Once again the most frequent topic of health conversation this year has been lumps. A considerable number of hounds have had multiple lumps removed and where the histology is done they have proved to stem from differing causes not just sebaceous cysts, though fortunately the large percentage have been benign. Over the last couple of years I have heard of two of these lumps being Dermoid Cysts and following is the comment on the histology of one of them:- This is a dermoid cyst. Such lesions are unusual but are most commonly found on the dorsal midline and are often the result of anomalous inclusion of skin elements into the deeper tissue during embryonic development. They may also arise from traumatic or post-surgical implantation of follicles and adnexa into the deeper tissues. Complete excision is curative.

    I am not sure if anything can be done to reduce the incidence of lumps which unfortunately do cause so many problems for owners. I know we are not the only breed to report these and perhaps now is the time to come together with other breeds and do some research to help owners and hounds in the future.

    Last year we had the shocking news that the Animal Health Trust had folded, this is where all our DNA samples were stored and also where all the good work by Cathryn Mellersh and her team was done on research into health problems. However, we now have the excellent news that The Kennel Club Canine Genetic Research Centre has been set up at Cambridge University with Cathryn once more heading the team and all DNA samples having been moved there safely for future storage. I am hoping to get in touch with Cathryn shortly with relation to find out how and to where we send in our DNA samples in future and will report on this as soon as possible. I am grateful to those who are currently storing samples in their fridges in the meantime.

    Some excellent news was received via Facebook Health, there is a new treatment for cancer Mast Cell Tumours, it is called Stelfonta and the person who kindly enabled us to follow her Boxer’s treatment from start to finish had a very good outcome.

    I attended a Webinar on Alabama Rot which has now spread throughout the country. There is a lot of research being done into the causes and treatment of this so I will continue to keep you updated as and when I hear further news. In the meantime the advice is if walking your hounds in woodland, especially in the spring and autumn, wash off their legs on returning home and keep a sharp eye out for any cuts or sores on the legs and get your hound straight to the vet if you see any, better safe than sorry as it is still unknown why this disease has such a dramatic effect on dogs’ kidneys.

    Finally I have had it reported to me that some of our hounds have very deep seated Anal Glands which may cause serious problems. In one case the hound had an Anal Gland abcess, this was treated with several courses of antibiotics and the hound’s owner wished to impress on me how glad she was that her vet insisted on 30 days treatment with the antibiotics which did then clear the abcess up completely.

    I trust your hounds will stay safe and well, also having enjoyed prolonged owner company during lockdown will not be too stressed by getting back to normal life home alone more often. Please remember I am always here to respond to any questions you may have.

                                                             Judith Ashworthjeashworth@btinternet.com
                                                             Breed Health Co-ordinator.

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