Following consultation with the Otterhound Breed Health Coordinator and breed club, it has been agreed that all imported Otterhounds, or overseas sires being used in a breeding programme (including AI), must be DNA tested for Glanzmann’s thrombasthenia before registration of their progeny is accepted, The Kennel Club has announced. This restriction will come into effect as of 1 January 2021.
The Otterhound is a Kennel Club vulnerable British breed, a category for breeds which generate 300 or fewer registrations in a year. In fact, a mere 44 Otterhound puppies were registered in 2019, with none so far in 2020, making them among the rarest British breeds of all.
Thrombasthenic thrombopathia is a bleeding disorder first described in Otterhounds in the 1960s, caused by an inability of the blood to clot appropriately, resulting in clinical signs such as bleeding from the gums and prolonged bleeding during surgery.
Whilst this condition is rare in the UK breed population, most of the known cases have occurred in the US breed population. Given the very small global population size of the Otterhound, making use of available breeding animals from a range of countries is vital in order to maintain genetic diversity. Therefore, this restriction is being applied to prevent the introduction of this condition into the UK population, whilst allowing breeders to make use of valuable genes from dogs originating outside of the country.
Details about other diseases, and which test providers The Kennel Club is able to record results from, and those that will send results direct to The Kennel Club, can be found at bit.ly/37mYa6F.
Dr Tom Lewis, Genetics & Research Manager at The Kennel Club, said: “The Kennel Club constantly reviews DNA testing schemes in conjunction with breed clubs to ensure that breeders are supported with resources which help them to make responsible breeding decisions. We work alongside breed clubs and breed health coordinators in a collaborative effort to improve the health of pedigree dogs and are happy to accommodate a breed's request to tailor restrictions for a DNA test, for breeds which fit a number of suitable criteria. A formal request from the breed health coordinator or a majority request from the breed clubs is normally required to do this.”
Test results will be added to the dog’s registration details which will trigger the publication of the result in the next available Breed Records Supplement, and also on the Health Test Results Finder on The Kennel Club website.
Results for dogs already tested can also be recorded, but owners will need to submit copies of the DNA certificates themselves. DNA test certificates should be sent to Breeder Services, The Kennel Club, Clarges Street, London W1J 8AB or scanned and emailed to our health results team.