Where dreams Really Do Come True               

Great Spirit Australian Shepherds 
                                                                   Lifetime Members of ASCA ~
  Aussies Since 2007 ~ Selah!
Great Spirit Australian Shepherds is a
Licensed AKC and ASCA Registered Kennel   


Your Subtitle text

Breed Health Tests

 Australian Shepherd Breeder Health Exams, Tests and DNA
A - Z
Updated November 2014
(Our dogs genetic health tests may be found at the bottom of this page.)

The cost of health testing to the responsible breeder is estimated at $600 per dog prior to breeding.
The test expenditure is dependent on location and test service provider selected.
- Tests May Include -
(OFA Eye Exam, OFA Hips/Elbow, MDR1, HC, CEA, PHA(optional), ASCA DNA and AKC DNA if required)
B/B is a coat color test for red factor and is optional.

Aussie Genetics Fact Sheet: Australian Shepherd Genetic Disease Prevalence
by C.A. Sharp
Fact Sheet:

The two most common cancers are hemangiosarcoma and lymphoma
At present, there is no known genetic screening test for cancer.

CEA: Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA) Animal Genetics Test $75 + cheek swab free OR blood draw, about $35 Veterinarian blood draw.
Australian Shepherds - Animal Genetics  CEA, HC, MDR1, CMR1, CD, DM tests completed together cost $180
Collection Instructions: Animal Genetics accepts buccal swab, blood, and dewclaw samples for testing. Sample collection kits are available and can be ordered from Animal Genetics.
Order a sample kit from Animal Genetics http://www.animalgenetics.us/Canine/Canine-sample-kit.asp
List of Tests http://www.animalgenetics.us/Canine/Genetic_Disease/CEA.asp
Fact Sheet: COLLIE EYE ANOMALY http://www.ashgi.org/articles/fact_cea.htm

CEA Results: (A dog with one mutant copy and one normal copy of the CEA gene is a carrier – is heterozygous. A dog with two copies of the normal CEA gene is homozygous normal.)  Limits to All Genetic Testing: Whether a test is mutation-based or marker-based, it identifies only the specific mutation being tested or the association between a specific marker set and the disease. For example, a mutation test detects one specific mutation in one specific gene. If there are several different mutations or several different genes that can cause the same condition, one must discover and then test for each mutation and each gene.Collie Eye Anomaly - CEA test from Animal Genetics
In conjunction with genetic testing, an eye exam by a veterinary ophthalmologist is recommended before 8-9 weeks of age, with annual eye exams thereafter. The eye exam will give you information about mild versus severe CEA/CH disease among affected dogs.

Animal Genetics: Canine Combination Rates for Australian Shepherds Tests for the following genetic anomalies :
CEA, HC MDR1, CMR1, CD, DM The cost for the complete panel test is $180
Collie Eye Anomaly
HC: Hereditary Cataracts (HSF4)
MDR1: Multi-drug Resistance
CMR1: Canine Multifocal Retinopathy Type 1
CD: Cone Degeneration

Australian Shepherds - Animal Genetics  CEA, HC, MDR1, CMR1, CD, DM tests completed together cost $180

Animal Genetics Frequently Asked Questions - Link
Mail test samples and fees to:

Animal Genetics,
1336 Timberlane RD.
Tallahassee, FL 32312-1766

COAT: Aussie Genetics Fact Sheet: Dilute Color and Dilution Spots
“The mode of inheritance for dilution spots is not known, but dogs which have them are more likely to throw them.”
Fact Sheet:

DEAFNESS IN AUSSIES EARS: Aussie Genetics Fact Sheet: Pigment & Deafness "Dogs with considerable amounts of white on or immediately surrounding the ear are more likely to also be lacking pigment within the ear."

"Not every form of deafness is pigment-related. However, this is the most likely cause of congenital hearing loss in Australian Shepherds." "Dogs with considerable amounts of white on or immediately surrounding the ear are more likely to also be lacking pigment within the ear."
Fact Sheet: http://www.ashgi.org/home-page/genetics-info/faq/ears
A BAER test may be necessary to determine the degree of loss.
DDEAF - Deaf Dog Education http://www.deafdogs.org/
Activities for Deaf Dogs:  http://www.deafdogs.org/resources/activities.php

AKC Voluntary DNA Profile

This voluntary program has resulted from significant input from the fancy. The DNA Profile Program is for owners and breeders electing to add value to their breeding programs by eliminating concerns or questions about identification and parentage.

