Heath Conditions Affecting Weimaraners
HOD Study at U.C Davis -- A Call For Weimaraner DNA Samples: Click Here

or undescended testicle(s): bilaterals sterile; unilaterals fertile but barred from showing; widespread in many breeds. Inheritance: threshold; recessive(?).
Dermoid or corneal dermoid cyst:
Congenital cyst on cornea; contains skin, glands and hair. Inheritance: unclear
Distichiasis or double eyelashes:
extra row of eyelashes, usually on the lower lid but can be on the upper lid causing irritation to the cornea characterized by tearing.
Entropion or diamond eye:
Eyelids roll in and hair rubs on the cornea; effects are irritation, tearing and visual losses from scarring. This occurs in many breeds.
Factor XI Deficiency or minor bleeding disorder:
Potentially severe after trauma or surgery. Inheritance: autosomal dominant; incomplete penetrance.

Gastric Torsion or GDV, bloat/torsion, twisted stomach:

Bloat is a disease common to deep-chested dogs that can involve twisting or torsion of the stomach with a subsequent blockage of the esophagus at one end and the intestine at the other. Bloat happens quickly and is often fatal without immediate veterinary attention.

Its symptoms include retching with no vomiting, extreme salivation, obvious discomfort, and distention of the abdomen. Gulping food can bring on an attack of bloat, so Weimaraners should be fed twice daily to avoid the hunger pangs that lead to eating too fast. Some breeders believe that foods containing soybeans shouldn't be fed to breeds that are susceptible to bloat because the beans can produce gas.

Many cases of bloat occur in the evening, after the dog has perhaps shared the family snack of pizza or some other highly-spiced food and then exercised. Treatment is expensive and not always successful. Feeding moistened dog food and postponing exercise for a couple of hours after the meal may help prevent bloat.

For further information on bloat and links to other bloat sites visit: www.globalspan.net/bloat.htm

For detailed information on bloat and How to Avoid it visit:

Hip Displasia, CHD or poor hips:
Progressive developmental deformity of hip joints; mild to crippling. Inheritance: polygenic; threshold.
For more information visit the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals:

Hypertrophic Osteodystrophy or HOD:

Hypertrophic Osteodystrophy (HOD) is a canine orthopedic disease affecting young rapidly growing large breed dogs between eight weeks to eight months of age. Affected dogs exhibit swelling and pain in their distal limbs with reluctance to stand or walk. Additional systemic signs may include fever, lethargy, depression, and loss of appetite. Less common systemic signs are diarrhea, discharge from the nose and eyes, pneumonia and conjunctivitis. A diagnosis of HOD is founded on radiographic evidence of bone involvement concurrent with hyperthermia and pain, and by ruling out infectious causes of the clinical signs.

The cause of the disease is unknown and current treatments are focused on controlling the fever, alleviating the pain and treating the specific systemic signs present. Even though the pathogenesis of HOD is unknown, there is strong evidence suggesting an inherited component to the disease.

This is further supported by the fact that HOD is more common in several specific breeds, including the Weimaraner. HOD is reported in closely related Weimaraners and may affect several puppies in a litter. Unlike puppies of other breeds, Weimaraner puppies affected with HOD usually do not respond to the usual supportive care and need to be treated specifically with a course of corticosteroids in order to control the fever and systemic signs. Weimaraners also tend to experience relapses of the disease during which the corticosteroids treatment needs to be readministered. Prognosis for severe cases may be poor due to relapsing episodes and the low quality of life for the affected puppies that often result in euthanasia. However, once the puppies conclude growing, they can live a normal life free of relapses and only rare cases develop permanent angular limb deformities. Affected dogs should be removed from breeding programs.


  • A Conversation with Noa Safra: Current research on HOD in Weimaraners
  • FAQs on HOD, including Treatment Protocol (.pdf)
  • WCA Policy On Vaccinations

  • Hyperuricosuria
    means elevated levels of uric acid in the urine. This trait predisposes dogs to form stones in their bladders or sometimes kidneys. These stones often have to be removed surgically and can be difficult to treat. Hyperuricosuria is inherited as a simple autosomal recessive trait. The trait can occur in any breed. A DNA test for this specific mutation can determine if dogs are normal or if they carry one or two copies of the mutation. Dogs that carry two copies of the mutation will be affected and susceptible to develop bladder/kidney stones. The Veterinary Genetics Laboratory at UC Davis offers a DNA test for hyperuricosuria to assist owners and breeders in identifying affected and carrier dogs. http://www.vgl.ucdavis.edu/services/Hyperuricosuria.php

    - Delayed Myelination:

    Born with improper nerve covering; tremors and incoordination; may improve and even be normal by one year old. Occurs in six breeds including Weimaraners, Brittany Spaniels and Bernese Mountain Dogs. The prognosis for puppies is good. Affected dogs are born with the myelin sheathing on the nerves underdeveloped. It is similar to Parkinson's Disease in humans, but unlike humans, the dogs are able to regenerate the sheathing with time. Because this insulating coating is missing, impulses sent along the nerves fanned out, missing their intended location and exciting all nerves along the pathway. Once the myelin is regrown, there are no further signs of the problem and puppies go on to lead normal lives.


    Inadequate output of the thyroid hormone causing the coat to thin, becoming coarse, brittle and falling out easily. Other signs that develop gradually are lethargy, obesity, drooping of the eyelids, mental dullness, and irregular heat cycles. Mild thyroid deficiency frequently goes undetected. Diagnosis involves a blood test. Treatment: requires lifetime treatment with thyroid hormone.

    or mast cell tumor:

    Malignant and often rapidly spreading nodular skin tumors.
    Inheritance: unknown

    Nictitating Membrane Eversion:

    Haw has poor attachments; cartilage is rolled; everts, showing red swelling and curved cartilage.
    Inheritance: autosomal recessive (uncertain).

    Persistent Right Aortic Arch:

    Abnormal artery constricts esophagus half-way to the stomach; vomiting; must be corrected surgically.
    Inheritance: polygenic; threshold.

    Pituitary Dwarfism:

    Normally proportioned dwarf, immature and retarded; may be fatal.
    Inheritance: autosomal recessive.

    Retinal Atrophy
    , Generalized Progressive or general PRA:

    Retina degenerates; first, night blindness; then total blindness before middle age.
    Inheritance: autosomal recessive.

    , spinal dysraphism; hopper's disease:

    Dog stands in a crouch position and hops to move; non-progressive; associated with myelin dysplasias.
    Inheritance: unknown

    Thymic Atrophy

    By one to three months, the dog has stunted growth, wasting and suppurative pneumonia.
    Inheritance: unknown

    Tricuspid Valve Dysplasia:

    There is a bad valve between heart chambers which causes other heart problems to develop.
    Inheritance: unknown

    Umbilical Hernia
    , rupture or "outie":

    Bulging of the abdominal contents in sac at umbilicus; common; usually harmless unless it is very large.
    AKC Policy On Umbilical Hernias
    Inheritance: threshold

    Ununited Anconeal Process or elbow dysplasia:
    Growth plate in elbow does not fuse; secondary degenerative joint disease: pain and limp; surgical correction required.
    The OFA has more information on elbow dysplasia. Inheritance: polygenic


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