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Lafora Disease in Miniature Wirehaired Dachshunds

On behalf of the Wirehaired Dachshund Club, and in my capacity as chairman, I have been monitoring the breed record supplement, with regards to unsafe Lafora litters in mini wires.

At the beginning of testing, the incidence of potentially affected puppies began to decline as breeders tested their stock and made choices that would benefit the breed.

However, in the last two quarters we are seeing a very worrying trend where numbers of unsafe litters are increasing, and indeed in the latest quarter 25 out of the 185 puppies produced from 5 litters out of the total of 43 bred have the potential to have Lafora disease.

This late onset myoclonic epilepsy starts at around five years old with head juddering and aversion to bright lights, and as the dog ages dementia starts setting in and  finally full blown fits occur.

The way to eradicate any chance of this happening is to use at least one parent who has been tested and is clear.

These tests are available via Laboklin and information is available either on their website or the Dachshund Health UK website.

The unsafe litters bred are predominantly from foreign dogs who have been imported or dogs with no prefix, although although there are exceptions!

Anyone breeding a litter of mini wires owes it to the breed to try to produce the healthiest puppies, possible.

Stud dog owners should know the status of any visiting bitch and owners of the bitches should make it their business to enquire about the status of the male.

The Kennel Club health finder can be used to discover the health status of any registered dog.

PRA should also be tested for and this simple swab test is also available through Laboklin and other laboratories.

Fortunately, this eye disease is not found so often in mini wires and its prevalence is low, but breeders should not become complacent and should test for this too. Many of the dogs bred from have not been tested for PRA!

The buying public are becoming more aware and will ask about the Lafora and PRA status of any litter bred and if breeders want their puppies to go to good homes (hopefully they do?!) They will ensure these tests are carried out and matings are planned accordingly.

This being a society of claiming, buyers may be ready to sue should their little darling go down with a preventable disease!

Please look after our unique breed.

Mandy Dance


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