We have a couple updates and the first is from Sue and Vince who have Lola from Smudge's first litter, born 27th April 2012 and was one of nine, which is a very big litter for a Cavalier. I will let you read the email from Sue below and then talk about Dermoid Cysts. Thanks Sue for letting me know how everything is going.
I’ve not been in touch for a while, but I still regularly read your blog and love hearing all the dog (and family) tales from Poundlane. Vince and I are Mum and Dad to Lola from Smudge’s large litter of 9, born in April 2012. I think the last time I was in contact with you, I was asking for your advice about the type of kibble to give Lola as she had had repeated (almost monthly) bouts of colitis. We started using the Lily’s kitchen products which were great and then because it was easier to get hold of up here, switched to Applaws kibble – Lola now has Applaws mixed with a little fibre and a spoon of wet food each day and her stomach has settled right down, with no episodes of colitis in over a year. So thank you very much for your advice and helping us to get back on track!
Staying on the subject of health, a couple of weeks ago I felt two lumps on the side of Lola’s head which were quite pronounced. Our Vet wasn’t sure what the lumps were, but due to their location which was right next to her eye he recommended removing them and sending off to the lab. Lola had the surgery 2 weeks ago and was a little groggy and less than happy with the Elizabethan collar she had to wear afterwards, but we got the test results last week. The lumps were benign (thanks goodness!) and Dermoid Cysts, which would have needed removing anyway. When I googled these cysts I read they are usually found on Rhodesian Ridgebacks not cavapoos, but anyway we are just so relieved that all is well – Lola is just so much part of our family.
We’ve had a wonderful summer and Lola has been on 2 holidays this year – in June we took Lola to Cornwall, where she had a wonderful (if exhausting) time doing miles and miles of cliff top walking and racing up and down the sandy beach. The weather was beautiful and on several evenings we ate out as the sun went down and so many people commented on what a well behaved dog Lola is (as she looked pleadingly for table-scraps!). Then last month we took Lola to Yorkshire, did Ingleton Falls (where she hunted and chased squirrels) and several walks across styles and fields etc from village to village. I think what Lola loved most about it all was just being with us all of the time – she is so happy just being with the ‘Pack’ and when we’re all together often shows her approval by rolling around on the rug on her back from side to side in ecstasy!
One of the things we never cease to be amazed at is just how intelligent these little dogs are. You have probably heard this so many times before, that the dog understands every word. I have to say that Lola listens to every word and is so responsive we actually have to be quite careful what we say. In normal conversation - words such as breakfast, biscuit, treat, going out, etc. are met with such an enthusiastic response we have had to start spelling things out between us!
Jane, we are so happy with Lola and really can't imagine life without her - thank you, thank you for such a gentle, wonderful dog.
All the best to you and your family
Sue and Vince Tovey
I first read the email from Sue and I must admit I was concerned about Lola having Dermoid Cysts. I had heard of them before and although in reading up on them and this article http://www.petwave.com/Dogs/Health/Dermoid-Cysts.aspx that states that the are, "fairly common in dogs", I have yet to have a dog with this condition. Lola has had them removed and all seems to be okay and Lola is spayed, so the fact that they are thought to have "strong suspected hereditary component" is not a worry with her, as she has not and is not going to be bred from. My concern is, these are thought hereditary, where have they come from ?
To answer this question or try to answer or maybe we should say produce a theory to Lola having two Dermoid Cysts, first we need to know what a Dermoid Cyst is and this link http://www.vetbook.org/wiki/dog/index.php/Dermoid_cyst explains what they are specifically in dogs and this link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dermoid_cyst explains generally what a Dermoid Cyst is.
Often the Dermoid Cyst can be confused with the more serious condition of Dermoid Sinus which is common in Rhodesian Ridgebacks, as is the condition Dermoid Cyst and I stumbled on this website page http://www.dermoids.org/html/faqs.html which explains beautifully the difference in the two conditions. This wiki page also gives a good description of the condition Dermoid Sinus http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dermoid_sinus.
So hopefully you have read the links and we are all up to speed on Dermoid Cysts (not to be confused with Dermoid Sinus). So we know they are congenital, so present at birth, so they develop in the fetal stage and they are suspected to be hereditary. Now we see a word that can be a negative or a positive, "hereditary", but exactly how is this hereditary if there is no known history of this condition in both parents and their known ancestery ?
