When it comes to health and genetics, there can be no excuses, nor
shortcuts. The following is strictly adhered to in our private breeding
program and due to circumstances which we feel DO reflect on our
reputation and dedication to our breed, will also become the standard
protocol on all stud service and co-breeding.

Hips; all females must be at least 24 months and have received an OFA
rating of Fair or better.
Males; a preliminary OFA of Fair or better will be acceptable on males
at least 16 months, with WRITTEN agreement for final OFA on outside
studs.

Eyes: All males and females must be DNA tested for HC (HSF4) and be
clear on both markers. Even an Aussie that is not affected but is a
"carrier" CAN pass this gene as recessive OR affected. Even one copy
is likely to result in cataracts and can be passed onto offspring.  No
exceptions, ANY copy of this mutation equates with non "breeding"

Cerf- We will breed to the following breeder option listed notations;
PPM- when not attached to the cornea or lens. PHA.
Distichiasis: (ingrown eyelashes) if only one or two lashes are affected
and the pedigree is clear, sire, dam, siblings etc., are not affected we
will consider breeding. When the entire lash line is affected or the
severity of such requires surgical intervention, we consider this non
"breeding".
Entropion/Ectropion: After numerous phone calls and searching
through much contradictory information; neither of these issues are
considered genetic in OUR breed, and are simply random or fluke
occurrences. An Aussie will pass a cerf, with no breeder option if
affected.

Hernias; genetic and true hernia's are located at the site of the
umbilicus and develop a perforation into the abdominal wall. Surgery is
required and health risks are present. We do not breed to affected.
Umbilical hernia's which are small, hard scar tissue, and pose no health
risk, we are not concerned about. There is some speculation on the
genetic components of these non risk type hernias. Because the
average percentage is considered somewhat significant, it can be
difficult to ascertain mode of affected. We personally feel there ARE
genetic factors present.
It is important to understand the difference between the two types of
hernia's. The second, harmless type is more like an "outie" in humans
and while it can be fixed during a spay procedure, it poses NO health
risk. (Gypsy- Rico x Beyonce was affected as a puppy and at 7 months
is normal)

MDR1- All breeding stock will be tested prior to breeding. Unless future
data proves otherwise, we will breed with this mutation except for
M/M-M/M. We will consider all health factors before breeding a M/N-M/N
as this can produce M/M. Data and genetic information shows
sensitivity to listed drugs, and our goal is to eliminate this mutation
from our genetic breeding stock.

Elbows; There are actually several different diseases that cause elbow
dysplasia. In the past, this disease was considered rare in our breed
when compared to hips, and other genetic disease.
We have evaluated our position and will begin testing and using OFA
for elbow clearances.

