Dachshund Breed Council Annual Health Report for 2014

Health_Report_2014The Breed Council’s 2014 Health Report is available here (pdf).

Chairman’s Introduction


Up to September 2014 DNA tests (clear/carrier/affected) have been carried out on 357 Miniature Wire Haired Dachshunds. Unfortunately, the Lafora gene has been found in nearly half of these and about 10% have two copies of this gene.  This is a very high level, although it may drop as more dogs are tested (some known positives were tested initially to ensure the test was working).  At the present level, carriers should be used in breeding (and maybe some affected dogs) to avoid damage to the breed due to the contraction of the effective population size, but we will have to liaise with the AHT for advice.

The Toronto Lafora test became an official Kennel Club test earlier this year and on the 18th November the KC announced that testing Miniature Wirehaired Dachshunds for Lafora’s disease was to become a requirement for members of the Assured Breeders Scheme from 1st January 2015.  Letters about this have been sent to the Veterinary Record and Veterinary Times.  Telling the vets about this sort of news via the internet is being explored.  Sadly, many vets still seem to be unaware of this condition.


In July the AHT told us that they were underway with IVDD genetics project. The hope was that the preliminary work would be complete by the end of August and they would have their first preliminary results by the end of September.  I haven’t seen anything more yet, but these predictions always seem to be a bit optimistic.

An IVDD Lifestyle Survey is currently being developed. This will cover factors such as Diet, Exercise, where they live – house/kennel, environmental factors (stairs, furniture etc.), vaccinations (what/when), neuter status, and has it been bred from/used at stud, etc.  This is to see if factors in addition to being overweight and jumping off furniture are involved.  This is ongoing.

A few anomalies in our Code of Ethics were noticed by our Pet Advisors and they suggested some amendments.  This prompted a review and there were discussions about this at the last Breed Council meeting.

The Kennel Club has introduced formal Control Schemes, a set of guidelines for genetic conditions that can be used if testing schemes run into trouble. We have two schemes where DNA test procedures are used.  These are either running successfully at present (Cord1 PRA) or are relatively new (Lafora) and there seems little need, therefore, for us to ask for a Control Scheme to be requested in either case at present.

Dachshunds being advertised on websites is an ongoing problem.  Our pet advisors have been looking into this.  One site seemed to be cooperative and requested and were given alternative wording for their website.  They have also been looking at prices and colours advertised.

We lost one of our Pet Advisors, Helga Klausgraber, when she emigrated to Australia in the summer, and Charlie Hipkin has had to leave the Health and Welfare Sub-committee due to other commitments. Dawn Norton joined the Sub-committee in November.

I hope you find this year’s Health Report interesting and useful.

Roger Sainsbury











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