blind. Type A is now alot rarer because the test has been around for many years and good breeders have tested and been able to keep this out of their lines.

What is PRA-B?

PRA-B is another form of progressive retinal atrophy. It has long been known that there were other forms Optigen has been testing affected miniature schnauzers for many years and very exciting for breeders they have developed a new test that is able to pick up this second form. This test has been around for about 18 months we have been testing for it for over a year now and have found that although we have never had a dog test as a carrier for Type A we do have two dogs who have tested as carriers for type B. We are very careful to make sure that they never go to an untested dog and that the dog they go to is clear. It takes a gene from both sides to produce a puppy who would get PRA.

Why do you breed from dogs that are carriers?

There is nothing wrong with breeding from a carrier provided they go to a dog who is clear no puppy will ever be affected by that disease as it takes a gene on both sides to produce an affected puppy. We also do not want to limit our gene pool so we end up breeding dogs that are related.

Why do you do yearly eye tests if you DNA test?

There is another form of PRA that testing can not yet detect, so we are looking to make sure that the retinas are not thinning. There are other conditions that can be picked up, an extra line of hairs in the eyes that can cause weeping eyes, cataracts, tear duct problems etc. We are looking to make sure that our dogs have healthy eyes so your puppy will inherit healthy eyes.

What is MAC?

MAC is short for Mycobacterium Avium Infection. This is only found in miniature schnauzers it is a genetic immunodeficiency that surfaced in the 1980’s. It is a form of tuberculosis and can be passed on to humans who have a compromised immune system. It is fatal for the dog. As far as we are aware we have yet to hear of a case in New Zealand but there has been a case in Australia and with the importing of dogs it is only a matter of time before we too could see MAC in New Zealand.

What is Myotonia Congenita?

This is a condition that affects the skeletal muscles. The signs include difficulty rising after a period of rest, a stiff and stilted gait when walking and a bunnyhop type movement when running. There can be increased respiratory sounds, difficulty when swallowing , abnormal bark and dental abnormalities.

What is Factor V11 Deficiency?

This is a blood clotting compound essential for normal clotting. Affected animals may bleed excessively after surgery or trauma. Affected dogs bruise easily and nose bleeds may be seen. This can go undetected until an accident or surgery where the bleeding can be difficult to control.

Why do you do heart tests every year?

Many heart conditions are inherited we want your puppy to have the best chance of having a healthy heart that will lead to a healthy active lifestyle and a longer life.

Do your dogs suffer from Pancreatitis?

We have never had a dog suffer from Pancreatitis, if we had a dog that did we would not use this dog for breeding. As yet there is not a reliable test that we can use to say if a dog will pass on this condition. We give lots of advise about the right diet and what to look for in your food.

Do your dogs suffer from skin allergies?

No we have no dogs that suffer from skin allergies we would not use a dog for breeding that has skin allergies or any allergies. Dogs are individual so occasionally a puppy we have bred may suffer allergies but we have done everything possible to limit this happening.

What do you feed your miniature schnauzers?

We have trialed many dog food brands and have in the past feed a grain free food that is considered one of the best in the world. We had many problems as the fat content was too high. After much research and fortunately this was about the same time that Black Hawk made an appearance in New Zealand. We trialed a couple of our dogs on this food and saw a huge difference in their health and wellbeing. All our adults are feed 1/2 original chicken and 1/2 grain free, we vary the favour of grain free but always use the chicken base. Puppies are feed one of the two favours of puppy food we tend to favour the lamb and rice.

Do you deworm your dogs and puppies?

Yes we use Drontal on all our puppies and dogs. Puppies are dewormed at two weekly intervals and you are sent home with enough Drontal to last them until they are 6 months old and instructions on when to give it to them. Our adult dogs are dewormed every 3 months.

Do you use a flea product?

Yes we do once you have fleas they are very hard to get rid of . We use revolution on all our dogs every month and have never seen a flea on any dog or puppy. Will puppy have any flea treatment. Yes puppy will have its first treatment the day it leaves so that will last it for a month.