I would just like to wish you all the very best of health at the start of this report as many of us have been as concerned about our own health and that of all our loved ones over the last year as we always are about our hounds.

    I was very interested to learn of a young hound who suffered a severe gastric illness and was diagnosed with Canine Carona Virus, after losing a lot of weight he did fortunately fully recover.

    I know you will all remember we used to send DNA samples into The Animal Health Trust for future health research before it very unfortunately folded and that it was part of The Otterhound Club Code of Ethics that this should be done before a puppy left it’s first home.

    I am delighted to be able to tell you that all the samples have now been safely moved to the new Kennel Club Genetics Centre at the Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Cambridge.

    I have the new Forms and sample packs available for anyone who purchased a puppy last year or this year that were not able to have their DNA sent in, so please get in touch with me and I will happily send a pack on to you. Also, for all breeders to do now going forward.

    Where possible, on return please include accompanying copies of any relevant clinical information, a 5- generation pedigree and any health certificates, as this is typically key to help us make best use of the samples in our research.

    These packs cost the Kennel Club £5 each, so they are requesting that a donation of at least that amount should accompany each returned pack as follows: -

    “Donations to the Kennel Club Genetics Centre (KCGC) or to other specific projects can be made via Camvet, which is registered charity set up to raise funds for the Queen’s Veterinary School Hospital, but is also able to accept donations for the KCGC and has confirmed that donations made for this purpose will be ringfenced for our group. ''

    We need to ask that your contributors specifically state the donation is for our work, using KCGC as a reference. Thankyou”

    I had a couple of in-depth reports from owners on the health of their hounds for which I thank them. The first was an elderly hound who was eventually diagnosed with Cushing’s Disease. The following is a brief description taken from the PDSA website -

           Cushing’s disease – or hyperadenocorticism – is a condition where the dog’s body produces too much of the hormone ‘cortisol’

            Signs your dog may have Cushing’s include drinking lots and urinating frequently, hair loss, weight gain, panting, changes to the skin’s appearance and abdominal swelling – but these can be signs of lots of other health conditions too and many healthy older dogs get a bit of a middle aged spread anyway

              Cushing’s is fairly common in middle aged and older dogs. Affected dogs will likely need to take medication to manage the illness for life.

    We have had isolated reports of Cushing’s in hounds in the past, but this is the first in quite some time. We have also had isolated reports of Addison’s in hounds in the past and this is the opposite of Cushing’s.

    The second was unfortunately a case of a hound who very quickly went downhill and had to be put to sleep within three months. First signs that everything was not right was weight loss, clinical examination subsequently found high protein levels in urine and ultrasound showed cysts on both kidneys. Despite treatment the owner very sadly had to take the right decision for the hound. We have over the years had other reports of differing kidney problems, so this is something to be aware of.

    A question came up in social media that I had never thought about – ‘Do Male Dogs have wet Dreams’. The following is a brief conclusion to a longer article of which there are quite a few on the internet if you wish to delve further into this:-

    “Yes, indeed, male dogs can have wet dreams. It’s a perfectly normal occurrence and is also a good sign that your dog is sexually mature.

    It may be evident in cases where the dog has an erection and is making humping movements. However, it may also go unnoticed in neutered dogs as they experience much calmer wet dreams.

    Always remember to observe the colour of the fluid discharged to avoid the possible progression of urinary tract infections.”

    The Kennel Club publishes test results on a quarterly basis and I am hoping to get all our Hip and Elbow Xray Scores together with the updated Fitters list back up on the Club Website in the near future, perhaps it can be rebuilt with a specific Health Section to cover all the information that was formerly contained in the stand alone Health Website. In the meantime we now have Glanzmann’s Thrombasthenia DNA test results published and as this is new and there are only a few results as this test applies to imported hounds or puppies produced by imported semen when they are used for breeding I set out below the results in alphabetical order- to date:-

                                                                           GLANZMANN’S  THROMBASTHENIA UK RESULTS



    Further information on these or any other subjects is always welcome.

    Judith Ashworth   (
    Breed Health Coordinator

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