Scherzando Chinese Cresteds

The new addiction of Christine Bridgwater.............



Chinese Cresteds CAN suffer from the following conditions
My soap box comments are at the bottom :-)

I recommend for all DNA screening

1 Primary Lens Luxation   PLL an easy DNA Test from cheek swabs that you can do yourself can check if the condition is in any dog you intend breeding from. Yes, of course you could cheat, by taking swabs from a known clear dog - but then you could easily be found out!  Comprehensicve explanation Order your swab kit from here Another excellent article from the Swedish Club

Here are the two KC lists of clears and carriers... they are USELESS!!! They only show results that have been sent in by the owners, therefore people with affecteds or carriers that don't want anyone to know their dogs' results - just don't send the results in.

THE TRUE STATISTICS as at 25th August 2016 stats supplied by Dr N G Holmes of AHT are...

                          Clear              Carrier            Affected
All                      1341 66%          643 32%             34 2%

March 2015 stats

                           Clear             Carrier          Affected
All                      1293 66%         625 32%            34 2%

July 2013 stats

                           Clear              Carrier            Affected
All                      1162 67%              550 32%            33 1% 

April 2012 stats...

                          Clear              Carrier           Affected
All                    1029 68%           457 30%            27 2%
UK                    107 75%             34   24%             2  1%

Now tell me there isn't a problem..  So many ostriches, so much sand.

These are only the dogs bred or owned by people that care about health.
How many other poor dogs will suffer in the future??

Although the number of affected dogs hasn't increased in the last 12 months there is no appreciable reduction in percentages year on year. We need to do better...

2 Progressive Retinal Atrophy  PRA
ttp://    An American Company called Optigen have the patent on this DNA test for PRA in Cresteds. There is a very fast turn around. The Test is done from blood samples and proves absolutely the presence, or not, of PRA. Bloods have to be taken by a Vet so his charges (anything from £25 - £100) have to be added to the Optigen cost of US$195 (correct January 2010). This is quite an old paper, from 2003, but it gives a comprehensive description of the types of PRA

Be aware that there are other Laboratories, for instance in Eastern Europe, offering DNA testing for PRA but these Labs are (a) in breach of an International Copyright held by Optigen and, more importantly for us, (b) have not got the same success rate with their tests. Be careful!

KC list of Clears
See my comments re PLL - same applies :-(


3 Glaucoma  G
A one-off-for-life examination  £42 including VAT done by a BVA eye Panellist This gives all the BVA Tests / charges

The following link gives a comprehensive description of the condition

For all eye conditions follow this link  
Under the heading "related documents" you could do no better than to download the heridetary eye disease leaflet. If it won't download, e-mail me and I'll send it to you.


4 Patella Luxation   A common problem in many toy breeds
There isn't a unique to the breed test for this in Cresteds in UK.  However, I recommend you use the form at the end of this rather long named link... the results are recognised by everyone in the breed.

Incidentally... this is the ONLY breed I have ever seen do this mega stretch backwards with each hind leg.
You would think that this could be enough to displace any patella (but doesn't).



5 Perthes    This can also be a common problem in many toy breeds


6 Epilepsy

The breed is finally coming to terms that there is a problem with Epilepsy in some lines. In the USA and UK we are taking DNA from affected dogs and their relatives, hoping that Paw Prints Genetics can develop a Test to help identify the gene responsible for [some forms of] the condition.

Whilst it is obviousl we should not BREED from dogs affected by Epilepsy, there is no reason why, if you find you have an Epileptic dog, he/she cannot live a full and happy life as a pet. If the seizures are minor and/or infrequent they will not be a problem to either of you. If the seizures are more serious then they will be controllable with medication.

Anyone that knowingly breeds from an Epileptic dog is a fool at best and a fraudster at worst. However, do NOT castigate anyone who honestly did not know their dogs had the condition. Sometimes Epilepsy doesn't manifest itself for many years.

Knowledge is power with all things in life. If we put our dogs health and happiness first, their world will be a better place. My own home bred Champion is NOT available at stud due to Epi. being found on his father's side.

For an insight into Epi. have a look at


7 Bad Dentition

Hairless dogs are an example of deleterious mutation - you can look up various veterinary papers on the Internet but some of the information is so involved and long winded that you need an interpreter to be sitting alongside you... whilst other sites, such as the RSPCA's, condemns all us breeders to a death of a thousand cuts. We are, after all, perpetuating something which is basically a fault.  In Cresteds the same mutated gene causing the lack of hair is also responsible for the lack of good dentition. One is associated with the other. Any Dentist will tell you that similar weaknesses can be seen in the teeth of very blonde fine haired / fair skinned children.

Lack of hair is a manifestation of a genetic condition known as ectodermal dysplasia. For those of you that are interested, the developing puppy foetus consists broadly of outside, middle and inner zones. The ectodermal tissues develop subsequently into features such as hair, teeth and nails. It seems a paradox that the breed can be judged on the basis of acceptance of the genetic result of hairlessness which is ectodermal dysplasia and yet be criticised for having poor teeth which is, after all, only further evidence of the same genetic "fault".

I have personally seen Cresteds that have had no milk teeth at all - the permanents just erupting at the normal time (16 weeks ish) sometimes with teeth missing or those present may be misaligned. I have seen the opposite where milk teeth erupt normally and are never followed by adult teeth. The baby teeth have to be removed sooner or later. I have also seen permanent teeth erupting around milk teeth in clusters. Absolutely 100% perfect dentition in hairless dogs is the exception rather than the rule but "everything comes to those who wait".

In the fully coated Chinese Cresteds (the "powder puffs") you can reasonably expect the teeth to be much better than in a hairless but, as with everything to do with physical appearance, nothing can be certain.  This shows the human version of the condition..
                                                                                                                     From American Science Magazine...


Powder puff teeth on left. Hairless dog's teeth on right


Awareness and Prevention of Genetic Diseases
Please read this article published by Antegene



Please don't let me put you off

Basically, for anyone thinking about having a Chinese Crested, let me tell you that the character and behaviour and everything else about these fabulous dogs is exactly the same in the Powder Puffs as in the Hairless. Loving, lively, great fun, silly, brave, excellent companions, very intelligent - absolutley full to the very brim with the love of life!





I am extremely health conscious in dog breeding and have been so since 1983.

There is absolutely NO good reason for any breeder NOT to have their bitch tested and DEMAND that the Stud dog they use is fully tested too.

The whole cost is far less than the cost of one puppy.

Why don't some people test?? Because they're afraid to. In case the test results show faults in their (and other people's) lines. It's all down to money in the end. If a Champion Stud suddenly found out it had a problem people might stop using him.

There are some good and honest breeders out there with dogs that have been proven to be carriers of, or even affected by, some conditions. That's fine - at least we know where problems are. We can still use these dogs but ensure their pups are subsequently tested. It's not hard?

If you look at the link above re Primary Lens Luxation, even the Animal Health Trust says please do NOT rule out carriers from your breeding programme. You just don't breed one to another carrier unless you're prepared to have all the puppies tested!

I sincerely apologise - but this is one of my great soap box subjects. I cannot for the life of me understand the mentality of someone that breeds without the fullest picture that only testing can give you.

 All my dogs have been fully tested.

I did my homework and went to someone that was knowledgeable and that bred healthy dogs to the best of their ability. You should do the same, wherever you go.


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