You may be aware that some breeds of dog and their crosses can be susceptible to inherited disease. Of course you want to be sure that the dog you choose is as healthy as possible, and you would like to know that it has not inherited any undesirable disease-causing genes from its parents. There is some help in that DNA tests for diseases in purebred dogs are available for some conditions in some breeds, but there are not very many such tests just yet! There are also, however, a number of clinical veterinary screening schemes that dog breeders can use to increase the probability of producing healthy puppies.
Details of the various screening schemes, both veterinary and DNA, that are available to breeders in the UK can be found at www.thekennelclub.org.uk/doghealth
Potential dog owners should be aware that, at present, the application of various health screening results to breeding programmes is not always straightforward, and breeders may make choices for various reasons. A responsible breeder though, will always be willing to discuss relevant health issues with you. Breed clubs are often useful sources of breed-specific information.
Schemes or advice relevant to this breed
It is strongly recommended that both Kennel Club Assured Breeders and non-Kennel Club Assured Breeders should use the following schemes, tests and/ or advice.
|BVA/KC/ISDS Eye Scheme
|Bitches under two years not to produce a litter
|Bitches over six years not to produce a litter
|Bitches not to produce more than one litter in a 12-month period
|All hounds used for breeding take part annually in a heart testing scheme approved by the Irish Wolfhound Club: the minimum requirement being examinations by stethoscope, ECG and ultrasound scan
|Breed club – liver shunt testing of all puppies prior to being sold
The list above is not necessarily comprehensive, other available health tests can be found at http://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/health/breeding-for-health/dna-screening-schemes-and-results/ or for further advice please contact your local breed club.