What a GREAT idea!!!
This morning I was looking up information on heath tests and VetGen offers the opportunity to purchase Gift Certificates . If you are ever thinking you would like to say Thank you to a dog (or cat) breeder- give them a Gift Certificate for future health testing. You will know that it will be used to improve their breeding program, and they will be very thankful for the assistance.
For Shelties, VetGen is the place to send DNA samples for the disease Von Willebrand's disease (vWD). vWD is a serious blood clotting disorder that can be fatal at times of trauma or surgery. This is particularly important since most dogs are spayed or neutered. Although it is becoming more rare (only 0.3% of TESTED dogs are affected, 9.4% are carriers), we can actually eliminate it from our breed through genetic testing. Unlike eye and hip tests, the test for vWD is a genetic test which lets a breeder know if that dog carries the gene for this disease.
If a breeder is doing the testing just for their own information, so they know they are breeding healthy dogs, they can take the sample themselves at home (it is an easy cheek swab- not drawing blood) and submit the sample to VetGen. The test price from VetGen is $140 for the first test - the price goes down per dog as you go up in the tests submitted together, but you spend more upfront to get the discount. If you want to have this test listed on OFA's website and counted towards a CHIC number, you have to pay OFA another $$7.50-15.00 (depending on who submits it) to list it, and also either have a licensed vet to do the collection and submission, or have VetGen "positively identify" the dog by doing a DNA Profile ($40). If you go the Vet route, they will charge you a minimum of an office fee, plus shipping the sample to VetGen. My Vet charged me $80- so one vWD test cost me $235.00 (sadly- if I had done it at home, it would have cost $187.50 and a lot less time!).
The great thing about genetic tests, if you breed two dogs who are "clear" together, all of the offspring are "clear by parentage"- but if you want that listed on the OFA site, or you need VetGen to verify this, each dog (both parents and the one you are attempting to get the new certificate) HAS to have a DNA Profile and then they charge you $50.00 to "verify" that what you claim is true and issue a "Clear by parentage" certificate.
Now, I think tests that are based on genes are really worth that price, but you can see how a gift certificate (in ANY amount) would really help.
What a GREAT idea!!!