North of England 
Weimaraner Society

Breed Health

The Kennel Club has asked all breed clubs to appoint a single Breed Health Coordinator to help monitor and advise them of any health problems in the breed. 

The Breed health co-ordinators are individuals working on behalf of the breed clubs who are advocates for the health and welfare of their chosen breed. The main role of the BHC is to facilitate, over time the communication and collection of data on the health of their breed. The BHC acts as a spokesperson on matters of health and will collaborate with the KC on any health concerns the breed may have. 

The Breed health co-ordinator is a vital conduit between the Kennel Club and the breed clubs, owners and members of the public, and will be able to provide relevant advice and support. The Breed health co-ordinator collates and disseminates significant, accurate and timely health research to the Kennel Club, breed clubs and owners, as well as motivate and educate owners, breed clubs and the public about relevant health issues within their breed. Recording and monitoring health issues throughout the breed via surveys, seminars, health reports, and health testing sessions is a necessity in order to continuously evaluate and prioritiz
e health problems within the breed. 

I would like to invite anyone who has had a health problem with their Weimaraner to let me have any relevant information. This will be treated in complete confidence and the individual dog need not be identified, though in practice this information could ultimately prove useful. In my professional life, I am a scientist and deal with sensitive data, which means that I am very well versed with client confidentiality and you can be assured that any information forwarded to me would be made available to only the Kennel Club. 

Please feel free to update me on any health issues your Weimaraner is experiencing. However, I am not a vet so cannot give advice on treatment; my role is to collect information only.

You may contact me HERE

Dr Christopher Thrasivoulou 

Breed Health Questionnaire (Word doc) 

Breed Health Questionnaire (PDF)

From the Kennel Club Website

Whether you're thinking of buying a puppy, or breeding from your dog, it?s essential that you know what health issues may be found in your breed. To tackle these issues we advise that breeders use DNA tests, screening schemes and inbreeding coefficient calculators to help breed the healthiest dogs possible.

Priority Health Schemes and Tests
The Kennel Club's Assured Breeders must use the following (or equivalent) schemes, tests and advice. All other breeders are strongly advised to also use these. Hip dysplasia screening scheme (BVA/KC) 

Important Health Schemes and Tests

We strongly recommend that all breeders, both Assured Breeders (ABs) and non ABs, use the following (or equivalent) schemes, tests and advice.
Bitches under 2 years not to produce a litter 
Bitches not to produce more than one litter in a 12-month period

Find Out About a Particular Dog's Results
Please visit the Health Test Results Finder to discover the DNA or health screening scheme test results for any dog on The Kennel Club's Breed Register. You can also view the inbreeding co-efficient calculation for a puppy's parents, or for a dog you're thinking of breeding from.

Have You Any Questions About Health in your Breed?
If you have any concerns about a particular health condition in your breed then you may wish to speak to your vet or you could contact your breed health co-ordinator.
Breed health co-ordinators are individuals working on behalf of breed clubs and councils who are advocates for the health and welfare of their chosen breed. They act as a spokesperson on matters of health and will collaborate with The Kennel Club on any health concerns the breed may have. To contact your breed health co-ordinator please email Christopher Thrasivoulou  

Breeding Restrictions
There are a number of The Kennel Club's rules and regulations that may prevent a litter from being registered, find out about our general and breed specific breeding restrictions below. 

More About Breeding
There are two coat types known for this breed - smooth and long-haired. The option to select long-haired is provided when registering a litter online. For any paper applications, a note should be made next to the relevant puppy or in  the form of an accompanying letter. If registered as such, the wording long-haired will appear after the breed name on the registration certificate and noted in the Breed Records Supplement, otherwise the dog is considered to be of the smooth-coated variety.       

Health Issues Affecting the Weimaraner

You need to be aware of some of the problems, which might occur with this breed; many of these are common to all dogs especially the larger breeds. If you suspect your dog is ill, contact your vet for advice. 

Gastric Dilation And Volvulus (Bloat).
This is the main fear of all Weimaraner owners. It is a life threatening condition. It must be treated immediately. Nobody yet knows what causes it. You need to know as much as possible about it and you must ask your vet to tell you exactly how to recognise the early signs. 

Mast Cell Tumours/Cancer (MCT)
Mast cell tumours are common among all dogs, both pedigree and mixed breeds, however before the demise of the Animal Health Trust, they were investigating what they believed to be a genetic predisposition in the Weimaraner. This was based on evidence that there was a particularly high incidence of this form of cancer in the breed.

Extra eyelashes, which grow inwards. Corrective surgery required. 
Lower eyelid turn outwards. Not common but cases noted. Corrective surgery required. 

