Safari Standard Poodles

Cynthia Huff & Joel Haefner
Voice: 309/376-2102 


  Currently the Poodle Club of America recommends five health tests for any dogs who are to be bred. At Safari, we try to ensure that all our puppies' parents have passed these tests for genetically-predisposed diseases:

  • Hip Dysplasia. This hip degenerative disease is diagnosed through radiographs. These hip x-rays are evaluated by the Orthopedic Foundation of America, founded 1966, by three qualified veterinarians, and receive certification and ranking if they qualify and if the dog is over two years of age. OFA's database is on-line and any dog can be checked for certification, including the ranking of his or her hips. Safari Standard Poodles have been checked for hip dysplasia since 1970.
  • Genetic Eye Disease. This eye examination by a certified veterinarian opthamologist checks for any abnormalities in the eye, especially juvenile cataracts. The official results of the examination are certified and archived by the Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF). CERF's database is on-line and any dog can be checked for certification.
  • von Willebrand's Disease (VWD). This is a blood-clotting disorder that can lead to excessive bleeding in affected dogs. In 1998, with research money provided in part by the Poodle Club of American Foundation, a company named VetGen developed a non-invasive cheek swab DNA profiling test which determines if a dog is clear, a carrier, or affected. Less than 1% of poodles are affected; you can view VetGen's statistics here. The Orthopedic Foundation of America is registering dogs based on VetGen's DNA test.
  • Sebaceous Adenitis (SA). SA is a malfunction of the sebaceous glands of the skin which causes thickening and flaking of the skin, loss of hair, and odor; there is no cure, but dogs suffering from SA can be washed frequently and lead satisfactory lives. A skin biopsy is taken after 2 years of age and is evaluated at two research centers in the U.S. A leader in the field is Dr. Robert Dunstan at Texas A & M's Department of Veterinary Pathobiology. Registry for SA is through the University of California at Davis.
  • Thyroid Malfunction. A blood sample is drawn to test for normal thyroid levels in parents; dogs must have reached sexual maturity. Unfortunately, this is not a highly reliable test.

  • Degenerative Myelopathy. Diagnosed with a DNA genetic test, DM is a progrerssive neurolotical disorder that affects the spinal cord. Dogs that have inherited two defective copies can experience a breakdown of the cells responsible for sending and receiving signals from the brain.

  • NEwS.   Neonatal Encephalopathy with Seizures is an autosomal recessive disease.Also identified with a DNA genetic test.

  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy. PRA, a genetic disease, causes the cells in the retina to degenerate and die, causing blindness.

  • vWD1 von Willebrand's Disease Type 1. This disease, the least serious of the three types of vWD, is an inherited bleeding disorder that inhibits the normal blood clotting process; it is identified through a DNA test.