The Gampr is an ancient breed of dog that has been around for centuries. They are loving, loyal, and known for their intelligence and independent thinking. Besides being magnificent guardians, they are great companions for families with property to explore.
Besides having great personalities, they are also generally healthy with few concerns. Gamprs are one of the oldest dogs in the world, a landrace with ancient genetics, which lends to fewer overall issues. Gamprs live an average lifespan of 12-15 years, much longer than most breeds, and have a low incidence of cancer and most all other diseases.
HEALTH CONCERNS & TESTING
Degenerative Myelopathy (DM)
DM is a condition that affects the spinal cord. Symptoms of DM can include weakness and loss of coordination in the legs, difficulty walking, pain, numbness, tingling, and paralysis. DM can be diagnosed during a physical exam with imaging and blood tests. There is no cure for DM. Read more about DM.
Approximately 25% of our gene pool are single carriers of DM but have no risk of developing the disease. They cannot pass DM onto their offspring if bred to a DM clear mate, but some of their offspring may also inherit the single carrier variant. Single carriers should be bred to a DM-clear mate to avoid potentially passing on the disease.
About 2% of the gene pool are double carriers of DM. However, none are known to be affected. There is a risk that double carriers may develop the disease later in life. Double carriers of DM should not be bred.
GM2 is a rare genetic disorder that affects the central nervous system causing seizures, blindness, and eventual death. Affected dogs have insufficient activity of the enzyme hexosaminidase A, which is responsible for breaking down specific carbohydrates in the cells. Symptoms include loss of vision, loss of balance, head tremors, and vomiting. Once an affected dog begins to show signs of the disease, progression is rapid, and the dog usually dies within the coming months. Read more about GM2.
2% of the gene pool are carriers of GM2, but none are presently known to be affected. There is no cure for GM2, and carriers should not be bred to avoid causing potentially affected offspring.
Embark Breed + Health DNA genetic testing is essential in determining if your Gampr is a carrier of DM or GM2.
Hip Dysplasia (HD)
Hip dysplasia is a deformity of the hip ball and socket joint that occurs during growth. HD is a genetic disease that is affected by factors including diet, environment, exercise, growth rate, muscle mass, and hormones and is found most commonly in large breed dogs. Symptoms include weakness, lameness, and pain in the rear legs. Read more.
X-rays can determine HD. Presently, 70% of tested Gamprs have good hips.
Elbow Dysplasia (ED)
ED is the abnormal development of the elbow joint typically found in larger breed dogs that grow at a rapid rate. Abnormal bone and cartilage growth cause joint stress, preventing the three leg bones from aligning properly. Symptoms may include lameness, limping, pain, and indirect fatigue. Read more.
X-rays can determine ED after symptoms appear. 83% of tested Gamprs have good elbows.
Determine the status of your Gampr's hips and elbows by requesting radiographs and having your vet submit the results to the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA).
CHIC (Canine Health Information Center) Program is a centralized database that works with breed Parent Clubs to provide information for breeders and owners through research and maintaining health testing data. CHIC is sponsored by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA), a non-profit 501(c)(3) foundation. Read more about CHIC benefits and Program goals.
In 2021, our sister club, the Armenian Gampr Club of America, partnered with CHIC and designated certain screenings as “required” and others as “optional,” making it easy for Gampr owners all over the world to find out what health issues are prevalent in our breed and which tests are helpful. This partnership allows all Gampr owners to get CHIC Certified when completing the required tests and receive a Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) Certificate.
The CHIC Certification is obtained by completing the tests, then submitting the results to the OFA public database. The dog does not need to pass all portions of the CHIC testing to receive certification, but the owner must be willing to share any non-normal results by checking the release box on each testing form submitted.
Also, the results are not intended to define who is worthy of breeding or not. Instead, this Program is designed to give Breeders the additional information needed to make informed decisions concerning breeding. Breeders are welcome to consult with AGC to understand how their results may or may not impact the breeding status of the Gampr in question or the gene pool.
To receive a CHIC Certification, there are 3 "Required" tests for the Armenian Gampr, the results of which must be submitted to OFA.
Hips - Minimum age of 24 months
Elbows - Minimum age of 24 months
Patellar Luxation - Minimum age of 24 months
Basic or Advanced Cardiac Evaluation (Optional)
Autoimmune thyroiditis (Optional)
Here are more links concerning other health topics: