Updated December 2023
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Chairman: Jean Timmins
Secretary: Wendy Reeves
Heart Testing Co-ordinator
Treasurer: Steven Ritchie
Veterinary Consultant to the Group
Ian Finney DVM MRCVS
The Irish Wolfhound Health Group (IWHG) is a UK body that originally comprised representatives from each of the four breed clubs: the Irish Wolfhound Club, the Irish Wolfhound Society, the Irish Wolfhound Club of Northern Ireland and the Irish Wolfhound Club of Scotland. It was established in 2004 specifically to look at health issues in a unified way across the breed.
Over the years the work of the group has evolved and grown and now, in 2016, the breed bodies have recognised that the group needs the flexibility and freedom to be able to operate within a more business-like structure and have granted it autonomy to become a stand-alone organisation. We are delighted with this development, but are also pleased to report that 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.
The purpose of the group is to monitor and promote the health and welfare of the breed, to educate and inform, and to be a united breed voice in all matters relating to health issues. The group is also in a strong position to lobby, in conjunction with the breed bodies, on Kennel Club or legislative issues that may affect the future integrity and reputation of the breed.
The group is not responsible for rescue activities, as these are already well organised and taken care of by the clubs (see Links), but rescue hounds and pet owners are entitled and encouraged to take part in any research or health programmes available to the breed.
The IWHG comprises owners and breeders of many years' experience. None is a qualified veterinarian: any suggestions made are based purely on the personal experience of wolfhound owners and are a guide only for you to discuss with your own vet.
It is the responsibility of the owner to make a decision on any course of action they take with their hound and we strongly recommend that this is done
in conjunction with your vet.