Health

Generally the Chesapeake Bay Retriever is of good health, structurally sound and can do a full days work. The Chesapeake Bay Retriever does have some inherited diseases that can be seen on this page.

When buying a puppy, ask to see all test certificates and look what has been recorded on the Kennel Club (UK) and Kennel Club (USA)

The problems listed below are not common in good breed lines, but where it has been identified in the Chesapeake Bay Retriever, these matters would have been reported to the relevant breed clubs / secretaries.

To elliminate some of these health matters, tests and examinations can be done to reduce the risk of these problems occurring.

You can find information and advice on breeding and its impact on health in the Kennel Club's booklet Breeding for Health Information Guide.

A new rare potentially life-threatening disease - Alabama rot

Alabama rot, also known as CRGV (Cutaneous and Renal Glomerular Vasculopathy), is a very rare potentially life-threatening disease on the rise in the dog world.  The disease affects all breeds and doesn’t discriminate in terms of age or weight.

Information about Alabama Rot in your area can be found HERE

More detailed information about Alabama Rot can be found HERE

 

Chesapeake health test results (Dogs and Bitches)

The Kennel Club has several online health information resources, including information on recommended health screening and DNA tests. Mate Select gives owners, breeders and puppy buyers the opportunity to look up the health information that is available for any KC registered dog, using the Health Test Results Finder.

For imported dogs you can check your Chessies health test results HERE provided by the American Chesapeake Club.

 

PRA (progressive retinal atrophy)

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (also known as generalized progressive retinal atrophy or GPRA) is found in many dog breeds including the Chesapeake Bay Retriever. PRA is an inherited disease and can be checked by examining the back of the eye to look for characteristic signs of retinal degeneration. If PRA is present, this can lead to total blindness over a period of months to years. Early symptoms will be failing eyesight at low light levels (sometimes called 'night blindness').

No breeding should take place with dogs having PRA diagnosed - in the past this would only be visible in dogs around or over the age of 8 years old, which meant that many puppies will inherit the disease.

Currently, there is no affective treatment for PRA and your dog can become blind over time, however, if your dog develops PRA gradually, you can make your pet’s adaptation to blindness easier. There are many advice sheets available on the internet about ‘Living with a blind dog’. As biology progresses, gene therapy may provide some hope for the future, but that’s a long way off.

DNA tests can be carried out on young dogs, which will be used for breeding to identify PRA. These tests can identify the dogs that are affected and also show if a dog is a carrier or not. The carrier dog may not develop PRA itself but could pass on the disease to its offspring.

DNA Tests results recorded by the Kennel Club UK for PRA - go to THIS PAGE and you will see all the information on testing Labs and what happens to the 'Recording Results'.

 PRA blood test is a once only test. Some test centres listed below:

Hereditary cataracts

Cataracts are a relatively common eye condition that causes the lens of the eye to become opaque and cloudy. Not all cataracts are hereditary. Sometimes in Chesapeake Bay Retrievers you will find cataracts that are hereditary and its called 'Hereditary Cataracts (HC'.

Breeders should not breed from dogs that have this condition or is a carrier of the gene mutation. A breeder runs the risk of passing the condition on to their offspring. Dogs should be checked annually for signs of Hereditary Cataracts (HC).

Because of this hereditary condition, the Kennel Club (UK) in association with the British Veterinary Association (BVA), runs a testing scheme for dogs that are considered to be at risk of hereditary cataracts and that may be used for breeding.

More details about Cataracts can be found HERE

 

Degenerative myelopathy (DM)

Canine degenerative myelopathy (DM) is a neurological non-painful progressive hind limb paralysis in older dogs. This affects the Chesapeake Bay Retriever (and many other dog breeds). DM can be fatal with severe consequenses for the dog and huge distress for its owner(s).

There is a DNA  test for a gene that has been associated with DM. A dog identified as being at risk of developing the disease may well never have a problem with DM.

Most DNA tested dogs can be used responsibly in a breeding programme, but the decisions you make when choosing which dogs to mate must be informed and carefully planned.

Before looking at the breeding advice below, it is important to know which type of DNA test you have used, or are considering using. There are currently three different types of DNA tests available:

  • Those that test for autosomal-recessive conditions (most DNA tests)
  • Those that test for autosomal-dominant conditions
  • Linkage tests

More information can be found HERE

The Kennel Club (UK) screeningscheme information can be found HERE

DM dna test is a once only. Some test centres listed below:

 The names and results of Kennel Club registered dogs that are tested for conditions which are part of the Kennel Club’s official testing schemes will be recorded on the Kennel Club database for recording on their database and will be made available:

  • In the next available Breed Records Supplement
  • On any new registration certificate issued for the dog and
  • On the registration certificates of any future progeny of the dog
  • On the Health Test Results Finder in the Kennel Club website

More details about DM can be found HERE

 

Hip Dysplasia (HD)

Hip dysplasia is an inherited condition resulting from deformation in the dog’s hip joint(s). The deformation can be caused by genetic and environmental conditions. Some factors that can lead to hip dysplasia are excessive growth rate, types of exercise, and improper weight and nutrition.

These changes can lead to excessive wear and tear of the joint, causing one or both hip joints to become defective. At this stage the hip joint(s) become loose and painful. HD is primarily of genetic disease.

To determine the degree if deformation your dog may have is using x-rays. It is better if your dog is 1 year or older. The results of the x-rays determining the degree of deformity will be done by a veterinary panel who will then give each of the dogs hips a score. The lower the score the better for using the dog in breeding program.

For more information on HD, there is good information on the BVA Hip Dysplasia page where you can download the BVA/KC publication Hip Dysplasia in Dogs.

More details about HD can be found HERE

 

Elbow Dysplasia (ED)

Elbow dysplasia is the most common cause of forelimb lameness in young and large breed dogs. Most dogs have a limp on one or both front legs during walking.

Although most dogs will be diagnosed before they are two years old, some dogs will not limp until they are older. Elbow dysplasia are the commonest causes of forelimb lameness in dogs of any age.

Elbow dysplasia can be caused by genetic and environmental conditions. Some factors that can lead to elbow dysplasia are excessive growth rate, types of exercise, and improper weight and nutrition.

To determine the degree if deformation your dog may have is using x-rays. It is better if your dog is 1 year or older. The results of the x-rays determining the degree of deformity will be done by a veterinary panel who will then give each of the elbow joints a score. The lower the score the better for using the dog in breeding program.

The BVA/KC Elbow Scheme is there to reduce the number of incidence of the disease in dogs used for breeding.  Each elbow will get a score of between 0 - 3 determined by the panel.  The lower the grade, the better the structure of the elbow will be. 

For more information on ED, take a look at the BVA Elbow Dysplasia page where you can download the BVA/KC publication Elbow Dysplasia in Dogs.

More details about ED can be found HERE

 

Exercise-Induced Collapse (EIC):

Exercise-Induced Collapse (EIC) is an autosomal recessive genetic disorder causing affected dogs to suffer from a loss of muscle control following periods of extreme exercise. Typically, an affected dog begins to show symptoms between 5 months and 3 years of age, usually around the age that more intensive training begins.

More details about EIC can be found HERE