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October 2018
Philippa Robinson
The IWHG is very sad to announce the passing of Philippa Robinson on 10 October 2018 after a brave battle with cancer.

Philippa came to prominence among the pedigree dog world when she created the Karlton Index, an independent dog health index, set up to measure how a breed community deals with the health issues within their breed. The first Index was created in 2011 and a further measure was recorded in 2013. Due to her amazing vitality and charisma, she was by this time fully engaged in dog health and welfare commitments across the field, and was an influential voice in the wider dog world. Unfortunately, she was a somewhat a victim of her own success and because of other commitments, the index measurement planned for 2015, was postponed until 2016 and never completed.

Participation in Health Award: 
Philippa presenting the winner's cheque to Rebecca Peek of the IWHG 

The Irish Wolfhound Health Group was honoured to be announced as the winner of the Participation in Health Award in the first KC/Karlton Index Awards, and invited Philippa to attend our seminar that year. She was truly impressed by the level of dedication and commitment to breed health improvement shown by the Irish Wolfhound breed enthusiasts and was a vocal and motivated supporter of the IWHG work.

In 2015 she was invited to chair our seminar and those of you who attended will remember what a fantastic job she did, adding a new dimension to the day.

She was scheduled to repeat her fantastic performance for our 2017 seminar but having accepted, she later had to let us know that she was actually too ill to attend. We were devastated, not so much for us, but for Philippa, her family and the wider dog community.

Philippa's dedication to all canine health and welfare was inspiring and her pioneering work in challenging us all to question and improve is a great legacy. She had so much more to give, and we will miss her.

August 2018
Breed health survey
The UK Kennel Club is developing Breed Health and Conservation Plans (BHCPs)* for all registered dog breeds to ensure that health concerns are identified through evidence-based criteria, so that breeders will have useful information and resources to support them in making balanced breeding decisions in the future.

Irish Wolfhounds are in the next round of breeds required to produce a plan with the KC so we are inviting all owners of UK Irish Wolfhounds, whether or not registered, to complete a simple survey to provide the KC with an up to date and accurate snapshot of the breed’s current health status. The survey is anonymous and your answers, along with other sources of scientific evidence, will provide important data for our BHCP. 

The first section is about dogs that are alive and that you currently own; the second section refers to any dogs that you have owned that have died in the last ten years. For breeders there is also a separate additional survey specifically about your breeding experiences over the last ten years. 

You can take part in the owners'  survey here and in the breeders' survey here.


April 2018
Pneumonia guidelines
The IWHG Pneumonia Guide for owners has been updated and contains essential information for every Wolfhound owner. 

For further information on pneumonia in Irish Wolfhounds, click here.

Pneumonia survey
In response to our request for cases of hounds that have suffered from pneumonia we have decided to broaden the scope of the study and need details of Wolfhounds who have suffered from pneumonia or any other respiratory disease, including nasal disease and rhinitis. All information will be collated by the IWHG and forwarded to Dr Angela Bodey BSc, BVSc, PhD, MRCVS and Dr Mark Dunning MA, VetMB, PhD, CertSAM, DipECVIM-CA, MRCVS at Nottingham Veterinary School.

You can take part in the study here.

March 2018
Revised Free Breed Booklet
The IWHG Guide to Introducing Your New Irish Wolfhound has been revised and updated. Full details can be found here.

Heart test results reformatted
We are pleased to announce that all published heart testing results can now be accessed via the dog's name as well as under the date of testing, allowing the results to be searched in a more meaningful way. 

Full information on the publication of results, together with an online submission form, can be found here

De Wolf Dog Training
On behalf of all at the IWHG, I'd like to say a big thank you to the team at DeWolf Dog Training for their fantastic donation of £596. DeWolf's volunteer team raise money from sales of cakes and blankets at their various courses throughout the year and at their annual charity quiz night. So thank you to all who dedicated their time and talents to raising this wonderful sum, it's hugely appreciated.

DeWolf Dog Training is based in Uckfield, East Sussex and run training and socialisation classes for all breeds, sizes and ages of dogs. 
Steven Ritchie, Treasurer

January 2018

2017 has seen another full year of heart testing sessions throughout the UK and Ireland. In summary, total numbers of dogs seen remain at roughly the same level as last year and most sessions were full, though a few were short on numbers – these will be reviewed in the new year to ensure that these sessions continue to be viable. We were pleased to be able to continue to offer appointments at £45.00 per dog and to be able to continue to subsidise the Super Veterans sessions. The Irish Wolfhound Rescue Trust also continued to cover the cost of the Rescue hounds sessions.

