A few years ago the PBGV Club of America conducted a brief survey
designed for breeders to share information relating to breeding and combining
pedigrees. As here in the UK, they were aware of a downward trend in
breeders, litters and individual registrations which might eventually lead to
lack of diversity in breeding stock.
Stemming from our 2016 Health Survey, the BGVC is following a similar
path with the aim of finding out what health concerns beset BGVs and also
obtaining information about a BGV’s age at death and the cause. This will
help identify the longevity of the breed and what health problems are of most
concern with the goal of shaping medical research priorities for the betterment
of our BGVs. This is an ongoing initiative to collect clinical health
information on all BGVs during their lifespan.
You can help the breed by completing this form.
The information you give will be confidential to the BGV Club Health
Sub-Committee and Officers of the Club. General data will be used by the
BGVC and shared with the Kennel Club to contribute towards their Breed Health
& Conservation Plans.
details about you and your BGV will NOT be published
Health Survey 2016 - Results of Analysis on 275 UK
registered BGVsl - Results of Analysis on 58
PBGV Day at the Animal Health Trust, 2 December
successful and enjoyable day was held at the AHT, Newmarket, on 2 December when
PBGV owners congregated for free eye-testing, measuring the height of
their PBGVs and a series of short lectures on the Give a Dog a Genome project,
canine epilepsy research and an update on DNA testing for POAG.
several owners had been forced to cancel just beforehand, meaning fewer PBGVs
were eye tested and measured than planned and giving Head of Canine Genetics,
Cathryn Mellersh, less data to work with in progressing researches into
whether * any PBGV's eye pressures have risen since last eye
tested and since their DNA tests; and * there is any correlation between the height of
a PBGV and its POAG genotype, which might explain why PBGVs have such
a high frequency of the POAG mutation when GBGVs don’t seem to carry the
mutation at all.
final conclusion was that ADAMTS17 POAG mutations are strongly associated with
height in the PBGV, and the association appears to have an additive
effect. Of course these findings possibly pose more questions than
they answer for PBGV breeders, especially those of us who own animals on the
lower end of the height range who are DNA tested clear.
Health Survey 2011-2012 Over
the years the BGV Club has conducted several surveys. It is only in
this way that a balanced view can be obtained of the overall health of both
GBGVs and PBGVs.
In 2008 in Orlando conducting simple surveys went a step further when
Gavin Robertson and Linda Skerritt seized the opportunity to join forces with
health representatives from other countries. The meeting that took
place heralded the formation of a World Health Committee with the
intention of working together for the health of the breed.
The aims of the World Health Committee were to share best practice on relevant
serious health matters in the breed with the ultimate goal of eradicating any
such conditions. Conducting regular worldwide health surveys and sharing
the results and findings with all BGV Clubs and participants was also
paramount. In cognisance of data protection, the data would also be made
available to any Kennel Club, University or Health Research Laboratory for the
betterment of BGV health.
collaboration with the PBGV Club of America, a worldwide Health Survey
subsequently took place during 2011 and, at the 3rd World Congress 2012 hosted
by the BGV Club, Health Officer Peter Marks gave a presentation of the
many years the BGV Club has held seminars designed to give BGV owners a
better understanding of the health of the breed, highlighting any known issues.
you can see brief details of some of the seminars mounted over the past few
Health Seminars at Third BGV World Congress
first part of the World Congress followed PBGV judging with a welcome from
Hector Heathcote, Hound Association Chairman. As a member of the Kennel
Club, he described the important liaison between the KC and breed clubs, not
only on general matters but on maintaining the Standards, all the more
important for the BGVC, being the custodian of two breeds.
Bedford followed this by a talk on the current status of eye health in the
BGV. He said that, unfortunately, as with many eye problems, veterinary
circles could only ameliorate onset of glaucoma and not stop it. He
stressed the importance of regular eye examination, as early diagnosis was the
answer. Club records showed that, as of August 2012, 300 BGVs had been
examined with 26 affected with POAG. The number of carriers was not
known. The worldwide health survey carried out by the PBGVCA in collaboration
with the BGVC supported the view that, in live PBGVs, eye problems remained the
most significant area of concern, topped only in America by dermatological
problems. One explanation offered for this was the extremes of
temperature and humidity levels in the various States.
