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Testings with Nola

We had already done Nola's DNA testing some time ago, we had already received those papers. But there need to be more papers before I could breed with Nola. I will take you through the process.

english cocker spaniel liver and tan vet a7noord HD photos ECVO blog

Rules regarding breeding.

We are affiliated with the VLECS breed association. Every breed club has its own rules when it comes to breeding, although these rules are broadly similar. The rules are described in the association breeding regulations. This states what requirements a male or female must meet before it is allowed to breed. In addition to the family tree and the aforementioned DNA tests, it is also necessary to take an X-ray of the hips (HD photos) and have the eyes tested (ECVO examination). A dog must also meet the exterior requirements. To test this, you will have to obtain certain qualifications at dog shows or have the dog approved for breeding suitability.

Nola during the judging by the VLECS breed club


Nola has already participated in a show once before, where she was rated ZG. To meet the exterior requirements, she would have to obtain the ZG rating at least one more time or she would have to obtain the breeding suitability certificate.

Because quite a few shows were canceled due to COVID, I wanted a little more certainty that she would be approved on time. If I were to sign her up for a show and it will be cancelled, that would be a shame. So I chose to have Nola approved for breeding suitability. In addition, this takes the pressure off from showing for me, so I can hopefully experience less stress and more fun while showing.

This time the selection for breeding suitability was in Limburg, completely on the other side of the country for us, but you have to be willing to do something for it. For example, a 2.5 hour drive. And ultimately only 10 minutes in the ring before being approved and receiving a piece of paper. But Nola did a great job and I am very proud of her. And I was able to meet some breeders again.

In heat

"In heat can distort the HD photos"

Then the final tests: HD photos and EVCO test. Twice a month, an ophthalmologist (eye specialised vet) from Utrecht visits our veterinarian to take the EVCO tests. Because this vet is only there twice a month, the consultation hours quickly fill up. To do an ECVO examination there, you must make a reservation about two months in advance. I did that and, together with the ECVO examination, also planned the X-rays. A week before the appointment, Nola came into heat. This is not a problem for the eye examination, but the heat can give a distorted picture of the HD photos. Unfortunately, this appointment had to be rescheduled, so this time we only went to the vet for the ECVO examination. After a long wait it was finally her turn and we can go home with an approved report.


x-rays, HD photos, x-ray, a7Noord Veterinarians
Nola on the X-ray table

The last time I was at the vet for x-rays was for Fido and it was not a fun experience. Fido finds the vet very exciting, not only because of the smells and the actions, but also because of the number of dogs in a small space (the waiting room). I wanted to come along to reassure Fido, but unfortunately that was not allowed. Fido was taken away, given an sedative and brought back a short time later.

"I was allowed to help with the x-rays"
HD photos, hip x-ray, hip dysplasia dog, HD-A
HD photos of Nola

I expected it to be exactly the same with Nola, but it was the opposite. I sat in the waiting room with Nola and Fido. Fido was also with us because they both needed a rabies vaccination before our summer vacation. When the vet came to call me, not only Nola was allowed to come, but Fido and I were also allowed to come along. I was even allowed to help take the X-rays. Not the first time for me, because I was trained as a veterinary nurse, but it was a long time ago. Handy for the vet, because I knew exactly how it worked and what I had to take into account. That saved her an explanation, and because it went faster, also less stress for Nola. The great thing was: because Nola was so calm, she didn't have to get anesthesia. After taking the photo, the vet showed me the photo and explained more about how the assessment is done. Very interesting and educational.

Fido and Nola both received a rabies vaccination. Fido also behaved great. Back in the car, on the way home. A week later we received the results: Nola has HD-A, and we are of course very happy with that!


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