Important Basenji Health Tests
There are 4 health tests that have been recommended by the Basenji Club of America as needed to obtain a Canine Health Information Certificate (CHIC) with the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA).
The four tests are Hips, Eyes, Thyroid, and Fanconi Marker Test. All test results for these four tests must be public for dogs to recieve a CHIC number.
Hip testing to obtain an OFA number can not by done until a dog is at least 24 months old, http://www.offa.org/hipinfo.html. The dog must have its hips x-rayed by a veterinarian and the x-rays submitted to OFA. The x-rays will then be graded and the grade sent to the owner. If the dog has a passing grade (Excellent, Good, or Fair) they are automatically listed in OFA's public database. Non-passing grades are only listed with owner permission. OFA recommends all breeders and buyers consider any dog without an OFA grade listed in the database to be dysplastic to error on the safe side.
Eye testing by a veterinary opthamologist is recommended by the Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF)every year though it is not uncommon to see them done every other year when a basenji is younger (under 5 or 6) since most disorders are seen either at 10 weeks or after 5 or 6 in basenjis. CERF reports can be registered with CERF for public listing and are linked to a dog's OFA record if it has one.
Thyroid testing can be done for the OFA registry after 12 months of age, http://www.offa.org/hipinfo.html. This requires a blood draw and submission to an OFA approved lab. It is recommended that thyroid testing for autoimmune thyroiditis is checked yearly until the age of 5 and then every other year after that.
FANCONI MARKER TESTING
The Fanconi Marker Test can be done as soon as the animal is able to give at least 3cc of blood. This is test result will automatically become public in the OFA database. Dogs must be registered with the Canine Phenome Project, http://www.caninephenome.org, in order to be tested. For pet basenjis, if the parents DNA status is unknown or 1 parent has not tested clear, it is highly recommended that this test be run. Early detection of this disease can help slow the progress of the disease and improve the quality of life of the animal.
Other testing that may be done is Elbows, Patellas and Cardiac.
Elbows can be tested at the same time as hips, http://www.offa.org/elbowinfo.html. They require x-rays that are submitted to OFA and rated. There is a discount for submitting elbows with hips to OFA at the same time.
Patellas can be tested after 12 months old, http://www.offa.org/patluxinfo.html. This is aphysical examination performed by your veterinarian. All normal results are made public automatically, abnormal results are only made public by owner permission.
It is important that all owners submit their patella results regardless of the rating so the breed has accurate statistics to make decisions aboutthe seriousness of this issue in the breed and allocation of research money.
Cardiac testing can be done after 12 months of age, http://www.offa.org/cardiacinfo.html. Normal results are automatically listed in the OFA database. Abnormal results are only made public with owner permission. It is important that anyone who has had this testing done submit results to OFA so the breed has accurate statistics to base decisions about the seriousness of the issue in the breed and the allocation of research money.
Thank you lvoss for compiling this sticky!