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Hear Ye!  Hear Ye!  Announcing the formation of the KPWDC Health and Wellness Committee and the launching of the Health and Wellness web page.  The Mission of the Health and Wellness Committee is to develop plans to protect and improve the health of our Breed through education, screening tools and working with other Regional PWD Clubs and the PWDCA.  As stated on the PWDCA's official website, "Responsible breeding practices are encouraged to reduce or eliminate hereditary health problems which can lead to increased veterinary costs, decreased quality of life, and/or premature death."  We will bring many important health and wellness related topics to our members on our Health and Wellness web page and in our News Buoy, on our social media outlets such as Facebook and Instagram, and email, just to name a few.

Topic(s) of the Day - Chondrodystrophy (CDDY) & Tick Borne Diseases

Email from the Portuguese Water Dog Club of America (PWDCA) dated April 7, 2022:

"It has come to the Board's attention that there is a genetic disease, Chondrodystrophy also referred to as CDDY, that has been expressed in our Breed.  We are fortunate that both Embark and UC Davis offer a DNA test for it."

Click Here is a link for more information on the disease and test.

Click Here for a link explaining how best to do a DNA swab collection.

WHAT IS Chondrodystrophy aka CDDY?

A genetic condition that "includes a short-legged phenotype as well as abnormal premature degeneration of intervertebral discs leading to susceptibility to intervertebral disc herniation." - UC Davis Veterinary Medicine 

NOTE:  Data cited on this web page and within the presentation is taken from multiple sources including a seminar conducted by Dr. Danika Bannasch on April 28 2022 and on the UC Davis website and is not just specific to Portuguese Water Dogs.

CDDY Mutation can lead to:


can be caused by abnormal discs with CDDY without herniation

AND what does it mean for an affected dog?

  • ALL affected dogs have abnormal, premature intervertebral disc degeneration (IVDD).  CDDY causes a change in the character of all discs and is evident by 10 weeks of age. This means 100% penetration in that all discs are abnormal!
  • CDDY discs have abnormal degeneration of the nucleus pulpous which normally provides cushion for the spine
    • Discs should act as “shock absorbers" but instead, discs are like “hockey pucks”
  • The end of the degeneration process is calcified discs.  The rate of disc calcification differs significantly by breed

Caution: CDDY causes very mild leg shortening which is not very obvious in breeds such as PWDs, Australian Shepherds, Chesapeake Retrievers.

    Please continue learning with our presentation below or link for additional details 



    Test our PWDs for CDDY, available through UC Davis.  Note:  If both the Dam and Sire of your PWD has tested "Clear" for CDDY and your Breeder can provide you with documentation that supports this, THEN, your PWD is automatically "Clear" and DOES NOT have to be tested for CDDY. This DNA test is a simple cheek swab sent to you with your order at no additional cost directly from UC Davis that you do at home. Click here and scroll down to   to order your test plus check out this video on buccal swab collection.

    With additional questions/concerns, feel free to reach out to:

    Dave Wichterman

    (302) 233-4747 

    Sandra Caruso slcaruso@MSN.COM

    (215) 460-4043

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