These are some of the questions we have been asked recently about Factor VII Deficiency in Deerhounds. We have answered them to the best of our knowledge but if anyone has any doubts our best advice is to consult a vet.


We at Kilbourne have made a concious decision to never produce an affected puppy and to work towards being clear of this in the future. We are following the guidelines explained by Jeff Samson from the Kennel Club. While we are not seeing affected dogs bleeding out we cannot ignore the defect and along with other responsible breeders are working towards a sensible breeding programme that does not affect our gene pool.

We will not be breeding from affected animals but are not wasting our clear bitches by just using clear dogs. If you need any help or advice Mick has a data base of over 400 tested animals and will be happy to share advice and results where the owners have given him permission.


You could do no better than reading Hector Heathcote and Sue Finnett's article on the Deerhound Club Website for information on this. http://www.deerhound.co.uk/Health%20Matters/FactorVII.htm

Q. When did it start?

A. The disorder is widespread both here and in the USA. The earliest common ancestors of some of these dogs date back to 1964, so it has been around that long, and quite possibly much longer.

Q. When did we first learn about factor VII Deficiency?

A. The first dog in the US was diagnosed March 2006

Q. How can I get my dog tested?

A. For details of testing procedures

William James House
Cowley Road
Cambridge, UK
Tel: 01223 395577
Mob: 07870 456808
Factor VII testing in the Deerhound
£33 including VAT
Animal DNA Diagnostics Ltd is now routinely offering testing for Factor VII in the Deerhound. We have now provided testing for a number of Deerhound breeders and are confident that they have been pleased with our service.
Please visit our website to submit an order. On the HomePage please click on “I require a DNA test for a dog”, and the web-shop will lead you through the ordering stages. You can enter all of the required information online – this avoids the need for hand-written forms which can sometimes be difficult to read and lead to errors. You will receive a mouth swab kit by return of post with instructions and a return envelope. Tests will be performed quickly and you will receive your results by email as soon as they are ready; a certificate will follow in the post.
There are reduced prices for batches of 10 or more samples submitted together, and we can also provide bundles of swab kits for breed shows.
In addition to disease testing we provide DNA profiling and parentage verification.
Details of our terms and conditions, and information about our services can be found at https://www.animaldnadiagnostics.co.uk/page/terms and https://www.animaldnadiagnostics.co.uk/page/ordering_info. Please also “like” our facebook page to keep up-to-date with our offers.
If there is any further information that you would like please ask!
Dr June Swinburne

You can send 1mouth swabs to ANIMAIL DIOGNOSTICS . Forms are available to download and if you ring the lab they will post the mouth swabs out to you. If there is a problem with this please feel free to get in touch with Mick Peach.

Q. How much does it cost to test my dog?

A. At present the cost per dog is £33

Q. What is a carrier dog?

A. A carrier dog carries one diseased gene and cannot on its own create an affected animal. If mated to another carrier the probability of an affected dog being produced is 25%. But like dogs and bitches no one can predict how many, if any, puppies will be affected. You could be lucky and get none and then again the whole litter could be affected. A carrier mated to a clear dog cannot produce an affected animal.

Q. What is an affected dog?

A. The affected dog carries two copies of the disease gene. These dogs have a potential to bleed given the right circumstance and will always pass on the disease gene (mutation) to their progeny. However if mated to a clear dog it will only produce carriers and that is one step away from the problem; also it may find it difficult to get insurance on affected animals please check with the insurers.

Q. What is a clear (normal) dog?

A. A clear (normal) indicates that the gene is not present in your dog. Therefore, when used for breeding, a clear dog cannot pass on the disease gene. In an ideal world we would all be breeding clear to clear and that is certainly something we should be aiming to do but in the early years carriers will be useful dogs and if used appropriately will keep the gene pool healthy. There is a lot more at stake than just Factor VIID

Q. Can I get my dog tested in the UK?


Q. Can I get a affected dog insured.

A. We are unsure of the situation so it would be wise to check with your insurer.

Q. Can it miss a generation?

A. NO - the dog is either clear carrier or affected at birth.

Q Do affected dogs get worse as they get older?

A. We don't think so, but this one one you may like to discuss with your vet if you have an affected animal.

Q If my dog is affected will his parents be affected?

A. This is possible but both parents will be carriers at least.

Q If my dog is clear will his parents be clear?

A. Not necessarily - one or both of them could be a carrier but neither will be an affected animal.

If my dog is carrier will his parents be carriers?

A. As a minimum, one of the parents will be a carrier.

Q. Is there a simple chart that will explain this?

CLEAR FEMALE 100% Clear 50/50 Carrier/Clear 100% Carrier
CARRIER FEMALE 50/50 Carrier/Clear 25/50/25 Clr./Carr./Affctd. 50/50 Carrier/Affected
AFFECTED FEMALE 100% Carrier 50/50 Carrier/Affected 100% Affected

While in theory when we mate a dog and bitch there should be 50/50 dogs/ bitches in the real world we know this does not often happen, the above is only an indication of what you can expect. It may be that a clear x carrier will give you more of one or the other but you do know you will get no affected animals and that is what we all should be aiming for.

Q. Should I be concerned if my dog is a Carrier?

This result indicates that one copy of the disease gene is present in your dog, but that it will not exhibit disease symptoms. Carriers will not have medical problems as a result. Dogs with Carrier status can be enjoyed without the fear of developing medical problems but will pass on the disease gene on average 50% of the time.

Q. Can I breed from or to a carrier?

A. Yes, but it would be wise to use a clear mate. In our opinion the carriers are very important as they will help us all enjoy the breed and keep the gene pool safe. It is small enough and if we took the carriers we feel that the breed as a whole could suffer. In our opinion we should be breeding to eradicate this.

Q. Can I breed from or to an affected animal?

A. Yes you can, but again, a clear animal must be used and the resulting puppies will all be carriers. This is best avoided but where, to keep the gene pool healthy, it does occur, a clear mate should be chosen. It would be best to advise your vet of these plans if you are considering breeding from an affected bitch.

Q. Should I just breed clear to clear?

A. In our opinion, the choice of mate for your deerhound should be made taking many things into consideration and carrier dogs should not be wasted. They can be used with all confidence, there is much more of a risk if using an untested animal except if the bitch or dog is clear in which case the puppies could be tested to find out their status.

Q. What drugs should I avoid if my dog is affected?

A. This is one for the vet.

Q. What precautions should I take if my dog is affected?

A.. This is one for the vet.

Q. Should I be telling prospective puppy owners about Factor VIID

A. In our opinion it would be unwise not to inform any Deerhound owner about Factor VIID in Deerhounds. We all breed under the Kennel Club Code of Ethics and Best Practice. We feel sure it is important to keep any owner up to date with the current situation regarding all health matters.

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We hope this will be of some help but the last comment we must make is, if at all unsure, please CONSULT YOUR VET.

Mick and Glenis Peach - Kilbourne Deerhounds.