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  • NOTE: Puppies must have permanent ID in order for the dog's DNA # to be associated with the AKC registration.
    The AKC DNA test is used to verify parentage of AKC dogs for genetic identity purposes which assures validity of the AKC Stud Book. AKC's parentage testing technology involves use of a cheek swab brush to collect cells from the inside of the dog's mouth/cheek. Once a cell sample has been collected by the dog's owner or veterinarian using an AKC DNA kit, the sample is mailed to the AKC. The sample is processed by AKC's DNA service provider, MI Genomics. The resulting genotype is entered into the AKC Database.


    Age: AKC DNA testing can be done at any age.


    AKC DNA - PROVIDERS/HOW TO
    Click here to order the AKC DNA kit.

    BERNER-GARDE: verified AKC DNA numbers are entered into the BG database; the numbers are verified from a copy of the AKC DNA form, or by verifying the number on the AKC's website. Berner-Garde also provides the verified DNA numbers directly to OFA.

     

    ADDITIONAL BMDCA AKC DNA# REQUIREMENT: The valid AKC DNA profile number issued to the dog being entered is required for entry in all conformation/performance events at the BMDCA National Specialty.

    EXPLANATION:

  • HD screening options - two methods are available: method 1, PennHIP joint laxity measurement; method 2, hip extended radiographs.

    • NOTE: Permanent identification, such as a microchip or tattoo is recommended prior to screening.


      PennHIP screening measures joint laxity with the Distraction Index (DI). From the PennHIP website: "it is recommended that breeders choose breeding stock from the tightest 40% of the breed (meaning the 60th percentile or better), thereby maintaining an acceptable level of genetic diversity while still applying meaningful selection pressure. By breeding only dogs with hips above the breed average (60th percentile or better) the overall breed average will move toward better (tighter) hips from one generation to the next."


      Age: PennHip screening can be done as early as 4 months
      Age recommended: after 12 months for optimal results.

      PROVIDERS/HOW TO:
      Click here for PennHIP information see: 

      BERNER-GARDE: PennHip results posted to OFA's database will be entered in Berner-Garde from the OFA quarterly load files. Otherwise copies of the results must be submitted to Berner-Garde.

    • IMPORTANT CONSIDERATION: Radiographic screening for HD should be done by a veterinarian experienced with positioning requirements for the procedure.


      ADDITIONAL NOTE: Dogs can be radiographed under anesthesia or not. Consult the attending veterinarian for further information.


      Age: > 6 months
      Age recommended: after 24 months

      PROVIDERS/HOW TO:
      OFA (Orthopedic Foundation of Animals)
      Radiographs are mailed directly by the attending veterinarian to OFA using the appropriate form.


      Important note on completing this form: Initial the section "Authorization to Share Abnormal Results".

       

      BERNER-GARDE: OFA results posted to OFA's database will be entered in Berner-Garde from the OFA quarterly load files. Or you can submit the results to BG at anytime, by sending a copy of a board certified radiologist's results, a copy of the OFA results, or by notifying BG that the results are on the OFA website by emailing manager@bernergarde.org.

  • IMPORTANT CONSIDERATION: Radiographic screening for HD should be done by a veterinarian experienced with positioning requirements for the procedure.


    ADDITIONAL NOTE: Dogs can be radiographed under anesthesia or not. Consult the attending veterinarian for further information.


    Age: > 6 months
    Age recommended: after 24 months

    PROVIDERS/HOW TO:
    OFA (Orthopedic Foundation of Animals)
    Radiographs are mailed directly by the attending veterinarian to OFA using the appropriate form.


    Important note on completing this form: Initial the section "Authorization to Share Abnormal Results".

     

    BERNER-GARDE: OFA results posted to OFA's database will be entered in Berner-Garde from the OFA quarterly load files. Or you can submit the results to BG at anytime, by sending a copy of a board certified radiologist's results, a copy of the OFA results, or by notifying BG that the results are on the OFA website by emailing manager@bernergarde.org.

  • EXPLANATION:
    Eye exam clinics can often be found at AKC shows and regional club health clinics.

     

    Links from OFA:

    Click here for further information on OFA eye examination clinics

    Click here for all eye exam clinics.


    Age: first one by 12 months
    Age(s) recommended: annual retesting; at a minimum, every two years is advised.


    PROVIDER: Have your dog tested, and then submit the appropriate Eye Exam form signed by the ophthalmologist to OFA.


    BERNER-GARDE: Once the information is available on OFA's website, it will be entered into Berner-Garde from the quarterly OFA load. Or you can submit the results to BG at any time, by sending a copy of a board certified ophthalmologist's exam, a copy of the OFA results, or by notifying BG that the results are on the OFA website by emailing manager@bernergarde.org.

  • The von Willebrands Disease (vWD) Type I DNA test is very different from the old protein-based factor assay. Von Willebrands Type I DNA test is definitive and final, as it provides a lifelong, permanent determination of the vWD status of each dog tested as contrasted to the factor assay, in which the levels could change over time.


