Written by Gil Simpson BVMS MRCVS

The Kennel Club has asked all breed clubs to appoint a single Breed Health Coordinator to help monitor and advise them of any health problems in the breed. The remit of the Health Coordinator is that of a conduit for health information to and from the Kennel Club and the Breed. It is important to monitor health trends within the breed so that if a health problem emerges, breeders can recognise the problem and with or without the help of the Kennel Club's geneticists, find a way to control and hopefully eradicate it.

I have been asked to be the Health Coordinator and I would like to invite anyone who has had a health problem with their Weimaraner to let me have any information. The information will be treated in complete confidence and the individual dog need not be identified, though in practice this information could ultimately prove useful. Being a Vet I am no stranger to client confidentiality and you can be assured that any information given would be made available only to the Kennel Club.

My remit is not to give advice on any health problem, but purely to report it to the Kennel Club. If I can give advice I will, but please don't ask me to give a diagnosis or comment on the treatment your vet may have suggested. As owners of such a superb breed as the Weimaraner we owe it to the future of the breed to do our utmost to protect the breeds' health today and in the future. To assist you in providing any information, a downloadable form can be obtained from all the breed clubs websites. Please send the completed form to myself either by email or to the address on the form.

Gil Simpson BVMS, MRCVS

Click here to download a Health Questionnaire

The information on this page is not meant to frighten you - all breeds have some incidence of defects and diseases, just as humans do. If you know which have been noted to sometimes occur in this breed, you will be better prepared to deal with the problem. The Weimaraner Club of Great Britain actively encourages its members to hip score their dogs through the BVA/KC scheme. The Club has in recent years carried out a Health Survey and had an 18% response from members

 

DILATED CARDIOMYOPATHY

A condition affecting the heart muscle. Not common but a low incidence reported. Supportive treatment only.

http://www.2ndchance.info/dogdilcardiomyopathy.htm

 

DISTRICHIASIS

Extra eyelashes growing inwards. Should be removed. Low incidence noted.

distichia-or-distichiasis-in-dogs/2136

 

ECTROPIAN

Lower eyelid turns outwards. Not common but cases noted. Corrective surgery necessary.

http://www.petmd.com/dog/conditions/eyes/c_dg_ectropion

 

ENTROPIAN

Eyelids turn inwards. Not common but cases noted. Corrective surgery necessary.

http://www.petwave.com/Dogs/Dog-Health-Center/Ear-and-Eye-Disorders/Entropion.aspx

 

EPILEPSY

Convulsions or fits are not common in this breed and can be controlled with medication.

A consortium of researchers from the Universities of Missouri, Minnesota, the Ohio State University and the Animal Health Trust in Great Britain are working together to discover the mutations responsible for hereditary epilespy in many breeds:

http://www.canineepilepsy.co.uk/owners/Owners_about_epil.htm

 

GASTRIC DILATATION AND VOLVULUS (GDV, Commonly known as ‘BLOAT')

This is a life-threatening condition, which requires emergency treatment and there is an incidence of it in this breed. Ask your vet to tell you how to recognise it. The WCGB recommend that you feed your dog, when adult, twice a day in order not to overload the stomach. Pre-soak dry food before feeding. Don't feed immediately before or after exercising. Don't allow your dog to drink large quantities of water just before, during or just after exercising (small quantities are OK). http://www.vethelpdirect.com/vetblog/2011/03/16/gastric-torsion-in-dogs/

NB: An article on bloat from the Autumn 2007 edition of the WCGB newsletter is available for download in PDF format with kind permission from Sally Morgan: Click here

HIP DYSPLASIA

Ill fitting hip joints, not life threatening but causes extreme discomfort in affected dogs. The WCGB encourages members to X-ray breeding stock and submit plates to BVA/KC scheme to obtain a hip score.

www.bva.co.uk/public/documents/hip_dysplasia.pdf

INTERSEXUALITY

This is where both sets of sexual organs are present in the same animal. The condition is rare in this breed but cases have been noted. Requires corrective operation.
http://www.petplace.com/dogs/hermaphrodite-and-pseudohermaphrodite-in-dogs/page1.aspx

JUVENILE PYODERMA

Pustular skin condition with associated lymphadentis seen in puppies and young adults. Not common in the Weimaraner but cases noted. Requires treatment with medication.

http://www.afghanhoundsinternational.net/health/juvenile-pyoderma.htm

PANCREATIC INSUFFICENCY

This is caused by the lack of enzymes normally produced by the pancreas. Not common in the Weimaraner but a low incidence has been reported. Can be treated with medication.

http://www.medicinenet.com/pets/dog-health/pancreatitis_symptoms_and_treatments_in_dogs.htm

MCT (Mast Cell Tumours / Cancer)

Mast cell tumours are common among all dogs, both pedigree and mixed breeds, however the Animal Health Trust is investigating what they believe to be a genetic predisposition in the weimaraner based on evidence that there would seem to be a particularly high incidence of this form of cancer in the breed. 

Animal Health Trust study on MCT in the Weimaraner

STEROID RESPONSIVE MENINGITIS

Incidences of this disease are becoming increasingly common in dogs, usually occurring in young male dogs aged up to 2 years old, however, the Animal Health Trust have noticed that there seems to be a particularly high incidence of the disease among some breeds, including the weimaraner.

http://www.aladarbeagles.com/beaglepain.html

SYRINGOMYELIA

This is a chronic progressive disease affecting the spinal cord. Rare in this breed but cases have been noted. No known treatment available to date.

http://www.thecavalierclub.co.uk/health/syringo/syringom.html

 

Other links to useful information:

ANIMAL HEALTH TRUST: www.aht.org.uk

CANINE DISEASES: www.alternativevet.org/dogs.htm

COLITIS: www.gooddogmagazine.com/colitis.htm (registration required to view article)

HOLISTIC WEIMARANER FORUM: Click here tosubscribe to mailing list