Epilepsy question - Page 1

Pedigree Database


by luvbug66 on 04 September 2012 - 21:09

More questions for you people in the know.  Now that I know that the epilepsy gene stays put and doesn't diminsh down the generations my question is this.

Is there any sort of database available where affected dogs are listed?  If not is there anyone in the know that can check perspective pedigrees for problems.?  It would be English dogs.

   I know from research of a couple of lines that I should be avoiding but they are several generations back now and there are a lot of their prodigy out there. There are a number of dogs who I have liked the look of, only to look up the pedigrees on here and be disappointed.

I know this would easily be solved by looking at german working/show stock, but they are not the type of look I like.  I may not want a breed perfect dog but I also want to be a responsible owner, who makes the right choice and doesn't have an affected pet whose life would be miserable or one whom should I decide to have a litter, continued the problem.

It seems shocking to me that there are people out there still happy to take the chance and breed with these animals. 

Thank you.


by badeend91 on 04 September 2012 - 21:09

I would like to know if there's a database too! I have a few more to add.

I heard they are working on a DNA test, hopefully it will be available soon :)))

Abby Normal

by Abby Normal on 04 September 2012 - 22:09

You could talk to Chris Hazell. She has researched a lot of pedigrees and is knowledgeable about what is in a lot of the lines. If you have a particular stud dog in mind or are thinking of buying from a particular dam and sire she will look at the pedigree for you and tell you whether there are any problem lines in there.

This is such a tragic disease that it should be compulsory to publish affected dogs IMO.

BTW, this is not easily solved by simply going to German working or show stock. They have affected lines too, but you will hear even less about them.


by EuroShepherd on 04 September 2012 - 23:09

Just to clear up any possible confusion that my comment "a dog either inherits a gene or it doesn't" made in your previous thread. 
The gene itself doesn't weaken (although it's expression may vary) but it is possible to eliminate a gene from a bloodline.  This is easy to do with dominant genes...and VERY difficult to do with recessive genes.  The epilepsy gene in the white/white carrier lines in the UK are (I believe) recessive, which is why they've been so prevalant.  
Lets label a normal dog "A" and an epileptic dog "a"..........A is dominant over a.  Each dog is given one gene from each parent (so each dog has 2 genes.)    a dog with "aa" has epilepsy and will pass a recessive gene to all of it's offspring, a dog with "aA" or "Aa" does not have epilepsy, but it carries the gene and may pass it on to it's offspring.  a dog with "AA" does not have and does not carry epilepsy.   If you have two dogs who carry the gene for epilepsy, but do not actually have the disease, and you breed them together, then this is what the chances of the offspring are. 
50% will carry epilepsy, but not be affected, 25% will not carry epilepsy at all, 25% will carry and be affected by epilepsy.  

If you don't care for the German show or working lines, then you may need to look outside of your country and import a puppy that is to your liking.  


by marjorie on 05 September 2012 - 00:09

Please go to The German Shepherd Dog Breed Betterment Registry and register your dog. This is a health database. You ca n also look up dogs that have had that problem that have been entered upon the database.

http://www.gsdbbr.org The German Shepherd Dog Breed Betterment Registry (a health registry for registered German Shepherds)
http://mzjf.com --> The Degenerative Myelopathy Support Group http://www.mzjf.info/hgate Heaven's Gate


by Hundmutter on 05 September 2012 - 02:09

Yes, luvbug66, as Abby suggests, contact Chris - she is UK Breed Health Coordinator
and has loads of pedigree information (including those UK/Alsatian - type kennels who
carry on using 50-odd lines to a known epilepsy producing dog, among other horrors).  She
is not prejudiced as to 'type' and will tell you true.

Personally I would avoid any of the many kennels who advertise through the glossy
magazines as having 'flat-backed' or 'old-style' dogs as they almost inevitably 'specialise'
in "coats'n'colours" rather than sticking with the Breed Standard;  hence most do not
show or Survey their dogs [even where the minority work and/or health test them]  so
in avoiding WGSL where you may not like the toplines etc you would also be avoiding
the very portion of the breed where there is some "quality control".  Plenty of good
show kennels left whose stock does not / cannot by poor stacking  look like it always
walks on its hocks or has a banana spine !

The Phyllis Croft Foundation and the Epilepsy Support Group may also be useful to
you, as may be the GSD Information Group (with which  Chris is also connected).
Good luck.
Linda Swift.

by luvbug66 on 05 September 2012 - 10:09

Lets hope so Dreamworks :-)

Thank you all for the informative replies. Abby & Linda I will definately contact Chris Hazell and see what she has to say. Once I have finished here I am going to take a look at the phyllis croft and epilepsy support groups. Majorie I will also investigate the gsdbbr, and what a marvelous idea it sounds.

Euroshepherd your a star that was an awesome explanation, that actually made sense to me, very much appreciated thank you. 

Roll on the days when it will be possible to test for this horrid problem and others.

I hope next time I write on here it will be to introduce our new family member :-)

Abby Normal

by Abby Normal on 05 September 2012 - 17:09


I hope we see your new family member too. I would like to qualify what I said earlier. You cannot automatically assume WGSL or WL are free from epilepsy, but they are not saturated like some well known english lines, but don't assume they are clear!  I think it's great that just because you prefer the straighter back you don't just jump into the arms of the breeders that are using these lines indiscriminately. 

Remember as well that there are breeders mixing SL & WL and getting some very nice structures, and some very reputable 'middle of the road' breeders who also take health very seriously and use good lines.

If you have some dogs/lines you like the look of in your search for a pup, Chris will be really helpful. As Linda says, she has no bias and will tell you true.

by Mackenzie on 05 September 2012 - 18:09

One of the currents VA males has, way back in his bloodline,
Quadrille of Eveley, Syrious Norge, Ramacon Philanderer and Ramacon Swashbuckler.
All known producers of epilepsy and all active within a close time span.

I do not know of any recent cases from this bloodline.


Abby Normal

by Abby Normal on 05 September 2012 - 20:09

Interesting and a good illustration.



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