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Health Screening

All dogs are at risk of inheriting diseases, regardless of whether they are purebred or crossbred dogs. A substantial amount of research has been carried out to analyse these diseases by investigating important factors, such as what causes them, which breeds may be affected and how the disease is inherited. Funding into this type of research has enabled the development of tests and screening schemes, and resources which allow breeders to help reduce the number of affected dogs and eventually eradicate these conditions.

There are 2 main types of health conditions: simple and complex.

Simple health conditions are usually associated with genetic mutations and for which a DNA test may be available. These tests tell you whether a dog is Clear of the mutation, a Carrier, or is Affected. Only Affected dogs will develop the disease. In Dachshunds, Cord1 PRA (an eye disease) and Lafora Disease (a form of epilepsy) are examples of simple conditions where DNA tests are available. These tests can be used to avoid diseases in future generations. Responsible breeders will use these tests to ensure they do not produce affected puppies.

Complex health conditions usually cannot be screened for with a DNA test. They are the result of a mixture of genetics, conformation, and lifestyle factors (such as diet and exercise). Screening programmes for complex diseases may tell you to what extent a dog is Affected (e.g. by a grade) or is at risk of the disease. Screening for IVDD, hips, elbows and patellar luxation fall into this category. Breeders should aim to breed from dogs with the best grades in order to reduce the risk of producing affected puppies. These screening programmes are about assessing risk and are used to reduce risk in future generations.

Clinical eye screening using the KC/BVA programme is also available and is used to identify conditions of the eyeball and adnexa (eyelids, eye-lashes). This is used to identify whether a dog is Affected or Clear of a particular condition. In Dachshunds, clinical eye screening is used to identify conditions such as PRA and Distichiasis.

Required &  Recommended tests

The Breed Council makes recommendations to the KC for tests that should be "Required" or "Recommended" within their Assured Breeder Scheme (ABS). Breed Club members are also expected to follow these principles in order to comply with our Code of Ethics. Other tests may be recommended but are not yet within the ABS.

Required tests

KC ABS Requirements

  • Cord1 PRA DNA test for all 3 varieties of Miniature Dachshund

  • Lafora DNA test for Miniature Wirehaired Dachshund

  • Clinical eye screening for Miniature Longhaired Dachshunds

Recommended tests
  • IVDD X-ray screening for all 6 varieties

  • KC/BVA/ISDS Clinical Eye Examination for all 6 varieties

  • NPHP4 PRA DNA test for Wires and Mini Wires with Scandinavian pedigrees

We do not recommend the use of the DNA test that is claimed to test for IVDD. Read why, here.

First Aid
Optional tests

Other relevant tests

  • Cardiac testing for Standard Wires

  • Patella testing for all Miniatures

  • Dapple (Merle) gene DNA testing if in doubt about hidden merle breeding 

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