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February 2017
Longevity Recognition Programme
The IWHG Longevity Recognition Programme, based on the Irish Wolfhound Club of America model, aims to acknowledge our veteran Irish Wolfhounds and honour our super-veterans. All Wolfhounds aged seven or more and registered with the Kennel Club are eligible.  For futher information, click here

December 2016
The University of Missouri Veterinary Health Center is looking for Irish Wolfhounds under one year of age who are affected with megaesophagus.

We have developed a novel therapy for this disease that has helped numerous dogs. We have recently identified an Irish Wolfhound puppy with a congenital form of megaesophagus. We are evaluating this dog's DNA in hopes of identifying a specific mutation. If we are able to identify a specific mutation, we intend to develop a DNA test to help screen other Irish Wolfhounds that are carriers and remove the mutation from the breed. In order to do this, we need to evaluate the DNA from other Irish Wolfhound dogs less than 12 months of age affected with megaesophagus. As stated above, we are searching for Irish Wolfhound dogs less than 12 months of age that have veterinary records confirming they have megaesophagus. If you are interested in helping, please do not hesitate to contact me by email at 

Dr Jared Jaffey
University of Missouri Veterinary Health Center

November 2016
Puppy Buyer's Guide
The IWHG is pleased to announce that our new guide to buying an Irish Wolfhound puppy is now available to download here:  

KC Breed Watch
As part of the KC's Breed Watch scheme, which serves as an early warning system to identify points of concern for individual breeds, a guide for the health and welfare has been published. 

Download Breed Watch booklet                      More information about Breed Watch   

September 2016
The Irish Wolfhound Health Group are proud to reveal our new look!
With our new independence comes a brand new logo and we love it! It encapsulates the spirit and energy of our mission to promote the health and fitness of our breed. We are very lucky to have some very good friends in the breed who offer their time and expertise in a voluntary capacity – they are the unsung heroes that help us make things happen. For the new logo, we have the very talented Anne-Birgitte Larsen from Norway (right) to thank. She has listened to our brief and interpreted it (several times over!) to create an identity that will take us into this new era and beyond.
Photo: Chris Cook
For the wonderful new look website, we have the equally talented and amazing Anne Vaudin (left) to thank. Anne has been responsible for creating and maintaining our website since it was first introduced and we are indebted to her dedication and commitment (and patience!) over such a long period. Taking on these challenges can be very time consuming and has to be fitted in around real life. We are indebted to her and couldn’t do it without her.
With the new look come new members, new ideas, and a brand new quarterly e-newsletter! The first edition will be launched on 30 September and to receive your copy you will need to sign up to request it, Don’t forget, this is your Health Group and we want your input, so sign up, get involved and send us feedback for future editions. (You can also get involved on Facebook, link).
Another exciting new addition to the website is the new facility to publish your heart testing results online. This is a significant development to our innovative heart testing scheme that has the potential to add important additional data for everyone to access. It is a voluntary exercise and is open to all hounds that have undergone the full three-stage screening with a veterinary cardiologist, whether through our scheme or not. However, our scheme still offers the same amazingly good value thanks to the time and generosity of all our cardiologists! You can submit results for any of your hounds, so if you have results from earlier generations of dogs that you would like to post, please send them in as directed and we will create a table for that year. This has the potential to develop into an important reference tool for owners and breeders alike.

Importantly, we have relaunched our Longevity pages as we are keen to demonstrate to the wider world that not all Irish Wolfhounds are short lived. We are appealing to all owners who have or have had veterans to complete the surveys we have running and are supporting and want to encourage people to start recording dates of death as well. We have tremendous resources available to us and we should use them. We can only debunk the myths and change mind-sets by gathering some hard evidence and for that we need the owners input.
We’ve even relaunched the Loose Change Challenge tins in the new  livery. Thank you to Jean Timmins for that. They're a great way of making sure that all your spare coins go to a good home - you won't ever want to be without one! Tins can be  collected from and returned to Wendy Heather at shows and events. To order yours in advance just email Wendy.

And do check out our Donations page for an update on some wonderful fundraising that has been going on this year. A big thank you to everyone who spends a penny on the breed’s behalf!

August 2016
We were delighted to welcome the new PAWS initiative to the stable of services that the breed can offer all owners. Congratulations to everyone involved for making a reality what has been happening on an informal basis for many years. The aim of the new group is to provide essential practical help at the point of need on a voluntary basis. It’s a welcome complementary service to the Irish Wolfhound Rescue Trust and IWHG, providing the breed with its third emergency service. Between all three organisations the breed is well covered for all eventualities! We have provided a link to the PAWS website under a new ‘Help’ button (see main menu, left), where people can source practical help and also recommended vets that have Irish Wolfhound experience.

