Weimaraners are a fun and sometimes stubborn breed with a lot of personality. Originally bred for hunting, they have become a popular pet. It is easy to see why after working with Jade, the Weimaraner pictured below. She came into the clinic with a pitiful expression on her face. After her examination was complete, her eyes brightened and she stretched out on the floor with her front paws crossed. As I said before, Weimaraners have a lot of personality.
Unfortunately, some members of this breed suffer from a serious health problem that often appears between 12 and 15 weeks of age. Name the disease.
Diagnosis: Weimaraner Immunodeficiency Syndrome
Weimaraner immunodeficiency syndrome is a serious problem. Affected individuals usually present with life-threatening infections between 12 and 15 weeks of age when the maternal antibodies are gone. Symptoms vary depending upon where the infection is located but most exhibit fever, lethargy and anorexia. If joints are infected they become swollen and painful.
So far, the exact cause of Weimaraner immunodeficiency syndrome is unknown. It is thought that affected pups may not produce the antibodies IgA and IgG or that one of their white blood cells, the neutrophil, is not functioning correctly. In any case, be very careful when vaccinating a young Weimaraner. Using a live vaccine with multiple antigens might trigger this syndrome.
In my experience, most dogs who have Weimaraner immunodeficiency syndrome die or are euthanized before one year of age. If they reach adulthood, affected individuals are subject to chronic infections that require long term treatment with antibiotics. Fortunately, Jade is a healthy girl and having survived this trip to the vet, she should have a great life ahead of her.