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Health Issues

Hip Dysplasia
Hip dysplasia is an abnormal formation of the hip socket that, in its more severe form, can eventually cause crippling lameness and painful arthritis of the joints.

There have been a few instances of hip dysplasia within the breed so it has been agreed that all breeding stock should be screened under the KC/BVA hip scoring scheme prior to mating. Other countries’ officially certificated schemes are acceptable provided that the scheme is certificated and controlled by that country’s official recognised body or Kennel Club and that the animal’s identification number (micro-chip or tattoo) was placed on the x-ray by the veterinary surgeon at the time it was taken.

Glaucoma is a condition in which pressure is placed on the eye, causing inadequate fluid drainage. If the condition becomes chronic or persists without treatment, it will eventually cause permanent damage to the optic nerve, resulting in blindness.

There have been a few instances of this disease and, whilst the disease itself tends to become apparent in later life, it is possible to test for pre-disposition at an early age. Therefore all breeding stock should have been presented for a gonioscopy prior to mating.

Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) is a group of genetic diseases seen in certain breeds of dogs and, more rarely, cats. Similar to retinitis pigmentosa in humans, it is characterised by the bilateral degeneration of the retina, causing progressive vision loss culminating in blindness.

Although there have been no reports of PRA in this country as far as we know, there have been reported cases abroad. To prevent problems it has been agreed that all breeding stock should have been DNA tested. Other countries’ equivalent certificated schemes are acceptable. Any bitch or dog “carrying” the gene must only be mated with a “clear” PRA status.

This disease is known to occur in Spain and can, and has, entered this country through imported stock. It is suggested that all imported animals, and those that travel to Spain and return to the UK, should be blood tested to identify those that are carriers or affected. It is not yet certain whether or not it may be transmitted by the parents so it is essential to check the status of dogs and bitches before mating if they are thought to be at risk.