Monday, 19 December 2011

Progressive Retinal Atrophy - the Facts

They've got their knickers in a twist over at the Stop the BBC Making Another PDE Facebook site over something I said when I was being interviewed by Victoria Stilwell last week.


But of course they're wrong. What I pointed out in the podcast was that there are different forms of PRA in different breeds, caused by different mutations. There's cord1 (found in some Dachshunds and English Springers), prcd (found in a lot of breeds, including Cocker Spaniels, Golden Retrievers, Labradors and Tollers), rcd1 (Irish Setters), rcd2 (Smooth and Rough Collies), rcd3 (Welsh Corgi), rcd4 (Gordon + Irish Setters),Type A (Miniature Schnauzer) and X-linked (Samoyed).

All these mutations are recessive, meaning that both parents must carry and pass on the mutation to their puppies for the pups to be affected.

Obviously, if you mate a Golden Retriever with a Labrador, there's a risk to the resulting pups.

But you can mate two carriers (or even affecteds) of two different breeds that don't carry the same form of PRA - eg a Springer to a Cocker  - and the pups will not be affected (although of course could be carriers so one would have to test for both mutations if you breed on).

The only exception to this is with a dominant form of PRA found in Bullmastiffs and Mastiffs.

So thank you for the suggestion that I talk to Optigen. Of course I have - and to the Animal Health Trust which has found so many of the other PRA mutations (and is still working on others).

49 comments:

  1. Of course there are two sides to every story.

    The wording I heard (and when I get a minute I will listen again to ensure I am correct in this) was that in different breeds a different gene causes PRA. As Jemima has now pointed out, some breeds have the same mutations, some don't.

    For instance, the same form of PRA seems to affect Labradors that affects Poodles. But, the most common heard name for cross breeds I hear are Labradoodles, indicating a mix of the two.

    As for Optigen, the idea of being able to test is good, but what needs to be remembered is that some breeds have other problems besides those for which the causative gene has been identified. Hence an Optigen test cannot at this time replace the annual tests that many breeds require.

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  2. Daz, I make it very clear in the podcast. It comes after a section where I say that if you put two breeds together that have the same health problem, then the progeny are at risk. I then point out that sometimes different mutation are responsible for the same problem and say that if you breed a labrador, which has PRA, to another breed that also has PRA but due to a different mutation, then the progeny won't be affected.

    Yes, you're right, Labradoodles are at risk because both parents carry the same form of PRA. Same with Goldenoodles - although I think only if the cross is with a toy or miniature poodle. I think (but happy to be corrected here) that Standards rarely suffer from PRA and Optigen do not currently offer a test for them (I am presuming because it is a different mutation).

    Jemima

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  3. Jemima,

    Your first paragraph is basically what I heard then.

    As for PRA in standards, the Poodle Club of America say on their website that a genetic test is not offered because it is not a proven cause of blindness in standards. It interestingly does not say that progressive rod cone degeneration type PRA (or the relevant gene) has not been found.

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  4. It's also the case that PRA in the breed in Sweden might not be tha same as in the same breed in US. This is the reason why every DNA test Optigen have has to be confirmed that it also works for the Swedish population before our Swedish Kennel Clubs accept DNA test for the breed in Sweden. For instans Optigens test showed that in Sweden the breed "Lapsk Vallhund" (don't know the english name for the breed) has at least two different types of PRA, and the Optigen test only shows one. There are some dogs that has been clear on the DNA test but have PRA.
    /Maria

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  5. Could it be the Swedish Vallhund? Nicknamed the 'Viking Dog'?

    I am not expert by any means in eye defects, but in Labradors it is acknowledged that an Optigen test does not negate the need for annual eye tests, because other problems occur that optigen cannot at this time ruloe out. That said, who is to say that in the future, following further research, the genes that cause the other problems will not be identified.

    As for the PRA in one country being different to another. Have you got scientific evidence of this? It may just be one KC being cautious.

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  6. Even if you mate a Golden to a Labrador/Flatcoat the puppies are not sure to get PRA!