We will be giving a full report on the year’s activity in the Spring Newsletter, but in the meantime we’d like to thank all our cardiologists again for making another year of the scheme possible, so thank you to Sheena Milne, Serena Brownlie-Sykes and a huge thank you to Angela Bodey, who covers the majority of the sessions. A big thank you as well to all those that have hosted the sessions and provided venues and helped to manage and organise the days – it’s a great team effort spread between many people.

As the Regional Heart Testing Scheme continues to grow and develop we regularly review the ways in which we can improve it. Organising and managing the scheme requires a great deal of time and effort and is a full time job for those closely involved. As Heart Testing Co-ordinator, Wendy Heather spends most days, including weekends, dealing with the admin required, whether that’s bookings, organising hosts and venues or liaising with the cardiologists. It really is like a full time job, but, as with all IWHG roles, it is purely voluntary and has to be fitted in around real work!

So we have decided that the Scheme could really do with two people and we’re delighted to announce that Anne Vaudin will be taking on the role of Heart Testing Administrator from January 1st. Most people already know Anne as our website manager and also as the IW Club’s Archivist, but she has agreed to take on the role of organising and managing the heart testing bookings. She will be the main point of contact for the day to day administration of the Scheme.

Wendy will remain as Heart Testing Co-ordinator and she will retain her top line responsibilities of organising the diary of sessions for the year, liaising with the cardiologists and the hosts, organising the venues and the overall reporting and management of the Scheme. 

As part of streamlining our communications, we have introduced new email addresses for both of them from the New Year:

Wendy will be contactable on:

We will also be introducing an online form for heart test bookings which we hope you will find quicker, more efficient and easier than printing-and-posting. Please give it  try and let us know what you think.

Dates and venues for 2018 will be published early in January and will be announced on Facebook and published here.  Meanwhile, please let us know if you would like to book in advance.

December 2017
Report on raffle
I'm delighted to report that the counting has been done and the IWHG raffle drawn raised the magnificent sum of £2,000! All tickets were sold, so thank you to everyone who purchased them helping us reach this remarkable total. 

 The prizes on offer were outstanding, and we'd like to thank everyone who contributed, especially our patron, Trudie Sumner, who donated three fantastic prizes. 

Congratulations to Mandy Addington who won the star prize of a stay in a cottage in Wiltshire or a house in Grasmere donated by Trudie, and to all the other winners. 

 A full list of prizes and winners can be found here.
Steven Ritchie, Treasurer

November 2017
IWHG Seminar report
The Irish Wolfhound Health Group held its biennial seminar on Sunday November 11th 2017. The seminar was chaired by IWHG chairman, Rebecca Peek.

It was our most successful seminar yet with just over 60 people attending. The hall was very busy, not only with lots of Wolfhound owners and breeders, but also representatives from several other breeds attending. All four breed bodies had representatives at the event.

There was vast amount of information to take in, but we were incredibly fortunate to have tremendously knowledgeable speakers who communicated detailed information very effectively. Dr Katy Evans, Health Research Manager at The Kennel Club, talked about the forthcoming Breed Health and Conservation Plan, and Dr Tom Lewis, Quantitative Geneticist at the Kennel Club talked on ‘Breeding within a Small Gene Pool’. There was a multitude of interesting ideas and easy to understand explanations of a complex subject areas.

The next speakers were Dr Cathryn Mellersh (Head of Canine Genetics, AHT) and Dr Mike Starkey (Head of Molecular Oncology, AHT). Catherine gave an update on the Give a Dog A Genome project while Mike updated us on the Irish Wolfhound osteosarcoma project which involves a continuation of the project we have all been supporting for several years. Excitingly, major steps forward have been achieved in such a short space of time since being funded by the IWHG to sequence six Wolfhound genomes. Although Mike is very modest about the progress being made and there is still lots of work to do.

Dr Regine Vandamme (of First Avenue Irish Wolfhounds) gave a widely anticipated presentation providing a revealing insight into her own no-nonsense attitude to her very successful breeding strategy.

Lunch and refreshments were ably provided by Miranda Brace and her two kitchen helpers, Marion and Mandy. Many thanks go to all of them for working so hard to ensure we were all able to concentrate throughout the whole day.

Many, many thanks to all our speakers and attendees for making it such a successful day. A full report will appear in the next newsletter, so sign up for it by emailing the secretary If you haven’t already. And make sure you don’t miss the next seminar in 2019.

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