Breed Council Health Report 2012

The Breed Council’s Health Sub-committee has published its 2012 Health Report.  You can download a copy here: DBC Health Report 2012 (4MB pdf).  Sub-committee Chairman Roger Sainsbury wrote in his introduction to the Report:

2012 has seen some good progress in Health and Welfare, which I am sure, will continue into 2013.

During the first three months of 2012 we conducted the Dachs-Life Health survey, which had an excellent response. Over 1500 forms were submitted, giving us a very useful picture of the health of our Dachshunds (show dogs and pets) and the range and number of the conditions that affect them. Looking at the results of this we can see confirmation of ideas about the health of our Dachshunds, the importance of back problems, for instance, but it also highlighted some conditions that need further investigation – heart disease in Standard Wires and epilepsy in Mini Longs, for instance.

During the year further headway was made in tackling a number of conditions, notably progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) in Mini Longs and also in Mini Smooths and Mini Wires. A substantial reduction in the number of Mini Longs with the PRA mutation is now evident. Good progress is also being made in the other two breeds, where the scheme has not been going so long.

Work to develop genetic testing for mutations likely to be involved in intervertebral disc disease in Dachshunds is under way at the Animal Health Trust (AHT). Samples for genetic testing have been taken from Dachshunds over 12 years of age with no back problems and these will be compared with samples currently being taken from affected dogs. If significant genetic differences are found these will hopefully form the basis for a genetic test to identify ‘at risk’ Dachshunds.

A new and interesting technique, thermal imaging, is also being looked at to see if this will be useful in helping with the early identification of Dachshunds at risk of back conditions.

Progress in testing for Lafora Disease has been rather slower than had been hoped due to unforeseen problems with the technique, particularly for saliva testing. This work is now being undertaken in Toronto, and recent news from there has been encouraging – hopefully these problems will be overcome in the New Year.

Thanks are due to the Committee members for their contributions, particularly Ian Seath for his enthusiasm and ideas – and keeping us all at it.

I hope that you will find our fourth annual Health Report useful and informative.

Roger Sainsbury

BVM&S MRCVS

 

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