    By the way - the PRA-cases in Flat detected the last years are NOT common PRA! Those PRA-cases are most likely caused by intestinal parasites, but the groundproblem is very likely due to the Flatcoats poor immune response... (Doc K. Narfström)

    From the Swed Golden retr.club website:
    (When refeered to "kennel club - it's the swedish kennelclub) Translated by google ;-)

    Information from SLU 2010-11-03

    Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) WITH GOLDEN RETRIEVER


    Newly discovered PRA - mutation
    A team of researchers at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Uppsala University, the Broad Institute in the U.S., and the Animal Health Trust (AHT) in the UK have now discovered a mutation for PRA in Golden Retrievers.

    There are already several known PRA-causing mutations in other breeds but with Golden Retrievers are the genetic cause of PRA has been largely unknown. In Labradors, which are related to the Golden Retriever is a known form of PRA (prcd-PRA) caused by a mutation in the prcd gene. A genetic test for prcd-PRA is available and offered by the company Optigen (www.optigen.com) in the U.S. and the Adopt Gene (www.antagene.com) in France. Although the two breeds are closely related, it appears that only a handful of known cases of PRA in Golden Retrievers caused by a mutation in the prcd gene.

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  7. The ignorance displayed by these two women is breath taking and I am amazed that they are willing to make themselves look so stupid given that they know their comments are being passed on. If the knowledge expressed by these two is typical of the intellectual acumen of their little hate group then Jemima need not worry.

    For the record and for your education ladies, a gene is responsible for producing a single protein. That’s all it does. In converting light hitting the retina to an electrical impulse that travels along the optic nerve and gets converted into an image by the brain, a number of different proteins are required.
    Therefore, if one gene = 1 protein, then several proteins means several genes. If there is a defect in any of these proteins the process is impaired.

    Consequently, different genes in different breeds can have a mutation which brings about the same result but means that what Jemima said is absolutely correct.
    If breed 1 which has a recessive mutation in gene A which causes PRA is crossed with breed 2 which has a recessive mutation in gene B (which also causes PRA) then the offspring cannot possibly get either type of PRA.

    If these intellectual light weights spent a fraction of the time that Jemima does in understanding the genetic basis of inherited disease in dogs then perhaps, just maybe, they might become decent dog breeders.

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  8. The newly discovered mutation of Golden Retrievers is located in another gene, and our studies suggest that it is the leading cause of PRA in the breed in Sweden and Europe. Dogs with this form of PRA generally exhibit vision problems only at a slightly higher age (about 7 years). The mutation has so far not detected in any other breed. PRA is generally a relatively rare disease in Golden Retrievers. Nedärvningsmönstret suggest that PRA in the breed in essence can be seen as an autosomal recessive disorder and to develop the PRA requires that the mutation in homozygous form, that is, that the individual has two copies of the mutation. Among Golden Retrievers in Sweden and Europe, we estimate Allele frequencies to about 5%. This means that about 10% of the healthy dogs in Sweden carries a copy of the mutation. If mating occurs randomly in such a population we can expect that about 1 out of 400 born pups will be affected by PRA because of this mutation.

    Our research has also shown that there are probably a third and as yet unknown mutation in another gene that also can cause PRA in Golden Retrievers. This third form of PRA in Golden Retrievers exhibit an earlier onset age (younger than five years). We therefore continue our research on the PRA to also find the "third" the gene for PRA in Golden Retrievers.

    DNA - test for PRA in Golden Retrievers

    A DNA - test for the mutation (GR_PRA1) is available at SLU since autumn 2010. This test is valuable to the breeder of Golden Retrievers as we are with this test can find the most common form of PRA in the breed. We would like to remind you that there are two others, but less common, mutations that also provides PRA in Golden Retrievers. A negative result, ie that the dog is free from GR_PRA1 mutation is therefore not a guarantee that the dog will not develop PRA. It is therefore important to continue eyes brighten our dogs - especially important for those individuals that will be used for breeding.

    If you have questions about the PRA test, you can email to avel@goldenklubben.se or halsa@goldenklubben.se

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  9. Optigen are not always infallible either. In their list of available DNA tests, one can find the test for PRA rcd1 for Irish Setters and Irish Red and White Setters. Which is quite strange as rcd1 has never been found in any IRWS in any country. So why are they offering the test for IRWS and why do Optigen think this test would work for IRWS if they have found an affected or carrier dog in the breed? Some US breeders of IRWS have been paying for this test! I believe some US breeders have also had their dogs tested for VWD by Optigen, who either dont know or ommitted to tell the breeders that the VWD mutation in IRWS is different from the three different mutations for which Optigen have tests . The AHT do the DNA test for the IRWS mutation

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  10. Sorry, the above post should read " So why are they offering the test for IRWS and why do Optigen think this test would work for IRWS if they have NEVER found an affected or carrier dog in the breed?"

