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Ridgeback Health

Ridgebacks are generally healthy, as a breed. However, the poor practices of puppy millers, and those not educated that decide to become breeders,  have introduced severe health problems that have forced reputable breeders to focus on regimental health testing to insure bloodlines clean of detrimental health consequences.

There are several health tests that reputable kennels will perform prior to any breeding.

  • Hip and elbow testing
  • Thyroid testing
  • Cardiac testing
  • Eye Cerf examinations


These are merely guidlines, and you should be familiar with these practices to be more educated when you approach a breeder for Rhodesian Ridgback puppies.

There is one known congenital defect that can appear in a Rhodesian Ridgeback, and this defect can be detected in puppies within a few weeks of birth. This defect is known as Dermoid Sinus. We have an extensive description  to the condition on this web site. The important thing to realize is that the problem does not just "appear" one day. If a Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy has a "dermoid", it will be detectable very soon after birth. If a puppy does not have this condition, it will not develop later. The discovery of the condition  in older dogs is merely due to the fact that it was overlooked as a puppy, probably due to inexperience. Many vets cannot detect the condition - Generally, it is the experienced breeder that is familiar with the condition, and then can locate experienced veterinarians to surgically remove it.

Dermoids can be removed, and the puppy can live a happy, normal life, where the condition will not be noticable. Therefore, there is no need to reject one of these puppies due to the conditon, as long as it is surgically repaired. A reputable kennel will take the expense and the effort to have the surgery accomplished.

To repeat: This condition is generally repairable, and in most cases, after successful surgery, you may never know that the condition ever existed.

OFA testing, Thyroid Testing, Cardiac testing and Eye exams are effected by all reputable breeders prior to any breeding. This doesn't absolutely assure that the puppies will not develop any issue related to such testing, however it strongly mitigates the possibility.