Lower eyelid turn inwards. Not common but cases noted. Corrective surgery required. 

Juvenile Pyoderma
Pustular skin condition often seen in puppies and young adults. Needs treatment usually antibiotics and steroids.

Auto Immune Disease
Seen in many breeds in young pups. Careful care and veterinary treatment should get the dog through it but it can be painful for the dog and difficult for the owner. 

Chronic progressive disease that affects the spinal cord. Dog lacks co-ordination and bunny hops rather than flowing across the ground. There is no treatment yet. Rare in the Weimaraner but cases have been recorded. 

Pancreatic Insufficiency
Lack of enzymes normally produced by the pancreas. Dog is not thriving or putting on weight. Medication required. 

Hip Dysplasia
It can broadly be described as 'ill fitting hip joints'. It is first seen in the way the dog moves, hopping rather than striding out. It is a painful condition but can be managed. In general terms, the earlier you see it, the better the management. 
Many dogs are now X-rayed and the hips are 'scored', which means the hip joints are measured. The higher the score, the worse the formation of the hips. The breeder will have had  stock X-rayed before breeding and can show you records of scores. It is not life threatening and can be managed; in some case an operation is required. Feeding the wrong diet or too much exercise too early can also cause HD. 

Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM)
DCM is a heart disease where the heart muscle is weakened and cannot work effectively. As the disease progresses, the chambers of the heart beome enlarged and the valves may leak. The heart becomes increasingly weaker and less able to pump blood effectively therefore signs of congestive heart failure develop. In the early stages there are few symptoms but one symptom is the dog develops signs of exercise intolerance. The vet may detect a heart murmur or other abnormal sounds and in time, the pumping action of the heart gets weaker and fluid accumulates in various parts of the body. The dog is weak, pants excessively, coughs and the symptoms get worse with time. The disease can be detected by an electrocardiogram (ECG), the technique used to screen breeding dogs. 

This is where both sets of sexual organs are present in the same animal. The condition is rare in this breed but cases 
have been reported. An operation is required to correct the issue. You should contact your breeder to report it and also the Breed Health Coordinator. A useful website to read about intersexuality can be viewed by clicking this LINK 

Movement Disorder Affecting Weimaraners

The Neurology and Neurosurgery department of the Small Animal Hospital, University of Glasgow is interested in collecting information about a recently identified movement disorder, which affects Weimaraner dogs. The affected dogs are young puppies at the time of onset of the disease and are showing signs of episodic muscle stiffness and collapse. The signs appear to be triggered by exercise and/or excitement. The diagnostic tests done so far have failed to identify a cause for this disorder and a genetic cause is suspected. This is a very distressing condition for the animal and the owners, and medical treatment has only resulted in partial improvement of the signs. 

The aims of this study are:
- to identify Weimaraner dogs affected by the disorder
-to gather information about the clinical signs shown by the affected dogs
- to gather pedigree information from the affected dogs to determine whether there is an underlying genetic cause,
- to potentially identify the gene(s) responsible of this disease so that a genetic test can be developed to eradicate the disease.

If you have (or had) a Weimaraner, who presented signs of episodic muscle stiffness/weakness/collapse triggered by exercise or excitement, we would like to hear from you. 

This survey should only take 10 minutes of your time and could potentially help pets suffering from this condition. All data collected will be securely stored and will only be accessed by the investigators of the study. Your information will not be transmitted to any third party. By completing  the online questionnaire, you consent to participate in the study. You can withdraw at all time from the study by closing your browser before the end of the questionnaire. You can withdraw from the study at any time by sending the investigators an email or a letter at the address below. 

If you would like to help us even further, you will also be given the opportunity to provide the pedigree of your animal if (s)he is/was registered to the Kennel Club and a video footage of the episodes if possible. If your animal is still alive, we will also ask you whether you would agree to collect DNA samples from your animal to allow us the opportunity to characterize any underlying genetic defect. This will be done by using cheek swabs, which are a painless way to collect DNA samples. The swabs will be sent to you with a detailed instruction for use. All postage fees will be paid. 

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you would require further clarification about the objectives of the study or if you have any comment or question about the questionnaire itself. You can contact us by letter at the address below or by email at

Thanks again for your help. We hope this study will contribute to Weimaraner welfare and quality of life.

Kiterie Faller and Rodrigo Gutierrez-Quintana,
Neurology and Neurosurgery service,
Small Animal Hospital, University of Glasgow

Address: Small Animal Hospital
Bearsden Road
G61 1QH
United Kingdom