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  11. David Wilcox,

    If you were referring to me I have a set of dangly bits which defines me as male, so to call me a lady, whilst possibly flattering to some is incorrect.

    As for ignorance, I feel it is you that is showing ignorance. You need to be specific when you are referring to a dog with the recessive gene. With PRA (PRCD type at least) there are three categories - clear, affected and carrier.

    A clear animal , if mated to another clear will produce only clear offspring.

    A carrier animal, if mated to a clear, will produce a mix of clear and carrier. It cannot produce an affected.

    An affected animal should only be mated to a clear, and will produce carrier puppies.

    That is in pure bred to pure bred mixes at least.

    Now lets translate this to the mix of breeds as you suggest.

    Like I said before, I am no expert by my own admission, and only have a fairly narrow understanding based on the breeds with which I am involved, but........this is how I see it.....

    Clear to clear = all clear offspring.

    Carrier Gene A to clear Gene B = potential for a mix of carrier Gene A PRA and clear.

    Carrier Gene B to Clear Gene B = potential for a mix of carrier Gene B and clear

    Carrier Gene A to Carrier Gene B = potential for mix of clear, carrier gene a, carrier gene b and carrier gene a & b (but no affected)

    Affected either gene to clear = carrier of the affected genes.

    That is the theory as it has been explained to me anyway, whether any testing has proven this I am not aware, since I am not that au fait with the science of cross breeding. It certainly looks on the face of it that mixing breeds may require more thought than pure bred if you consider the theory of PRA (PRCS Type at least) elimination. If the Optigen test was accurate (which comments here suggest it may not be) it is entirely possible to eliminate PRA within a couple of generations by careful breeding.

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  12. Although of course i should add it is far more easy in the likes of Labrador to Poodle Mix, because the genes that cause the problem are actually seemingly the same, so its just like pure bred breeding.

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  13. The very fact that you cause such confusion by you comment on such complicated subject shows just what HARM you can and have done, making the public think that a BYB who does not register dogs via the KC or has the KC/BVA health test dogs must be healthy as they are not mixed up with those "awful show dogs types" you keep on slaming, why dont you let EXPERTS tell the truth and not peddle you muddle stories?

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  14. Anonymous, who are you talking to?

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  15. Daz, One would assume that anon 23:33 was aiming that comment at the blog author. They seem to be suggesting that, by pointing out a fact about different breeds having the same ailment but caused by different genetic defects, that she is in some way approving of back yard breeders/ dodgy designer dog breeders.

    Also, the way I read David Wilcox's post, it wasn't aimed at you, but aimed at the two ladies in the extract from the facebook page near the top of this blog.

    It would seem to make sense that a mating of two dogs from two different breeds, both of whom are either affected by or carrying the same disorder (such as PRA), but caused by different recessive genes would not be able to pass on affected status to their offspring, but could pass on carrier status or indeed clear for either version of the defect. I think that's what would happen anyway.

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  16. To Daz, no the Swedish Vallhund is "Västgötaspets" I was talking about Lapponian Herder (thanks wikipedia ;-) )

    /Maria

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  17. Roger,

    Thanks for that. That was my thought, would have liked this to be clear.

    One problem that we have is that breeders, certainly of pedigree dogs, in the main carry out health tests on breeding stock. What does also happen though is that 'pet' dogs get no tests. So while we have a picture of the state of or breeds in respect of health problems, we don't have the complete picture, for example, the breed mean averages for hd scores CANNOT be accurate unless ALL animals born are tested. The problem is the cost. X-Rays will cost you upwards of £200, plus KC/BVA fees, thats before you start with regular eye tests.

    As for the problems with exaggeration of features. Thankfully my breeds do not fall into that category (at least I don't feel so), but (and I don't mean this in any bad way) because of this I cannot see what I can do about it. But it seems that i have, by association, been given a stigma as a result of the first program. I do hope that Jemima does something in the edit for her future program to redress this issue, since surely even she can see that not all breeders fall into the category of bad.

    Or would that simply not make sensational television?

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  18. Daz,

    I wasn’t referring to you in any way shape or form.
    As for being ignorant, your excellent explanation of simple Mendelian inheritance has little relevance to the key point that was being made. In the example I gave, it doesn’t matter if the two parents are affected for their particular form of PRA it is simply impossible for their first generation offspring to be affected by PRA. Yes, they may be carriers but they cannot possibly get the condition.
    The only exceptions to this would be with the Samoyed which has an X linked form of inheritance. This means that only 1 copy of the faulty gene is required to cause the disease, so even carriers get affected. The other exception is for the gene defect to have a dominant mode of inheritance again resulting in all offspring getting the condition.

    Your final sentence is another bear trap that breeders are prone to fall into once they have a DNA test to play with. Carriers for PRA, or many other diseases should not necessarily be excluded from breeding simply because they carry a single recessive gene (unless it is X linked). That could potentially result in a dramatic reduction in genetic diversity in the breed.

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  19. Confused about the context. Was the original statement advocating crossbreeding as a way to get around PRA problems? That would be a mistake. If you have a breed that has pcrd-PRA only (or any other version), the solution is simple . . . you test and design your breeding program accordingly. Most breeders prefer dogs without the defective genes, so thier frequency is gradually reduced. If you cross breed to a breed that has a different version of PRA, and requires a different test, you end out needing to do two tests if you breed the progeny. By the time you get to multiple X breeds, you may end out needing several tests to insure absence of PRA, but who is going to do this with a mutt litter? True, probabilities are reduced, but in the end you end up with defective genes occurring unpredictably and randomly, and you cut off the process of selecting against defective genes.

    Or was the idea to neuter all the pups?

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  20. David,

    Yes I agree, affected in an F1 mating where different genes are present is impossible, but as Jennifer touches on what of the future generations?

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  21. Designer breed hit a breeding road block as after the first mating as an F1, what next? without tests they are a mindfield of problems, indeed to mate two different breeds that might or might not be carriers of a form of PRA means trouble as such breeders are unlikely to have had any dogs tested, and will no know of the status of any dogs eyes behind theirs, indeed by not recording these things (which is the reason why pedigrees were first recorded)they are quite literally "breeding blind" I dread to think the mess we will have to face in less than 5 yeras time. Dont forget that even the vets admit 1% of all dogs tested by DNA as carriers will infact go onto get the condition and be cases..............or will Ms Harrison think that is a risk worth taking?

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  22. By openly confirming you enter closed sites it does not make for good public relations. We are fast approaching the most important religious occassion of the year, a time of peace and goodwill, why not behave yourself and try to hang on to what little support you have left? What little you do have by is soon wasted when you continue to lurk and spy.This puts you on a par with journalists from the NOTW and we know what happened to them. I for one will no longer bother to come to your site as I no longer trust your words.
    Remember Jemima, people who listen at keyholes rarely hear good of themelves. Added to that people who cherry pick words from closed sites are not to be trusted.

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  23. LOL Anonymous! Wait until someone creates a Facebook group with the sole purpose of speaking negatively about you...I wonder if you would ever take a look at it?

    And regarding designer crossbreeds, I thought the whole point was to breed F1 crosses for use as pets...obviously if you go beyond the F1 cross you lose much of the health benefit.

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  24. Anon wrote: "Remember Jemima, people who listen at keyholes rarely hear good of themelves. Added to that people who cherry pick words from closed sites are not to be trusted."

    --- Tell me, Anon, what nasty sayings do you have for people who, like you, hide behind The Cross and anonymously try to shame others? -- Rod Russell, Orlando, Florida USA

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  25. Anonymous 21 December 2011 19:11 said...

    "By openly confirming you enter closed sites it does not make for good public relations."

    Oh, puh-leeeeeze. I joined a mailing list I'd abandoned long ago, just so I could defend myself against lies and distortions. Guess what? It worked. And the fact that *they* know I'm *watching them* means they don't pull that high school girl shit with me. YMMV.

