Working with a responsible breeder, those wishing
to own a Curly-Coated Retriever can gain the education they need to know about specific health concerns within the breed.
Good breeders utilize genetic testing
of their breeding stock to reduce the likelihood of disease in their puppies.
May your curly always be happy and healthy!
The vast majority of dogs of all breeds (as well as mixed breeds) can live long, healthy lives if given proper care and routine
veterinary attention. Nevertheless, any dog can fall victim to a wide range of acquired problems. Each pure breed of dogs
has its own particular hereditary problems some minor, some impairing, and some possibly fatal. Some may show a very strong
hereditary basis and others not much more than a tendency to" run in families". The Curly-Coated Retriever is no
exception and unfortunately as seen in other breeds, the problems tend to multiply as the breed continues to increase in popularity
and there is an increase in indiscriminate breeding. Failure to screen for these problems before breeding often results in
the "doubling up" of unfavorable genes, and the results are distressing for the buyer and dog alike.
good Breeder of Curly Coated Retrievers should be able to discuss the health screening done with their breeding stock and
other measures they've taken to reduce the likelihood of problems. They should be willing to guarantee against common problems
and want to know of anything that might show up later in your puppy.
If your Curly should develop a major health
problem, you should tell your breeder about it. This way, the breeder can remain informed about potential problems in their
lines. Such problems would include those listed below and others, such as seizures, cancer, heart defects, and anything else
that might be heritable.
Hip Dysplasia is an ongoing problems for all the retriever breeds as well as many other
breeds of similar or larger size.
Hip Dysplasia is a malformation of the ball and
socket joint in the hip, with varying degress of resulting impairment. Diagnosis is definitive only through proper radiographic
If you are looking at a puppy, ask if both parents have an OFA hip
report. Or a PennHIP report. Ask to see copies, or check on the OFA site to verify the dogs scores. On the OFA site, you will find Hip, Elbow, Cardiac and CERF eye exam
The AIS PennHIP method has strong scientific foundation
as the most effective hip screening tool available for dogs.
testing is accurate in puppies as young as 16 weeks of age. It gives an estimate of the risk for painful osteoarthritis (OA)
of canine hip dysplasia (CHD) later in life. With this information, preventive and palliative strategies can be recommended
by the PennHIP-trained veterinarian.
All dogs can benefit from PennHIP testing. For pet dogs
found to be at risk, early intervention can help prevent or lessen the severity of CHD. For working/service dogs, identifying
a dog with healthy hips can extend the working life of the dog. For breeding dogs, early detection of at-risk hips can allow
the breeder to make early, informed decisions as to which dogs to keep in breeding programs.
SoftMaple has recently started to lean towards doing PennHIP exams on dogs we intend to breed.
How to read the OFA numbers:
Softmaple's Sexy and I Know It Registration:SR73641501 (AKC) CR-CA436/16F/C-VPI-ECHO,
CR-EIC29/17F-VPI-CAR, CR-G3A93/22F-VPI, CR-1009G30F-VPI, CR-EL268F30-VPI, CR-EYE46/35F-VPI, CHIC #: 104643
CR-CA436/16F/C-VPI-ECHO.= CR (Curly Retriever) CA=Cardiac number, 16F=the age, and
sex. ECHO=Echocardiogram (could be a C for Cardiologist, P for
practitioner or S for Specialist) and
VPI means the dog has Permanent Identification that the vet verified. PI means the dog
has Permanent Identification.
CR-EL is the Elbow number. CR-EL268F30-VPI... Curly
Retriever, Elbow. 268 is the number. F is for female. 30 is the age in months. VPI for
CR-1009G30F-VPI is the Hip number. The G stands for Good. (E would be Excellent, F would
be Fair) In this number the F stands for Female.
CR-EYE46/35F-VPI is the Eye number.
CR-EIC29/17F-VPI-CAR EXERCISE INDUCED COLLAPSE CAR=
CR-G3A93/22F-VPI GLYCOGEN STORAGE DISEASE NORMAL/CLEAR
CHIC # 104643
is the CHIC or Canine Health Information Center number.
This is Gabby. A wonderful companion, showdog and field dog. Her hips did not pass
OFA. So she will not be a wonderful mother.
Dogs with failing hips need to be
kept in good health. Spayed. Not allowed to get overweight. Sometimes giving Glucosamine helps.
Eye Problems - cataracts of various kinds, corneal dystrophy, suspected PRA, distichiasis, entropion, ectropion,
PPM, retinal dysplasia. None are particularly common but all should be asked about and guaranteed for. All dogs used for breeding
should have annual eye examinations. Make sure the breeder supplies you with current CERF eye reports, or OFA Eye numbers
on the sire and dam.
PRA has popped up on some Curlies DNA Profiles. (Progressive Retinal Atrophy ) You
can find out more about the PRA test for Curly Coated Retrievers here PRA (crd4/cord-1)
|Exercise induced collapse (EIC)
Exercise induced collapse (EIC) is a heritable condition causing collapse in Labrador, Chesapeake
and curly-coated retrievers. There is a high correlation between the presence of the EIC mutation and the presence of collapsing
episodes in Labradors. The same gene which affects Labrador Retrievers has been identified in curly-coated retrievers. There
appear to be significant differences in the way EIC impacts curlies compared to Labs with many of the genetically affected
curlies not demonstrating any episodes of collapse.
Read more about EIC and view the voluntary EIC database here - Voluntary EIC database- is a good tool, but keep in mind there are many breeders that do not volunteer any health information.
More and more dogs of every breed are being diagnosed with Cancers. Is it environmental? Is it hereditary? Are we breeding
dogs with weaker immune systems? If you are looking at a Curly pup, ask about the grandparents. Are they alive? How long did
they live? What did they die of? Its scary to hear of dogs dying of cancer at 5 or 6 years of age. Some of the types of Cancer
found in dogs:
Mast cell tumors are the most common malignant skin tumor in the dog. An adenoma is a benign growth
of glandular tissue cells. An adenocarcinoma is a malignant growth of these cells most often originating (primary site) from
the intestines, uterus and mammary glands. They often metastasize (spread) to the lungs. Fibrosarcoma is a cancerous tumor
of the deep structures of the skin, specifically the fibrous connective tissue. Hemangiosarcoma is a malignant tumor originating
from blood vessels. These tumors usually occur in the skin, soft tissues, spleen or liver. Lymphoma or lymphosarcoma is a
cancerous disease of lymphocytes, a particular form of white blood cells that originate in lymph nodes and bone marrow. Melanoma
is a form of cancer in which the pigment-producing cells of the skin known as melanocytes multiply in an erratic fashion eventually
invading the tissues that surround them. Osteosarcoma is a tumor of the bone and is the most common primary bone tumor in
The "Curly Coat Problem" can be frustrating -- it is often misdiagnosed for other diseases such as thyroid deficiency,
and it is detrimental to a breeding program trying to establish the proper coat. It is difficult to say how many Curlies are
affected with this, as many are not shown, are not noticeably affected, or the problem is thought to be something else, such
as wear from the collar. In mild cases, the patterning may appear once and then never again when the coat grows back in. While
mildly affected dogs generally lead normal lives, it is an indicator of more serious trouble, as it is caused by some type
of auto immune problem. Affected dogs are more likely to have allergies, reproductive problems; in its severest form, it affects
the growth hormones and the dogs mature at about 40lbs.
Very often dogs with patterned baldness will have good
coats as a puppy, with the bald spots appearing at sexual maturity. Bald patterning appears on the backs and/or insides of
the hind legs, and/or on the flanks, and/or on the front and/or sides of neck, and/or the deepest part of the chest and/or
as an overall thin or brittle coat. A minor indication of the problem are dogs that are fully coated but only have real curls
on their necks and backs. The hair loss is very distinctly bilateral -- that
is, on both sides of the dog. There are
varying manifestations of this syndrome, from appearing nearly normal to being almost completely bald. In some cases, hair
grows back after shedding, but within months rather than weeks.
Diets and supplements do not take care of patterned
baldness. You should inform your dog's breeder (send clear, closeup photos of all the spots) of any symmetrical bald spots
appearing on your puppy so that they can take this information into account in their breeding program. Unaffected dogs seem
to produce affected puppies, implying a recessive gene or genes, but the exact mode of inheritance is unclear. Very few veterinarians
know about this problem in Curly Coats.
SoftMaple Z Rues
The Day RN on Seizure watch, and in the field
Glycogen storage disease type IIIa (GSDIIIa)
| John C. Fyfe, D.V.M, Ph.D.
