15×22 watercolor. Original available.
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Another of the ones that I worked on to see if I could get watercolor to cooperate with me.
A bloodhound (also known as the St. Hubert Hound) is a large breed of dog bred for the specific purpose of tracking human beings. Consequently, it is often used by authorities to track escaped prisoners or missing persons. It is a scenthound, famed for its ability to follow a scent hours or even days old, over long distances. Combining a keen sense of smell with a tenaciously strong tracking instinct, bloodhounds have proven their worth as the archetypal trailing dog.
Health Morbidity (Illness) Compared to other purebred dogs, bloodhounds have an unusually high rate of gastrointestinal ailments, with gastric dilatation volvulus (GDV, or “bloat”) being the most common type of gastrointestinal problem. They also have an unusually high incidence of eye, skin, and ear ailments. Eyes, ears, and skin should be inspected frequently for signs of developing problems. Owners should be especially aware of the signs of GDV, which is both the most common illness and the leading cause of death of bloodhounds.
Mortality (Longevity and Causes of Death) Bloodhounds in a 2004 UK Kennel Club survey had a median longevity of 6.75 years, which makes them one of the shortest-lived of dog breeds. The oldest of the 82 deceased dogs in the UK survey died at 12.1 years. The leading cause of death was gastric dilatation volvulus (GDV = “bloat” or “torsion”), which killed 34% of dogs. This percentage of dogs dying of bloat is among the highest of all dog breeds and far higher than for dogs in general. The second leading cause of death in bloodhounds was cancer, at 27%. The percentage of cancer deaths is similar to other breeds but, in bloodhounds, cancer kills at an unusually young age (median of about 8 years).
Gastric dilatation volvulus Bloodhound owners should take special note of the extremely high incidence of GDV (Gastric dilatation volvulus) in this breed. Excess gas trapped in the dog’s stomach causes “bloat.” Twisting of the stomach (volvulus or “torsion”) causes, or is caused by, excess gas. Symptoms include restlessness, inability to get comfortable, pacing, or retching without being able to bring up anything. The dog’s abdomen may be visibly swollen but dogs can bloat or torsion without visible swelling. GDV is a dire emergency condition. If you suspect a dog is bloating, you should not wait to see if he improves. A dog with GDV requires immediate veterinary care. The dog’s survival usually depends on whether the owner can get him to the vet in time. It is a good idea for a bloodhound owner to know the route to the nearest 24 hour emergency clinic in advance, so time is not wasted looking for directions (info from Wikipedia).