Hemivertebrae Screening Scheme

The Trustees of PDWRA have long been concerned about the terrible condition known as HEMIVERTEBRAE.

At our AGM last year we announced that we had decided to invest in research into the condition.   The Charity Commission is anxious that we visibly show we are doing more for the breed than rescuing pugs in need.   Legacies have made it possible for us to be able to afford to support research in the hope that, in years to come, we shall no longer have dogs coming in to Rescue with the condition.  It is heart breaking to support owners of dogs following diagnosis when there is really very little that can be done for their pets and that the long term outlook is bleak.

It was hoped that a veterinary student might undertake research which would lead us to understand more about it and how to avoid it in the future. Raising money was the easy part.

Eventually, Elsa Steed PhD undertook some research for the PDC and her conclusions are now with Giunio Cherubini who will undertake the continued research at Dick White Referrals near Newmarket.  We are very grateful to Professor Dick White of DWR for his interest in and generous support for the scheme by not charging us for the first 100 X-rays examined.  After the first 100, PDWRA will step in and support the scheme financially for the foreseeable future.

No breeder sets out to breed a litter of puppies with health problems and we hope that dogs and bitches that are to be used for breeding will be X-rayed and that the film will be sent to Giunio Cherubini.  He will need a digital or hard copy of the thoracic spine (hemivertebrae is localised in that area) in latero-latral and dorso-ventral view with the data to recognise the dog microchip and KC registration numbers.  The scheme will be recognised by the KC and we are grateful to Aimee Llewellyn, Breed Health Information Manager and Charlotte McNamara, High Profile Breed Coordinator (we are one of the High Profile Breeds) for their support.

We also thank Dr. Andreas Schemel, Pug Breed Health Coordinator, for the interest he has shown over the years.

We all hope that by not breeding from affected dogs the risk of producing puppies with Hemivertebrae will eventually be eliminated.

Remember to take your vet’s advice before having your dog X-rayed.