Melissa Hampton

Vice President:
    Beth Hacker

    Britt Emanuel

    John Bonner

Board Members:
    Sue Ramspacher
    Kim Petri
    Terry Groman

Weimaraner in woods


Before purchasing a Weimaraner, perspective buyers should be aware of potential health problems associated with the breed. Some of these problems may include:

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.

Hip Displaysia:
The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) , founded in 1966 is a non-profit organization that collates and disseminates information concerning orthopedic and genetic disease of animals. Owners of dogs used for breeding purposes can send hip x-rays to OFA for assessment and certification. A responsible breeder will NEVER breed without obtaining OFA certification on both prospective parents.

Canine hip dysplasia is a very common degenerative joint disease seen in dogs. The hip joint forms the attachment of the hind leg to the body and is a ball and socket joint. The ball portion is the head of the femur while the socket (acetabulum) is located on the pelvis. In a normal joint the ball rotates freely within the socket. To facilitate movement the bones are shaped to perfectly match each other, with the socket surrounding the ball. Hip dysplasia results from the abnormal development of the hip joint in the young dog. It may or may not be bilateral, affecting both right and left sides. It is brought about by the laxity of the muscles, connective tissue, and ligaments that should support the joint. Most dysplastic dogs are born with normal hips but due to genetic and possibly other factors, the soft tissues that surround the joint start to develop abnormally as the puppy grows. The most important part of these changes is that the bones are not held in place but actually move apart. The joint capsule and the ligament between the two bones stretch, adding further instability to the joint. As this happens, the articular surfaces of the two bones lose contact with each other. Dogs of all ages are subject to the symptoms of hip dysplasia and the resultant osteoarthritis. In severe cases, puppies as young as five months will begin to show pain and discomfort during and after vigorous exercise. The condition will worsen until even normal daily activities are painful. Without intervention, these dogs may be unable to walk at all by a couple years of age. In most cases, however, the symptoms do not begin to show until the middle or later years in the dog's life.

The symptoms are typical for those seen with other causes of osteoarthritis. Dogs may walk or run with an altered gait, often resisting movements that require full extension or flexion of the rear legs. Many times, they run with a 'bunny hopping' gait. They will show stiffness and pain in the rear legs after exercise or first thing in the morning. Most dogs will warm up out of the muscle stiffness with movement and exercise. Some dogs will limp and many will decrease their level of activity. As the condition progresses, the dogs will lose muscle tone and may even need assistance in getting up.

Taken in part from

Cryptorchidism 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.

Von Willebrands Disease: Factor VIII Deficiency or hemophilia A; AHF: Slowed clotting time; prolonged bleeding at time of tail docking, hematomas, etc. Inheritance: recessive, sex linked.

Factor XI Deficiency or minor bleeding disorder: Potentially severe after trauma or surgery. Inheritance: autosomal dominant; incomplete penetrance.

Immune Mediated Problems and Vaccination in Weimaraners

A small percentage of Weimaraner puppies manifest an autoimmune reaction following vaccination. When the immune system of susceptible individuals is challenged by multiple antigens it becomes hyper-reactive and responds in the same way it would respond to fight off an infection; fever, elevated WBC and inflammatory reaction of tissues and joints.

Although many puppies can be vaccinated with no adverse reactions, there is no way at the present time to determine which puppies may react. Past research has documented reactions occurring between 8-16 weeks of age with the greatest number of reactions seen in puppies 12-16 week age.

Several of the vaccine manufacturers assure that immunity in puppies can be achieved with only two vaccines providing the second vaccine is given at 12 weeks of age. Therefore the Board of Directors of the Weimaraner Club of America recommends the following vaccine schedule:

8 weeks: Distemper, Adeno2, Parainfluenza and Parvo
12 weeks: Distemper, Adeno2, Parainfluenza and Parvo

The use of Corona, Lepto, Bordatella and Lyme vaccine is not recommended unless these diseases are prevalent in the area. The recombinant DNA vaccines available for Distemper and Lyme have shown a significantly lower incidence of reactions.

While this protocol helps in preventing reactions, it does not prevent them in all susceptible individuals.

Taken from the Weimaraner Club of America Web site

For more information about Hypertrophic Osteodystrophy (HOD):