The Dachshund Breed Council’s Health Sub-committee has published its 2015 Health Report

Health_Report_2015The Breed Council’s Health and Welfare Sub-committee has published its Annual Health Report for 2015 (pdf).

2015 was another busy year for the Health and Welfare Sub-committee. 

Lafora Disease

The year started with the KC making the testing of Mini Wires for Lafora Disease a requirement for all Mini Wire breeders in the Assured Breeders Scheme. This should be an incentive for testing more of the Mini Wire population and this will make it easier for breeders to avoid this disease by mating dogs of known genetic status. Test results so far show some reduction in the frequency of the Lafora gene – but the test has only been available for a relatively short time.

 

Cord1 PRA

In contrast, genetic testing for Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) in Mini Long Haired Dachshunds has been being carried out for 10 years and the proportion of affected dogs found now is a sixth of that found when testing started. The results for Mini Smooths have been falling at about the same rate, and this shows how successful these schemes can be. Keep it up!

DachsLife 2015

Also in the first part of the year our DachsLife 2015 Survey was carried out and the results make interesting reading. Some of these confirm findings from previous work – but some were unexpected. Dachshunds living with two or more others had half the chances of suffering with intervertebral disc disease (IVDD), for instance, which is good news for those of us with several Dachshunds.

IVDD

The Animal Health Trust (AHT) have been looking to see if there was a correlation between DNA from Dachshunds with IVDD and DNA from an area on chromosome 12 previously identified as a probable area for the genes involved with back disease. This might have been a shortcut to a genetic test to help identify dogs at risk of IVDD and there was some disappointment when they reported that they had found no correlation between these.

This is not the end of the story, though, and further work is proceeding in a number of fields. We are currently looking at X-ray and perhaps CT scanning to screen Dachshunds for disc calcification, for instance, and this could be used as part of a scheme to reduce back disease in Dachshunds.

Genetic Diversity

The results of a major research study has been published by The Kennel Club which looked at the genetic diversity of UK pedigree dogs, including the six varieties of Dachshund. This has shown that there are concerns about the levels of inbreeding and declining registrations in several varieties. Breeders should be worried about this because fertility and litter size may be reduced and there could even be an increased risk of new inherited diseases in the breeds concerned.

More on the genetic diversity report is to be found in this Health and Welfare Sub-committee report, together with details of much else, and I hope that you find it interesting and useful.

Lastly, don’t forget that we will all be subject to The Microchipping of Dogs (England) Regulations 2014 which come into effect on the 6th of April.

 

Roger Sainsbury

BVM&S, MRCVS

 

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