The loss of a beloved companion can be the worst part of owning a pet. And when that tragedy is because of an unexpected and premature death through illness, the feelings of loss and grief are magnified. At such times one often feels that one’s pet has suffered enough and burial or cremation will allow closure. At that time the thought of a post mortem examination is anathema to many owners.
There are several health screening schemes which can help breeders to detect some inherited diseases and DNA tests which identify the presence or absence of disease genes.
BVA/KC Health Schemes
Online Survey Results
Certain inherited conditions are caused by autosomal recessive genes that are faulty and this means that puppies need to inherit one copy of the faulty gene from each parent to develop the condition; both dog and bitch puppies can be affected.
Breed Health Committee
In the last few years, the health of pure-bred dogs has been in the spotlight and the UK Kennel Club requested that each recognised breed appoint a health committee to examine health issues in the breed. The committee was set up with health representatives from the eight Irish Setter Breed Clubs in the United Kingdom. Rita Bryden, as KC Breed Liaison Officer also attends and participates in discussions and we have an independent Chairman, Professor Edward J Hall MA, Vet MB, PhD, DipECVIM-CA, MRCVS
Archiving DNA – Why Do It And What Does It Entail?
An increasing number of breed clubs are establishing DNA banks, or archives, to store DNA from dogs that are alive today for the benefit of the breed in the future. The Canine Genetics group at the Animal Health Trust offers DNA Archiving facilities for Irish Setters. This article answers frequently asked questions about what a DNA archive is, what the benefits are and what information needs to accompany each DNA sample for the archive to be of maximum benefit.
Canine herpesvirus and puppies.
Canine herpesvirus (CHV) is specific to domesticated and wild dogs. As with other herpesviruses, CHV becomes latent and is carried by the affected individual for life, though they may not show any clinical signs. The infection may flare up and become a clinical problem during periods of stress or immunosuppression.
Dogs are infected in one of the following ways:
- In fetuses, across the dam’s placenta
- In new born pups through contact with the birth canal
Porto-systemic shunts (Liver shunts)
Professor EJ Hall
A porto-systemic shunt (PSS) is an abnormal vessel that bypasses the liver so that blood which would normally drain from the intestines (via the portal vein) to the liver is ‘shunted’ directly into the general circulation. This causes significant ill health because of toxins from the gut reaching the brain. Ideally the shunt is surgically corrected.