Health Testing

2016 Siena age 12 Wearing her PWDCA Gold Register of Merit - Ch Aviator's Peanut Gallery CD RA OA NAJ CGC CWD GROM



Tagalong PWD believes the Portuguese Water Dog should be  loyal to its owner and spirited, intelligent, athletic, assertive and active.  Maintaining the vigor and health to work on land and in the water is important. TagAlong PWD conducts the recommended  health tests identified below for Portuguese Water Dogs and receives a CHIC (Canine Health Informatation Center) number for each dog tested.  A CHIC number is issued when test results are entered into the public Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) database satisfying each breed specific requirement, and when the owner of the dog has opted to release the results into the public domain. You may check the OFA records of a dog by entering its AKC number into the OFA database search.  A link to the OFA database shows the health records for Siena our foundation and the Tagalong bred dogs listed below:


All puppies Tagalong PWD places receive a Veterinarian health check up, microchip, first shots and  a CERF test before going to their new homes. Parents have been tested or are certified cleared by parentage for the following PWDCA recommended health tests.  Always make sure you have reviewed the health tests for your puppy's parents.  


Cardio -  Juvenile Dilated Cardiomyopathy (JDCM) is a recessive genetic disorder that will affect a puppy  with Cardio if both parents carry the gene and pass it on.  Cardio, typically results in death due to reduced heart function at less than a few months of age.  In the past few years, the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine developed a DNA linkage marker for Cardio.  The test indicateds non-carriers (Normal, type 1-1) and carriers (type 1-2).

CERF - The Canine Eye Registration Foundation (CERF)  is an organization that was founded by a group of concerned, purebred owner/breeders who recognized that the quality of their dog's lives were being affected by heritable eye disease. For more information please see:  Dogs are now receiving OFA Eye Certification Registry (CAER) certification following their eye exams.  The CAER  provides breeders with information regarding canine eye diseases so that they may make informed breeding decisions in an effort to produce healthier dogs. CAER certifications are performed by board certified (ACVO) veterinary ophthalmologists. 

GM1 - Storage Disease (GM1 gangliosidosis) is a recessive, genetic disorder. It is produced only when two carriers are bred together. The disorder is caused by a lack of an enzyme that allows the build up of toxic substances in the nerve cells. It is fatal to affected puppies. 

OFA - The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals  collates and disseminates information concerning orthopedic and genetic diseases of animals. At two years of age an OFA number is provided for dogs receiving a Fair, Good or Excellent hip rating. For more information please see:

Optigen -  A DNA test is conducted to identify dogs that are either normal, carriers or affected with Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA).  PRA is caused by a recessive gene.  Pattern A and A1 dogs that are normal do not carry the gene.  Pattern B or B1 dogs are carriers that have one recessive gene and Pattern C and C1 dogs  carry two recessive genes and are affected with PRA leading to blindness.  For more information please see: