We wanted to add this page to ensure that those who choose to visit our website leave it fully informed about the specific kinds of health testing ANY Rottweiler that is intended to be bred should have PRIOR to being bred. In fact many breeders, including myself, recommend that all puppies in a litter are tested whether they are to be breeding dogs or not.
First and foremost, ethical breeders will never breed any of their breeding dogs until they have reached 24 MONTHS OF AGE minimum.
Now onto the health tests. These tests are not terribly expensive, can be done staggered so the cost does not have to be all at one time, and any ethical breeder does them without hesitation.
IF YOU FIND A BREEDER WHO MAKES EXCUSES AS TO WHY THEY HAVE NOT DONE THE ANY OF THE TESTING, MY RECOMMENDATION IS TO KEEP LOOKING. There are enough of us out there who do.
The health testing we do on our Rottweilers is in no way is a 100% guarantee your puppy will not ever have an issue. It happens as it does in humans. But these tests are the BEST screening tools a breeder can use to ensure the dogs that are bred are healthy, and that only the healthiest dogs are chosen for breeding.
The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA Website) in the United States is the public database accessible to anyone. So as long as you have the registered name (or even just part of it) of the dog you want to inquire about, you can easily see what tests, if any, the dogs has clearances for.
For example, the link below will take you directly to our Scotia’s database on the OFA website.
You can see detailed all of the tests we did on her over the years and her clearance numbers. We also have all of the certificates here in our home to verify her clearances for those who ask or who have bought a puppy of hers from us.
The great things about searching the OFA website for a particular dog is that each individual dog’s page also links to their parents information and any and all siblings, half siblings and offspring who have been tested and certified through the OFA.
A little bit about the health issues the Rottweiler must be screened for is as follows:
Rottweilers as a breed have historically been prone to hip and elbow dysplasia. Hips and elbows are x-rayed, sometimes with light sedation, sometimes without. Those x-rays are submitted by the veterinarian who performed the procedure to OFA. A final certification number can only be obtained AFTER 24 months of age.
Sub Aortic Stenosis or SAS is a congential heart disease that affects the Rottweiler and if affected, the puppy will have it at birth. It is a malformation of the left ventricle. Many puppies are born with an innocent puppy murmur, so if this is detected in a young pup, it needs to be further investigated as it may very well disappear in time, or it may prove to be something worse like SAS.
To ensure that breeding dogs have a healthy heart, a full cardiac exam is a must. My personal recommendation is a cardiac echocardiogram performed by a board certified cardiologist. The results of this exam is submitted to OFA and the results will be posted the OFA database. This exam will give the clearest picture of the individual dog’s heart. It is vital that this test is done. Rottweilers can and will literally drop dead from SAS.
They are also a breed that should have their eyes tested by a board certified canine ophthalmologist, ideally yearly. These eye certifications for Rottweilers are to ensure they are clear of cataracts or any other eye issues. Although eye issues are usually not life threatening, testing for and breeding dogs with clear/normal eyes is still a very important thing.
The more recent genetic test that has been added to the list of tests that are a MUST for the Rottweiler is the DNA test for JLPP, or Juvenile Laryngeal Paralysis and Polyneuropathy. This is a simple swab test. JLPP is an autosomal recessive and hereditary disease that affects this breed beginning around 3 months old. It begins with difficulty breathing during excitement or exercise and progresses to weakness/loss of coordination in the hind limbs and eventually the front as well. It can progress further to pneumonia and ultimately ends in the death of a young dog.
This page is still a work in progress so please check back for more health information!