June 1st:

Thank you to all who took part in the breed health survey which is now closed. We will be publishing the results here first soon.


February 5th:

We are now adding IGS results to the database. Please submit them following the usual process.



August 13th:

The beagle is generally a very healthy amiable breed and we would like to keep it that way. We would appreciate it if you had time to fill in our survey and let us know about your beagle(s). If you have any information about specific health conditions please email Sam Goldberg (breed health coordinator) so we can record what occurs in our lovely breed.





July 24th: Changes to Animal DNA Diagnostics Ltd

Animal DNA Diagnostics Ltd testing is accepted by The Kennel Club and all DNA screening scheme test results will be automatically forwarded to them provided registration names and numbers are supplied..


May 21st:

The UK Kennel Club has just approved the requirement of testing beagles for Neonatal Cerebellar Cortical Degeneration after consultation with the Breed Clubs. The preferred lab for testing is the Animal Health Trust as they developed the test but they will also accept results from VGL (UC Davis) and Vetgen both in the USA.

This disease is of concern as one breeder recently experienced two litters with affected puppies, which are unable to coordinate their hind legs.  As you can imagine this is very distressing and something we need to work towards eradicating. The condition has been known for a while and has been reported in the past but we are very lucky that we now have a DNA test to screen breeding stock so we can avoid more affected puppies. Anecdotally it seems there have been other cases but at that time there was no way of screening parents.
With this test we can work as hard as we have with MLS to get the incidence of affected puppies to zero and eventually get rid of the gene.

The KC is now recording results but if you send your results over to us as well we will put them on the database including genetically clear results.


February 14th:

The Kennel Club and Animal Health Trust have run a survey of NCCD by sending out random DNA testing kits to registered owners of pedigree beagles in the UK. The results have just started coming back and many owners are sharing them with us.
So far the results are showing that there are carriers of the NCCD gene amongst our beagle population although we are fortunate that many are clear. We now have the opportunity to avoid producing affected puppies and work towards eradicating this gene by testing breeding stock.The inheritance fortunately is a simple recessive and like MLS.
Please have your beagles tested and share the results so we can keep our beagles healthy.


November 13th:

The Animal Health Trust are currently involved in running a project for beagles which is investigating whether there is a genetic link which predisposes some beagles to get the disease.The first set of samples did not produce a clear result so a further set of samples is required for another DNA screen. Strict criteria have been applied to the samples received and a requirement of 48 affected dogs set as a minimum before the next DNA screen was run.

Samples are simply collected using a kit from the AHT, which harvests cheek cells from the inside of the beagles’ cheeks.
The AHT is close to getting the required number of samples of affected dogs (they have enough controls to run alongside). There is a cost involved in running this and beagle folk have been marvelous at raising this for the project.The graph below shows how we have steadily been collecting the samples required:


If anyone has a beagle who has been confirmed at some stage as having SRM who has not been in touch with Sam Goldberg please email:







November 6th:

5% discount for online orders at Animal DNA Diagnostics Ltd

Tthe Animal DNA Diagnostics Ltd website is up and running and testing can now be requested online and they hope that Beagle breeders will be impressed by the ease with which they can order testing online, and the speedy service which they receive. They particularly envisage that being able to enter all details online, including those of the animal to be tested, will be helpful – cutting out hand-written forms can only reduce errors! They are offering a turnaround of 1-2 weeks, and competitive pricing.

Tests which Animal DNA Diagnostics can currently provide, and in which Beagle breeders will be interested are:

(Prices include VAT)
Factor VII Deficiency (FVIID) £33.00
Musladin-Leuke Syndrome (MLS) £36.00
FVIID and MLS £57.00
Coat Colour: B-Locus (Brown Coat Colour) £39.60
Coat Colour: E-Locus (Yellow/Red Coat Colour) £39.60
Coat Colours: B-Locus and E-Locus £60.00
DNA Profiling £36.00
Parentage Verification £36.00

A number of Beagle breeders helped in the development of these tests by providing reference samples, and for this reason they would like to provide a 5% discount until July 2013 for all Beagle breeders who order online. The Discount Code is Breed296 – please distribute this by any means that you like.

Animal DNA Diagnostics Ltd testing is accepted by The Kennel Club and all DNA screening scheme test results will be automatically forwarded to them provided registration names and numbers are supplied.



July 2nd:

Mutation responsible for neonatal cerebellar cortical degeneration (NCCD) in Beagles identified from a single affected dog – new DNA test available

Scientists from the Kennel Club Genetics Centre at the Animal Health Trust are pleased to announce the availability of a DNA test for Neonatal Cerebellar Cortical Degeneration (NCCD) in Beagles.

The development of this DNA test illustrates wonderfully the benefits for dogs that can result when breeders, vets and scientists work together. The story began when Beagle breeder Jacqui Walton brought a 4 week old puppy into the clinic at the Animal Health Trust. The puppy, who was having trouble walking, was examined by veterinary neurologist Elsa Beltran who diagnosed NCCD. Unfortunately there is no cure for NCCD, which is a severe, progressive neurological disorder, and so the puppy was sadly put to sleep. Jacqui was understandably devastated, but wanting to do everything possible for her beloved breed she donated the little Beagle’s body to the AHT’s research team in the hope they could identify the mutation responsible for his condition.

