Dalmatian Health Information
Dalmatians are relatively healthy dogs who are easy keepers...
as long as you don't mind little white hairs...
Dalmatian Health Information
Supporting Dalmatian & Canine Health
- The Dalmatian Club of America Foundation (DCAF) is a non-profit charitable Corporation with 501 (c)(3) status devoted to advancing the health and quality of life for Dalmatians and all dogs through supported research and education. Your contributions to the Foundation should be tax deductible on your federal income tax return. However, each donor should consult with their tax advisor.
JLS Dalmatians supports DCAF! I welcome your support as well.
- Dalmatian Club of America Foundation
- About DCAF
- How to Make a Donation for Dalmatian & Canine Health
- Submitting Your Dalmatians Bloodwork for DNA Research
- How to Make A Donation
- Dalmatian Health Clinics
- DCAF Supported Research Projects
What You Should Know...
Dalmatians are relatively healthy and easy to keep dogs.
Like many other breeds, they can be prone to certain health issues specific to their breed. The primary health issues associated with a Dalmatian are Deafness, Allergies and Urinary Stones. And in that order of prevalence. Autoimmune Thyroiditis, Copper Storage Disease (CSD) and Juvenile Renal Failure is also showing up as potential breed problems.
Be sure to purchase your Dalmatian from a reputable breeder who guarantees your dog free of health problems and genetic defects. No one can be 100% certain that something won't ever happen to a dog from their breeding, however, they should be confident enough to stand behind their dogs. Should a genetic defect or inherited issue come up, reputable breeders may offer: a replacement puppy/dog (with or without return of the existing pet - owners choice to keep or not to keep), or a refund of a certain dollar amount of the purchase price. The latter is more common when selling a show dog, and the breeder refunds to pet price.
Breeders that truly are "preservationist breeders" and care about the future of the breed and the quality of puppies that they produce will try to ensure that each breeding is an attempt to "better the breed" as a whole. This includes ensuring their dogs are genetically good specimens, healthy, have excellent temperaments, and represent the AKC breed standard to the best of their knowledge prior to breeding. They should make health testing on their breeding line a priority.
Common health tests to be completed on a Dalmatian are: BAER (hearing), OFA or PennHIP (Hips and/or Elbows), CERF (eyes), and/or Thyroid. There are various other tests that may also be performed but these are considered the standard tests by many for a Dalmatian. A concentious breeder not only has the testing done but they try to turn the results in to the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals to be included in a breed-wide database. This way they are not only showing the health trends in their line, but also help determine the statistics for the Dalmatian breed as a whole.
Please note that just because a breeder has the health testing done does not necessarily mean that the dogs have all passed the tests with all normal results. Many times you will see bragging that health tests are all done, but make sure you check the status of the results! Why would a reputable breeder use a dog that does not have normal or passing results? Sometimes a dog possesses other good traits and the particular health issue is a minimal one or easily bred away from, so they may go ahead and use a dog that is not "perfect". We all know there are no perfect dogs. It takes a wise breeder with experience and a history of their line to include such dogs in their breeding programs. If they have otherwise healthy dogs and are not doubling up on the less than perfect trait, it is generally okay to do so. I always laugh when I think all that a reputable breeder goes through to pick a breeding and that humans would surely never procreate again if we had such high standards as those that we put on our dogs!
With all that said, I have tried to have health testing done on all of my breeding line. A few slipped through the cracks while I was fighting cancer and other family emergencies (I was a full-tine caregiver to my elderly mother) and sometimes REAL LIFE has to take presedence over dogs.
I am proud to show the health of my line and to back it up with the results in certifications. I did testing long before it was considered the norm, long before AKC started the Breeder of Merit program, and long before peer pressure tried to make health testing an elite club or clique. I currently have about 85-90% of my breed line done and my health results are clearly and honestly displayed on my litter page and pedigrees. Not just "health testing done" or "CHIC #", but the actual results are posted. It is my goal to have 100% completed on living and future breeding line. I am behind on submitting some test results to the OFA database. I have done a couple hips before breeding but due to the xray not being good enough quality, I need to have them redone and sent in to be certified. I know what the hips looked like (good) and also bred to a dog passing all of the certifications, so in my books, that is better than breeding to a dog that did not pass a particular health test. I know I am not doubling up on anything undesirable and I am confident in the health of my line. So if that makes me a hypocrite then so be it. I think not.
Click here for a list of JLS Breed line health testing and results.
Click here for All CHIC certified JLS Dalmatians to date
Also please feel free to visit the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals web site and click on "Advanced Search" and do a health database search on key word JLS and breed Dalmatians. You should do your due dilligence research prior to getting a dog or breeding to a dog.