In 2006, the Club started an ongoing Health Survey for the Portuguese Podengo breed. The reason we carry this out is to determine if there are any genetic health problems affecting the breed. If any specific health issues start to emerge, we can quickly identify the pattern and hopefully correct it with the help of the Kennel Club’s Scientific Committee.
The Kennel Club also requires Registered Clubs to report back to them annually regarding the Health of the Breed so without this Survey we would not be able to do this. It is important to send the forms back even if your dog is healthy because this gives us the overall picture of the breed's health status.
The Survey is confidential and information is collected on a "no blame, no shame" basis.
The Kennel Club, in conjunction with a number of other organisations and the breed clubs concerned, run DNA screening schemes for many breeds. The DNA tests used in these schemes can accurately identify clear, carrier and affected dogs, and can be used by breeders to effectively eliminate undesirable disease genes in their stock. Primary Lens Luxation (“PLL”) is a well-recognised, painful and blinding eye condition that affects many breeds of dog and there have been a very small number of cases in the Portuguese Podengo, although not to the point where a KC screening scheme is necessary.
However, to prevent it becoming a problem, the Club has encouraged all breeders and owners to have their dogs tested and to report the results to our Health Coordinator. Breeders are encouraged not to breed from affected dogs as this will hopefully eradicate the disease from the breed. Note that it is not always the case that affected dogs will produce more affected dogs: when two carriers are crossed, 25% (on average) of the offspring will be affected by the disease, 25% will be clear and the remaining 50% will themselves be carriers. DNA testing will reveal if a dog is:
Clear: the dog will not develop PLL as a result of the mutation(s) tested for.
Carrier: the dog carries the gene. Independent research has demonstrated that carriers have a very low risk of developing PLL.
Affected: This dog carries the gene and will almost certainly develop PLL during their lifetime.
You can google 'animal dna tests' to find a testing service. For more info about PLL:
Photo by Joel Mills.