I would add that the title of the thread is how it was described to me in an email so I used the same terms they did. So that is why I was confused from the start. I am now unconfused....
I think OFA provides great information for breeders and buyers alike. I wish more would use it. Unfortunately there is a fee for every submission, which adds up for a breeder that has several breeding dogs. Many breeders I have talked do not send results in to OFA but keep their own records.
OFA Can be a useful shortcut for information, but people still need to ask for the actual certs. And as is noted–a very important point–a lot of breeders do NOT submit results to this registry anyway, For a range of reasons, many of them very valid– and so omission of a breeder on OFA does not mean that breeder is necessarily not a great, health testing breeder. aAgain, that's why people need to ask to see the actual certs from any breeder.
Unfortunately, although there is at least one breeder that has worked very hard In the US to try to set up a health registry which would list results of MRIs, along with other health tests and would be specific to the breed and that's very useful for breeders and puppy buyers alike, there has been very little broad breeder interest or take up. The UK list is pretty meaningless. All it means is that someone might have done a scan at some point. I am aware that some people did a scan so that they could get on the list and appear to be “scanning breeders”. And obviously, that works–because a lot of people have defended breeders by saying that they are on that list, as if that alone makes them reputable and health focused. I think it would actually suit breed health better not even to have that list posted any longer–it did start out as a list of dogs that had scanned with a particular grade and would have been a lot more useful all-around.
The KC/BVA scheme will be very useful for breeders and for puppy buyers, because it will give readers a standardized grade indicating the scan results for a dog, and there will be a panel that adjudicates on the scans to give consistency. There were initial problems with dogs being given all clear 'grades' (though this was breeders self assigning grades based on the scans, not actual grades given under the agreed scheme in place amongst a core group of researchers for consistency, so they would have been meaningless interpretations in a lot of cases.). In other words clear of CM and clear of SM–especially in the US, whereas, when the scans were read for a 2nd opinion, it turned out the dogs did have CM, and in some cases they also had a pre-syrinx or small syrinx as well. I've seen a couple of those scans myself from people who sent them along to me and know that the subsequent interpretation was changed.
It is really important for there to be the kind of standardized approach that will come in with the KC/BVA scheme. Hopefully it will get wide breeder support and bring a lot more transparency and consistency to scan interpretation.
Cavaliers: Tansy : Mindy Connie Roxy Neasa Gus
In memory: My beautiful Jaspar Lucy Leo Lily Libby