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  • Writer's pictureSkylar Copeland

Enzo Gets His Health Scores

Our fabulous young prodigy, Enzo, has received results for his health testing.

HIPS: PennHIP .32/.22 | FCI A/A | ANKC 4:3

ELBOWS: FCI 0/0 | ANKC 0:0




DENTITION: OFA Full/Complete

DNA: MDR1 +/+ (clear) | DM N/N (normal) | CEA +/+ (clear)

So what do all these numbers and letters mean?

In short, he is a very healthy boy.

Enzo's PennHIP score of .32/.22 is an excellent score, with .36 being the current breed average. These numbers refer to the distraction index (DI) of the hip, and measure how much laxity there is. While PennHIP does indicate whether there is hip dysplasia or not (in Enzo's case, there is none), it uses the DIs to estimate the amount of risk there is for developing hip dysplasia later in life. Enzo's tighter hip (.22) falls in the "low risk" category (0-.30) and his looser hip (.32) falls in the "mild risk" category (.31-.50).

I also opted to test Enzo's hips and elbows via FCI (Finland) and ANKC (Australia). While I like the simplicity and easy recognition of the FCI scoring system, I love that ANKC lists scores for each part of the hip, so it is easy to see why a dog got the score it did. FCI A/A hips and 0/0 elbows are the best FCI scores a dog can get, meaning Enzo is free from HD and ED. His ANKC hip score of 4:3 would translate to and FCI A/A score or OFA Good. An individual score of 10 or higher on either hip would be an indication of dysplasia. Enzo's combined score of 7 is a bit better than the current 5 year breed average according to ANKC, which is 7.96. Just like FCI, the ANKC score of 0:0 indicates he is free of elbow dysplasia.

When I submitted to FCI, I opted to have Enzo's shoulders scored as well - shoulder osteochondritis (OCD) are not a widespread issue in the breed, but we'd like to keep it that way. Enzo's shoulders came back "free," meaning he doesn't have OCD.

I also submitted radiographs of Enzo's spine to Finland for lumbosacral transitional vertebrae (LTV) and vetebrae anomaly (VA) testing. Enzo came back LTV1, meaning his sacral crest (S1-S3) is divided, and VA0, meaning there were no vertebrae anomalies. At this time, more studies and more tested dogs are required to determine the heritability of LTV. Only a few countries are currently testing for LTV (namely, Finland and Germany), so only a small population of White Swiss Shepherds have been tested. In the USA, the majority of breeders are not testing for this at all. At this time, the only other kennels we know of in the US with LTV scores on any of their dogs are Moro Shepherds in Oregon and Kennel Sons of North in New Hampshire. Thankfully, our vet specializes in orthopedics, and feels that we have no reason to worry about Enzo's result as a companion or as a show/sport dog.

Additionally, Enzo had a basic cardiac exam for OFA in which he passed with normal results. Also for OFA, Enzo's dentition was recorded and is genetically full. Unfortunately, he broke a tooth down the root which had to be surgically removed to eliminate risk of infection. It is impossible to say how this may affect his future show career, but he is just as happy without the tooth.

Finally, I included Enzo's DNA results though they were technically completed a year ago. Enzo was tested via Embark, just like all of our puppies.

To review Enzo's scores, visit his OFA page. Most of the results are recorded there, but we are happy to provide documentation for results not included to anyone interested.

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