Health Testing Information for your Boston Terrier

The following information is for anyone that has a Boston and is of particular importance if you are thinking of breeding your Boston Terrier. The information provided is based on the Results from the 2000 Boston Terrier Health Survey taken by the Health Committee of the Boston Terrier Club of America and listed are the 3 most prevalent issues in Bostons.

Upon completion of these suggested Health Tests, information is also listed if you are interested in registering those results with OFA. The information you have obtained from these tests should help you make an educated decision in choosing the correct stud dog for your bitch. Besides looking for the traits you want to improve upon in your prospective upcoming litter, you want to also try not to double up on bad traits and this Health information may help you to wisely choose the best stud dog for that breeding. And it will give you peace of mind knowing you are not purposely bringing into the world, puppies that will have these debilitating health issues if the information is used correctly.

BAER Testing Sites may be located at
The BAER (Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response) test needs to be performed only once in a dog’s life, sometime after it is 35 days of age. OFA recommends this test should be performed by a Board Certified Veterinary Neurologist, but will accept results from experienced veterinarians and audiologists. Some Vets want to sedate your dog for this test. Bilateral hearing PASSES. Unilateral or bilateral deafness FAILS.

The Application fee to register these results is $15.00 per dog, unless you qualify for the Litter Rate of $30.00 for 3 or more littermates. Kennel Rate is $7.50 for 5 or more dogs owned by the same person and submitted at the same time. Equivocal and affected dogs are registered at No Charge.

CERF Testing Sites may be located at
The CERF test is performed by a Veterinary Ophthalmologist.  The Ophthalmologist will put drops in the dogs eyes to dilate the pupil.  After waiting a few minutes for the drops to work, the Vet will complete the Cerf Exam where they look for any of the 20 eye diseases a Boston can have.

Puppies can be examined as early as 8 weeks of age and CERF will also register them at that time.  Send owners copy of the physician completed CERF Exam form into VMDB with your $12.00 fee.  Their address is on the back side of the CERF Eye Exam Form supplied by the Ophthalmologist.  Re-certification and Kennel Rate charge is $8.00 per dog.  They will forward the information to OFA for inclusion on the OFA Web Site.  Permanent Identification at time of exam of your dog is required as of 1/1/01 to register your dog.  Permanent identification in by microchip, tattoo or AKC registered DNA profile. Certification is good for 1 year from date of exam and it is recommended to have this CERF test performed annually.  

Patella Examination form can be located at
You can fill out the form on-line and then print it out, to take with you to the Vet appointment.  The Patella Examination is performed on dogs 12 months or older by your veterinarian and should be registered in the Patellar Luxation Database with OFA.  This is a very easy test performed on your dog by your Vet which is painless and no prior anesthesia or sedation is required.  

Should you wish to register your test results with OFA, puppies examined younger than 12 months of age, will be treated as Consultations and no OFA breed numbers will be assigned.

The Fee for dogs over 12 months of age is $15.00.  The Litter Rate is $30.00 and applies to 3 or more test results submitted together.  The Kennel Rate is $7.50 per dog and applies to 5 or more submitted together, owned/co-owned by the same person.  Patellas should be re-examined bi-annually. There is no charge for re-submitting bi-annual Patella results to OFA.  With OFA requiring that all permanent identification of dogs be VERIFIED by your Vet, please take the opportunity to have that form completed while having your Vet do their Examination.  The form can be found here:

Reminder:  Permanent Identification should be implemented prior to any testing.  

CHIC Certificate:
You will automatically receive your CHIC Certificate after your results for the CERF, OFA Patella and OFA BAER Tests have been registered with CERF and OFA.  No additional fee is required for you to receive the CHIC Certificate.  It will be mailed to you automatically.

Miscellaneous Web Sites to obtain additional information about each test or Program:

If you would also like more information on each test or to participate in the Health Certification Program of The Boston Terrier Club of America, please use this link to go to the BTCA Web Site

Thank you in advance to everyone that cares enough about the future of this wonderful breed to do these Health Tests and for going the extra mile and submitting your results (good or bad) to OFA.

For more information on Boston Terrier health testing, please contact Sue LeCalsey.