What a lovely day! Its been sunshine here all day after a misty start. The sun just makes everything seem so much better. Spring is here again & we all breath a sigh of relief with another winter hopefully behind us. March though can go out like a lion & a few years back I remember foaling in a maiden mare early hours of an April morning with a unseasonal layer of snow on the ground outside.
Have had a busy weekend clipping dogs & preparing everything for Millies birth. Tomorrow Belle will be having her leg re X-rayed as she chipped her radius back at Christmas time. All was going well but about a week ago she started showing intermittent lamness again on the leg & on Friday was for the first time showing soreness on manipulating the joint & the joint will not fully flex back. I put her back on her pain relief medication & booked her into the vets to be X-rayed again tomorrow. I am pretty sure we are now looking a surgical intervention as either the chip has moved or we have bone callousing causing the pain & lack of fexion in the joint. Belle is a brave girl who is turning in to a beautiful dog not only to look at but in temperement & I think she will take this all in her stride. Orthopedics surgery in dogs these days are very successful, so tomorrow I will go to the vets with a positive attitude.
On Tuesday the vet is coming to me as we are having all the Cavaliers DNA tested for Curly Coat Dry Eye & Episodic Falling. Both these conditions are featured on my "About The Cavalier" page if you want to know more about them.
The Animal Health Trust are working hard developing DNA tests & last year these two tests where developed for Cavaliers. Curly Coat Dry Eye is a very painful condition for a Cavalier & although I have never known of any of my Cavaliers suffering from this condition it does not mean that they do not carry the DNA for it but I might have been just lucky in not ever pairing them up with another dog who also carrys the gene. These gene test should now be done by all Cavalier breeders as it has the potential to eradicate this condition from Cavaliers.
The other DNA test is for Episodic Falling which is very specific to Cavaliers very often being misdiagnosed. I have never had this in my dogs but does not rule out gene carriers.
The test is a swab from the mouth which I could do myself but my vet will do it for me to prove identity of each dog by their microchip & sign each form to varify the swab is from the identified dog. The Kennel Club records these results.
DNA tests are such a help to breeding & as more & more break throughs are made, if breeding for health this science is a must do. Finding out your dog is a gene carrier for a disorder does not always count your dog out from breeding from as if put to a dog that is not a gene carrier of the same disorder you can breed a litter of non carriers & carriers & not dogs who will develop the disorders, as for most genetic disorders a gene has to come from both parents.
If you breed from a carrier to a non carrier the litter can then be DNA tested around 6 weeks old & pups that carry the gene should go to non breeding homes & if a quality pup is a non carrier it can then be kept back by the breeder.
Breeding non carrier to carrier in dog breeds if done with all health tests done on pups is a way to keep breeding numbers up in breeds thus genetic diversity does not deminish to much, as some rarer dogs breeds if you remove all dogs from breeding that are carriers of a certain disorder you would take out such a large number of them that you would then have such low numbers that the risk of breeding more genetic problems into the breed would be very high.
We all carry good & bad genes & the more diversity we have in our family trees the less likely on average you will see genetic disorders. As less chance of doubling up of genes. Where we see human populations with close related marriages such as cousins repeated several times in a family tree on average you will see higher occurance of genetic disorders. As cousins have the same Gran parents & if say one Gran parent has a bad gene & they pass this gene to their two offspring & then they pass this to the Gran children who are cousins who marry each other both carrying the bad gene from the one Gran parent. They then have a very high chance of a child being born with a doubling up of the bad gene thus then developing the genetic disorder. So apply this to dog breeding & if a dog who is a carrier of a bad gene is linebreed with breeding to his sister's, daughter's, cousin's etc you then start to understand how purebreed dogs have got into the mess we have now.
When linebreeding was first done it was seen as breeding best to best regardless of relationship of dogs to each other & was felt to breed the best dogs in looks & health but we do now know the genetic fall out of it. With DNA testing there is light at the end of the tunnel for some breeds.
Hope this all makes sense & is a very simplistic way of showing how a genetic disorder can be spread through a family tree. I will blog on Crufts soon but just want to catch the Crufts final on More 4+1.
“The greatest pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him, and not only will he not scold you,but he will make a fool of himself, too.”
― Samuel Butler
Me (Jane) with Puddin' and Teagol, waiting patiently to flush a patch of kale, December 2019
Hello, I am Jane!