After three weeks of anticipation, Oscar received his OFA tests back today. Oscar’s hips are rated excellent (the highest rating) and his elbows and shoulders are normal (as were his heart and eyes in the past). Although the vet said everything looked great at the time he took the X-rays, he does not determine the actual rating. The X-rays are sent to a team of three independent doctors who make the decision, so the actual results could be different. David is overjoyed that Oscar now has his full swissy clearances.
It’s very important to not buy a dog from a breeder without clearances. If a dog fails their clearances it’s optional to disclose. With bernese or greater swiss mountain dog it’s essential to have the hips, elbows, shoulders, and eyes done at a minimum. A breeder being a member of a national club such as the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Club of America (GSMDCA) or the Bernese Mountain Dog Cub (BMDCA) means nothing as clearances are just guidelines, not actively enforced.
Once Oscar turned two years old, he was able to get his OFA tests done. OFA for a swissy should involve x-rays of the shoulders, hips, and elbows to clear them for breeding purposes. Yesterday Oscar and David woke up at 5:30AM to drive to Pennsylvania to meet with a vet who specializes in OFA. There was another greater swiss mountain dog ahead of us, who was nervous in the waiting room and had to be sedated. Oscar was not nervous, but he was rather cunning, wanting to walk out the door. I think that he was imagining that he was about to get a bath. Oscar’s turn finally came, and he went inside with the vet. The vet came out after 10 minutes with bad news and informed me that Oscar wiggled, threw his body weight around, and tried to escape twice. He felt bad about sedating him because Oscar was not some vicious dog trying to bite him; he was just trying to escape from the room, not realizing that it was only x-rays. He said that Oscar could have won the award for the worst patient ever. The front desk receptionist added, “And he’s been doing it for 30 years”. Once Oscar got a little sleepy and the x-rays were completed, the doctor said everything looked great with his tests!