    EXPLANATION:
    Testing is done by a cheek swab.


    INTERPRETING TEST RESULTS: test results will come back as "clear," "carrier," or "affected."

    • Clear - both of the vWD gene pair are normal.

    • Carrier -one gene is normal and one is defective.

    • Affected - both genes are defective.


    NOTE: A dog may be certified as 'clear by parentage' if both parents are tested clear, and parents and the puppy all have AKC DNA numbers. 'Clear by parentage' status applies to the 1st generation only, i.e., it would not be valid for a dog with only grandparents tested as clear, and not the parents.


    Age: any age


    PROVIDER/HOW TO:
    To order the test kit(s): http://www.gensoldx.com/#!blank/cffr
    http://www.vetdnacenter.com/canine.html
    http://www.vetgen.com/ordertests.aspx?id=Bernese%20Mountain%20Dog

    NOTE: VetGen now allows an option (for an additional fee) whereby VetGen will automatically send the test results to OFA. The form for this service can be found on the OFA website: http://ofa.org/pdf/dnaapp_bw.pdf
    Use this form to list VetGen results with OFA as well.

    BERNER-GARDE: Once the results are on the OFA website, it will be entered in Berner-Garde from the quarterly OFA load. Or you can submit the results to BG at anytime, by sending a copy of the DNA test results, and/or a copy of the OFA certification, or by notifying BG that the results are on the CERF website by emailing manager@bernergarde.org.

    NOTE: VetGen has also licensed the European company LABOKLIN. Test results from only these two facilities will be accepted at this time.

  • EXPLANATION:
    Heart exam clinics can often be found at AKC shows and regional club health clinics.


    Age: first one by 12 months
    Age recommended: every 2 years


    PROVIDER/HOW TO:
    Have your dog tested, and then submit the appropriate Congenital Cardiac form signed by the cardiologist to OFA.
    Congenital Cardiac forms are available on OFA's webpage.


    NOTE: Recently OFA has stated this cardiac test may not be reliable for diagnosing subaortic stenosis or cardiomyopathy. If you suspect there are dogs in your pedigree with these issues, consider a trip to the cardiologist for additional testing, i.e., echocardiography with Doppler.

    BERNER-GARDE: once the information is available on OFA's website, it will be entered into Berner-Garde from the quarterly OFA load. Or you can submit the results to BG at anytime, by sending a copy of a board certified cardiologist's exam, a copy of the OFA results, or by notifying BG that the results are on the OFA website by emailing manager@bernergarde.org.

  • EXPLANATION: Autoimmune thyroiditis is the primary cause of hypothyroidism. Free T4, Canine Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (cTSH), and Thyroglobulin Autoantibodies (TgAA) have to be measured.


    Age: first test by two years
    Thyroid Form: There is a list of the approved labs for OFA certification at the bottom of the form.


    BERNER-GARDE: once the information is available on OFA's website, it will be entered into Berner-Garde from the quarterly OFA load. Or you can submit the results to BG at anytime, by sending a copy of the laboratory results, a copy of the OFA results, or by notifying BG that the results are on the OFA website by emailing manager@bernergarde.org.

  • EXPLANATION: Thyroid function can affect fertility, activity level, weight, activity level, can cause aggression or lethargy. Thyroid function can deteriorate with age.


    Age: first test by two years


    BERNER-GARDE: this test will not qualify for certification by OFA, it is a measure of thyroid function, and may help indicate the need for supplementation medication. The results will be noted in the health section of the dog's record, a copy of the results must be provided in order to have it noted as diagnosed instead of anecdotal.

  • EXPLANATION: OCD is a disease of the cartilage, which can cause the cartilage to break away from the bone and cause lameness. It can occur in any joint.


    Age: > 12 months


    Shoulder Osteochondrosis Form


    BERNER-GARDE: OFA results posted to OFA's database will be entered in Berner-Garde from the OFA quarterly load files. Or you can submit the results to BG at anytime, by sending a copy of a board certified radiologist's results, a copy of the OFA results, or by notifying BG that the results are on the OFA website by emailing manager@bernergarde.org.

  • EXPLANATION: Patellar luxation occurs when the kneecap pops out of position.


    Age: > 12 months


    Patellar Luxation Form


    BERNER-GARDE: OFA results posted to OFA's database will be entered in Berner-Garde from the OFA quarterly load files. Or you can submit the results to BG at anytime, by sending a copy of a board certified radiologist's results, a copy of the OFA results, or by notifying BG that the results are on the OFA website by emailing manager@bernergarde.org.

  • EXPLANATION:
    Two genetic mutations for DM have been identified for Bernese Mountain Dogs. A dog with two copies of either mutation, or one copy of both mutations is said to be "at risk" of getting DM, since not all dogs with two mutant copies of the gene will develop disease symptoms. Research is ongoing, and it is possible that more mutations will be found.
     

