Hereditary Cataract

This is a serious complaint as it causes the lens of the eye to become opaque thereby causing blindness. It has been identified in Large Munsterlanders but is not widespread and to date no Ghyllbeck dog has been diagnosed with the complaint. It is easily detected through ophthalmic examination by a specialist and the result, either affected or unaffected, is recorded, certified and published in a similar procedure to that of the HD scheme. Breed clubs and show societies organize these examinations on a regular basis.

It is recommended however that dogs be examined for the condition annually as it can occur as what is known as late onset HC, where a dog does not give any indication of being affected until well into maturity. So a dog which may have been passed unaffected as a youngster, and gone on to produce several litters, can prove to be a carrier when well past breeding age, which does seem to negate the value of the scheme somewhat. It would seem that the certificate is similar to an MoT certificate for a car, valid on the day of issue!

There is another scheme available, which looks at the problem of Elbow dysplasia, which, as the name suggests, is operated in a similar manner to the HD scheme but is concerned with the elbow joint. Under this scheme, each joint can be scored from 0 to 3, with 3 being the maximum and only the maximum being acknowledged, whichever elbow it is in.

Fortunately, Large Munsterlanders are not recognized as being subject to this condition, although a few breeders do make use of the scheme and have the results published.

Whilst it is apparent that the schemes all have inherent imperfections, we at Ghyllbeck believe that if there are procedures available which may help to avoid debilitating disease it is prudent to make use of them. Accordingly, for the benefit of the breed, all Ghyllbeck stock used for breeding is routinely subject to the relevant KC/BVA health schemes and has been for many years.

Our routine of good food and plenty of exercise is re-inforced by routine examination of ears, teeth, skin, coat and feet plus periodic worming to ensure early detection of infection or parasites and avoid costly visits to the vet. Sometimes however, home treatment is not appropriate to certain eventualities and professional help is required, this is where it is important to have a good rapport with a sympathetic vet.

The application of good husbandry is the best way (barring misfortune) to ensure a long and healthy life for dogs.