Another word can be used here that could explain Lola having this condition or be put forward as a theory is the word, "mutation." The definition of mutation is Many congenital birth defects are in this classification and a mutation is not just a bad thing, it is how evolution works and as we are not clones of each other, one could argue with some brevity that we all are mutants, as we are not eactly the same and are a variation and mix of our parents with an added seasoning called mutation. Genetic Variation and the ability to mutate within a species is a very good long term survival tactic and basically is what evolution is. Unfortunately mutation has a down side which is when the DNA is damaged in a way that instead of a positive mutation we get a negative mutation, which causes a health condition in offspring and then that offspring not only develop the condition but are DNA carriers of the condition.
Now for my theory. As Smudge (Mum of Lola), Millie (Grandmother of Lola), Charlie (Granddad of Lola) and Reggie (Dad of Lola) show no signs of this condition and I met Reggie's parents who had no signs of the condition, I'm considering that as Lola was one of a very large litter for a Cavalier, this may up the chances for DNA damage as the fetuses grow and compete for survival in the uterus, so the occurrence of this with Lola I think may be a mutation at conception. I have a brother who has a son with a genetic condition called Tuberous Sclerosis. My brother, his wife and their four other children have been screened and show no signs of the condition, so it is thought that their childs condition is a result of mutation at conception.
Mutation is a dice roll and it takes no notice of statistics, that is why you can breed with all the care available to you and a problem can arise totally unintentionally. So at the moment I'm airing on this not being a problem with a bad gene in Mum or Dad or both, but the dice roll of mutation. I'm going to put a call out to all that have had a pup from Smudge's two litters with Reggie and ask though, to contact me if they also have had any Dermoid Cysts occur on them and in general if you get a problem with a pup, even as an adult and it is strongly suspected to be an hereditary condition, you should contact the breeder, they should be thankful, some won't (I'm not going to get into the psyche of why they don't like you telling them about a problem, that would take to long at this time, I've got school pick up in a minute, but I might tackle this in a future blog), but don't let the thought of them not being thankful stop you reporting it to them, it's called duty.
I'm going to end this bit on another thank you to Sue for getting in touch and telling me about the Dermoid Cysts, as it has opened the mind to a blog about how dog breeders, specifically Pure breeders find it almost impossible to face negatives and struggle with owning up to them publicly, and another blog about how DNA tests are not going to be the pancea that Pure breeders think it is and in fact could see an even quicker demise for a lot of pure breeds.
I'm now going to have to be quick as school pick up looms and I doubt if I will get back here again today. So our next update is from another Sue who has Lucy, a bitch we rehomed around three years or so ago and thankfully Sue, Jim and Lucy have finally finalised the sale of their home and are setlled in their new home before Christmas. Can unsettle pets moving home and it is good to plan time, so you can be with them to reasure them in their new surroundings for the first few days of the move.Thanks Sue for letting me know all has gone well.
Just to let you know we finally made it settling in well not doing this again!!!! Too stressful. Have just caught up with your blog,how lovely to see you walking at Heywood,one of our favourite walks lovely for the dogs.Hope you and family keeping well, will keep in touch. Lucy much more settled this week,photo shows just that!!!!l
Best regards, Sue
Now just some photos of the pack chilling out. Finally all bitches off heat and nothing on heat now until the New Year, so the pack is altogether again and much more chilled.
Last is a couple photos of the dogs, as I left to take the children to school yesterday morning. They know the signs of me leaving on the school run and all of them around 8.30 am will be found in the back house waiting for me to shut them in there, whilst I nip the children to school. Now I'm going to push publish, hope for the best and make a dash to the car, I'm running late to pick the children up. Lol madly.
Just a quick add on after publishing earlier. Last night BBC4 showed again the wonderful documentry "A wolf called Storm" were camera man Jeff Turner follows a wolf pack for a year in Canada's frozen North with an exceptional male alpha wolf Jeff Turner names, "Storm". It's just a lovely documentry about one of the most misunderstood and persecuted species on our planet. Jeff Turner with his gentle commentary and understated presence, does not distract you from the wolves and the breathtaking landscape of the wolves territory, really like watching this mans work.
Watching the wolves and the subtle body language along with the less subtle body langauge, you can still see the connection with their distant cousin, the domestic dog and you can understand and see when man was also hunting on foot many moons ago, how our hunting styles would of complimented one another and without much jump of the imagination, you can see why the first canines decided to plant their backside beside us around the camp fire and the rest then became history. If you got an hour to spare, you can catch this beautiful documentry at BBC i Player athttp://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01nmdh3/natural-world-20122013-4-a-wolf-called-storm-natural-world-special it really is worth a watch if interested in the natural world.
“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!