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Health Issues

  •  Bloat / Torsion      This links to Hilary Jupp's site and  discusses the condition in Wolfhounds but is relevant as it can occur in Deerhounds, along with most other breeds and the earlier the condition is noted the better as every minute saved can prove to be vital.
  • On a personal note, in all my years I have only experienced one case of bloat.  The bitch in question was a deerhound and was just over 10 years old at the time.  She actually woke me up whining, thinking she wanted to go out I went out with her but when we came back in I noticed that she was actually displaying all of the classic symptoms; retching, stretching and restless, ie couldn't lie down but wanted to, so I phoned my vet to say I was on the way.  As usually happens, it was the middle of the night.  When we arrived, after a brief discussion, it was decided to open her up and Eddie and I were asked to assist, Eddie on anaesthetics, with me (slightly worried that I would end up a heap on the floor) scrubbed up and helping with the operation area.  What an interesting experience though, her stomach had twisted and I can remember when my vet cut the stomach open to release the contents what poured into the bucket smelled very yeasty and was fermenting, albeit basically liquid.  The stomach was untwisted and the opportunity was taken to stitch it to the rib cage.  She was all stitched up and brought round and we carried her to the car and took her straight home with us, my vet being confident in our abilities to look after her as well as being in a cage at the surgery for a few hours, she did not need a drip and everything sounded fine.  All going well, outer stitches removed, back to normal routine, then disaster, a few weeks on she bloated again.  The difficult decision - what do we do?  Based on the fact that she had got through the previous operation so well and following a quick discussion with our wonderful vet, Alison Barr, in whom I have a lot of faith, we went for it although it was a very hard decision, bearing in mind the severity of what we were putting her through.  Again we assisted, the stomach contents were again very yeasty and fermenting but the stitches inside had held and she hadn't twisted this time.  As before, the layers were all stitched up, with a couple of extra ones from her stomach to the ribs, she was brought round, all ok and so we brought her home.  She went on to live a further 3 and a half normal happy healthy years with no more problems.  So, why did this happen to her, what coursed this, who knows.  She was the most laid back of bitches, not at all nervous of anything or anyone.  I only fed meat and biscuit, they did not receive complete foods and were fed twice a day.  This leads me personally to believe if it is going to happen it will, regardless of what you do, all you can do is be vigilant, know the signs and if you suspect anything get them to your vet.  I am sure your vet would much rather a false alarm than you lose your dog.  Five generations down from her, at this moment in time I can say that none of her progeny have had this problem, thankfully. 
  • Liver Shunt      This links to Hilary Jupp's site.  There is a simple blood test that should be done at the age of about 8 weeks, before buying a Deerhound puppy you should clarify with the breeder that your puppy has been tested and the results are clear.
  • Factor viid   This links to the Kilbourne Deerhounds website where there are FAQ's based on their stance on the subject.  Breeders opinions are very divided on Factor viid and I have therefore included the link for information, prospective puppy purchasers can discuss with their breeder further.
  • Factor viid This link will take you to Nell McBean's Killoetter website where her views are expressed on this subject.  I have to say that I hold with Nell's way of thinking, I did initially have Merlin tested and he tested Clear.


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