A dog owner may contact AKC for a DNA Test Kit which includes a swab that the owner uses to collect loose cells from inside the dog's cheek. An AKC DNA Profile containing the dog's registration information, genotype, and a unique DNA Profile number is issued for each dog sampled. This DNA Profile number will appear on subsequently issued Registration Certificates and Pedigrees.

AKC DNA $35-40 + Veterinarian blood draw (or) free collection sample using buccal cheek swab
Method: Blood draw OR collected sample using buccal cheek swabs as provided by lab

AKC DNA Test Kit
AKC has two types of kits. The regular kit is available at no charge, and the $40 processing fee (per dog) is due when the sample is returned to the AKC. We also offer a Prepaid Test Kit for only $35 (per dog). You can save $5 per dog by paying in advance.
AKC DNA testing is for purebred AKC registrable breeds only.

DNA Test Kits may be ordered through the AKC Online Store, or by contacting the AKC: AKC DNA Operations
AKC DNA Requirements
AKC DNA Profiling is required for: Frequently Used Sires (dogs having the greatest impact on the AKC Stud Book); imported breeding stock; dogs whose semen is collected for fresh-extended or frozen use; and for the sires, dam and puppies for Multiple-Sired Litter Registration.

PO Box 900065
Raleigh, NC 27675-9065
phone: 919-233-9767
fax: 919-816-4255


ASCA DNA  REQUIRED FOR LITTER REGISTRATION $40 blood draw - $45 cheek swab
All sires and dams must be DNA profiled with an ASCA approved laboratory prior to the registration of their first litter
(Effective January 1, 2011).

ASCA Kits can be purchased by printing the Request for DNA Kit form from the
 Forms Section of this website and faxing it with credit card info or mailing it with a check (U.S. Funds only) to the ASCA Business Office.
Method: Blood draw OR collected sample using buccal cheek swabs as provided by ASCA Supplies lab kit 
ASCA Supplies Lab Kit http://www.asca.org/programs/dna

Approved Lab - Therion International, LLC in Saratoga Springs NY,
The most efficient, reliable and recommended way to provide samples for DNA profiling is the collection of a tube of whole blood, although another alternative, the blood card, is available for the same price.


DNA- Certified Profiled – An ASCA registered Australian Shepherd that has been DNA profiled with an ASCA approved lab, but one or both of whose parents have been NOT DNA profiled.

DNA- Verified Parentage – An ASCA registered Australian Shepherd that has been DNA profiled with an ASCA approved laboratory, and
whose parents have also been DNA profiled with an ASCA approved laboratory.

Epilepsy: Aussie Genetics Fact Sheet: Epilepsy
by C.A. Sharp
Fact Sheet:
Epilepsy is a seizure disorder that can be caused by a variety of things such as injury, infections, toxic exposure and genetics.  At present, there is no known genetic screening test for epilepsy.
Epilepsy Information – Toby’s Foundation  http://www.tobysfoundation.org/

HC HSF4: Hereditary Cataracts (HC) Test - Animal Genetics Test $45
Collect sample using buccal cheek swab provided by "Animal Genetics".

Lab: Animal Genetics, Inc. 1336 Timberlane Road, Tallahassee, FL 32312 ·
www.animalgenetics.us · Toll Free 866-922-6436 ·
Fact Sheet:
Australian Shepherds - Animal Genetics  CEA, HC, MDR1, CMR1, CD, DM tests completed together cost $180
Animal Genetics Frequently Asked Questions - Link
Mail test samples and fees to:
Animal Genetics,
1336 Timberlane RD.
Tallahassee, FL 32312-1766

MDR1: VETMED (PULLMAN, WA) MDR1 Test - Drug Allergy testing fee $70
Test Method: DNA Collect sample using buccal swabs provided by VETMED University of WA at Pullman, WA
Order a testing kit by contacting the Veterinary Clinical Pharmacology Laboratory at Washington State University: www.vetmed.wsu.edu/vcpl or by phone 509-335-3745 Facts: Some dog breeds are more sensitive to certain drugs than other breeds. Aussies can have adverse reactions to drugs such as ivermectin and loperamide (Imodium). Drug sensitivities result from a mutation in the Multi-Drug Resistance gene (MDR1).
Dogs with the mutant gene cannot pump some drugs out of the brain as a normal dog would. The result may be an illness requiring an extended hospital stay - or even death.

