True 2 Gold’s position on Canine Hip and Eye Testing.
There has been a propensity toward early spay and neutering of dogs over the past three decades. This has been to curtail the canine population, saving every community the time and expense of dealing with unwanted pets.
Although this was seen as an advantage to mankind, it has not benefitted our canine companions. Well known vets have been speaking out against this practice since they have discovered that keeping a young dog in tact for several cycles is beneficial to their bone structure and organ development. This practice robs the dogs of the essential hormones they need to develop a healthy body.
In other words, early spay and neuter of dogs causes them arthritis and eye problems later in life.
According to our research, dogs who have had this procedure have also been plagued with other problems later in life; especially arthritic conditions and optical problems.
The animal kingdom has provided professionals with millions of dollars in breeding wonderful pets. We are saddened that corporations have gained financially at the expense of our dogs. The eye and hip certifications are one such establishment. Although many new dog owners want to know their dog has eye and hip clearances, the tests do not take into account the practices that cause eye and hip problems.
Since there has been a trend leaning away from early spay and neutering, we expect to see that older dogs will not suffer as much with hip and eye problems. There is a connection between the two that no certification is addressing. The millions of dollars consumed by vets performing these tests and establishing and maintaining an international data base, is not going to be given up without a fight.
We therefore have chosen not to encourage this testing and we do not subscribe to the data base or perform the tests on our dogs. We also do not spay and neuter our dogs until they have lived through at least two or three natural cycles. The minor hardship we encounter is minimal compared to the discomfort our dogs may have in later years.
There will be data in the future that most likely will prove this point. Until then we are complying with the vet’s recommendations to prevent eye and hip problems, as opposed to pointing out which dogs will may be rendered free from those problems by an expensive data base.
While everyone is focusing on hip and eye tests, no-one has a data base showing the dog families with cancer – which will kill your dog before they are old enough to have eye and hip problems! We are more concerned with the lack of honesty about cancer in the lines of breeder’s dogs. This has been quietly swept under the rug. There is no comment from many breeders on this subject; why are we not isolating the genetic propensity to cancer? Why is this not addressed as much as hip and eye testing?
Our first two dogs came from a reputable breeder with many health clearances. Yet they both died at 7 and 8 of cancer. My breeder indicated that she was not surprised. Most likely she has heard this sad news dozens of times in thirty years of breeding. How is this not being addressed?
I recommend we maintain data bases for cancer studies within the AKC breeders and enforce reporting of dogs passing away prematurely from cancer prior to age 12 in Goldens. We have talked to many clients who have lost their dogs as early as 2 years old to cancer. Some have lost their beloved companions to cancer at 4 to 6 years, and oh, so many, between 7 – 10 years. Rare are the Goldens who have lived passed 12 in this last decade. What a tragedy.
We at True 2 Gold are working to prevent cancer. Period. That’s all we can manage at this time. As we continue in our breeding program we hope to present our own data to show our pups living past 13 years of age, which is the recommended age for Golden Retrievers.