Overall Breed health
Our breed surveys show the biggest causes of death in bloodhounds are Cancer and Gastric Torsion (Bloat). Both these issues are experienced in all breeds, especially the larger ones.
Some skin issues can occur in bloodhounds e.g. Atopic Dermatitis and Eczema, although incidences have been reduced significantly in recent years by careful breeding coupled with modern treatments.
Musculoskeletal (Hip/Elbow Dysplasia)
Although there are some incidences of bad hips and elbows, the bloodhound is generally sounder than many other breeds in these areas, although we need much more information, as the data collected is from a small number of hounds. We actively encourage breeders and owners to participate in the hip and elbow scoring schemes.
Bloodhounds can suffer from multi ocular eye issues, mainly related to the eyelid shape, although almost none of them have a genetic test, the KC have now recommended basic BVA eye testing of all breeding stock.
Heart issues have been seen in the breed, but with the ease of availability of BVA heart testing schemes, its now a simple test that breeders can undertake to ensure they only breed from unaffected hounds.
COI The current COI (Coefficient of Inbreeding) in bloodhounds, according to the Kennel Club data is 10.00%
This is meant as a realistic overview of bloodhound health and aims to point out some of the health concerns that have arisen over the years. Much work has been undertaken by the breed clubs and joint health group over a long period of time to improve bloodhound health. The facts point to the bloodhound being healthier than perceived in some quarters, and a truly dual-purpose breed in terms of there being no division between the working and showing types, as encountered in many other breeds, and you should be able to enjoy life with your hounds for many years.
At present the Bloodhound is on the Kennel Club’s Category 3 Breed List, and in order to be removed from this list the breed has to show evidence that we are breeding and promoting healthy hounds.
The Joint Breed Health Committee has been formed to actively promote breed health, and have introduced the Health Assessment and Awards Schemes to help monitor the health of our hounds.
Much of the committee’s work is undertaken by members outside of meetings, although the group meet occasionally to keep abreast of health matters under the chairmanship of Keith Long who is the current Breed Health Coordinator, and to plan future initiatives.
For this to be successful we need Bloodhound owners to support and participate in the scheme providing results from pet owners, breeders, show and working trial hounds. The greater the participation in the scheme the better chance for us to provide the evidence we need to show that Bloodhound owners do care and are concerned about the health and wellbeing of their hounds. Find out more HERE
Initiatives Undertaken By The Breed Clubs And Joint Health Group Includes The Following:
We have our own General Health Assessment and Eye Testing Schemes and hold clinics for both conducted by experts in these fields.
Bloodhound Health Award Scheme: Hounds that have successfully passed through the eye testing and general health schemes may be eligible for Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum awards.
Periodic Health Surveys are undertaken.
We actively participated in the Animal Health Trust Give a Dog a Genome project.
Karlton Index Breed Health Awards 2013: We were proud to receive the award for the breed making the biggest progress based on data collected between 2011 & 2013. This recognised the health initiatives undertaken by the breed clubs.
Also, In 2008, due to the low population of bloodhounds in the UK, the two breed clubs commissioned the Animal Health Trust to conduct a Population Analysis of the breed. The Report, published in December 2009, showed how well bloodhound Breeders had maintained genetic diversity within a numerically small bred over the last thirty years.