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

By    |   Wednesday, 06 Apr 2016 06:26 PM

Every gun dog breed has health conditions or illnesses that they are predisposed to, and Drahthaars are no different. These pups tend to live anywhere from 12 to 14 years, but need proper medical attention to ensure they achieve their maximum life expectancy.

According to the Verein Deutsch Drahthaar, the German governing body for the breed, all parent dogs must be free of these health disorders in order to qualify for breeding.

1. Hip dysplasia

When the hip joint is developmentally deformed or misaligned. Given the Drahthaar’s hunting skills, this condition would obviously be a major impediment in their ability to work and therefore is an unsatisfactory trait for breeders looking to produce more dogs.

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2. Osteochondrosis (in the shoulder)

An orthopedic condition in which overgrown cartilage stifles healthy bone growth and causes weakness and pain in the joint area, according to PetMD.

3. Elbow dysplasia

Elbow dysplasia, like in the hip, is a degeneration of the joint.

While Drahthaars are not tested for this condition to be certified, dogs found to have elbow dysplasia will be removed from the breeding pool.

4. von Willebrand's disease

The disorder is typically hereditary, but can also develop because of other health conditions.
von Willebrand's disease is a type of hemophilia that prevents the blood from clotting, which could cause the dog to bleed to death if injured.

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Breeders are working tirelessly to eliminate this disease from the gene pool and have made a DNA test, which is both budget-friendly and easy to administer, mandatory for Drahthaars who are being bred. Although there are several different types of von Willebrand's disease, these dogs are only known to suffer from the most severe form, which is Type 2.

5. Irregular dentition

Dental faults such as an overbite, underbite, or crossbite, narrow-based fang teeth, and missing teeth other than P1 are targeted conditions by gun dog breeders of Drahthaars.

6. Eyes conditions

There are a few flaws that can afflict a Drahthaar's eyes that are serious enough to remove a dog from the gene pool. Some of the most serious are ectropian or entropian eye disorders, which affect the eyelids.

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Ectropian creates a droopy eye effect, where the bottom eyelid pulls away exposing the underpart of the eye. Entropian causes an part or all of an eyelid to tuck inside. Both of these condition cause irritation and potentially result in eye loss.

7. Tail abnormailities

If a Drahthaar's tail is stubbed or crooked, that dog ineligible to be bred.

8. Genital abnormalities

Undescended or missing testicles are common concerns here.

Aside from these aforementioned breed-prohibiting faults, the gun dog, with its well-muscled physique and wiry, water-resistant outer coat, are generally healthy pups.

Occasionally the Drahthaar may be affected by skin cancers, ear infections, or eye disease (which can be genetic), but remain highly active and energetic. Ear infections are in large part due to the Drahthaar’s ability to hunt in the water, where bacteria levels tend to be high and make both dogs and humans more susceptible to disease, according to Dog Breed Plus.

However, to keep this breed health and happy, Drahthaars require a lot of exercise, which is why they aren’t recommended for families residing in apartments. Even if you consider your family very active, this dog will give you and your brood a run for your money. When not engaged in a hunt, make sure to offer a Drahthaar opportunities to run, jog, play, and even swim on a daily basis.

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Every gun dog breed has health conditions or illnesses that they are predisposed to, and Drahthaars are no different. According to the Verein Deutsch Drahthaar, the German governing body for the breed, all parent dogs must be free of these health disorders in order to qualify for breeding.
gun dog, breeders, drahthaar, health
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2016-26-06
Wednesday, 06 Apr 2016 06:26 PM
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