Canine Health Issues
As you are aware, some breeds of dog (and crossbreeds too) can be susceptible to inherited disease. DNA tests for diseases in purebred dogs are available for some conditions in some breeds. Whilst there are not a large number of such tests as yet, more are being developed on an increasingly regular basis as scientists gain a fuller understanding of canine genomics. There are also a number of other clinical veterinary screening schemes that dog breeders can use to increase the probability of producing healthy puppies.
Advice to give to Puppy Buyers
Puppy buyers should be made aware that, at present, the application of various health screening results to breeding programmes is not always straightforward, and breeders may make choices in which dogs to use for various reasons. A responsible breeder though, will always be willing to discuss relevant health issues with a buyer. Breed clubs are often useful sources of breed-specific information.
Advice to give to Breeders
Breeders of pure bred dogs have a real opportunity to address these inherited diseases and reduce their prevalence, because it is the breeder that decides which sire is to be mated to which dam to produce a litter of puppies. It is thus possible, where screening schemes are available, for breeders to screen all of their potential breeding stock for signs of these inherited diseases, before they are bred from, and then use the results to formulate breeding programmes to reduce the prevalence of the diseases in future generations. Putting all of the potential breeding stock through these health screening schemes gives breeders a better understanding of the kind of genes a particular dog carries and thus avoid producing clinically affected 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
Schemes or advice relevant to this breed
There are not currently any veterinary screening schemes or DNA tests for disease relevant to this breed under the Assured Breeder Scheme, however you should still ask breeders and refer to breed clubs about health issues in the breed.
The list above is not necessarily comprehensive. Breed clubs and experienced breeders are useful sources of information on health issues in the breed. All breeds have a Breed Health Coordinator.