Health : In General

Generally speaking Weimaraners are a pretty healthy bunch. There isn't any thing that is really peculiar to them. They are affected by some of the things that other breeds are effected by but all in all they are problem free. This is not an accident. Breeders dedicate a lot of time, money and resource to screen breeding stock various inherited disorders such as Hip Dysplasia; which has lead to a marked improvement of the hips in Weimaraners. This screening needs to be encouraged at all levels from Breed Clubs, National Clubs and State controlling bodies around Australia and indeed the world.

One of the hot topics of discussion is the IMMUNE SYSTEM DISORDER (ISD) of Weimaraners (quite misleading to refer to it in this way simply because other breeds are affected by this condition, but this is how it is viewed by some) and related symptoms. Many articles have been written on the subject and if you would like to read these please click on the ARTICLES link below to view some of them from my collection. One of the sad things about this issue of ISD I guess is the manner in which it is presented to the unknowing public. I have had no end of calls from concerned owners of already purchased Weimaraners from else where about symptoms and things they have been told, thinking that their dog will die or that they should look at a different breed. What exactly is the message that is sent to these people?

Awareness of the condition, like all other health issues, needs to be brought forward but not in such a way that it renders the Weimaraner as a poor choice as a companion. There is no denying, it can be a fatal condition, but, and I stress, BUT it is not a Weimaraner Specific disorder. As you will read in my articles/personal correspondence I have included.

Credit needs to be give to those breeders who exercise 'self regulation' by undertaking screening of their breeding stock without any kind of requirement from elsewhere but rather their own requirement in being a caring and responsible breeder.

Hip Dysplasia (HD) is another topic worth a mention. While there are honourable attempts by some breed clubs to investigate the ISD in Weimaraners, there appears to be an unbalanced sharing of funds and time between ISD and HD. Is it time to embrace the notion of NO BREEDING UNLESS YOUR DOG/BITCH HAS ACCEPTABLE HIP SCORE? As at 2007 (that's seven years into the 21st century, no Australian Weimaraner breed club requires hip evaluation of breeding stock. How absurd that this is the case. There seems to be this ridiculous notion that Weimaraners do not suffer from HD. You hear breeders saying that their dogs jump over fences, that they lay on their tummy with the back legs spread out backwards, much like a frog that has just leaped and other stories. These of course are nonsense. The only way to establish if the dog has acceptable hips is to have hip evaluations done by recognised and qualified professionals. Anything else is just an easy way out, an easy excuse to not do it and of course in not doing it, it makes it easy for breeders to claim "I don't have hip problems in my breeding." Clearly this requirement needs to be implemented by the breed Clubs because so many breeders 'choose' not to self regulate and screen their breeding stock.

Breeders can use a number of different services for hip evaluations; Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) however I would strongly urge Weimaraner breeders and/or owner to boycott AVA because of the negative role AVA played in the restriction of tail docking in Australia and the negative roll it plays in early age de-sexing. AVA was and still is against tail docking! A.V.A. supports the R.S.P.C.A. in pushing through legislation for all dogs to be de-sexed before leaving the breeders home.

Or Orthopedic Foundation for Animals Inc., (OFA), my personal choice. Costs a little more because this is an American organisation and payment must be in US$s but well worth it. OFA has a database of all the results which a readily accessible to anyone who visits the web site. On the other hand AVA do not provide this nor can they provide you with a hard copy, having contacted AVA for such information. How ludicrous not to be able to access these records! But of course these very same records can be accessed by those with agendas to make out the purebred dog is a poor choice for a pet.

PennHIP is yet another American evaluation scheme.