Whilst POAG remained the top eye problem in the UK, cataracts and PPM were
prevalent in the States, with glaucoma featuring to a much lesser extent.
Joint, cardiovascular and dermatological problems were high on the UK living
dogs PBGV list, as were problems with ears, urinary, reproductive and
gastrointestinal systems. In total information was gathered on 787 PBGVs
and, worthy of mention, in 189 of the 296 living UK PBGVs no problems were
With Peter Marks having given the UK health survey findings earlier, Helen
Ingher, Chairman of the American Health Committee, was there to represent the
PBGVCA with their results.
round off the health seminar, a valuable Question & Answer session
took place, panelled by representatives from Sweden, the UK, the Animal Health
Trust and the Kennel Club.
Health Seminar April 2015
was an interesting and very informative day near Chesterfield at the event
organised by the BGVC. Cathryn Mellersh from the AHT gave an update on
the DNA test for POAG. As people from other breeds attended Cathryn
explained about the AHT and its many functions, as well as outlining in
basic terms what POAG actually is. She praised Oliver Forman PhD, her
highly dedicated colleague who had actually found the genetic marker for the
mutated gene. Oliver had persevered when they had drawn a blank with the
experiments they had already done on the DNA strands and this resulted in him
finding the mutation. This abnormality is known as inversion when a
chromosome rearrangement results in a segment of a chromosome being reversed
end to end. Thus a section of a strand of DNA literally flips itself over
to become "back to front".
One worrying factor was that during the screening process of PBGVs another type
of glaucoma had been found, Primary Closed Angle Glaucoma. This is more
difficult to detect as the problem occurs further down in the eye structure and
pressures can be perfectly alright one day and through the roof the next.
Cathryn also added it is more complex than POAG and could involve more
than one type of mutation, making it harder to find in the canine DNA.
She explained what it meant for the breed going forward. She felt it was
important not to narrow the gene pool down by taking carriers out of the
breeding program as other diseases and issues could arise. Eye testing
should still take place, as there are other eye diseases that might be detected
and picking them up early will help prevent it becoming an issue for the breed
in the future. Cathryn also spoke a little about epilepsy and meningitis.
For epilepsy, the AHT is collecting DNA from affected dogs that have a
veterinary diagnosis for epilepsy. Owners who would like to participate can
request a DNA kit from Bryan McLoughlin by emailing him at
email@example.com. Cathryn added that the neurology section of
the AHT will also give advice free and welcome vets calling them.
Health Seminar 2011
BGV Club, in conjunction with the Portuguese Podengo Club of Great Britain held
a very successful seminar and fun event on 29 January 2011 at Steventon Village
Hall. Two key speakers took to the stage with just over 40 attendees for the
health seminar followed by an informal lunch and puppy match in the afternoon. Dr Cathryn Mellersh of the Animal Health Trust, who works closely with
the BGV Club Health Sub-Committee very kindly gave up her time to talk on
Genetics and Epilepsy. The seminar started off with an overview of the Animal
Health Trust and genetics and moved onto specifically talk about epilepsy and
the current work being done in this field, which the BGV Club supports. This
was followed up with a question and answer session for the audience. Following this Adele Caldwell of Ark House Veterinary Surgery talked
specifically on Juvenile Meningitis, Sudden Pain Syndrome and Juvenile
Arthritis in dogs and after this the audience was invited to ask questions on
general veterinary matters.
an informal lunch provided by Pete and Deborah Wilson our mystery judge was
revealed for the puppy match. Mr Howard Ogden officiated over the match which
saw BGVs, Podengos, a couple of Italian Greyhounds and a Beagle competing !
After three very hotly contested rounds Mr Ogden declared Best in Match as
Belle the PBGV owned by Ms Linda Lewis and Reserve Best in Match was
Arranbourne Cavalo the Portuguese Podengo owned by Mrs Segui.
If you have any concerns about your BGV's well-being which appear to be related to any of the known health problems in the breed, let us know. We are here to support you.