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Discover Dogs - ExCel London

2 busy days and record crowds

The Southern Dachshund Association hosted the Dachshund booths at Discover Dogs on 21 and 22 October. Experts were on hand to answer questions and record crowds came to meet and cuddle the dogs.

We gave away all our booklets “Dachshunds: A dog for all reasons“.

Thanks to all the helpers over the weekend. You did a brilliant job helping to educate potential owners and offering advice to current owners as well.

The next Discover Dogs will be at Crufts 2018 where the Dachshund booths will be hosted by the Midland Dachshund Club. The Club has very generously donated £300 towards the cost of producing new display materials for the booths. THANK YOU. Put the dates in your diary: 8-11th March.


IVDD Screening Programme update

1 year on

At the beginning of November 2016 we launched our Back Disease (IVDD) Screening Programme. This involves taking x-rays of a dog’s spine under light sedation and the number of calcifications is scored by an independent veterinary expert in Finland. In the first year, 19 dogs have participated. 12 of those have fewer than 5 calcifications which is a good result for their owners.

The programme is based on decades of research which shows the risk of IVDD increases with the number of calcifications. Over 3500 dogs have been scored in the Nordic countries and the Danish KC made this a requirement for Dachshund registrations last year.

Initially, our plan was to publish the screening results online as this was a successful approach for promoting the Lafora screening programme. However, until we have sufficient results (probably at least 100), we have decided to hold back on publishing. We hope this will (a) allay fears of any witch-hunt against dogs with high scores and (b) reduce the likelihood of low-scoring dogs being over-used at stud.

X-ray screening is another tool in a breeder's kitbag to inform their breeding decisions.

Read more.

Eye Testing Clinic

Subsidised for Dachshund owners

The Dachshund Club will be hosting a clinical eye examination session at their Championship Show to be held at Stoneleigh on 25th November 2017. The normal price is £56 at a KC/BVA/ISDS Panel Vet but the Breed Council is subsidising this session so the test will only cost you £25 per dog.​

The KC/BVA/ISDS Clinical Eye Examination is recommended for all 6 varieties and can identify eye conditions such as Distichiasis which we know can be a problem in Mini Longs.

Contact Lynda Billinghurst for booking details.

Understanding the genetics of IVDD

Exciting new research
University of California, Davis, researchers have revealed the discovery of a genetic mutation across breeds that is responsible for chondrodystrophy (the skeletal disorder leading to shorter legs and abnormal intervertebral discs) in a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. [UCD Press Release]

The paper says there are two FGF4 retrogenes on chromosomes 12 and 18. The one on 18 causes dwarfism (CDPA), the one on 12 is associated with dwarfism and IVDD (CDDY). The paper suggests 100% of Dachshunds are homozygous for the 18 version and the key question is what proportion have a copy of the 12 version. If 100% of Dachshunds have the CDDY version, then this will be of no use to us in breeding away from IVDD.

We do have to be careful in interpreting this UCD paper because the Supplemental Information shows that only 3 Dachshund IVDD cases were in their sample. All the IVDD cases from a number of breeds were diagnosed based on calcifications on x-rays and/or surgery.

We really need CDDY frequency data from a well-defined, large sample of Dachshund cases and controls. If there is a variation in the CDDY frequency in Dachshunds so that they can be identified as Clear, Carrier or Affected, that would suggest we can breed away from IVDD. It all depends on how widespread the CDDY variant is. We are working with the Animal Health Trust to assess this research using UK Dachshund DNA samples.

Read more.

The eyes have it!

Clinical eye examinations for Dachshunds

The November 2017 edition of the Kennel Gazette has an excellent article on eye disease in dogs by the well-known ophthalmologist, Dr Peter Bedford. He asks the question "is it necessary to continue with routine clinical eye examinations or has DNA testing rendered them obsolete?".

In Dachshunds, we have had the DNA test for Cord1 PRA since about 2005 when it was developed to address early-onset blindness in Mini Longs. It was subsequently made a requirement under the Assured Breeder Scheme for Mini Smooths (2008) and Mini Wires (2011). We now know there is a second mutation associated with the age of onset of this form of PRA but, as yet, there is no DNA test. We also have a DNA test for Norwegian Day Blindness (NPHP4) which is present with a low mutation frequency in Wires and Mini Wires.

Peter Bedford says, in his article, " remains essential that (clinical) screening continues, to maintain the effective control for ocular disease...". There are over 30 inherited eye diseases affecting 59 different breeds, of which gPRA is listed in the BVA/KC/ISDS Eye Scheme for Mini Long Dachshunds.

Routine screening will pick up any emerging conditions and can also be useful for confirming or disproving concerns that may be being discussed anecdotally. We know there are cases of Dachshunds going blind and these are not due to Cord1 PRA, and we get occasional reports of Sudden Acquired Retinal Degeneration Syndrome (SARDS). Many reports of Dachshunds going blind are simply what would be expected in old dogs, so we shouldn't assume there is necessarily a problem in the breed. 

Good practice would be to screen clinically at 12-18 months (before breeding) and then again over the age of 7 to check for any late-onset conditions.

Read more.

Book a subsidised eye examination with the Dachshund Club.

Other news in brief...

IVDD Screening

Find out how to participate in our subsidised IVDD Screening Programme. 
What dogs are eligible?
Screening locations
Can I use my own vet?

Still time to buy your Sausage Army 2018 Calendar
All profits go to the Dachshund Breed Council Health Fund. The 2018 Sausage Army calendar is now on sale, a bumper 88 photos of super sausages this year and looking to be the biggest year yet. Read more.

Seasonal Canine Illness warning 
Although there is no new information on the causes of SCI, the AHT has updated its list of FAQs and asks dog owners to be vigilant and aware of the symptoms, which can be fatal. Read more.

Join our IVDD Facebook Support Group
We now have over 2000 members in our Support Group which provides advice and reassurance to owners of Dachshunds with IVDD. Join here or search for VITALDachshundIVDD.

CHF Canine Webinars
The AKC Canine Health Foundation and VetVine have teamed up to offer a series of live webinars on canine health topics. Read more.

Research on castration in dogs
Can you help Elizabeth Ayrton, a veterinary surgeon currently completing a Masters degree at the University of Lincoln? She would like help with her research. Find out how you can help.

Read our advice on neutering Dachshunds.



Dates for your diary

WHDC Seminar

Morning: Breed Standard (Ian Seath) and hands-on
Afternoon: Grooming (Mandy Dance)
Baginton, Warks. Nov. 4th 2017
Email Phil Rollinson
National Pet Show

Dachshund Rescue will have a stand at the National Pet Show being held at the NEC Birmingham on 4th and 5th November.
Breed Seminar and Mentoring Day

The Midland Dachshund Club would like to invite you to a Mentoring day. This is an opportunity to go over a number Dachshunds with some of the country’s leading Dachshund Mentors. Sunday 7th January 2018

IVDD Xmas Cards

This year, Devoted to Dachshunds is raising money for research into IVDD and also for those dogs already sadly affected.  EVERY PENNY (the entire £5) from the sale of these lovely cards will be split between the Dachshund Breed Council's research into the condition and the charity, 'Dedicated to Dachshunds with IVDD' which raises money for rehabilitation, wheelchairs and strollers.  

Rescue and Welfare

Dachshund Rescue
The independent rescue and welfare charity for UK Dachshunds. Website here. Temporary help for owners is provided by Daxaid.

November 2017

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