    PROVIDERS: University of Missouri in collaboration with OFA, VetGen, DDC and others test for the more common mutation only. GenSol has tests for both mutations. We recommend testing for both mutations.


    To order the test kit(s):

    BERNER-GARDE: Once the results of these tests are on OFA's website, they will be entered in Berner-Garde from the quarterly OFA load. You can submit the results from any of the test facilities to BG at any time, by sending a copy of the DNA test results to manager@bernergarde.org.


    For those who have only been tested for the common mutation, we recommend also testing for the SOD1B mutation. However, this is not necessary for dogs already determined to be at risk (having two copies of a mutation) in previous testing.

  • EXPLANATION:
    This is a risk test, not a direct DNA test. Nine genes on five chromosomes have been found to be associated with a risk factor for Histiocytic Sarcoma (HS). The 9 genes are used to determine a weighted result of A, B, or C. Research is ongoing to identify the specific genes that cause HS.


    A - individuals tested have a four times LOWER risk of developing Histiocytic Sarcoma.
    B - Neutral—not predictive of higher or lower risk of developing Histiocytic Sarcoma.
    C - individuals tested have a four times HIGHER risk of developing Histiocytic Sarcoma.


    Testing is done by blood sample. However, cheek swabs are accepted for puppies less than 3 months old.

    INTERPRETING TEST RESULTS:
    Although it is obvious that breeders will strive to lower the risk of producing dogs that develop HS, it is also of the utmost importance when selecting breeding pairs that sufficient genetic diversity is maintained in the breed. OptiGen, Antagene and CNRS Canine Genetics team insist on the fact that the Antagene Pre-Test SH should be just one of many selection criteria.


    An index C dog should not be removed from a breeding program based on its Pre-Test SH status alone, rather it should be mated with the individuals showing Index A or B results. Mating programs should be planned to avoid C x C matings - however even these matings are capable of producing Index A offspring (but with a lower frequency than other matings).

    For in depth information see BMDCA's Antagene Histio Pre-test info and the using the HSIMS mate selection tool article.

    Click here for more information.


    NOTE: Clear by parentage cannot be used for this test.


    Age: any age

    PROVIDER/HOW TO:
    The DNA pre-test for HS can be ordered on the Antagene site , then click on 'order DNA test' on the left side of the page.


    BERNER-GARDE: You can submit the results to BG at any time by sending a copy of the DNA test results by emailing a copy to manager@bernergarde.org.

  • EXPLANATION:
    CHIC was developed by joint cooperation between the AKC/CHF and OFA.
    A CHIC # DOES NOT INDICATE THAT THE DOG HAS 'CLEAR' HEALTH TEST RESULTS.
    The purpose for CHIC was to research and maintain information on the health issues prevalent in specific breeds. Like Berner-Garde, the basis for participation is an open sharing of health information.

     

    The BMDCA joined the CHIC program in 2007. As of December 21, 2017 the BMDCA Board has established the following requirements for a CHIC certificate:

    • AKC DNA identification

    • Hip evaluation by GDC, OFA or PennHIP

    • Elbow evaluation by GDC or OFA

    • Eye exam by CERF or OFA

    • Degenerative Myelopathy (DM) (Normal results of both of the following or 1 at-risk result in the open database)

    • DNA based DM test results from an approved lab

    • DNA based DM(b) test results from an approved lab.

    • OFA certified heart examination done by a cardiologist


    And at least one of the following:

    • vWD DNA test or vWD clear by parentage - registered with OFA

    • Autoimmune Thyroiditis OFA evaluation from an approved lab.

    • Histiocytic Sarcoma Pre-test DNA test results recorded with the OFA (Antagene)


    NOTE: As long as all of the results of the above tests are shared openly through OFA, the CHIC certificate is automatically generated by OFA.

    Through December 20, 2017 the requirements were:

    • AKC DNA identification

    • Hip evaluation by GDC, OFA or PennHIP

    • Elbow evaluation by GDC or OFA

    • Eye exam by CERF or OFA

    • VetGen vWD gene test or vWD clear by parentage - registered with OFA

    • OFA certified heart examination done by a cardiologist

Health Tests & Screening

List of Available Tests & Screening

The BMDCA's Health Committee encourages breeders, owners and buyers to approach decisions and choices pertaining to health issues and their management in Bernese Mountain Dogs from the standpoint of knowledge.

The BERNER-GARDE FOUNDATION was created in order to allow for open sharing of health information.

The Organizations noted in the List of Available Tests and Screening section of this document were created to help provide certification for the phenotypic or genetic status of dogs. The phenotype (observable characteristics) is used in the absence of a genetic test.

The BMDCA's Health Committee prepared the following list of available health tests to enhance the understanding of health conditions and management methods that are known to impact the length and quality of life in the Bernese Mountain Dog breed as a whole.

2000 and 2005 Health Surveys

Below is a list of hereditary disease counts from the 2000 and 2005 breed health surveys, listed in alphabetical order.
These two separate surveys provide information on the relative incidence of disease in Bernese Mountain Dogs.

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