Helpful Links to Canine Health Sites on the Internet
The following descriptions and links are provided here for your convenience; just click on a logo to go to the site. Each site can provide you with a great deal of information concerning health issues that affect the canine world in general and AWS in particular. By visiting sites, such as the OFA's, you can actually verify the health clearances obtained for a specific dog and view some historical information regarding that dogs ancestors; provided that they too had received such clearances.
OFA -- The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals was founded and originally incorporated as a private not for profit foundation in 1966. Its initial mission was to provide radiographic evaluation, data management, and genetic counseling for canine hip dysplasia. While the OFA continues to focus on hip dysplasia, today’s OFA Mission, “To improve the health and well being of companion animals through a reduction in the incidence of genetic disease,” reflects the organization’s expansion into other inherited diseases and other companion animals such as cats.
CHIC -- This is a centralized canine health database jointly sponsored by the AKC/CHF and the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA). Its mission is to provide a source of health information for owners, breeders, and scientists that will assist in breeding healthy dogs. Amongst its goals are to work with parent clubs in the identification of health issues specific to each breed, to establish and maintain a central health information system, and to establish scientifically valid diagnostic criteria.
CERF -- The Canine Eye Registration Foundation is an organization that was founded by a group of concerned, purebred owner/breeders who recognized that the quality of their dog’s lives was being affected by heritable eye disease. CERF was then established in conjunction with cooperating, board certified, veterinary ophthalmologists, as a means to accomplish the goal of elimination of heritable eye disease in all purebred dogs by forming a centralized, national registry.
The CERF Registry not only registers those dog's certified free of heritable eye disease by members of the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists (A.C.V.O. ), but also collects data on all dogs examined by A.C.V.O. Diplomats. This data is used to form the CERF data base which is useful in researching trends in eye disease and breed susceptibility. Not only is this data useful to clinicians and students of ophthalmology, but to interested breed clubs and individual breeders and owners of specific breeds.
AWS Partners -- This is an independent (not affiliated with the AWSC) organization that was established in the fall of 2000 , when Linda Ford and Beth Lagimoniere were unable to find American Water Spaniel resources to answer questions about canine epilepsy. In their quest to learn more about the disease, its causes and treatments, they formed relationships with the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine (Columbia);and the AKC Canine Health Foundation. Through efforts called “The Keoni Project”, an AWS DNA bank was started at the University and the first sample, which was drawn from an affected dog, arrived on October 20, 2000. On December 5, 2000, the AKC CHF assisted in creating a Donor Advised Fund specific to epilepsy in the American Water Spaniel called AWS Partners.
AKC / CHF -- Founded in 1995, the American Kennel Club / Canine Health Foundation is the largest non-profit funding group of exclusively canine research in the world. The foundation works to develop significant resources for basic and applied health programs with emphasis on canine genetics to improve the quality of life for dogs and their owners. The foundation funds research and supports canine health scientists and professionals in their efforts to study the causes and origins of canine disease and afflictions in order to formulate effective treatments.