Associate Professor |
D.V.M., 1984, Washington-Oregon-Idaho Regional Program in Veterinary Medicine
University of Pennsylvania
Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics
5169 Biomedical Physical Sciences
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824
disease type IIIa (GSDIIIa) is an inherited metabolic disorder that causes liver and skeletal muscle disease due to deficiency
of the glycogen debranching enzyme (GDE) and tissue storage of abnormally structured glycogen. This disorder was discovered
in an extended family of curly coated retrievers (CCR), with representatives from USA, Canada, and New Zealand, and is due
to a single based deletion in the GDE gene. This disease, too, is an autosomal recessive trait, and so the laboratory provides
carrier testing for GSD IIIa in curly coated retrievers .
recessive trait means that the gene is located on of of the autosomes (Chromosome pairs) Males and females can be equally
affected. Recessive means that two copies of the gene are necessary to have the trait, or in this case the disease. One
inherited from the mother and one from the father. Both parents must be carriers in order for a pup to have the symptoms
of the disease. A pup that inherits the gene from only one parent will be a carrier. This pup will have a recessive gene
for GSDIIIa, and not show any health problems, but the pup will have to potential to pass the gene on to its offspring.
A quick explanation is shown in the tables below. BB being a dog that does not have the disease and
does not carry the recessive gene for GSDIIIa. Bb demonstrates a dog that does not have the disease, but
does carry the recessive gene. bb represents a dog that is affected with the disease.
that are carriers need not be eliminated from breeding. Carriers bred to clear, non carriers, will produce some carriers
and some non-carriers. These offspring may then be tested and used as valuable animals in a breeding program. To
illustrate this, we will use the following colors:
Clear dog, not carrying the GSD recessive trait |
the GSD recessive trait |
| Dog that has Glycogen storage
| A non affected, not
carrier dog (BB) A non affected, not carrier bitch (BB)|
produces all clear, not carrier offspring(BB)
The offspring af a breeding like this would all be clear of GSD
based on the
absence of the GSD mutation in both parents.
At this time, the resulting offspring need not be individually tested.
A non affected, not carrier dog (BB) A non affected carrier bitch (Bb).
produces all non affected pups, two of which would carry the GSDIIIa gene as a recessive trait (Bb)
dogs would have the disease, but all offspring should be tested prior to breeding
| A non affected carrier
dog (Bb) A non affected carrier bitch(Bb)|
produces one non affected, non carrier (BB)
one GSDIIIa affected pup(bb)
and 2 pups that are carriers(Bb)
There is the potential for pups that will have Glycogen storage
disease, and some will be carriers.
All dogs from this litter should be tested prior to breeding
| A non affected carrier
dog (BB) Bred to a GSDIIIa affected bitch (bb)|
produces all pups that are carriers of GSDIIIa(Bb)
All pups are carriers, and should
be only bred to non-carriers.
| Male carrier of GSDIIIa (Bb) Bitch who is affected
produces 2 Carriers (Bb) and 2 GSDIIIa affected pups (bb)
the pups will have Glycogen storage disease, and some will be carriers.
Carriers can be bred to non-carriers
| Affected dog
(bb) bred to an affected bitch (bb)|
Produces all GSDIIIa affected pups (bb) pups
These are just examples. I do not
think anyone would breed two affected dogs.
Canine Health Information Center, also known as CHIC, is a centralized canine health database jointly sponsored
by the AKC/Canine Health Foundation (AKC/CHF) and the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA). The CHIC database is a tool
that collects health information on individual animals from multiple sources. In order for data to be included in CHIC, test
results must be based on scientifically valid diagnostic criteria
The CCRCA has established the following health testing criteria specific to Curly-Coated Retrievers, for inclusion
in the CHIC database:
Dysplasia (read about Hip Dysplasia)
Congenital Cardiac Database (read
about Cardiac screening)
OFA evaluation with examination performed by a Cardiologist
Eye Clearance (read about
CERF evaluation - minimally, exams every 2 years until 96 months
Glycogen Storage Disease
Not in any way an inherited problem, but most curlies hate to have their nails clipped, and some are prone to brittle nails
or nails that chip or break off.
Brittle nails might be the result of long, untrimmed nails or due to certain underlying medical disorders affecting your
Always consult your veterinarian
to rule out any health issues or food allergies when you have a curly with brittle or breaking toenails.
Shadow after getting stung by a bee!
Ripple in the Cone of Shame! to stop
Kismet and her broken leg