The Polish Lowland Sheepdog is an ancient breed and overall a strong and healthy one with few problems. The information on this page will help you make choices about caring for, breeding, or selecting a breeder for your future puppy. There are two tests that are required at this time . The results of these required test, both the stud and bitch ( puppy parents) , should be available in written form to you or by looking them up on the CHIC site (more later on this) .The two required tests are
1. On the hips...either the OFA or Penn Hip test which should show hips from fair to excellent
2. On the eyes...the OFA Certification Test ( previously known as CERF)--pass or fail
The APLSA recommends. although not required, a third test which is for late PRA ( progressive retinal atrophy) --whether blindness may be a factor later in the PON's life depending upon the two dogs bred. Others which are sometimes given may be required in the future. All in all Polish Lowland Sheepdog health have been proven to be one of its assets.
OFA---Orthopedic Foundation for Animals
"Founded in 1966, our mission is to proote the health and welfare of companion animals through a reduction in th incidence of genetic diseases. The OFA website and databases provide the tools, whether you are a veterinarian, breeder of perspective owner." To see the official requirements of the PON check out the following link:
Your potential new PON puppy will be too young to test, however, you may find the PON parents listed if their hips and eyes have been tested and/or rated. If both have been done, you will find the breeder listed and that person will get a CHIC number for that PON. If not listed the hips may have been tested by Penn Hip and you should ask to see the written documentation and get a good explanation for that rating or it may mean the PON did not pass or the breeder chose not to register that test. The breeder should, however, be able to show you documentation for both parents. Eye testing may or may not be sent to OFA, but do ask to see written documentation from the testing. By getting the requested testing done and being willing to share it with you shows the breeder is concerned about its offspring and wants to make sure to the best of their ability that they don't pass on PON offspring with bad hips or eyes.
OFA EYE CERTIFICATION (previously CERF) and
PROGRESSIVE RETINAL ATROPHY (PRA) testing
Previously known as the Canine Eye Registration Foundation (CERF) was established by a group of purebred owners/breeders who realized their dog's lives were being compromised by eye diseases. They joined with a group of veterinary opthalmologist to form a centralized registry where eye problems could be monitored and utilized to try and find ways to prevent further problems. PRA testing, while not required for the breed , requires a separate test and is not at this time tracked by OFA . OFA testing should be done every two years, while PRA testing is only required once. The bottom line is to see the required testing documentation of OFA and the separate PRA testing of the parents of a potential pup. The OFA will be a pass or fail while PONs may test as clear, carriers or affected on the PRA test. You breeder should be able to explain this further to you.
Penn Hip is a not-for-profit veterinary health service whch is found at the U. of Pennsylvania. It is a multi-facted radiographic screening used to evaluate the laxcity of the hips in dogs. It is useful in predicting osteorarthritis which is a degnerative joint disease that often manifest in hip dysplasia. However, it may be more difficult to interprest the results of this type of testing.
FIRST OF ALL REMEMBER THAT POLISH LOWLAND SHEEPDOG HEALTH (PON) BREED AS A WHOLE IS A HEARTY , HEALTHY BREED WHICH LIVES AN AVERAGE OF 12-15 YEARS. HOWEVER OCCASIONALLY OTHER ISSUES MAY ARISE. SOME OF THESE MAY BE DIABETES, HYPOTHYROIDISM, EPILEPSY (SEIZURHHES), PARVO, CRUCIATE LIGAMENT INJURIES , ETC. TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THESE GO TO ANOTHER PAGE ON THIS WEBISITE, BUT OVERALL MOST OF THEM WILL NEVER BE A PROBLEM IF YOU CHOOSE THE RIGHT PUP FROM THE RIGHT BREEDER. TO LEARN MORE: MORE
POLISH LOWLAND SHEEPDOG HEALTH