UVS Specialists Screen Dogs for a Variety of Congenital Conditions

CERF examThe specialists at Upstate Veterinary Specialties (UVS) spend the majority of their days at the hospital diagnosing and treating patients with medical conditions requiring the expert diagnostic skills and medical knowledge developed during years of veterinary school and post-doctoral specialty training. Occasionally, their appointment schedules also include the opportunity to examine puppies when they come to UVS for breed certification or clearance exams.  These examinations tend to be focused and, because of their advanced, specialized training, UVS’ board-certified specialists are equipped with knowledge of heritable conditions that certain breeds are predisposed to and can identify these conditions.

Some Ophthalmic conditions which can be identified by Dr. Christa Corbett, UVS Ophthalmologist, during Companion
Animal Eye Registry (CAER)
screening exams (http://www.offa.org/eyes.html) include congenital conditions affecting the various structures of the eye including the cornea, the lens, the retina or the optic nerve.  Some breeds of dog are predisposed to particular eye conditions.  These conditions can be identified in puppies prior to being released to their new families.

Renal Dysplasia Screening examUVS Cardiologists, Drs. Aaron Wey and Cassidy Sedacca periodically perform puppy cardiac screening exams and Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) Congenital Cardiac Exams to screen for congenital heart diseases (birth defects) that could impact the dog’s length or quality of life.  Puppy screening exams are generally performed shortly before puppies go to their new families (at 7-10 weeks of age) to ensure that there are no signs of a cardiac defect prior to adoption.  OFA certifications cannot be completed until 1 year of age, primarily because some defects only manifest during development and a pet cannot be certified to be “clear” of the condition until they are full grown.

Our radiologist, Dr. Kristina Wilson also recently performed abdominal ultrasound examinations for a litter of 12-week-old Cairn terrier puppies to screen for a genetic kidney condition called renal dysplasia.

The certification or clearance exams performed by Dr. Wilson, and other UVS specialists comprise only a small fraction of the specialists’ clinical schedules.  However it is sometimes a fraction made up of adorable puppies, which are enjoyed by the staff of UVS!

UVS specialists utilize their years of advanced training to identify the presence of conditions prevalent in certain breeds as well as in particular patients.