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Foxy's 2012 Iris Melanoma

This page is relevant to those that are interested in a one of Foxy's pups.

The purpose of this page is to explain the lack of Foxy having a 2012 CERF certificate and how we still have a litter of pups even with out the certificate.

First off, please understand that we do everything that we know about to ensure that we produce healthy, happy, genetically diverse pups that will make excellent companions no matter where you take them. To that end we have made sure to certify Foxy for all of the various health risks that are of concern for Labrador's. As you can see from the page that lead you here, she is an excellent example of a well breed dog that has scored at the top possible categories for all of her exams. That is, until this year. As it turns out, there is a hypothesis that iris melanomas in Labradors may be hereditary. Foxy's ophthalmologist could only find one reference article from 1999 that mentions this possibility. It is an article titled "Treatment of presumed iris melanoma in dogs by laser photocoagulation: 23 cases" that was printed in the Veterinary Ophthalmology in 1999. The article states the following in the 'results' section:

Beyond this article Foxy's ophthalmologist found no other research or information pointing to the fact that iris melanoma's are in fact hereditary. Instead they are still classified as probably hereditary.

Once we found out that Foxy's CERF had been rejected in 2012 due to her iris melanoma, we contacted the vet at CERF and the folks at Optigen and started asking questions. During the dialogue that we opened with them we learned several things.
1. The folks at Optigen are in the process of attempting to develop a genetic test by "collecting samples for research aimed at identifying the mutation(s) responsible for Iris Melanoma in Golden and/or Labrador retrievers". Note: It will most likely be several years before this test will be developed. Also note, Foxy's blood has been submitted and should a test be developed then we will be notified at that time if here melanoma was hereditary in nature, or not.
2. After several email conversations with the vet at CERF and having her review Foxy's health history and the health history of her ancestors and the health history of Scooter's ancestors (the sire for our 2012 litter), she stated that if she were in the market for a Labrador and had already settled on this litter of pups; given the history of the dogs and that foxy didn't present with the iris melanoma until she was six and a half, she would still take a puppy from this litter.
3. Disallowing a CERF certificate due to iris melanoma is a relatively new circumstance. Even Foxy's ophthalmologist was shocked to here that she was disqualified due to the melanoma. And by the way, so is every other vet I've told this to in the past month or so.

So, how did we end up with a litter of pups from a no longer CERF'ed labrador...
Originally we were not going to breed this spring based on when we expected Foxy to go into heat and then consequently when the puppies would be born. If she were on the schedule we expected, then we would have been out of the country when the puppies would arrive. Well it turned out that she went into heat a full month late. And due to this "extra" month, everything worked out excellent with our calendar. So, off we went to the ophthalmologist for the CERF exam, where the only thing that showed up was the iris melanoma and a small growth on her lower eyelid. Two things that in the ophthalmologists experience had never caused a dog to fail their CERF. So we had the iris melanoma ablated and moved forward with confirming our sire for the litter and getting Foxy pregnant.

Upon returning from our vacation out of the country I received the news in the mail that Foxy's CERF was rejected due to the iris melanoma and then embarked on all of the conversations that were mentioned above.

If you are interested in a puppy from Foxy and have any other questions about the CERF certification or iris melanoma, please contact us via email. info at FourPaw.com