January 2011

Happy New Year.  There are several exciting and important things to inform you about.  The first is a book signing get together and book sales to benefit the WHF of Bo Bengtson’s new book; second is a WHF funded thyroid study to establish normal values; the third is pre-breeding screening recommendations; fourth is microchipping will be available during the week of the National.



The Whippet Health Foundation is pleased to be able to offer the The Whippet  by Bo Bengtson to the fancy. We have an exclusive arrangement with the author to personalize and autograph your copy of the book at no additional charge. This feature is not available anywhere except from the WHF.   Purchasing this book from the WHF will also help support the important programs funded by the foundation.

This book also features an added in-depth health chapter written by Lisa Costello, DVM, MS and special contributions about the multi-purpose Whippet by Lisa Costello (U.S.) and Gay Robertson (U.K.).

The cost of this beautiful book is $39.95 plus shipping.   To order your autographed copy go to   http://www.whippethealth.org/TheWhippetBookInfo.html

Bo’s book will be available for sale through the Whippet Health Foundation at the AWC National Specialty in Lexington, Kentucky.  Look for upcoming details on a book signing get together with author Bo Bengtson and contributor Lisa Costello, DVM.   You can purchase your book and get it autographed on the spot.   We are grateful for Bo Bengtson’s support of the WHF.



The Whippet Health Foundation, Inc. in conjunction with Michigan State University, Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health (MSU-DCPAH) will be funding a Research project for Whippets.  Dr. Kenneth Latimer will be the WHF Study Coordinator.  See below for edited project details.

RESEARCH PROJECT: Determination of reference ranges for healthy Whippets using the Michigan State University, Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health (MSU-DCPAH) thyroid profile.

Background:  There is a growing body of data showing that Greyhounds and Saluki have some thyroid hormone values that are lower than established reference ranges.  The Whippet Health Foundation, Inc. is funding a study to determine normal Whippet thyroid values. Dr. Mary Dee Sist was contacted to give them advice on how best to proceed.   Her work and experience with Salukis would be applicable to another sight hound breed.

Purpose:  To determine a reference range for concentrations of thyroid hormones in Whippets using the MSU-DCPAH thyroid profile (including both free T4 by dialysis and the two-step free T4 assay).

Benefit to DCPAH and Whippet Health Foundation, Inc.:  Reference ranges for some thyroid hormones in selected sight hounds have been found to be lower than in other breeds of dogs.  The proposed study will aid in seeing if a breed variation exists and finding accurate criterion for the diagnosis of thyroid disease in Whippets.  Assays (including both FT4 by dialysis and two-step) will be performed, provided that all of the samples can be analyzed in one batch. It would also be invaluable to have a pool of samples from healthy dogs to compare the free T4 results by different assays.

Personnel responsible:

Whippet Health Foundation, Inc.
1.  Funding of project
2.  Arranging for collection of samples
3.  Assurance of proper sample handling and data recording
4.  Shipment of samples and forms with health histories to Dr. Sist at DCPAH
5.  Assure that at least 100 samples are obtained from healthy Whippets

Dr. MaryDee Sist (via DCPAH)
1.  Centrifugation and harvesting serum from samples
2.  Properly identifying and storing the samples until assays are performed
4.  Transfer of samples to Ms. Beyerlein for analyses
5.  Assure that samples are analyzed in a timely manner and data disseminated to the Foundation and owners of the dogs.  Interpretation of individual dog results will be included after the analysis of the data is complete.

1.  Analyze samples in timely manner and deliver the data to Dr. Sist
2.  Write up summary and conclusions for publication in a Whippet publication

Blood samples will be drawn during the week of the AWC National Specialty in Lexington, Kentucky.  For a Whippet to be in the study it is important is that it not be on any medication that could influence thyroid function, not have any significant illness and not have any signs that could be associated with hypothyroidism.   The owner will need to complete a form with information on the Whippet and will be receive the results of their dog’s results.


The WHF has approved the following pre-breeding screening recommendations for Whippet breeders.  These recommendations are posted on the WHF website www.whippethealth.org


The following pre-breeding health screenings have been recommended by the Whippet Health Foundation (WHF) and accepted by the American Whippet Club. These tests have been accepted by the Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) for whippets to acquire CHIC certification. In addition, your Whippet must be recorded in the WHF open database. Obtaining a CHIC number is an option for owners. Because CHIC will not accept direct test or certification results from the Whippet Health Foundation database, the echocardiogram, BAER, thyroid and hip results must be sent in to OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals). These will then be automatically viewable on your dogs individual page within the WHF database.


        The whippet must be in the Whippet Health Foundation database
        CERF (yearly)
        Echocardiogram by a board certified cardiologist (yearly)  
        BAER (once)

        Thyroid testing by an approved lab (every other year)
        Myostatin Deficiency Test (once)
        OFA Hips  OR  PennHIP evaluation (once)
We strongly encourage Whippet owners to submit test results to the Whippet Health Foundation open database at www.whippethealth.org.   It is our hope that the WHF database becomes the most used resource for Whippet owners searching for Whippet health records and information.



Microchipping will be available at the WHF health clinics in Lexington, Kentucky.  Look for details in the next issue of the Whippet News.


It is a great opportunity to get your Whippets health tested at the AWC National Specialty this year.  Owners have been outstanding in making these test results available to the WHF Open Database.  Doing so enables breeders to make informed decisions about breedings to avoid doubling up on a health issue.

We will need volunteers to help conduct the health clinics and ask for your help.  Look for details in the next issue of the Whippet News.

Thank you to everyone for supporting the WHF

Mary Beth Arthur
Whippet Health Foundation