Whippet Health Foundation Report
Health Clinics - 2009

This year we will be enjoying Southern Hospitality in April with David Howton and his hard working Atlanta team as they begin the final weeks of preparation for the AWC 2009 national. Once again the Whippet Health Foundation will be conducting health clinics during the week of events. We will have the following testing available: CERF, BAER, Cardiac Echocardiogram, AKC DNA profile testing and Myostatin Deficiency DNA tests from DDC.

As we did last year, the WHF will subsidize a portion of the per dog cost for BAER, cardiac and myostatin testing for those owners willing to enter their dogs and test results into the WHF database. While test results from all clinics are confidential, test results released to the WHF Database will be public record (open database).

Eye Clinic: Wednesday, April 8th. This clinic will be conducted by Dr. Charlie Martin, DVM, ACVO. Cost is $25 per dog. The CERF (Canine Eye Registration Foundation ) exam is a once a year test that examines your dogs eyes for inherited eye disease. The exam will require pupil dilation and takes approximately 15 to 20 minutes. This test is required for all sires and dams of futurity nominated litters. Sign up sheets for appointments will be available starting Monday morning in the ballroom. The clinic will run from 8am until finished.

BAER Hearing Clinic: Tuesday morning, April 7th. This clinic will be conducted by Dr. Susanne Hughes, DVM. The cost is $45 per dog ($25 for database participants). The BAER (Brain stem Auditory Evoked Response) test is a once per lifetime test to definitively determine if your dog can hear from both ears.  The test usually takes 10-15 minutes and sedation is not necessary. It is possible for a dog to be deaf in one ear and appear to have normal hearing so it is important to have all whippets checked, particularly animals used for breeding.  Sign up sheets for appointments will be available starting Monday morning in the ballroom. We will have additional exam time if we run into a conflict with the Futurity. If you are willing to enter both your dog and the BAER result into the WHF database, we will subsidize $20 of your cost, so you will only pay $25. These results will be acquired the day of the test.

Cardiac Echocardiogram Clinic: Monday, April 6th through Friday, April 10th. This clinic will be conducted by Rebecca Stepien and the cardiology team from University of Wisconsin, Madison. There will be two clinics; one for dogs already enrolled in the cardiac study and one for dogs not enrolled in the study but wanting heart clearances. All exams will take 30 minutes. Please read carefully so you know which clinic to sign up for and what the cost is:

  • Cardiac study Recheck exams: This exam is for those dogs previously enrolled in the cardiac study. The cost of the recheck exam to you is $50 ($100 minus $50 WHF subsidy). All dogs over 7 are FREE (woo hoo!). When you send in your sign up form, be sure to mark the correct box. All rechecks will be given priority in the cardiac clinic.
  • Cardiac Clearance exams: This exam is for anyone wanting a pre-breeding or health clearance check on a dog not in the study. The cost of the exam is $175. If you are willing to enter both your dog and the echocardiogram result into the WHF database, we will subsidize $50 of your cost, so you only pay $125. These results will be acquired the day of the test. Only one whippet will be allowed per owner to pre-register but more will be accommodated if time and space allow. If you have additional dogs you want to examine, please let me know when I contact you to schedule your appointment.
  • AKC DNA Profile test: ((DNA cheek swab test): $30/sample, mailed in with all samples following the national.

    Myostatin Deficiency test: (DNA test for the double muscle gene): $48/sample ($28 for database participants), mailed in with all samples following the national. Swabs will be available during the national from Dr. Lisa Costello. She will also be attending the race meets at Chattahoochee Farms at the end of the national week. If you will not be attending the national, you can acquire the swabs from DDC and send them along with payment directly to Dr. Costello and she will submit them with all samples following the national specialty (they must be submitted together). These samples must reach her at the address on the health clinic sign up form no later than APRIL 12th, 2009. If you will not be attending the AWC national and need to order sample collection kits directly, call 1-800-625-0874, or email contact@vetdnacenter.com ... do not order them from me!

    If you have any questions regarding the clinics, please contact Dr Lisa Costello at mtncow@earthlink.net.