The club maintains a position as health co-ordinator to monitor the health of the breed and make recommendations to breeders.
The current co-ordinator is Mrs Margaret Deuchar
The Return of Ataxia Testing
The Kennel Club has announced that from the 17th September 2021, a simplified process for canine genetic health testing for the benefit of both dog breeders and owners will return. The test packages are designed to help eradicate some of the most concerning genetic disorders facing certain breeds. The tests available now include the Norwegian Buhund
The CombiBreed™ health test packages simplify the process of genetic testing by using a single cheek swab to check a dog’s DNA for markers associated with a number of different inherited disorders. By making genetic testing more accessible it will help responsible breeders work towards eradicating these conditions and will encourage first time breeders to make the health of the puppies they breed a priority.
Results from these tests will automatically be registered on the dog’s record and will be freely available on the Kennel Club website, allowing puppy buyers to check if the dog they are thinking of buying has come from health-tested parents. The packages are already available for 61 other breeds and are priced between £50 to £135 (with a 10% discount for Kennel Club Assured Breeders), allowing breeders cost-effective access to the most impactful genetic health tests without the need to carry out each one individually, with results that are easy to interpret.
The CombiBreed™ health test packages are available to order directly from the Kennel Club Shop via thekennelclub.org.uk/shop/health. For more information on CombiBreed™ health tests packages visit the Kennel Club website: thekennelclub.org.uk/combibreed.
The Combi package includes tests for 5 conditions but as the Norwegian Buhund only has a test for one condition at present, the cost will be £50. The advantage is it only has to be done once in the dog’s life time and causes the minimum of stress. Most of the Buhunds in the gene pool we have at the moment are either hereditary clear or have been tested clear, however further down the generations with those that are hereditary clear the offspring will need to be tested just to make sure there are still clear.
Health & Hereditary Problems
Lorraine our Club Chair has recently organised a very successful Breed Survey. To see the results of this survey, go to:
Generally speaking the Buhund is a remarkable healthy breed and most will only visit the vet’s for injections,. They do have the occasional ear or eye infection and some tend to be more accident prone than others. Properly cared for, the Buhund should live an active life well into their teens.
Until 1985 it was thought that, unlike most other breeds, the Buhund was not affected by an hereditary diseases. However, it has been discovered that there is an incidence of Hereditary Cataract in the breed. In most cases the dog’s sight is only minimally affected, if at all, but as it is possible that a dog with very small cataracts can produce puppies which are far more seriously affected, no Buhund with cataracts should ever be bred from. The Norwegian Buhund Club is actively involved in trying to eliminate this condition from the breed, but as the number of Buhunds is comparatively small, this will inevitably take a number of years.
The condition can only be correctly diagnosed by specialist vets who will examine the eye while the pupil is fully dilated, so that the whole of the lens of the eye can be seen. Most owners would not be aware that their dog has this condition without this specialist examination. In the Buhund, the condition is caused by a recessive gene, so it is not possible to guarantee that any dog is genetically clear of the condition at the present time. If you buy a puppy from a member of the Norwegian Buhund Club, you should expect to see a copy of the dam and sire’s current clear eye certificate under a recognised eye scheme. When a dog has been proved to have cataracts they should not be used in a breeding programme. Meanwhile, the vast majority of Buhunds who are affected by cataracts live normal lives and suffer no ill effects from this condition.
Any cases which are discovered should be reported to the Breed Health Co-ordinator
Since Buhunds were introduced into this country more than sixty years ago, there have been a small number of cases of epilepsy and a few of hip dysplasia. If considering buying a Buhund, the club would recommend you ask if both parents have been hip scored. The total score for breeding stock should not be more than 18 total. But any dog producing or found to be suffering from any of these conditions should not be bred from. Any cases which are discovered should be reported to the Breed Health Co-ordinator so that the situation can be monitored and steps taken to ensure that these diseases do not become widespread in the breed.
The Buhund is fortunate in that the main problems within the breed are not life- threatening to the dog and it is because breeders have tried to ensure that they breed an un-exaggerated dog that it remains a basically fit, healthy and intelligent breed.