Schipperkes are now an accepted CHIC breed!
The Schipperke Club of America’s proposal to the Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) has been accepted.
CHIC is an open health database tailored to the needs and concerns of each breed as designated by the national breed club. The breed club must have a current health survey and submit and acceptable plan. This open health registry not only list the tests done with the dates and the results, but also shows sire, dam, offspring, siblings and half siblings through the sire and dam with notations of their tests and links to their pages if they are included in the database. Dogs that have been tested for the health concerns mandatory for their breed have been given a CHIC number whether the results are normal or abnormal. The owners of record of the schipperkes that have CHIC numbers should have by now received a certificate. Initially there were 16 Schipperkes who qualified as of 9/1/2004. This number is always growing as more and more Schipperkes meet the requirements of CHIC certification.
In order to receive a “CHIC” number Schipperkes must have three tests completed; Eye – CERF, Patella – OFA, and Thyroid – OFA and the test results entered in the database and released into the public domain. (Note: The CHIC number itself does not imply normal test results, only that all the required breed specific tests were performed and the results made publicly available.) … at the present time Heart, Hips/LCP, and MPS111B are optional. Also, optional anecdotal data from signed veterinary diagnosis will be accepted on the following conditions common in Schipperkes: Epilepsy, Autoimmune skin problems, Cushing’s, Diabetes mellitus, and Atopy, in an effort to track and understand the trends of these conditions.
WHY THESE MANDATORY TESTS?
Why were these three tests chosen for the Schipperke’s initial entry into CHIC? (Three or more tests are required per breed.) The three mandatory tests were chosen because:
1) Eye/CERF – Over 20% of the Schipperkes CERFed in the years 1991 – 2002 had at least one eye abnormality … that is 1 of every five Schipperkes. Problems known to be hereditary in other breeds that were also diagnosed in Schipperkes include: Distichiasis, Corneal Dystrophy, Retinal Atrophy and Dysplasia, Microphthalmos, Cataracts, PPM. This test is relatively easy for breeders to have done since there are CERF clinics available at many dog shows, dog health fairs etc. and can also be done by any veterinary ophthalmologist.
2) Patellas – Luxating Patellas are a known hereditary problem in all small breed dogs, and they were reported as a problem in quite a number of dogs in the SCA’s health survey.
This exam is also easy for an owner to have done, since it can be preformed by any qualified veterinarian. The forms are free from the OFA. (At this time for CHIC, Schipperkes do not need to have the exam preformed by an Orthopedist.)
3) Thyroid – Over 10% of the Schipperkes thyroid tested by Michigan State had abnormal thyroid results … that is 1 of every ten Schipperkes. Thyroid abnormalities are known to affect many organs and systems of the body, and are a contributing factor for everything from coat and skin problems to liver problems. According to one published study, 77% of seizing dogs also had abnormal thyroid results. (Proceedings 1999 AHVMA Annual Conference, pp. 80-82. Authors: W. Jean Dodds, DVM, Hemopet, 938 Stanford Street, Santa Monica, CA 90403 and Linda P. Aronson, DVM, Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine, 200 Westboro Road, North Grafton, MA 01536. ) This test is also fairly easy, just requiring a blood draw by a vet and the analysis done by an OFA approved lab.
WHY THESE OPTIONAL TESTS?
Hips/LCP were made optional since Schipperkes often require sedation for an acceptable x-ray , many vets cannot do OFA quality/acceptable x-rays, and this test is the one with the highest overall cost. Approximately 3.6% of Schipperkes had abnormal hip results according to the OFA statistics. These conditions do exist in Schips, but were not reported with much frequency on the health survey.
Hearts were made optional since heart problems (except for old age related) were not reported that often on the breed health survey.
MPSIIIB tests were made optional since CHIC will not accept “normal by pedigree”. They would require a test to be run on the individual dog.
WHY THESE OPTIONAL/ANECDOTAL CONDITIONS?
Epilepsy, Autoimmune skin problems, Cushing’s, Diabetes mellitus, and Atopy, are all known or considered to be common problems in Schipperkes, and were added in an effort to track and understand the trends of these conditions. These were also all commonly reported problems in the SCA breed health survey. We of course hope that later screening tests will become available, and that tests for these diseases may be added to the requirements. Please note that animals affected with any of these conditions may be added to the CHIC database for FREE.
Please note that there is no charge when entering results on an affected animal, even from a non-CERF/OFA source.
WHAT DOES IT COST TO GET A CHIC NUMBER?
Since these tests should be performed on any breeding dog anyhow, the only added costs would be to register the results with OFA/CERF. At the present time, each test costs $7.50 to register at the kennel rate. So to register the required tests to get a CHIC number it would cost an owner $22.50 … or less than the cost of one show entry.