Current Health Projects

ONGOING HEALTH SCHEMES

The Health Snapshot

The Health Snapshot is a scheme where owners and breeders of Norfolk Terriers in the UK are invited to report notable conditions diagnosed in their dogs to the Club.

This information is useful for finding out if certain conditions are becoming more frequent than one would expect in the Norfolk Terrier and dogs in general.

It depends on people volunteering information about the disease, age, and sex of the dog. We do not require any breeding information at this point. To participate, all you have to do is contact Jill Stevenson on 01949 860251 or download a form here.

The Voluntary Heart Auscultation Scheme

The aim of the project was to auscultate 100 Norfolk Terriers offered by their owners to the survey. The survey part of the scheme is closed, but continues as the Voluntary Auscultation Scheme. To participate, you simply need to approach Dr Andre Hess MRCVS at Club events and shows, or travel to see him in St Albans. He has offered to travel to kennels, within reasonable distances, to auscultate dogs there.

This project, and the voluntary scheme as it is now, produced results that were consistent with the Breed Health Survey of 2014/15, terriers in general, and dogs in general.

The Voluntary Patella Scoring Scheme

In a previous issue of the Newsletter we published an article entitled ‘A Proposed Voluntary Patella Scoring Scheme’. We are now ready to go ahead with that scheme.

What is it about?

It is not uncommon, amongst small dogs of all breeds and none, to present with a condition called ‘slipping patellas’ or ‘luxating patellas’. Typically, these dogs will be running or walking perfectly normally, then suddenly carry one hind leg for a short distance, then carry on running normally. These dogs are not necessarily in pain, and it is sometimes even seen as an endearing feature. At best it is not considered a true health problem by some. At worst, that dog will not put that foot back down on the ground for much of the time, or at all, and it eventually becomes painful. These dogs will need surgery.

Many will remember the Club’s voluntary Cardiac Auscultation program we ran over several years. In it, Norfolk Terrier owners were invited to bring their dogs along to me to have their hearts checked for murmurs. This included pet owners and several large and small kennels. The results produced were remarkably consistent with the results from the Norfolk Terrier Breed Health Survey of 2014/15, as well as those produced by respected international results for dogs in general. That initiative was, therefore, deemed a success.

We would like to repeat that success with the knee. The scheme, as are the others, is part of a grand project to provide a factual basis regarding the health of our breed.

So how to I get my dog tested?

It is simple and painless. Please present yourself to Andre Hess at the Funday, or at any other opportunity. You will be asked a couple of questions. Your dog will go on the table, and its hind legs will be examined. It is very quick and you will be given the scores at the time. All you need to supply (apart from the dog!) is its age. Only its age, sex, and scores will go on the record. Please note: only dogs older than one year can be knee-scored.

For the purpose of the Funday, Norwich Terriers may also be presented for testing. Their results will not be included in the Norfolk Terrier Knee-Score Scheme.

Andre Hess MRCVS

please click here for more details of the Voluntary Patella Scoring Scheme.

The DNA Bank

The Club still has a number of free DNA collection kits; these will remain free until the current stocks run out, after which a kit will cost £5. To lodge your dog's DNA sample with the Animal Health Trust is free of charge.

The samples will not be tested for anything, but will simply be stored for the future.

Please contact the Club, or Andre Hess, for your kit.

The 'Give a Dog a Genome' Project

The Animal Health Trust (AHT) has offered to produce the entire genome for dog breeds. This is a significant moment in dog genetics.

The Norfolk Terrier is on the list of breeds that will have its genome produced.

The AHT has prioritised breed with health problems but will, in the next year or so, produce the genome of the Norfolk Terrier.

 

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