    "We are fast approaching the most important religious occassion of the year, a time of peace and goodwill, why not behave yourself and try to hang on to what little support you have left?"

    I happen to be an atheist. But surprisingly, we atheists have arrived at the same conclusion that you religious have, regarding other people: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Funny how some other people seem to forget that one.

    "Added to that people who cherry pick words from closed sites are not to be trusted."

    Pot, kettle, black. At Jemima and some of the other people here have the courage to back their words with their real identities.

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  26. Jemima, I love your blog. You bring to light so many issues in dogs in a very concise, factual manner and you are doing a wonderful job educating the public. I noticed that the people who do not like what you have to say have nothing to back up their position but a bunch of empty criticisms and engage in a lot of name-calling. Heck, I'm still waiting for "undoctored" photos of Rayvonley Leone, the Mastiff! Keep on keepin' on! Oh and look! I'm not anonymous!

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  27. You really need to stop giving the minority interest groups so much air time. The FB group is the same old same old.

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  28. Whe the PDE was first aired Ms Harrison promised a website to help all dog owners by giving health information and advice and claimed it would be open place for information to be found ...........what did we get, her blog, her ideas, her narrow view on subjects, .............well hasnt not only ever been about her......so why make out the PDE2 will be a personal view .............its only ever has been that.

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  29. JH Says "and to the Animal Health Trust which has found so many of the other PRA mutations (and is still working on others). " yet again missed off "funded, supported and working in partnership with breeders of pedigree dogs , breed clubs and the Kennel Club", such a shame a Balance cannot be shown here.

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  30. Funded also by collection boxes in many places - the AHT is a charity, annually audited and verified for the Charities Commission.

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  31. "Whe the PDE was first aired Ms Harrison promised a website to help all dog owners by giving health information and advice and claimed it would be open place for information to be found".

    Yes, that was a little over-ambitious of me given the huge amount of time such an endeavour would take to do well. I did start it, but... Fortunately, a good friend of mine, Carol Fowler, has taken up the challenge and her website will be launching soon. For a sneak preview:

    http://www.dogbreedhealth.com/

    Jemima

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  32. Oh wow!

    Carol's website is what the Kennel Club's website should look like.

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  33. retromodernist wrote: "Carol's website is what the Kennel Club's website should look like."

    That's for sure! -- Rod Russell, Orlando, Florida USA

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  34. Just looked at that site, it looks pretty but not very useful at all no real information, indeed I could just as much from any leaflet I picked up from my vets or pet food store, think the BVA aand the Kennel Club are a Rolls Royce compared to that 2CV

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  35. My guess in anonymous above didn't bother entering a dog breed and looking at the links...there's a lot of useful information in there. I did notice for one of the two breeds I typed in, Border Collie, it suggested that a puppy buyer only buy from breeders who did a genetic test for a laundry list of ailments I have never seen anyone test for, along with CEA which is common and x-rays for dysplasia.

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  36. Beth, do contact Carol. It is a work in progress; not gospel, and I know Carol will appreciate any and all input.

    Jemima

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  37. I've just had a look at my breed on Carol's website ( well actually the closest I could find as she seems to have totally ignored the Groenendael or Laekenois varieties of BSD ! ) - I'm gob smacked at the 'information' she's put on there for prospective puppy buyers - even something as pretty basic as the differences between the coat types are wrong ( according to her both the Malinois and the Tervueren have the same type of coat ) and as for this "Due to his size, strength and working background the Tervueren does not make an ideal family pet." I'm just lost for words - all the BSD pups that I've bred go as pets first and foremost where they make wonderful additions for an active family!!

    If puppy buyers want information on breed health then the place to find it is on specific breed databases - here's the one for my breed - in fact here's the page for one of my own bitches

    http://baza.belgi.pl/modules/animal/dog.php?id=20436

    not only can they see health test results but also any health issues that cannot yet be tested for as well as information on dentition, monorchidism, working qualifications , character tests, the co efficient of inbreeding etc etc they can also trace health issues across many generations and look at what has been produced by any breeder they are considering buying a pup from and note this encompasses dogs world wide not just here in the UK so that breeders can have a wider overview on the health of our breed -

    Many many breeds now have similar databases - why not direct puppy buyers to these instead of sites like Carols where quite frankly the information is at best seriously lacking and at worst appears to be made up as she goes along !!