There is now a test available to screen for the presence of the mutated MDR1 gene. Test results indicate if the dog carries M/M two, M/N one or N/N no copies of the mutated gene. For further information on the MDR1 genetic mutation and the test, visit the website of the Veterinary Clinical Pharmacology Laboratory at Washington State University's College of Veterinary Medicine.
Test Kit:
Problem Drugs WSU: http://www.vetmed.wsu.edu/depts-VCPL/drugs.aspx
***MDR1 Problem Drugs List: Buster Alert http://www.busteralert.org/

Animal Genetics (Another testing company) 
Animal Genetics MDR 1 - Multi-drug Resistance Drug Allergy testing fee $55.00 US
OR may be completed as a part of
Australian Shepherds test- Animal Genetics  CEA, HC, MDR1, CMR1, CD, DM tests when completed together cost $180
Animal Genetics Frequently Asked Questions - Link
Mail test samples and fees to:

Animal Genetics,
1336 Timberlane RD.
Tallahassee, FL 32312-1766

MDR 1 Breeding Table

Genetic Testing


OFA EYES: An Examination of Eye Screening
Aussies can inherit a number of eye defects which impair vision in varying degrees or cause complete blindness. They include ocular coloboma, iris coloboma, juvenile and senior cataracts, detached retina, persistent pupillary membrane, progressive retinal atrophy and distichiasis.
Fact Sheet: Eyes http://www.ashgi.org/home-page/genetics-info/eyes
Living With Blind Dogs:  www.blinddogs.com
Games for Blind Dogs: http://www.blinddogs.com/games_for_blind_dogs.htm

OFA ECR EYE EXAM: Eye Certification Registry exams OFA Eyes Test $22-$35 + submission fee $8-$12
OFA http://www.offa.org/

Eye Exams by C.A. Sharp
The Exam http://www.offa.org/eye_evaluation.html
OFA Eye Certification Registry exams are ophthalmic examinations, Performed by American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists (ACVO) Breeding advice will be offered based on guidelines established for that particular breed by the

Genetics Committee of the ACVO: The most common eye diseases in the breed are cataracts, distichiaisis, persistent pupilary membrane, and iris coloboma, with Progressive Rod Cone Degeneration (PRCD), a form of progressive retinal atrophy(PRA), Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA), Canine Multifocal Retinopathy (CMR), and glaucoma have been seen but are rare.  Merle ocular dysgenesis also occurs, but since we know this is the result of breeding two merles together the source of the problem is obvious and easy to avoid. Dogs with normal exam results will receive OFA eye certification numbers valid for one year. Australian Shepherds should be examined as young puppies (no later than 8 weeks) and annually thereafter until at least ten years of age.

Eye Screenings:
(NOW Most use OFA Eye Certification Registry exams)

OFA Eye Test $22-$35
Fact Sheet: Eyes http://www.ashgi.org/home-page/genetics-info/eyes
Eye exam by a certified veterinarian ophthalmologist

OFA HIPS AND ELBOWS Orthopedic Foundation for Animals: Degenerative Joint Disease
Canine Hip/Elbow Dysplasia (CHD)
OFA Certification Test – Hips and Elbow $125-$400 + $30-$45 OFA fee
OFA http://www.offa.org
OFA Procedure: http://www.offa.org/hd_procedures.html
Method: OFA X-ray exam after age 2 - Digital x-ray without sedation or x-ray with sedation
Alternative Method: “OFA Preliminary” X-ray exam after age 12 months
  1. The dog must at least 12 months of age at the time of radiogrph
  2. The dog must be permanently identified via microchip or tattoo
  3. OFA recommends radiographs be taken one month after weaning pups and one month before or after a heat cycle. Physical inactivity because of illness, weather, or the owner's management practices may also result in some degree of joint laxity. The OFA recommends evaluation when the dog is in good physical condition.

PennHIP Canine Hip/Elbow Dysplasia (CHD) PennHIP - Test: Hips and Elbow Cost: TBD by vet
Method: PennHip X-Ray as early as 16 weeks
PennHIP Alternative (CHD) testing
The reliability of the PennHIP method slightly improves with age, with one year 1 year being marginally superior to 6 months, which in turn is marginally better than 4 months.
Method: X-Ray The total fee for a PennHIP evaluation is determined by the veterinarian providing the service. It is important to remember that the total service includes sedation/anesthesia, 3 radiographs, office consultation and all charges associated with mailing and film evaluation. You will not find it necessary to write a separate check for evaluation fees or mailing of your dog's films. The film evaluation charge will be included in the total cost of a PennHIP evaluation.

HIPS: A condition of the hip joint in which the bones are not properly formed. It results in a loose hip socket to thighbone connection causing hip pain and lameness ranging from mild to crippling.

