In 2007 a survey on Australian Cattle Dog health issues was sponsored by the Australian Cattle Dog Health Education and Welfare, Inc. Among the 402 breeders and owners who responded, the following items were found to be of the greatest concern:
- Orthopedic Issues: 338 (83%)
- Hip Dysplasia: 299 (89.3%)
- Elbow Dysplasia: 202 (60.3%)
- Deafness: 315 (77.4%)
- Bilateral Deafness: 282 (90.4%)
- Unilateral Deafness: 255 (81.7%)
- prcd-PRA: 305 (74.9%)
- Cancer: 190 (46.7%)
- Eye Disorders (other than prcd-PRA): 128 (31.4%)
These responses are consistent with comments of breeders and owners in various on-line forums as well as with formal and informal discussions held at National Specialties and other venues over the years. The results are also consistent with health statistics from other sources such as CERF and OFA and with the conclusions of researchers who have concerned themselves with our breed.
Australian Cattle Dog Enters CHIC Program
Armed with these health survey results the ACDHEW Board recommended standards for the Australian Cattle Dog’s entry into the Canine Health Information Center program— commonly know at CHIC. The recommendations were adopted by the ACDCA, Inc. Board in July.
CHIC is a joint program of the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) and the AKC Canine Health Foundation. Detailed information on CHIC may be found at www.caninehealthinfo.org.
CHIC goals, benefits, policies and guidelines are described below in detail. In short, when the ACDCA adopts standards for participation in the CHIC program, any ACD fancier who voluntarily complies with the criteria may apply for a CHIC number for their dog(s). The CHIC number itself does not imply normal test results, only that all the required breed specific tests were performed and the results-whether normal or not--made publicly available. The program is dynamic in that revised requirements can be adopted for a breed when warranted by changes in health information or by the availability of new tests. The CHIC program encourages breed appropriate testing and recognizes breeders who conduct such testing.
Quarterly reports of CHIC results will be emailed to the ACD Quarterly Editor and ACDHEW, Inc. for distribution.