Health Testing

We believe that the healthier a dog is, the happier they are. While we understand that there is never a guarantee that a puppy won't develop health issues, we are going to give them the healthiest start we can. We know that when you take your puppy home, you want to love them for as many years as possible! These are some of the reasons why we choose to test our breeding dogs for genetic diseases, and only breed the dogs that pass those tests. We test our breeding dogs for:

  • Hip Dysplasia

  • Elbow Dysplasia

  • Degenerative Myelopathy

  • Multidrug Resistance 1

  • Hyperuricosuria

Please read further below for information on these ​health tests.

Hip Dysplasia

Percentage of German Shepherds affected: 20.5%

According to the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) it is believed that roughly 20.5% of German Shepherd Dogs will develop Hip Dysplasia during their lifetime (https://www.ofa.org/diseases/breed-statistics#detail). To read more information on what symptoms to watch for, please visit the AKC website at https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/hip-dysplasia-in-dogs/. There are many things that can improve or worsen your dog’s odds of getting Hip Dysplasia. One of the best starts you can give to a puppy is ensuring their parents weren’t dysplastic. This is tested by having their hips X-rayed and submitted to the OFA to be graded by a panel of experts. Here at Hubbard German Shepherds, we only choose to breed dogs that have had their hips certified and passed by the OFA. Under each dog you will find the information and direct link to their OFA results.

Elbow Dysplasia

Percentage of German Shepherds affected: 18.9%

Elbow Dysplasia is a disease made up of one or more bone defects, causing pain and can lead up to lameness. According to the OFA it is believed that roughly 18.9% of German Shepherd Dogs will develop Elbow Dysplasia during their lifetime (https://www.ofa.org/diseases/breed-statistics#detail). There is no cure for elbow dysplasia, but surgery and different treatments can ease the pain of the disease (depending on severity). To read more information on Elbow Dysplasia, please visit https://www.acvs.org/small-animal/canine-elbow-dysplasia. There are many things that can improve or worsen your dog’s odds of getting Elbow Dysplasia. One of the best starts you can give to a puppy is ensuring their parents weren’t dysplastic. This is tested by having their elbows X-rayed and submitted to the OFA to be graded by a panel of experts. Here at Hubbard German Shepherds, all of our girls have had their elbows certified and passed by the OFA prior to breeding them. Under each dog you will find the information and direct link to their OFA results.

Degenerative Myelopathy (DM)

Percentage of German Shepherds affected: 14.2%

Degenerative Myelopathy (DM) is a disease that affects the spinal cord of the dog, traditionally seen around 8 or 9 years of age. It is quickly onset (taking 6-12 months) and eventually renders a dog a full paraplegic. It is similar to Lou Gehrig’s disease in humans, and causes the dog no pain. While the exact percentage of affected dogs is unknown, the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals states that an average 14.2% of German Shepherds that were tested are double carriers of the mutation, meaning highly likely to get this disease (https://www.ofa.org/diseases/breed-statistics#detail). For more information on DM, please click here https://www.ufaw.org.uk/dogs/german-shepherd-degenerative-myelopathy. Here at Hubbard German Shepherds, we only choose to breed dogs that have been genetically tested for DM and are not carriers of this mutation.

Multidrug Resistance 1 (MDR1)

Percentage of German Shepherds affected: 10%

MultiDrug Resistance 1 is a test done to determine if the genetic code of a protein (P-Glycoprotein) is mutated or not. In a healthy dog, this protein is responsible for protecting the brain by removing chemicals in order to prevent a toxic buildup. Otherwise, chemicals found in common vaccinations and medications can quickly build up in the brain of your dog causing neurological symptoms, such as seizures, loss of bodily control or even death. Even very small doses of common drugs can be lethal in dogs that are carriers of this mutation. Although exact percentages of affected dogs are unknown, it is estimated that roughly 10% of German Shepherd Dogs are carriers of this mutation (https://www.pawprintgenetics.com/products/tests/details/93/?breed=133). For more information on MDR1, please click http://www.vetstreet.com/dr-marty-becker/multidrug-sensitivity-what-you-need-to-know. At Hubbard German Shepherds, we have genetically tested our girls for MDR1 to confirm they are not carriers of this mutation prior to breeding them.

Hyperuricosuria (HUU)

Percentage of German Shepherds affected: 2.6%

Hyperuricosuria (HUU) is a mutation where dogs do not process waste normally. Their body creates too much uric acid, which can lead to the formation of stones in the bladder or kidneys of the dog. This can cause the dog significant pain as the stones move through their urinary tracts. If a stone becomes blocked, it can even be life threatening. If a dog is unable to pass the stones on their own, surgery is required. While this mutation is not the only cause of stones in the bladder or kidneys, it is an important genetic test to do to ensure your dog is not predisposed to it. Although exact percentages of affected dogs are unknown, it is estimated that roughly 2.6% of German Shepherd Dogs are carriers of this mutation (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5535792/). For more information on Hyperuricosuria please click here https://www.chevromist.com/canine-hyperuricosuria/. At Hubbard German Shepherds, we have genetically tested our girls for Hyperuricosuria to confirm they are not carriers of this mutation prior to breeding them.

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Puyallup, WA

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