CHIC & Health Testing
CHIC is the Canine Health Information Center. It is centralized database sponsored by the AKC Canine Health Foundation and Orthopedic Foundation of America (OFA) to provide breeders with a centralized source for breeders and owners to research information on health issue prevalent in his/her breed.
Each parent club determines what testing is required in order for a dog to receive its CHIC number and the dog is required to have a permanent ID in the form of microchip or tattoo. This permanent ID must be verified by the veterinarian who completes each health test form. Once you have completed and submitted the forms for each test, a CHIC number will be automatically generated.
For Chihuahuas, the following are required: Cardiac, Patella and Eye testing.
CCA offers pins to members who have received their CHIC number and certificates for non-members. The pins and certificates will be announced the national in the fall. If you will not be attending the national, please complete the online form and you will receive your certificate or pin after the national. CHIC numbers completed after the national will be announced the following year.
For more information on CHIC, access to the searchable database and more, go to http://www.caninehealthinfo.org/
All Chihuahuas used in a breeding program should be auscultated, listened to with a stethoscope, on an annual basis while being used in a breeding program. An auscultation can be done by your regular veterinarian or by a board certified cardiologist. Heart Murmurs are graded on a 1-6 scale, indicating the loudness of the murmur. If a murmur is detected, it is recommended you have further diagnostics to determine the cause of the murmur. Typically an echocardiogram should be performed by a board certified cardiologist. With Chihuahuas, the primary concern is mitral valve.
For OFA/CHIC purposes, the dog has to be one (1) yr or older. Ideally bitches who are currently pregnant, lactating, or in heat should not be auscultated at that time as some may develop transient, physiological murmurs (Brad Moses, DVM ACVIM-C). If a murmur is heard, the bitch should be re-auscultated 3 months after the puppies are weaned OR after the heat cycle has ended.
For more information on Mitral Valve disease, go to https://chihuahuaclubofamerica.org/health-committee-mission/mitral-valve-disease/
For more information on OFA Cardiac, go to https://www.ofa.org/diseases/other-diseases/cardiac-disease
OFA Eye Examination
OFA Eye Examination is the examination of your dog’s eye for specific ophthalmic disease. Only board certified veterinary ophthalmologists (ACVO) can perform the CERF examination. In addition to having all the specialized diagnostic tools, the ACVO diplomate can also provide breeding recommendations for those ophthalmic conditions that are considered “breeders choice” for certain types of minor ophthalmic issues.
The registration is good for twelve (12) months from the date of examination. And, while there is no minimum age requirement for CERF, the dog must be one (1) year of age at the time of the CERF examination to be valid for CHIC purposes.
For more information on OFA Eye Exam, go to https://www.ofa.org/diseases/eye-certification
OFA Patella Luxation Testing
The OFA patella luxation can be done by a general veterinarian. The dog is examined awake while the veterinarian manipulates the patella and classifies it on a grade of one (1) to four (4). Preliminary examinations can be done between 6-8 weeks. For OFA certification and CHIC recognition, the dog must be one (1) year or older.
For more information on Patella Luxation, go to https://chihuahuaclubofamerica.org/health-committee-mission/patella-luxation/
For more information on OFA Patella Luxation, go to https://www.ofa.org/diseases/other-diseases/patellar-luxation
CCA believes that breeders should keep themselves informed in the areas of dog health and genetics and to carefully screen all breeding stock for hereditary faults or disqualifying defects, removing any questionable animals from their breeding program. This includes cardiac, patella, and eye testing as recommended by the Canine Health Foundation’s CHIC program.
Recognition will be given to owners of Chihuahuas who participate in the Canine Health Information Center’s data base and receive a CHIC number. Members will receive one lapel pin per member, and non-members will receive a certificate.
CHIC number’s granted after the September 20th will be recognized the following year. After members receive their pin, the dogs name will be read at the next general meeting at the Fall Nationals.
Please complete the CHIC Recognition Form to receive your award. The form is available HERE.
If you are NOT attending the fall national, please complete the Recognition form and email to the committee chair.
Looking for upcoming health clinics? The links below are excellent sources for health clinics around the country.