 DYSPLASTIC ELBOWS: A condition of the elbow joint in which the bones are not properly formed. It results in a loose elbow connection causing pain and lameness ranging from mild to crippling.

Certified PennHIP Exam Veterinarians: http://info.antechimagingservices.com/pennhip/navigation/locate-pennHIP-vet/locate-pennHIP-vet.html
When Your Dog Has Hip Dysplasia: http://www.2ndchance.info/hipdysplasiadog.htm
Activities For DYSPLASTIC Dogs: "Encourage your dog to walk and exercise moderately. Swimming is ideal."

Aussie Genetics Fact Sheet:PHA Fact Sheet: http://www.ashgi.org/home-page/genetics-info/heart-and-blood/pelger-huet-anomaly
Pelger-Huet Anomaly (PHA) test $20 fee + any vet blood draw fee (Submit 2 blood samples per dog)

Send your dog's 2 blood smear samples to:
Kenneth Latimer DMV, PhD, DACVP
Veterinary Clinical Pathologist
680 Morton Road
Athens, GA 30605
Submit: $20 Check made payable to Dr. Kenneth Latmier
Your Name and address
Email Address
(Vet's name if applicable)
Dog's Registered Name
Call Name
Reg. Number
Age or DOB
Coat Color
Package blood smears securely in a mailing tube or small box. Send to Dr. Latimer's address listed above.

Pelger-Huet Anomaly is an incomplete dominant. Dogs with only one gene are almost always healthy, but if bred to another heterozygote, the pups that receive two PHA genes will be reabsorbed, stillborn or die shortly after birth.

PHA is a breeder's problem, rather than an owner's, because it rarely affects the health of a dog but results in small litters or loss of neonates. There is a blood test to screen for it (make sure the lab does the canine test, not one for another species because they don't work for dogs).

All Aussies used for breeding whose parents have not tested clear of PHA should be screened. If a dog carries PHA, don't ever breed it to another carrier. Be sure anyone buying puppies of a PHA carrier for breeding knows that they will need to be screened to determine their PHA status before being bred.

Pelger-Huet Anomaly results in smaller litters, greater chance of stillbirths, and higher litter mortality rate.

Teeth Aussie Genetics Fact Sheet: Bad Bites & Missing Teeth
by C.A. Sharp
Fact Sheet: http://www.ashgi.org/home-page/genetics-info/teeth-and-jaws/missing-teeth

Lab: "Animal Genetics" - Verification DNA http://www.horsetesting.com/Canine/CaninePricing.htm Animal Genetics writes, "A DNA profile for one dog is $35.00. A parentage analysis includes a DNA profile for each potential parent, and one offspring. In the case of proving parentage for an entire litter, every extra dog is $30.00. For example, if you are profiling the mother, father, and 5 puppies, the cost would be $100.00 for the sire and dam and first puppy, and $120.00 for the other 4 puppies, totaling $220.00." An additional sire is $30.

Single DNA Typing
$35.00 US
Parentage Verification (Both Suspected Parents and 1 Offspring)
$100.00 US
Parentage Verification- Each Additional Littermate
$30.00 US

Disclaimer: The links are for informational purposes only. Great Spirit Aussies makes no endorsements of any the provided testing information from the testing providers. Information is subject to change. Check for updates, and use at your own risk.  Email known changes to: australian.shepherds.us@gmail.com

* Below are copies of our Animal Genetic Tests *

"Wyatt" X "May" Litter 5 of 6 live birth

Gaucho X Annie (repeat litter) 9 of 12 live birth!

"Gaucho" X "Annie" (a singleton pup)

"Gaucho" X "Oh! Zana" 3 of 6 live birth (Tramadol after C-Section)
(Tramadol should not be used in nursing due to adverse reactions!)
Pups were born vigorously healthy and sadly, 3 slowly went to sleep
while our vet told us otherwise. We sprung into action and the other
3 were fine within hours of stopping the nursing of Tramadol laced milk.

"Annie" (HC - normal/normal)

Test Results Completed - 2-11-15

Test Results completed 10-22-14

MDR1 m/n, HC n/n, CEA n/CEA (Oh! Zana had an eye injury, not hereditary.)
Foundation Bitch: "Oh! Zana" Sire: Laurelwood's Workin' The Angles "Dealer" X MoonValley's Macy's Parade "Macy"

MDR1 m/n
Foundation Sire "Dexter" CEA and HC Normal/Normal Sire: Laurie's Firehouse "Chili" X Sheep's Kin Spectacular Vantage "Spec"
Puppy Parvo survivor! DOB 5-17-09 to 3-13-18 died from abdominal tumor.
Website Builder