United States Health Tests Step By Step

Kooikerhondje Health testing STEP BY STEP:

Susanne Martin, MD


Attention: some attachments have red circles for areas that need particular attention before submission!


Your dog is required to have a permanent ID in form of a tattoo or microchip plus should have a registration number through AKC or FCI.


  1. DNA testing for carrier status of vWD and ENM

(turn around time <2 months; no age restriction as long as the dog is big enough for the blood draw, for example at age 8 weeks)

Send a vial with blood of your dog to Utrecht University with attachment 1

  • Take your dog to the vet, let them draw 1-4 cc of blood into an EDTA tube and mix well.
  • Send the blood (by Fedex or US post) through your vet or privately to:


P.A. Leegwater

Universitair Veterinair Diagnostisch Laboratorium

t.a. DNA Diagnostiek

Antwoordnummer 8437

NL 3500 VW Utrecht

The Netherlands


Tip: label as “Lab sample from healthy animal for routine genetic testing” if you declare as blood.


Attention: if declared as blood, it can cause difficulty with customs!


  • The tests are currently run every 2 months; you will receive the result by mail (attachment 1 will be returned with the result boxes checked indicating your dog being either a carrier or non-carrier) +/- email.


  • You will receive a bill by the University and you can pay by money transfer or directly (Account NR: NL61 INGB 0002 2522 32, BIC: INGB NL2A, subject: “Vereniging Het Nederlandse Kooikerhondje”)


  • Approximate cost: 130 US$ for both vWD and ENM.


  • Send 2 copies (one vWD, one ENM) of the result from Utrecht plus 2x attachment 2 to the OFA : Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, 2300 E Nifong Blvd, Columbia, MO 65201-3806


  • Cost per submitted test: 15 US$; total for both: 30US$


The result will be listed on the OFA website shortly plus you will receive an OFA certificate per each submitted DNA test


  1. Patella exam (age 12 month and older)


  • Ask an experienced exhibitor of toy dogs for a recommendation for a vet the requisite expertise


  • Take attachment 3 to your vet; he/she will grade the patella stability and should send it into OFA; clarify if your vet sends it in or you!


  • Cost: veterinary exam (~40$ depending on your veterinarian) + 15 US$ submission fee to OFA


The result will be listed on the OFA website shortly plus you will receive an OFA certificate


  1. Eye exam (CERF)

  • Make an appointment for CERF testing with a certified veterinary ophthalmologist when your dog is 12 months or older OR

Watch for an Eye Clinic at a local dog show; the exam fee is typically half of the cost of going to the office

  • Breeding stock should be re-evaluated prior to breeding if the last CERF testing is > 2 years ago
  • The vet will fill out attachment 4 (see below in this text for guideline to fill out) (usually the ophthalmologist has this form ready for you) and he/she submits to CERF; clarify if you need send anything in yourself
  • Cost: Total ~ 65US$ (Eye exam: ~ 50US$; Submission: 12 US$)


The result will be listed on the OFA website (they work together with CERF) shortly plus you will receive an OFA certificate


  1. Hip exam for hip dysplasia


  • Ask an experienced breeder with Sporting Breeds/large breeds who they recommend in your area for OFA x-rays
  • Make an appointment for OFA hip x-ray at 24 months or older
  • Dogs younger than 24 months can receive a preliminary hip test; the result will be published on the OFA website only if the dog has a permanent ID, is older than 12 months and the box allowing abnormal results be made public is initialed
  • Attachment 5 which will be sent to the OFA by your vet for final evaluation; clarify if your vet is sending it in or if you are!
  • Experienced veterinarians do not need sedation for this exam which will be better for your dog and is less expensive
  • Costs: Exam: ~ 100-350$; submission to OFA: 35 US$


The result will be listed on the OFA website shortly plus you will receive an OFA certificate PLUS


Attachment 4 guidelines:

 Eye Vet Form for Testing

Instructions for your veterinarian(s):


Minimum health tests for a Kooikerhondje that might be bred include the following:


  • A DNA test for von Willebrand Disease and Hereditary Necrotizing Myelopathy (ENM). Ideally 4 cc’s (at least 1cc) of blood should be collected in an EDTA tube and mixed. The sample needs to be sent for testing to the Veterinary University of Utrecht in The Netherlands. At the current time, please do not encourage testing within the USA. Ideally, the sample should be sent through your office (ideally with tracking number) but the owner can also be the one sending it overseas. Make sure that the microchip number is noted on the vial (besides name, DOB, date of collection).


  • Patella exam at or after the dog is 12 months old with OFA paperwork submitted to the OFA. Make sure to check the box to agree to have the results published regardless of the outcome of the test.


  • A CERF eye exam at or after the dog is 12 months old and prior to breeding if the last exam was done > 2 years ago. A Kooikerhondje is sensitive to touch and might react unpredictable with dilation of the eye and in a dark environment.


  • An OFA hip exam for dysplasia at or after the dog is 24 months old with OFA paperwork submitted to the OFA. A Kooiker is a sensitive dog to voice and touch. It is always ideal to do a hip exam without sedation. However, a Kooiker might be fearful and bite.


The dog owner should be encouraged to report health test results and litter updates to the Dutch Kooikerhondje Club (VHNK). They can do so on their own or send the information to:

Contact Us