Puppies are always adorable. How can we resist those big eyes, wiggly tails, and wet puppy kisses? While holding a soft, cuddly puppy, we imagine a loyal friend that will be around for many happy years.
Unfortunately, this is not always the reality. In any breed, hereditary health problems can be a nightmare. However, there are steps you can take to ensure you buy the healthiest puppy possible. They key is to avoid impulse buying.
Research the puppy’s pedigree and breeder before buying. Ask questions. Get answers.
Check out the IHCUS Breeder Referral page of our website.
Concerns and Health Tests
To ensure and safeguard breed health, Reputable breeders will health test their dogs to help identify those animals that should be excluded from future breedings. Below are some of the problems that while not common, are of the most concern to breeders and owners.
Deafness: Dogs can be deaf in one or both ears. A BAER test can be performed on very young puppies (without anesthesia) to verify complete hearing. Sires and dams should be tested before breeding (though this does not ensure the pups will be free from this disorder).
Thyroid: Autoimmune thyroiditis is the most common cause of primary hypothyroidism in dogs. The disease has variable onset, but tends to clinically manifest itself at 2 to 5 years of age. Blood tests should be performed on both parents prior to breeding. Dogs should be tested every year or two in order to be certain they have not developed the condition. Since the majority of affected dogs will have autoantibodies by 4 years of age, annual testing for the first 4 years is recommended. After that, testing every other year should suffice. OFA has more information on their website
Hip Dysplasia: Hip Dysplasia is a terrible genetic disease because of the various degrees of arthritis (also called degenerative joint disease, arthrosis, osteoarthrosis) it can eventually produce, leading to pain and debilitation.
No one can predict when or even if a dysplastic dog will start showing clinical signs of lameness due to pain. There are multiple environmental factors such as caloric intake, level of exercise, and weather that can affect the severity of clinical signs and phenotypic expression (radiographic changes).
CHIC Numbers: CHIC is a database of consolidated health screening results from multiple sources. Co-Sponsored by the OFA and the AKC Canine Health Foundation, CHIC works with parent clubs to identify health screening protocols appropriate for individual breeds. Dogs tested in accordance with the parent club established requirements, that have their results registered and made available in the public domain are issued CHIC numbers. The Ibizan Hound Club of the United States requires the previous 4 tests in order to receive a CHIC Number. A CHIC requirement across all participating breeds is that the dog must be permanently identified via microchip or tattoo to qualify for a CHIC number.
Seizures: Causes are many, and some are thought to be hereditary in nature. No tests are available
Allergies: As in people, certain foods, pollen, topical products, insects, and other irritants are common allergies that may affect some dogs. The degree of severity varies from mild to extreme. In severe cases, veterinary treatment is required.
Chocolate: Chocolate is a concern for all dog owners. This tasty treat can be deadly to our furry friends. National Geographic hosts a nice interactive chocolate chart. Slide the weight marker to 55 lbs. while viewing it. This is an approximate toxic level for Ibizans.
Bloat: What Is Bloat?
When bloat occurs, the dog’s stomach fills with air, fluid and/or food. The enlarged stomach puts pressure on other organs, can cause difficulty breathing, and eventually may decrease blood supply to a dog’s vital organs.
People often use the word “bloat” to refer to a life-threatening condition that requires immediate veterinary care known as gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV), gastric torsion and twisted stomach. This condition can cause rapid clinical signs and death in several hours. Even with immediate treatment, approximately 25% to 40% of dogs die from this medical emergency.
For more information about bloat please watch this video courtesy of the AKC: Bloat Video