ACC Health Program
The American Coton Club has required certified health tests for breedable status since its inception. For many years ACC has been the only Coton de Tulear Club in the U.S. to protect the breed in this fashion. As we learn more about the needs to evaluate Cotons for breeding, ongoing revision of the health testing requirements to reflect current knowledge of health issues in the breed is important. ACC has, in the past, required an independent overall health evaluation of the Coton in the form ACC Vet Form to be filled out and signed by your veterinarian. ACC no longer requires this form but still makes it available for anyone, particularly novice breeders, to use as a way to involve your veterinarian in the decision making process. This form is still acceptable for submission to the Breeders Health Registry for those who desire this test listed. The ACC registration application has been modified to allow the owner to supply information previously required on the ACC Vet Form.
The ACC Health Testing Program is given below. Applicants now have a choice of tests, one of which is a Blood Panel. If you are evaluating your Coton with a blood chemistry panel, and even if a blood chemistry panel is not submitted to the Health Committee, please remember that certain blood values can be slightly outside the clinical range, while still being considered normal – similar to taking a person’s body temperature. Blood panels are not designed to reflect breed specific differences. Veterinarians look at the values within the context of one another. Don’t be alarmed if all the values are not in the clinical range but be sure to discuss it with your vet.
The Coton de Tulear is a healthy breed overall with relatively few serious health issues. The American Coton Club serves as a caretaker and protector of this wonderful breed. To fulfill that role, we take pride in a newly initiated proactive health program led by an active Health Committee functioning in an advisory role on matters related to the health and welfare of the Coton de Tuléar. In an effort to encourage widespread health testing, as well as ensure all breeding Cotons with an American Coton Club pedigree are healthy and have the best chance of producing healthy and long-lived offspring, the American Coton Club requires a minimum of three (3) health tests performed with a passing or "normal" result, prior to the registration of any resulting offspring.
Current ACC Breeders whose Cotons were issued ACC breedable pedigrees before the announcement of the new ACC Health Program on August 12, 2008, rest assured your ACC breedable pedigrees will be honored. Other than the need to comply with a regular CERF examination throughout the breeding lifetime of your Cotons, there will be nothing else you must do in order to be in compliance with the new ACC Health Program.
It is our fervent hope that regardless of whether you have a Coton who is "grandfathered in" or you are health testing the newest addition to your Coton family, we hope that all ACC breeders will strive to comply with the new health plan so that anyone purchasing an ACC registered Coton will be assured the parents of their puppy have passed, at the very least, the basic health testing now required. It's an invaluable goal and something we would all be proud of.
These three (3) tests must be performed after the Coton reaches twelve (12) months of age, and prior to the first breeding. Owners will submit these tests to OFA and CERF for their written certification. Proof of testing will be taken from the OFA and CERF web sites after the owner has submitted an e-Mail to the ACC Health Committee with links to their Cotons page at OFA. Blood test results may be sent any of the following ways:
- Scanned and e-Mailed to ACC Health Committee
- Mailed to the attention of the ACC Health Committee, 23955 Shake Ridge Road, Volcano, CA 95689 or via facsimile to: 214-987-3844
As part of the requirement of issuing a breeding pedigree, the Coton must meet the following conditions:
I. ACC Age Requirements:
A bitch may not be bred prior to reaching eighteen (18) months of age. Ideally, the bitch would not be bred until she has reached twenty-four (24) months of age. Acknowledging there are fluctuations in heat cycles resulting in variations in timing, valid exceptions may exist. However, it is incumbent on the breeder to exercise good judgment in considering such exceptions and recognize that 18 months of age will be the minimum age accepted without a written explanation from the treating veterinarian.
A male may not be used for breeding prior to reaching twelve (12) months of age.
Although a bitch may not be bred until 18 months or later, both males and females are eligible to receive breedable registrations at or after 12 months of age upon certification of the required ACC health tests.
II. ACC Health Testing Requirements:
1. All Cotons will be tested for healthy Eyes by performing a CERF examination and submitting paperwork to CERF for a valid certification number and inclusion in the CERF online database. During the breeding life of the Coton a CERF will be repeated not less than every twenty-four (24) months and reported to the ACC.
2. In addition to CERF, all Cotons will have a minimum of two more important tests performed. While we applaud and encourage breeders to perform as many tests as they feel beneficial for their breeding program, the minimum testing required is a CERF and two more health tests chosen from the following list:
Breeders may choose from the following list, which tests are most important to their individual Cotons and breeding program:
- OFA certified Patella
- OFA certified Cardiac
- OFA certified Thyroid
- OFA certified Elbows
- OFA or PennHip certified Hips
- Full Blood Chemistry and CBC (Submission of blood panels must be current within 24 months. The Blood Chemistry Panel requirements can be viewed and printed from this link: Blood Panel Requirements
Note: OFA provides for a preliminary hip result at one year of age which is useful and we encourage, but the ACC requires the full certification at two years of age. If you choose the comprehensive blood panel as one of the three required tests, it must have been done within the last two years and must be kept current every two years.