During the sixteenth century, John Caisu, provides an unquestionable written detailed history of the Bloodhound, describing its ability in following scent, its hanging ears, its use in game tracking by following the scent of blood, which is where he got his name. The Bloodhounds ability to track-down poachers and thieves by foot scent and its brilliant use on the Scottish Borders in tracking down cross-border raiders. Caisu’s information links the Bloodhound to the ‘Sleuth Hound’ and suggests they were essentially both the same, although the Bloodhound was somewhat bigger and had a more variation in coat colour. In the late nineteenth century, Bloodhounds were often favoured as subjects in art, Edwin Landseer was one of them and his paintings depicted Bloodhounds not that dissimilar than those seen in to days Bloodhounds except that they were not showing as much wrinkling in head!
The Bloodhound is a large, powerful hound. His head is moderately long and somewhat narrow in proportion to his body. The muzzle is of similar length to that of the back-skull with the two separated by a defined stop; the nose is black; eyes are somewhat sunk and are diamond-shaped in various colours of Hazel to Amber depending on the coat colour. His low-set ears are rather on the thin and soft side and droop down. The Bloodhound has a moderate amount of wrinkles especially on the head. He is well-boned and his front legs are straight. The top-line is moderately long, straight and level and does not dip in the middle. The Bloodhound’s tail should be carries high when on the move and slightly curved over the back. His coat is somewhat loose, short and fairly harsh to the touch except on the head where this is much softer. He comes in colours of Liver and Tan, Black and Tan, Red and Tawny and solid Red.
This is one of the most common genetic disorders in bloodhounds. With dysplasia, the structure and fit of the joint is abnormal, often leading to painful, sometimes crippling, arthritis.
There are two types of dysplasia:
HIP DYSPLASIA & ELBOW DYSPLASIA;
Hip Dysplasia- The most common genetic disorder in bloodhounds. ALL breeding stock should be screened, and only certified “normal” dogs should be bred. Elbow Dysplasia- Although less common than hip dysplasia, this genetic disorder may lead to arthritis in the elbow(s).
BLOAT & GASTRIC TORSION (BGT)
BGT(canine gastric dilatation-volvulus)- hereditary link is unknown, but under investigation
This is a very painful, life-threatening emergency in which the stomach becomes distended with gas (bloat). Torsion is the twisting of the stomach. This causes the esophagus and intestine to narrow or close, like wringing a towel. The gas continues to accumulate and the stomach inflates like a large beach ball. Vary fast emergency surgery is the treatment.
Because of their long heavy low-set ears, bloodhounds are susceptible to ear infections. Most of these can be prevented with proper routine maintenance. Healthy ears should be cleaned at least once a week.
EYE ABNORMALITIES – HEREDITARY;
Bloodhound eyes need a high level of routine care. Eyes should be kept cleaned at least once a week, and drops and ointments used when necessary. There are several genetic conditions of the eye. Entropion and ectropion are probably the most common conditions in bloodhounds.
ENTROPION & ECTROPION;
Entropion is a condition of the eyelids wherein they roll in on the eyeball itself, causing irritation and secondary infections, sometimes causing ulcerations of the cornea itself. This is quite common in bloodhounds, especially ones with too much loose skin and exaggerated facial folds. It requires surgical correction and sometimes multiple surgeries are in order, depending on how young the animal is when entropion is first diagnosed. It can be fairly mild, involving only certain portions of the lids, or it can be very extensive and lead to many other eye problems. An eye-tacking procedure exists that will roll the eyelid out without removing any tissue, but this is only temporary and delays the inevitable corrective surgery that will remove excess tissue and give a more permanent repair.
Ectropion is the opposite of entropion, and this describes the condition where the eyelid tissue is everted, or rolled out, leading to increased exposure of the eyeball. It can be caused by excess eyelid length, weak eyelid muscles, or over-correction of entropion. It is easily fixed by either resecting a wedge of the eyelid or sewing the lids together at their outer margins of the eye. If not fixed, ectropion can lead to chronic irritation, drying out, and subsequent damage to the cornea.
Breeders and judges have the responsibility to avoid any conditions or exaggerations that are detrimental to the health, welfare, essence and soundness of this breed, and must take the responsibility to see that these are not perpetuated.
Credit; The United Kennel Club. – http://www.ukcdogs.com/