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Gun Dog Breeders: What Health Issues Do Breeders Watch For in a Brittany?

By    |   Tuesday, 27 Oct 2015 04:07 PM

Before selecting a Brittany as a gun dog, hunters should be aware of any common health problems with the breed.

There is great importance in heredity. Most breeders will select their stock from proven bloodlines that have generations of dogs who have scored well at field trials and shows. But along with performance comes conformation (how well the dog matches breed standards), and with conformation comes health.

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The Brittany generally lives 12-13 years and is a high-energy, light-boned, intelligent animal with a very sensitive nature. To keep a Brittany healthy, you need to address its energy and intellect, which means at least one hour of exercise a day and mental exercise such as hide and seek (for toys or treats).

Serious congenital problems include canine hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, and epilepsy, according to petMD.

Breeders usually avoid bloodlines where hip dysplasia has been an issue, as it is an inherited condition that results from badly formed hip joints.

Dogs that suffer from this have hip joints that are so loose that the leg bone moves around too much. It causes painful wear and tear on ligaments, muscles, and joints. This leads to stiffness in motion and a reluctance by the dog to exercise. It can develop in puppies before they are 6 months old, and worsens with age. Usually, though, it arrives in a dog's middle-age.

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Hypothyroidism means there is an underactive thyroid gland producing too little thyroid hormone, which will reduce your Brittany’s metabolism. This is an immune system problem.

Epilepsy in the Brittany usually shows up between 2 and 5 years of age and is a disturbing brain disorder.

There is a short list of inherited problems with the Brittany, such as seborrhea, according to Dog-Adoption-and-Training-Guide.com. Seborrhea is a hereditary skin disease that can cause secondary ear and skin problems; nasal solar dermatitis is another inherited problem also known as “Collie disease,” where rough, scaly skin or ulceration is see around the nose.

Brittanys can also inherit progressive retinal atrophy, an untreatable eye disease causing blindness, which begins as night blindness.

Other problems associated with the breed, but are not inherited (so a breeder may not watch out for), include lens luxation, which are weak fibers in the eye that allow the lens to dislocate and results in the inability to focus the eye, ear infections, and cataracts.

Overall, however, the Brittany is a healthy gun dog breed and owners should not expect to encounter these problems.

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Before selecting a Brittany as a gun dog, hunters should be aware of any common health problems with the breed.
gun dog, breeders, brittany, health, issues
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2015-07-27
Tuesday, 27 Oct 2015 04:07 PM
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