Missing teeth; ALL of our breeding stock and every puppy we have
bred has full dentition. The problem of missing teeth goes beyond and
can actually be a bigger problem with jaw size and alignment. This will
be evaluated on an individual basis, with emphasis on pedigree,
frequency of occurrence, and attributes which may outweigh missing
teeth.
~IndigoMoon Aussies~
Dr. Christie Cotton
(479)
757-9148 (new number)
christiecotton@sbcglobal.net
Mediocre keeps us safe; I totally disagree with this theory. I have watched breeders for years that
continue to breed "mediocre" and in general continue to produce mediocre pups. These same
breeders, continuing to "out cross" have still produced genetic issues.
Each and every breeder-each breeding carries the same random percentage of genetic mishaps, no
matter our testing, intentions and specific goals and programs.
Although I will not take certain health risks no matter the lure or reward of beauty and structure, I will
also not breed mediocre~If I am not intentionally seeking a higher level of excellence within my
breeding  program, I am then guilty of great injustice to our breed.
In April of 2012 I was questioned during an informal interview about my specific criteria when breeding
and how I weigh pedigree against specimen. I shared the following; I believe that a successful breeding
program should reflect constant improvement. I feel equal consideration needs to be given to the
lineage/pedigree AND the stud or dam. I feel it's a fool's quest to breed to an inferior animal simply
because their pedigree reads like a Hall of fame book. I also would not necessarily pass on a mediocre
or "unknown" pedigree when the animal is a structural "dream". And a reminder that we are assuming
in all scenario's health clearances are clean.
How important are Championships or titles? When it comes to the stud dog or sire, I adhere to the
protocol of using titled stud's. I would make an exception if the dog was out showing and nearly
finished, and it was obvious a Championship was inevitable.
The dam, I do not place as much importance on titling as long as the bitch meets or exceeds the
standard and is sound in temperament.
How do percentage's or perceived goals affect or influence the smaller breeder?
Since we generally breed 1 or at the most 2 litters per year, we simply don't have the resources to back
up high risks or mistakes. Example; let's say you have a lovely bitch, but you want to improve on bone
or shorten up an ear set. So you look for a sire that carries and throws bone and good ears. In theory
this should produce the goal; but genetics prove otherwise. You are just as likely to get a reproduction
of your bitch as you are to improve. This is not meant to imply the "ideal" is unattainable, it simply
means that ALL variables are possible and one must be accepting of that.
Too often I have heard "breeders" speculating on the outcome of the highest potential, without
acknowledging what already exists in both sire and dam, and is just as likely to be reproduced.
So if the bitch lacks bone and has a larger ear set, and the sire carries bone and shorter ears, but lacks
leg and needs longer body length; you may get the combination you are working towards, but you are
also going to reproduce the faults from each side. The less number of litters=puppies, the less chance
for "success".
Want and need are 2 separate issues. There are always risks when breeding but we can control the
severity of some risks. If there is fault in either sire or dam to the point of mediocre or worse, breeding
is not recommended. Wanting more bone is a reasonable goal, needing more bone because your bitch
is over-refined, spindly or totally out of balance is in my opinion breeding sub-standard and detrimental
to any breeding program and the breed in general.
Our breeding program is built upon solid pedigree's and Aussie's that exemplify the standard in
structure, movement and temperament. We have specific goals and are able to embrace area's for
improvement. We choose to NOT breed "pet" quality, nor those with obvious faults and flaws. We have
made incredible sacrifices, and difficult decisions when "cutting" from our gene pool. The higher one
starts, the higher we can achieve.
We are constantly evaluating our breeding stock, and the puppies produced by such. We also believe
that the strength of our program is defined by the consistency (or lack of) seen in our puppies.
We do of course have our personal preferences, within the AKC standard; and although we have yet to
achieve perfection, or what comes as close as possible, that is our true goal and purpose.

I rely heavily on the information and data from ASGHI and have included a link to this site.
We are currently researching the reliability of additional health screenings and will likely be adding
such to our protocol.
Breeding is serious business and requires a person have some understanding of genes,
Co-efficiencies of potential crosses and familiarity with foundation stock and pedigree's. This requires a
great deal of research into sires, dams, siblings and offspring.
This is intended to give insight into our breeding program, goals and requirements. What other
breeders may or may not do is their business and we are not passing judgement, nor are we
attempting to imply that our protocol is better or the "right" way.
If you are interested in an IndigoMoon puppy, or considering the use of one of our stud dogs, we are
happy to share further information about our goals and achievements to date.
Christie Cotton- IndigoMoon Aussies
***********PYOMETRA***********
Pyometra is a uterine
infection that affects intact
females. After 2 separate
incidents with 2 different
females, it was time to catch
up on the current research
and learn all we could.
Pyometra often results in a
spaying of a valuable
breeding bitch and if not
caught in time can be fatal.
Beyonce suffered a mild case
a week after being bred and
only by the grace of God did
she deliver 4 healthy,
untouched puppies, not to
mention survive the infection
that lurked within her during
her pregnancy, unknown to
us.
After speaking to many
breeders of various breeds,
contacting the University for
canines both in MO and OK,
and of course discussing the
risk factors with our vet we
have concluded the
following; any breeding bitch,
once bred, becomes a risk,
and the more heat cycles she
passes without breeding, the
greater the risk of Pyometra.
Age also factors in; as the
older the female, the more
litters and/or heat cycles she
experiences. Genetics do not
appear to play a role.
We have decided for the
health and well being of our
girls, that once they are
mature enough and have had
all health clearances
completed we will breed
back to back and then spay.
Obviously a bitch MUST be in
top condition to follow this
protocol. We place the health
and well being of our females
always above a litter, and is
the reason for our shift in
breeding protocol. The risks
increase dramatically after a
litter, and for the intact, but
not yet bred female, there is
still a risk, but not as likely.
ALL pets are sold on spay
contracts~