AKC Study of the Health of the Havanese

Havanese Owners made a significant contribution to this 2012 AKC Scientific Study into the Health of the Havanese with 69% of the responses coming from Owners.

A BIG SHOUTOUT to the Havanese Owners who have already come forward to share their stories on buyhavanese.com For those of you thinking about sharing, remember that you can make a difference because, as noted in this study, OWNERS have the power to impact the Health of the Havanese for the future!

"The Havanese breed is basically healthy overall, although some health problems need more attention and further clinical research studies should provide useful information, especially for known or suspected heritable traits.

Results of this survey have led to the following recommendations: A concerted effort should be made by the parent club to attract more members, as non-members dominated the list of survey respondents (69%). The encouraging point about this high non-member response is that these Havanese owners wanted to participate for the benefit of the breed and to learn more about the health of the breed.

As the most prevalent health issues focused on the skin, teeth and patellas, more preventive and early diagnostic attention should be given to these problems. For the skin and teeth, this may reflect the need for more emphasis on diet, including overall quality and identifying potential food intolerances, as well as skin and coat cleanliness. Preventive dentistry should be practiced regularly, as often as every 6 months, as Havanese appear to be prone to dental tartar and gingivitis.

Educational efforts directed toward the importance of preventive dental maintenance should be promoted. Missing incisor teeth was another mouth- related issue (ranked 7th), and could lend itself to a study of potential inheritance patterns.

The survey also identified separation anxiety as an issue, so positive training tips to help alleviate this problem should be addressed (e.g. aroma therapy with lavender and other calming botanicals, addressing boredom with play toys, soothing music and television, chew toys containing food treats).

Special attention should be paid to those health and behavior problems that were found to be more frequent (reality) than the opinion of the survey respondents (belief), namely, itchy skin, separation anxiety, shyness, heart murmur, food intolerance, chronic ear infection, dominance toward dogs and people, ease of socialization, aggressiveness. Please note that 5 of these 9 issues are behavioral in nature. Whether behavioral issues in the breed reflect a potential genetic predisposition or other causes, is moot, for they need to be addressed."


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