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You may be aware that some breeds of dog (and crossbreeds too) 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 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;
Kennel Club assured breeders must use the following screening schemes an/or advice for sires and dams.
-BVA/KC Hip Dysplasia Scheme
-BVA/KC Elbow Dysplasia Scheme
Kennel Club assured breeders are strongly recommended to use the following screening schemes and/or advice for sires and dams.
-Breed Club – advice on epilepsy/fitting
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.
1. Health screening related questions for puppy buyers to ask.
As you view hounds with various breeders prior to deciding on an actual litter look up the hip and elbow scores of the hounds you are interested in, also their sire and dam and grandparents too so you are able to see an overall record on the breeding line, on the Kennel Club Website-
Use Online Services
Glossary of health tests
Health test result finder
Enter name of hound
Should hounds whose puppies you are interested in not be hip and elbow scored discuss this with any proposed breeder.
ALWAYS ask the fitting status of all relevant hounds, mainly parents and siblings.
ALL breeders who members of The Otterhound Club are required to send mouth swabs for the storage of DNA for future research with the Animal Health Trust. Discuss whether this has been done with your breeder, it can be done before you take your puppy home or you can ask The Otterhound Club Health Coordinator for the appropriate swabs to do this yourself. Make sure your puppy’s DNA is stored as it could help the breed and possibly your puppy with any health problems it may have, in many ways at some time in the future.
2. Current health priorities in the breed;
3 Immune Mediated Illnesses (allergies etc.)
3. Current research that involves the breed.
The Otterhound has been gene mapped for epilepsy with no definitive result. Funding is being raised for further research when it may become available.