Danes in squareThe Australian Great Dane community came together from January 30th, 2015 to participate in a broad spectrum health & lifestyle prevalence survey. Data was collected over 8 weeks from 1,165 purebred Great Dane dogs. In the months of April – July 2015, this data was prepared, analysed and written into a report presenting the findings. The report was launched on July 17th and is now available for viewing.

In Australia, there is no national breed council, nor a national breed club for Great Danes…yet! This was a purely community project where owners, breeders and show people came together to share their data across a broad set of questions culminating in a prevalence survey of 1,165 dogs.

We are very keen to have this report get into the hands of all interested parties but most particularly those hands that care for the Great Dane breed medically. With a population of 1,165 dogs we have been able to collect a substantive prevalence rate for many of the key issues that affect the breed:

• Bloat and/or Gastric Dilation Volvulus

• Dilated Cardiomyopathy

• Wobblers Syndrome, Osteochondritis dissecans and other orthopaedic conditions

• Entropion, Ectropion and Cherry Eye

• Allergies

• Cruciate ligament injuries

• Arthritis

• Urinary incontinence

We also collected lifestyle practices around diet, vaccinations, worming, sterilisation, heat cycle presentations, phantom pregnancies, pet insurance, temperament and other information. This data collection allowed for cross-match analysis such as, do all sterilised female dogs become incontinent or does bowl height impact on whether a bloat-prevalent breed suffers a GDV.

The Great Dane breed, whilst large in physical presence, is in fact small in volume of numbers in Australia. This can make it difficult for any one person to have their hands in or on many Danes. This survey can serve as a greater knowledge base for what a large population of the breed does, is and displays!

The purpose of collecting this data is to:

• Assist prospective Great Dane owners to learn about the breed.

• Share with the wider Great Dane community of the world, an insight into our breed population in Australia.

• Share with all Veterinary care staff to see actual prevalence figures based on an Australian population to enhance the medical services to the breed.

• To inspire researchers to plan projects around the key issues for this breed.Image

On the last note, there are raw data tables in Excel, available to suitably qualified persons who might want to take our numbers and run statistical validity testing on a further basis. The raw data tables are a complete set with a criteria in every cell for each of the 1,165 dogs except 1 dog’s weight. Personal details of the dogs, owners, name and origin is NOT available and remains confidential to the surveyor. All other data with dog’s identified as a ‘unique number’ is available in the raw data tables. Around 65% of the subjects are currently alive and many owners would also be happy to participate in research projects. Contact to those owners is via myself as the surveyor.

The survey report sits at www.australiangreatdanehealthsurvey.com and may be downloaded from there. As the webpage is brand new it may not come up in ‘search’ at this point as we are not ‘google/other engine indexed’ yet. Please use the link above.

Many thanks to all readers and we hope that our project adds value to the Great Dane breed across all interested parties. The Australian Great Dane community is pleased to share our information with you all.