The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) is where you can find health test results for Leonbergers and other breeds of dogs and cats too! You can search the registered name of the Leonberger to find the health tests that have been completed and the results sent to OFA. OFA passing hips are rated excellent, good or fair and any of these passing grades are given an OFA number and are certified as normal. OFA passing elbows are only graded clear (or normal) and are given a OFA number. Elbows receiving a grade 1, 2 or 3 are not rated clear and have some evidence of elbow dysplasia, with a grade 1 usually indicating mild elbow dysplasia and a grade of 3 indicating severe elbow dysplasia. OFA normal thyroid panel is given an OFA number. An OFA equivocal rating for thyroid usually indicates that one part of the thyroid panel fell just outside the acceptable range. An equivocal test result does not indicate a thyroid problem but it is not a passing result either. Failing thyroid results may indicate thyroid issues which in some cases are known to be genetic in nature. Eye exams should be repeated yearly to detect any changes in the eyes such as cataract formation, which are often progressive and appear in older dogs. Eye certifications are valid for one year and frequent eye exams are important to determine the health of the eyes as the dog ages.
For the Leonberger there are six health tests that are usually carried out on dogs that will enter the breeding pool. These are hips and elbows x-rayed and rated by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) (done after 2 years of age), eyes tested via a certified canine ophthalmologist usually after 16 months and the results submitted to OFA, OFA thyroid screening carried out at an OFA approved laboratory and the University of Minnesota LPN1 and LPN2 genetic tests carried out on the individual dog, or the dog has tested clear parents and then is noted as “clear by parentage”.
When looking for a Leonberger puppy it is important that the parents of your puppy have health screening completed. You should discuss with the breeder the results of those and other health tests carried out on their dogs.