Wirehaired Vizsla Club
Celebrating 10 years of Protecting and Promoting the Wirehaired Vizsla
The Official AKC
Parent Club of the Wirehaired Vizsla
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Disclaimer: Health information found on this website should be considered for educational purposes only and should NOT be used to replace professional veterinary consultation and care for your dog. Decisions on which type of medical care or treatment would be best for you dog should be made with the advise of a veterinarian or veterinary specialist.
The following is a list of diseases and conditions that can be found in practically every breed of dog and the WV is no exception.
Environmental and Food Allergies pose a problem for some dogs in the form of feet licking, ear infections and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). These are often difficult to diagnose and manage. There may be hereditary components to allergies and related conditions. Owners are urged to consider incidence of allergies in families of dogs being selected for breeding. Treatement often consists of special limited ingredient diets and or allegen desentization shots.
Arthritis is inflammation of a joint. Symptoms may include painful or stiff joints, swelling, a grating sensation during joint movement, as well as fever and redness over the affected joint. X-rays and lab tests are required to determine the type and extent of the disease. Treatment: Arthritis cannot be cured however therapy can be designed to minimize the discomfort and delay or prevent the progression of the disease.
Autoimmune diseases are when the body's immune system attacks itself inappropriately. These various diseases impact the WHV just like other purebred breeds. Generally, dogs 3-12 months are most commonly affected and one sex is not affected more than the other. The rate of occurrence for various autoimmune disorders is not known.
Cancer presents great challenges to breeders in genetic selection and a greater challenge for dog owners. Several types of cancer have been seen in WHV, even in very young dogs.
A Cataract is any cloudiness (opacity) of the lens or the capsule that contains the lens. This cloudiness can present in an array of sizes. Cataracts can be inherited, caused by an injury to the eye, or may be caused by body chemistry changes or defects. Owners and breeders are urges to have eyes checked by a ophthalmologist throughout a dog's life. Treatment: Surgery in cases of vision loss.
Distichiasis or misplaced eyelashes
Inward facing eyelashes found in rows or single hairs, causing irritation to the cornea characterized by tearing. Treatment: surgical removal
Ectropion is where the eyelid rolls out serving as a ‘catcher’s mitt’ for tiny bits of debris that can irritate the inside of the eyelid and the cornea. Treatment:: surgical correction.
Elbow Dysplasia or Ununited Anconeal Process
Elbow dysplasia results when there is a lack of growth in one of the bones of the lower foreleg (ulna). This may also cause arthritis of the elbow to develop later in the pet’s life. The only way to confirm elbow dysplasia is by x-ray. Treatment: surgical correction. Due to its inheritable nature, affected animals should not be bred.
The OFA has more information on elbow dysplasia.
Eyelids roll in and hair rubs on the cornea; effects are irritation, tearing and visual losses from scarring. Treatment: surgical correction
Epilepsy is a sudden, excessive discharge of electrical energy in groups of brain cells which causes seizures or convulsions. The cause of this spontaneous discharge is unknown, but in many causes the condition is hereditary in dogs.
Treatment: Medication to control the condition by decreasing the frequency, duration, and severity of the seizures. Alternative measures include a diet change.
Glaucoma is defined as an increase in eye pressure. If glaucoma persists, the eyeball will become blind, painful and may become enlarged. Treatment of Glaucoma is very complex. Medication alone will not control the condition over time. Surgical alternatives for a blind, painful, eye will need to be addressed as the disease progresses.
Hip dysplasia is a crippling condition where abnormal conformation results in an unstable hip joint, causing arthritis and hip degeneration as the dog ages. Some Hip
Dysplasia affected dogs will experience no lameness. For some dogs, the disease is completely debilitating. It is important to know that HD can only be diagnosed by a qualified veterinarian’s evaluation of x-rays of the hip joint. There is no certain cause for Hip Dysplasia but it can be influenced by heredity, diet, and there may be other unknown factors, which may influence the development of and severity of Hip Dysplasia. Treatment can range from dietary supplements and medication to surgical correction. Dogs with Hip Dysplasia should not be bred.
For more information visit the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals
The following was taken from The Genetic Connection 2nd Edition, chapter 9 Musculoskeletal Disorders:
Hip dysplasia is defined s an abnormal development of the hip (coxofemoral) joint and is actually a genetically transmitted tendency to develop laxity of the hip joints.
The mode of inheritance is described as polygenic,” meaning that the trait is influenced by several different genes. It also means that predicting with accuracy how pups will be affected when dysplastic parents are mated is not a simple task.
Dogs with a tendency to develop hip dysplasia are also at increased risk of elbow dysplasia, and the converse also appears to be true.
Ridding a line of hip dysplasia is a slow process, involving many generations.
To minimize the risk of producing a dysplastic dog, it is best to start off with good stock and thereby increase the percentage of progeny with phenotypically normal hip joint conformation. Ideally, clear hips will be a trait common for several generations in the animal’s pedigree.
The best way to prevent hip dysplasia in future generations is to sanction the breeding of only dogs that have disease-free joints on the basis of appropriate radiographic evaluation and that come from families with a history of disease-free joints.
The incidence can be reduced further by selecting dogs for breeding on the basis of family performance and progeny testing. Ideally, no history of hip dysplasia should be present for three generations back in any dog or bitch intended for breeding. Selecting animals with good hips from families in which the siblings also have good hips is important as well.
These breeding criteria have been demonstrated to more rapidly reduce the frequency of hip dysplasia in a population of dogs:
Only normal dogs should be bred.
The normal dogs should come from normal parents and grandparents.
The normal dogs should have more than 75% normal littermates.
The sire should have a record of producing normal pups that exceeds the breed average.
Replacement dog and bitches should have better hip conformation than their parents and grandparents.
Is an inadequate output of the thyroid hormone. Symptoms can include: hair loss, slow hair growth, dry coat and skin, premature graying of the muzzle, dark pigment in the skin, lethargy, weight gain, irregular heat cycles and reduced tolerance to cold. Blood tests are necessary to diagnose the condition and monitor the treatment. Treatment: lifetime drug therapy.
Persistent Pupillary Membranes
Persistent papillary members, or PPM’s, are remnants of the papillary membrane that covered the pupil during fetal development. This membrane normally disappears shortly before birth to reveal the pupil.
Occasionally some strands persist. They can extend across the pupil, may also connect the iris to the inner surface of the cornea, or extend and attach to the front of the lens. The points of attachment appear as small white areas on the cornea or lens. Little problem is cause to the pet’s vision unless too many exist.
Retinal Atrophy or PRA
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) is a disease of the eyes, which causes eventual blindness. The retina degenerates, first the dog looses night vision and then day vision is lost. Treatment: none at this time.
Sub-aortic Stenosis SAS
Sub-aortic Stenosis (SAS) is a condition where dogs have a partial obstruction to the flow of blood leaving the left side of the heart, which is caused by a fibrous band, most commonly just below the aortic valve. This condition may give no outward warning to impending problems. Rather, a seemingly healthy dog may suddenly drop dead. SAS is hereditary in some breeds.