Cathryn Mellersh, Head of Canine Genetics at the AHT explains “We normally need DNA from a minimum of 12 affected dogs and the same number of healthy dogs to find the mutation responsible for any inherited canine disease”. But NCCD is, fortunately, a rare disease and it was likely that it would take a long time to collect DNA from this number of affected dogs. So PhD student, Oliver Forman, decided to try a different way of tracking down the mutation. Oliver sequenced a molecule called RNA, that is derived from DNA, from the affected puppy and successfully identified the mutation that caused NCCD. RNA sequencing is typically used to investigate which genes are switched on in particular tissues so although the technique isn’t new, using it to find mutations is.

“As far as we know this is the very first time RNA sequencing has been used in this way, in any species, to identify a disease-associated mutation” says Dr Mellersh. “Although this particular puppy’s story was a very sad one his breeder did all the right things by bringing him to the Animal Health Trust where the highly skilled veterinary neurologists were able to team up with the Kennel Club funded genetics team to solve this disease”.

The NCCD mutation is rare in the UK and the AHT estimates around five out of every hundred Beagles are probably carriers. Carriers, which are dogs with a single copy of the mutation, will not suffer from NCCD but dogs with two copies of the mutations, that can result from a mating between two carriers, will suffer from the disease.

The genetics team believes NCCD may be a newly emerging condition and having a DNA test available will enable Beagle breeders to ‘nip the condition in the bud’. Because the disease has a recessive mode of inheritance it is perfectly safe to breed with carriers, provided they are mated to a dog that does not carry the mutation. “Because we have identified the mutation for NCCD before it has had a chance to become very widespread, breeders have the means to eliminate this mutation from the breed with very little trouble, before the disease ever becomes a problem in the UK” Cathryn explains.

The DNA test for NCCD will be available from 9th July, 2012 from the AHT and will be offered in combination with a DNA test for Musladin-Lueke syndrome (MLS) for the single price of £48. Full details are available on our website -


July 1st:

MLS Tests Required For All Breeding Stock

The UK Assured Breeder Scheme requires all breeding stock to be tested before puppies can be registered-dogs and bitches.

This was dated from January 1st 2012 and ABS members where given a 6 month period of grace to get this done-ending on July 1st. So it is now compulsory for the parents of all puppies to be tested.




June 28th:

Kennel Club warns people not to cook their dogs


With today’s welcome sunshine, and summer fast approaching, the Kennel Club is warning people that they risk cooking their dogs alive if they leave them unattended in a car.

Dogs are extremely sensitive to the heat and should never be left in a car alone, even on a fairly warm or cloudy day. Surprisingly, leaving a car window open or supplying water makes little difference and the dog will suffer, as a car can quickly heat up to around 50°C.

Each year the Kennel Club receives reports of dogs being left in cars, and many incidents where dogs die from heatstroke as a result. The Kennel Club is calling for urgent action to prevent irresponsible dog ownership this summer.

To promote the seriousness of the issue the Kennel Club has produced a three minute video called ‘Don’t Cook your Dog’, which is supported by Dogs Today magazine’s Don’t Cook Your Dog campaign. The video is available through Youtube from today (25th June) and demonstrates how easily dogs can suffer from brain damage, organ failure and death, if left in a hot car.

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary said: “We might not be experiencing a scorching summer but today’s sunshine reminds us that even on fairly warm and cloudy days cars can heat up at an alarming speed that can be fatal to dogs. Every year dogs die traumatic deaths after being left in cars so we urge people to take care when out about with their dogs. Whether in the sun or the shade, cars heat up quickly and it can be unbearable even for us before the air-conditioning comes into effect, never mind for dogs.

“Dogs can only cool down by panting and sweating through their paws, so they will find the heat far worse than humans. Owners must realise that dogs cannot handle heat like we can and that it is never safe to leave the dog in the car alone, whether the windows are open or not.”

The Kennel Club has issued the following advice regarding travelling with your dog during warm weather.


  • · Consider the weather and your journey in advance, especially if you don’t have air conditioning in your car. Think about whether the journey is absolutely necessary for your dog.
  • · Plan your journey and check out the Kennel Club’s Open for Dogs site and use the Dog Friendly app to find places that will allow dogs in with you
  • · Make sure your dog has plenty of space in the car and isn’t squashed or forced to sit in direct sunlight.
  • · Always make sure there is shade provided: even in an air conditioned car a dog can become too hot if in full sun.
  • · Make sure plenty of stops are taken with lots of water available to drink.
  • · Take cold water in a thermos rather than a plastic bottle so it stays cold rather than being lukewarm. Ice cubes are helpful in a thermos for cooling too.


  • · Leave a dog unattended in a car, even with the window open and water available. Take them out of the car and leave them in a secure, cool place with access to shade and water or take them with you, there are plenty of places that are part of the Kennel Club’s Open for Dogs scheme and will allow dogs in.
  • · Let your dog take part in unnecessary exertion in hot weather, or stand in exposed sunlight for extended lengths of time.
  • · Pass by a dog if you see one suffering in a car. Whether it be in a supermarket car park or at a show, make sure you let someone in authority know and if in doubt call the police or the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999.
  • · To help avoid the need to leave dogs unattended in cars, the Kennel Club ‘Open for Dogs’ campaign encourages more businesses and services to welcome dogs. Thousands of dog-friendly attractions are listed on the website, making it the ideal way to plan for trips for the whole family including your dog over the forthcoming holiday season.

To view the Youtube video ‘Don’t cook your Dog’ visit