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  38. Then please contact Carol and help make it better. Bijou. I did point out that it is not yet launched - and, indeed, Carol makes plain on the site that comments/suggestions are welcome.

    Sure, there are some breed sites with some great info - and some with dreadful info. The aim of this one is to provide a preliminary one-stop shop for all breeds with up-to-date, accurate health info. It is a work in progress and Carol is committed to making it as good as it can be by encouraging those with in-depth breed knowledge to contribute to it.

    Jemima

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  39. The word a little knowlege is a dangerous thing, were never more apt than taking about Carols site, very little knoweldge is displayed and as a result it is most dangerous, its about time such misleading sites were show up for the muddle they are or even better stopped!

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  40. bijou said...

    "If puppy buyers want information on breed health then the place to find it is on specific breed databases."

    Should the buyer be expected to search for health databases, which don't even exist in many breeds? Or should the buyer be able to go to the breed club website and get honest information, so they can start a dialog with the breeder?

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  41. Bijou,

    Regarding your advice about where puppy buyers should get their information:

    Not all breed clubs are particularly open about issues such as health and temperament. I looked at the website of a Canadian national club for a breed that is notorious for health problems and the word 'health' wasn't even mentioned, let alone given its own page or a link to a database.

    These databases can be hard to find. I couldn't even find an obvious link to it on your own club's website. How is Joe Public supposed to find it?

    Another problem is that the pet-buying public are faced with too much information from too many different sources. The information is of varying quality, often contradictory and some sources have real conflict of interest problems. It is truly confusing for those looking for a suitable pet. This was the comment from one first-time dog owner in one of my pet manners classes. This gentleman is a university educated professional; he has been formally trained to do research so coming from him, the comment was telling.

    I think having a website that is an independent clearing house for information, with links to proper databases and articles, is an excellent idea for those who are looking for a suitable pet and need some guidance to point them in the right direction. I like the idea that it is run by a pet owner for pet owners. I hope that everyone who loves their breed will contribute to it positively; everyone should benefit from such an endeavour. However, it will be impossible to make everyone happy. I'll use you and me as an example.

    I too looked at Carol's website and here's my perspective, not as a breeder but as an owner and trainer of Belgian shepherds. While I agree that Belgians in the right home can make wonderful pets, I think the general comment on the website about them not being an ideal pet, and the reason why, is fair. In the pet manners classes I conduct I see what the vast majority of the pet-owning public want and can cope with and in my opinion, even show Belgians are too demanding for the average pet owner. I don't think it is fair to make people think all dogs are suitable for the average family. They aren't and I would make the same comment about other breeds, not just Belgians.

    So, which of us is Carol, or the pet-buying public, supposed to believe? Whose advice should they take? Neither you nor I are stupid or dishonest but as you know from previous exchanges, we have very different perspectives and would possibly give contradictory advice to the same person about the same breed.

    See the problem?

    Finally, I wouldn't be too quick to criticize Carol for making mistakes with the information for breeds she is not an expert in. Help her out. Send her the information about the Belgian database and information about the different coats. We all make mistakes. A breeder who shall remain nameless recently provided me with the best laugh I've had in a long time with a comment on another thread when s/he tried to score a point regarding a breed s/he clearly didn't know enough about.

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  42. well why not simply look at the information provided by the KC :

    GROENENDAELS
    "BVA/KC Hip Dysplasia Scheme
    BVA/KC/ISDS Eye Scheme
    The list above is not necessarily comprehensive. Breed clubs and experienced breeders are useful sources of information on health issues in the breed. All breeds have a Breed Health Coordinator."

    At least they point the puppy buyer in the direction of those that DO have in depth knowledge of the breed they are thinking of getting

    Just what is the point of Carol's site ? - generic websites already exist on places like Champdogs (compare the information given on my breed there to the info on Carol's) http://www.champdogs.co.uk/breeds/belgian-shepherd-groenendael

    - lets face it information on specific breed health issues is now widely available to those that can be bothered to look - Carols site is nothing new but is a whole lot less accurate or useful than those already out there !!