July 2016 
At the end of 2015 we published our interim 2015 accounts and our proposals for allocating the funds to research. We have now posted the final accounts and are delighted to confirm how we have allocated the project development and osteosarcoma funds. The fantastic sums generated by our fundraisers over the last few years are being allocated as follows:

ongoing support for the day to day administration, £3,000 to cover up to end 2016

· Mobile scanner for the regional heart testing scheme
£3,000 for future repairs and renewals

· Super-veteran subsidies     set aside £1,000

· Contingency allowance against unexpected amounts     set aside £1,000

· KC Charitable Trust’s Give a Dog a Genome registration     £1,000

· Nottingham Veterinary School’s long term osteosarcoma research first year costs
set aside £10,000

So, we have been able to allocate a staggering total of £26,424, which is an amazing amount raised by you all! Amazing! Please give yourselves a huge pat on the back!

But we’d like to ask you to keep up the good work! All monies donated to the group go to fund the ongoing and future research projects that we hope will ultimately benefit the whole breed. The money raised is not meant to sit in an account, it is meant to be spent on research projects that need it. So although the current allocations are a fantastic amount, it means that the coffers are now very low and we have to concentrate on raising more funds for the next round of funding. 

The IWHG is your health group and it exists purely to help promote the health of the breed. It is a not-for-profit organisation, so relies completely on donations and fundraising to survive. Every little counts and every penny earned adds up to the sort of sums we’ve just spent, so don’t forget to continue with the loose change tins and the Easyfundraising donations and any other imaginative ways you dream up for fundraising. Thank you.

Exciting new development for the Irish Wolfhound Health Group! 
This year has seen a significant watershed for the IWHG. The last few years have seen the work and the funding of the Group develop significantly and the four breed bodies that we represent have now recognised that the Group needs the flexibility and freedom to be able to operate independently within a more business-like structure. So they have granted the Group the autonomy it needs to become a stand-alone organisation. 

We are delighted with this development, but are also pleased to report that, as with the IW Rescue Trust, we will still enjoy the support of the breed bodies and will be reporting back to them on a regular basis and presenting reports at the AGMs as usual – and we will refer back to the breed bodies and their membership on issues that require their guidance and endorsement. 

We are currently finalising our new structure and will shortly be launching our new shape and identity to everyone. In the meantime, we’d like to reassure you all that nothing has changed in the way we work, it’s business as usual and all our projects and contacts remain the same as always.

 June 2016
The IWHG are pleased to announce our continuing support of the latest development of the research by the AHT into osteosarcoma. This long-running project keeps revealing snippets of the genetic puzzle that is osteosarcoma and we are hopeful that the next phase will be the most enlightening yet.

We are fortunate that the funding application from the AHT has come at the same time as an exciting new development in the world of canine genetics, which is being funded by the Kennel Club Charitable Trust, namely the Give a Dog a Genome project. You can read about it in more depth here. Essentially, this is a project to sequence the entire genome of one dog from each of 75 dog breeds. The IWHG has taken advantage of the KC offer to match-fund each sequence. For this project the cost of sequencing one genome was set at £2,000; the IWHG have provided £1,000 while the KC have match -funded that amount to provide the £2,000 needed to sequence one Wolfhound genome.

Dr Starkey's funding application has requested a total amount of £7,424.32 for sequencing a further five Wolfhound genomes, four from osteosarcoma affected Wolfhounds and one from an unaffected Wolfhound which does not carry the chromosome 11 genetic marker strongly associated with osteosarcoma in US Greyhounds. This will give them the entire genome sequences of six Wolfhounds to compare 'affected by osteosarcoma' to 'unaffected by osteosarcoma', the Wolfhound sequence to the reference Boxer sequence, and also the Wolfhound genome to breeds identified as being at lower than average risk of developing osteosarcoma from the GADAG project.

Whilst we are very hopeful, we cannot emphasise enough that identifying inherited risk factors for complex diseases such as cancer is not straightforward and any DNA sequencing study attempting to do so is unlikely to deliver results quickly. That said, we have assurances from Dr Starkey that the sequences they generate will be available in the public domain and (once certain conditions are met) to other researchers. As a breed we are extremely fortunate to have Dr Mike Starkey, Head of Molecular Oncology at the AHT, as our principal investigator on this project, and Dr Cathryn Mellersh, Head of Canine Genetics at the AHT, as a co-investigator. You can read the full application by clicking this link.

May 2016 
The IWHG were very honoured and privileged to be invited to take part at the EIWC Congress in Germany in May. We were given our own stand on which to display our literature and it gave us the opportunity of meeting many overseas Facebook members. We were asked to introduce ourselves at the EIWC Ruling Council meeting and were allotted time during Friday’s afternoon seminars to give a presentation on the Group's past and present activities. 

At the gala dinner on the Saturday evening an auction was held with some very special Irish Wolfhound memorabilia for sale. We must thank our superb auctioneer, Chris Amoo, who wangled money out of people with such ease. Between the auction and donations €935 was raised for the group. A very big thank you to the lucky purchasers and to all who bid.

The Kennel Club has recently launched a new information guide on managing your dog’s weight. It is estimated that around 45% of dogs are overweight and it is hoped that this new guide can support owners of dogs that need to lose weight. The guide discusses how to tell if a dog is overweight, examines the causes of obesity and provides owners with hints and tips to help their dog lose weight. A free online version is available here.

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