Health

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The Saarloos Wolfdog is generally a hardy breed with natural conformation. However, breeders and puppy buyers alike are advised to check the health status of any given Sire or Dam by way of health testing.
The following Health Screening must be undertaken by all dogs entering into the UKSWDC Breeding Program.

 

HIP DYSPLASIA (HD)

Simply speaking, Hip Dysplasia means that the bones of the hip joint are not aligned correctly. Like most large breed dogs, the Saarloos Wolfhond can be affected by this. The current British Veterinary Association (BVA) Hip Dysplasia score average for the Saarloos Wolfdog is below 15, so when looking to buy a puppy, you should be looking for combined parent scores average to this. Elbows scoring is also required to help prevent Elbow Dysplasia with 0 being the only BVA score permitted among breeding dogs.

DEGENERATIVE MYELOPATHY (DM)

Degenerative myelopathy is a progressive disease of the spinal cord in older dogs. The disease has an insidious onset typically between 8 and 14 years of age. It begins with a loss of coordination (ataxia) in the hind limbs. The affected dog will wobble when walking, knuckle over or drag the feet. This can first occur in one hind limb and then affect the other. As the disease progresses, the limbs become weak and the dog begins to buckle and has difficulty standing. The weakness gets progressively worse until the dog is unable to walk. The clinical course can range from 6 months to 1 year before dogs become paraplegic. If signs progress for a longer period of time, loss of urinary and faecal continence may occur and eventually weakness will develop in the front limbs. Another key feature of DM is that it is not a painful disease.

Breeding dogs should be tested and carrier to carrier dogs never bred together. If a carrier dog is bred to a clear dog, then it will not produce affected puppies.

PITUITARY DWARFISM (PD)

Canine pituitary dwarfism syndrome is often inherited. Breeds prone to the syndrome include the German Shepherd and the Carnelian bear dog. The trait exists on a recessive gene, so an affected puppy must have inherited one deformed gene from each parent. When two of these defective genes appear in the same puppy, pituitary dwarfism occurs.

Breeding dogs should be tested and carrier to carrier dogs never bred together. If a carrier dog is bred to a clear dog, then it will not produce affected puppies.

BVA EYE SCREEN

Examinations to include:

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)  Hereditary Cataracts (HC) and Glaucoma (G).

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