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  43. Well I applaud Carol for starting this initiative, as a Health Officer I am all too aware of "Never heard of it so we havnt got it", "Stop making our breed look unhealthy", " We dont need to test or monitor because its never been proven there is an issue" And most telling of all most Health Officers have been appointed because the KC says each breed has to have one ! Many are not committed to the role, either to investigation or learning anything at all about the health problems "rumoured" to be in the breed. Most dont understand basic Genetics and dont want to.
    So yes some breeds are fantastic and give up to date info and some are less than honest
    I have emailed Carol with my info and a link to a really well researched site for my breed.
    Owners need a site that tells them where to get help if they are unlucky enough to have a poorly dog.......they dont need " Well ive never heard of it so it must be your fault "

    I agree Carols site will take many hours to provide the best info.....but at least its an unbiased view of breeds

    And its a start

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  44. Jan said "I agree Carols site will take many hours to provide the best info.....but at least its an unbiased view of breeds
    " have you actually read what she says on that site about the Kennel Club, if that isnt BIAS I dont know what isnt!!

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  45. Jan, thank you for the positive response to Carol's website. I believe it has huge potential to grow into something incredibly useful for pet owners (its intended market).

    Carol has been in touch this morning to say that she is more than happy to receive constructive comments as she wants the info to be as accurate as possible - while still being simple and concise for dog-owners and would-be dog-owners.

    She has also asked me to say that she is working with a group of vets to help her validate the data and that changes may take a while.

    Jemima

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  46. Bijou said:

    'At least they [the KC] point the puppy buyer in the direction of those that DO have in depth knowledge of the breed they are thinking of getting'

    i.e. Breeders.

    Kennel clubs are organizations for breeders, not the pet-buying public.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but Champdogs.co.uk also appears to have been set up by breeders. I agree they give good general advice and the information for many breeds is good, but the health information for some breeds a bit on the thin side. I was not surprised by the breeds where I thought this was the case.

    See my comments above about conflict of interest and the lack of transparency regarding health issues exhibited by some breeders and clubs.

    Pet buyers need someone who represents their interests. Of course they must talk to breeders but they also need information from people who do not have a vested interest in one breed or who want to sell them a puppy. I see Carol also consults with vets and a behaviourist. I think that is a good thing.

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  47. But Carol FAILS TO ADMIT this is her own personal view and opinions and quotes no sources of information which is unfair and misleading to the general public, as an owner of three of the breeddfs I have looked up she completely give a unbalanced an incorrect VIEW of the dog needs, behaviours and health, any prospectove owner would be given the wrong informatijn and before you jump on me my breeds have always been open and honest about its breed health issues and have been at the forefront of testing with the help of the Kennel Club and the BVA, all results have been published and now we have DNA test for one condition, but by readings Carols "information" you would not get any idea of the work done a true view of how healthy my breed is.

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  48. Well why not start by emailing carol and giving her your views....after all its not launched yet...its a work in progress
    There is a lot of info to trawl through so im sure it would be appreciated if breeders cut some of this research time down and pointed Carol to the relevant info.
    It wasnt hard for me to do and Carol has, after consultation with Vet advisors amended a couple of details

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  49. Some of the members of 'Stop the BBC Making Another PDE' Facebook site do seem very ill-informed.

    One of those mentioned in your blog above has written about the "Margaret Carter Syndrome" and has stated that I am "not welcome near CKCS at all"

    Flattered though I am to think that I have a whistleblowers' syndrome named after me ( I do hope someone puts it on Wikipaedia ) I think that, in the interests of accuracy, I should point out I am still very active and involved in the cavalier world.

    Last year I attended three cavalier Club AGMs, with a proposal I had submitted being agreed at one. Together with other cavalier owners I took part in meetings about the new BVA/KC scheme for MRI scanning.
    I attended a breed club Rescue Party and organised the inaugural meeting for the newly formed Cavalier Companion Club which was attended by a mixture of pet owners and breed club members, including two cavalier club secretaries.

    I was with the CavalierMatters Charity stall at the London Pet show and Discover Dogs & I also arranged the post mortem and cell tissue collection of nine cavaliers. Their owners included some of the best known breeders and exhibitors in the breed.

    What is amazing about the latest exchange on this facebook page is how these people still think that they have the right to try and control what canine health information is made available to the public.

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