The Pumi is basically a healthy breed and we want to keep it that way by continuing to test our stock for diseases known to occur in the breed. While there has been no incidence (that we’re aware of) of Progressive Lens Luxation (PLL) and Degenerative Myelopathy (DM) in this country, we are finding dogs who carry the gene, and if bred to another carrier, could produce puppies with the problem.
The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) keeps a registry of health checks by breed. You can click on this link to search for a list of all Pumik whose owners have tested their dogs and opted to have their results made public (select breed=Pumi and health test=Canine Health).
The Hungarian Pumi Club of America has worked with the Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) to establish a list of health tests specifically recommended for the Pumi. This list is below, and additional information including how to order the DNA tests can be found at www.caninehealthinfo.org/brdreqs.html?breed=PM.
- Hip Dysplasia (X-ray)
- Patellar Luxation (Veterinary certification)
- Primary Lens Luxation (DNA test)
- Degenerative Myelopathy (DNA Test)
- Eye Examination by a boarded ACVO Ophthalmologist (Optional)
- Elbow Dysplasia (Optional) (X-ray)
- DNA Repository (Optional) (Blood Sample Required)
You can see the incidence of these diseases in tested animals from the OFA database below. This includes all Pumik tested and sent to OFA, including those whose owners preferred to keep the specific results for their dog(s) private, so that we have a good understanding of the incidence of these diseases. This information is as of 9/5/2022.
|Equivocal or Carrier||
|Primary Lens Luxation*||175||87.1%||26||12.9%||0||0.0%|
|OFA Eye Registry||118||99.2%||0||1||0.8%|
*CHIC required tests
You can see this and additional health information on the Pumi at https://ofa.org/chic-programs/browse-by-breed/?breed=PM.
Hip Dysplasia appears to be the most common problem in the breed. All Pumik should have an OFA x-ray for hip dysplasia whether or not they are going to be bred. If they are affected, you can start some treatment early to lessen the effects. Also your dog’s breeder will want to know that they have produced an affected dog. This will also allow us to get a better idea of the incidence of the problem in Pumik.
It is important before you get a puppy or breed your Pumi, to make sure that the parents are DNA tested for both Degenerative Myelopathy (DM) and Primary Lens Luxation (PLL). A carrier of the gene can be bred as long as they are bred to a dog that doesn’t carry the disease and the puppies must be then tested before they are bred. The primary rule is that a carrier must never be bred to another carrier.
Degenerative Myelopathy (DM)
We have discovered that a few Pumik can carry the gene for Degenerative Myelopathy, or “DM” for short. This is a disease that is similar to ALS in humans. Dogs are not affected until they are older, as in humans. You can find out more about DM at the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine. You can find out if your Pumi is clear of the disease (2 normal genes), a carrier (1 normal and 1 affected gene) or affected (2 affected genes).
Primary Lens Luxation (PLL)
There have been several instances of Primary Lens Luxation in puppies in the Scandinavian countries. There is also an OFA DNA test for this disease. As with DM, it’s important to test your Pumi before breeding them. You can find out more about PLL at the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine.
How Do I DNA Test My Pumi?
The HPCA recommends the Optimal Selection DNA testing with a simple cheek swab. It offers screening for genetic conditions related to drug sensitivities, vision, weight, mobility, and more with 200+ health tests. In addition it has testing for 40+ traits including coat colors, coat types, and morphology (body shape). It also adds genetic diversity information for the Pumi breed. It’s important that we all use the same test so that we develop a database of Pumi information. We are using this tool because there was already a large number of Scandinavian Pumik in the database and we’re just adding to it. (Embark is another prominent DNA test kit that provides primarily the same information, but doesn’t have as many Pumik in it.) The cost for Optimal Selection is $129.99.
If you choose to order tests through University of Missouri/OFA, results are automatically recorded by OFA. It is also possible to use other approved labs found in this list All DNA Tests | Orthopedic Foundation for Animals | Columbia, MO (ofa.org). If you use an approved lab other than University of Missouri you must send an application along with the recording fee to register the results with OFA and have the results appear in breed statistics. There is a $15 charge for each test to be registered with OFA. You can use this form to submit tests from other labs to OFA: DNA Based Genetic Disease.
What is the AKC DNA Profile?
The AKC DNA profiling is for parentage verification and genetic identity purposes only. It does not check for breed purity or for genetic mutations that cause health issues, but does ensure the accuracy of the AKC registry. This test is recommended for all Pumi breeders in the HPCA Code of Ethics. When the AKC receives a DNA cheek swab for identification, they will check to see if the parents are also identified by DNA and verify that indeed, the dog is from those parents. The cost is $50.
The HPCA recommends that all breeding stock be tested for Canine Brucellosis prior to each breeding. Canine Brucellosis is a contagious bacterial infection caused by the bacterium, Brucella canis (B. canis). This bacterial infection is highly contagious between dogs with any type of insemination (frozen, chilled, or live). Infected dogs usually develop an infection of the reproductive system and typically causes reproductive problems such as infertility and abortions, with few other signs of clinical illness.
For questions, please contact Karen Beattie Massey, HPCA Health Committee Chair, at firstname.lastname@example.org.