The OFA Tracheal Hypoplasia Study
Jennifer of Adamant Bulldogs left this in the comments, but I feel it deserves a post of its own. This is exciting news for French Bulldog owners, and for all owners of Brachycephalic breeds. Combined with the great news about the DNA test to identify carriers of Juvenile Cataracts (initially available only for Boston Terriers, but now open to French Bulldogs, as well), we’re on our way to having the tools we need to develop a new generation of healthy, sound, genetic disease free dogs.
A quick note to any frenchie or english bulldog breeders or owners out there. The OFA tracheal hypoplasia study is well underway. If you submit a film to OFA, you will receive a result, of either normal, equivocal or hypoplastic. We need more submissions to give OFA the data they need. Hopefully this will evolve to a registry and give the breeders of short faced breeds a valuable tool to utilize to breed healthy, active dogs and weed out those with issues from future breeding programs.
So far, results have been encouraging. While it is true that many breeders have been submitting, so have a lot of pet owners and performance dog owners.
It requires only one film, NO sedation, and in a few weeks you will have valuable information on your dog. Completely confidential as this is a study phase. Dogs can be CKC or AKC registered and need only be 5 months old at the time the film is taken.
If anyone wants to take part in starting something that may be invaluable to our breeds someday, just go to http://www.offa.org/trachhypoappbw.pdf
Any vet with an x-ray can do it.
Da bullies here say “thank you!” for this post.
It’s all very exciting and also, in the wake of a lot of negative press, and iffy info being taken as gospel, out there, potentially VERY important to our shorter snouted breeds.
And personally, I would LOVE to know the airway status of potential male suiters for any girl of mine BEFORE the pups are six months old.
On the Good News front for EBs, UC Davis now offers a 65.00 cheek swab screening test for english bulldogs and black russian terriers to screen for carriers for high urate output, the primary cause of uric acid stones. Don’t know if there are frenchies with this issue but if so, U.C. Davis can help. The test became publicly available last week.
We had our 1 year old Frenchie participate in the study. Quick, easy and very valuable! Thank you for helping spread the word 🙂
My Frenchie has a hypoplastic trachea which had already collapsed before he was operated on. The surgeon was briiliant and as I refused a permanent trachyotomy he performed a laryingeal tieback. Claude was 2and a half years old when he had his operations – he is now nearly 5 and enjoys life. I have tried to fight for recognition of this ailment but most breeders (no all breeders that I have spoken to )refuse to accept that it is a problem in the breed. I have joined the health committee of the French Bulldog of England and the sub health committee and would like any help to try and get this tested for. I believe that so many of Frenchies that die at 6 months also have this problem but it is put down to heart . Any information would be gratefully received. Jan Jones
the Bulldog Club of America Health chair, Elizabeth Hugo-Milam approached Dr Keller of OFA to ask if they could possibly develop a non-invasive, objective method to determine if tracheas were within a normal range or were hypoplastic.
OFA came back with a proposal to determine tracheal status via radiograph using anatomical markers. I cannot for the life of me find OFA’s proposal which describes the precise method used! I think it has been erased from this computer. 🙁
Anyway, the beauty of this system is that it is objective and should work for a 10 pound dog as well as a 110 pound dog. It also is done with the dog fully awake.
For the purpose of the study, films can be submitted on dogs as young as 5 months. Most dogs submitted have been a year or more. It is our fervent hope that this will evolve into an established registry for brachycephalics and other breeds in which tracheal hypoplasia occurs.
I would suggest you or perhaps your veterinarian contact OFA to find out about the protocol they are developing for this screening process, I think it would be simple to implement anywhere, provided of course that you can persuade breeders to take part.
I can be contacted via my website, please feel free to contact me directly.