The breed as a whole is very healthy. We have managed, so far, to avoid many of
the health problems found in other breeds. This can be attributed to their history
on Malta. They are a working animal on Malta; earning their keep by hunting to fill
the family dinner pot. Animals that aren't completely healthy aren't bred by the
pragmatic Maltese - pretty doesn't feed the family. An item of large importance
to concerned breeders is making sure we don't lower the health level of our dogs.
There have been reported incidences of luxating patellae (slipping knee caps) since
Pharaoh Hounds were first imported into the UK in the mid 1960s.
The Pharaoh Hound Club took steps in the late 1980s to establish the extent of this
health problem, which was almost certainly inherited, in order to reduce the incidence
and ultimately to eradicate the condition in the breed if possible.
A test was developed that could easily be carried out by a veterinary surgeon without
recourse to anaesthetic. The Pharaoh Hound Club has blank certificates available
for anyone – breeders or individual owners of Pharaoh Hounds – that can be obtained
from the Secretary. Testing should only be carried out on animals over the age of
This is a voluntary scheme and can only work with the co-operation of everyone who
owns a Pharaoh Hound and has the health of the breed at heart.
With a limited gene pool it is imperative to identify individual dogs that are affected
by this serious condition and remove them from the breeding programme. Thereafter
care should be taken when selecting potential mates to ensure, as far as possible,
that there is no patella luxation in closely related animals.
The Pharaoh Hound Club urges everyone with a Pharaoh Hound to take part in this scheme