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by Hundmutter on 09 October 2020 - 02:10

Why bother to have separate topic threds, we may as well just 'set the world to rights' on all fronts, in every post !

Yes TWC, I agree with you that there is a lot wrong with the world.

But please whoa ! and come down off the high horse re this thred - its part of a continuum in the whole specific question of ideopathic epilepsy IN THE GERMAN SHEPHERD. A little research before you dumped on us might have revealed to you that there is a wealth of information already on PDB, which most posting here seem to have read; an awareness that it truly is a horrible health problem for both dogs and owners; a problem with the way the genetic link prevails; a problem with breeders who do not know, or sometimes care, about transmission, being doomed to repeat previous errors; and yes, there are some 'breeders' who deliberately hide it and lie about it and refuse to acknowledge it etc (but that is probably true of a minority of people in all breeds and with all heritable diseases, so nothing new there !)

Marilyn is just trying to wake a few people up (again / this week); we need to do it at intervals to raise awareness !

by jillmissal on 09 October 2020 - 07:10

I obviously have seen far more than my fair share of diabetics going into full blown shaking from their blood sugar being out of whack.

That's not a "seizure," which is the entire point. 

by Marilyn on 09 October 2020 - 08:10

Thanks for the support Hundmutter and jillmissal. I have private messaged ThatWasClose to find out what that vitriolic post was all about.

I had even thought of adding a video of Logan fitting for those unenlightened breeders who state that they have never seen a dog fit hoping it will prick their conscience, if they have one.


by Sunsilver on 09 October 2020 - 09:10

I have private messaged ThatWasClose to find out what that vitriolic post was all about.

Yes, most of us are really scratching our heads over what triggered it!

Just wanted to clarify one thing: As stated before, diabetic 'seizures' are not epileptic seizures. And they can be stopped by using a type of glucose gel that can be put into the person's mouth, and safely absorbed through the mucus membrane, without putting the person at risk of aspirating. Paramedics carry this gel with them.

Let's get back on topic... a number of dogs that are known fitters ARE named in the threads I posted earlier. None of them are recent, though. One of the threads traces the Alsatians back to the German dogs responsible for bringing epilepsy into that part of the GSD breed.

Marilyn, I have seen a dog have a very prolonged seizure. It's heartbreaking to watch. (Even worse: holding your husband while he's seizing... :'(   )


by Marilyn on 09 October 2020 - 10:10

Hi Sunsilver. None of the old protagonists are in his pedigree history, so we are all scratching our heads. I have looked up all the dogs mentioned on this thread to no avail. Which is why I started this thread, hoping some of the modern day breeders would have a pang of conscience. It is not a witch hunt and I am not out to damage the dog's reputation, but just so I know where it has come from. If we have some knowledge of the deceased dogs or bitches possible legacy, tomorrow's breeders know not to mate (a) to (b).

My heart goes out to you as my brother used to take them when we were very young and it was scary.


by Sunsilver on 09 October 2020 - 13:10

Thanks, Marilyn. That's far behind me now - I lost him the year he had the stroke (November 2004), after 11 long months of sheer hell.

Still think of him every day...

by Marilyn on 12 November 2020 - 07:11

I am more than surprised at the apathy and lack of input on this thread by the big breeders as I know a lot of them use this site.

Idiopathic Epilepsy is still very common in our beloved breed wnd the topic is not going to go away anytime soon. Wouldn't it be better to get it all out in the open so that we can eradicate this debilitating disease once an for all.

Breeders can then avoid pedigrees with dogs that has lines to carriers as they should be doing with any other inherited health issue.

I know for a fact that the UK is not the only country where this problem is prevalent. Is it not time to pull our heads out of the sand and to stop stating epilepsy cannot be inherited, it is down to trauma, diet, environment, underlying health issues?

Where do we go once that list has been excluded by the veterinary profession after tests have been done and it is diagnosed as Idiopathic Epilepsy or cause unknown? Surely we then need to look at the Pedigree and look for a common denominator. I have contacted a few of the European breeders in my epi-lad's pedigree task if there are any known fitters or carriers in their line and I am appalled that only a couple of breeders have answered my correspondence. I am left to ponder why the others haven't replied.


by Hundmutter on 12 November 2020 - 09:11

Marilyn - I think you will find that most of the big, successful breeders, on both sides of the Pond, very rarely comment on health issues in general, not just this one. Some have tried in the past but the results of their honesty in coming forward have been that it has badly rebounded on them - some posters can be VERY impolite, and sometime quite unreasonable - or maybe it is a lack of that willingness to be honest in the first place; it takes all sorts. But either way it is a big commercial risk for them if they rely on large numbers of puppy sales.

And then again, one hopes that, whether they speak up publicly about health or not, they are already, as part of their breeding plans, trying hard to avoid all the pitfalls - like not using known cases, and paying out for all the testing they can, and so on. I do believe a good many of them are doing so. The only way to find out is to get on the puppy list and ask the questions - buyers will then either get answers, or the feeling they are avoiding giving you answers ! If one has done all the due diligence about the breeder first, and has got as far as meeting them / discussing having one of their pups, 1-2-1 is a much better way than going in cold from an ad. And they don't have to bare their souls on an open Forum.

Much of the way diseases get passed on is by the unstructured breeding of dogs by amateurs; some do not take advice, some just do not know, some do not care. Not ALL amateurs / 'hobby breeders', by any means. Same approach applies. Know when to pursue a purchase; know when to RUN.

Conversely, if some big well-known breeder actually starts claiming stupid excuses about illnesses such as you list, I believe it is perfectly acceptable for their comments to be shared on here ! Name & shame, in the interests of future dogs and owners, and as a contribution to what info. PDB holds about that kennel. But be careful to use quotes you can back up with evidence.

by Marilyn on 16 November 2020 - 07:11

Totally agree with what you say Hundmutter. I guess that I am just a bit confused on how the breeder of your new pup can answer questions about any possible inherited problems if they are not made aware of them further back in the pedigree. In all honesty, the current breeder can only make you aware of what has been publicly disclosed.

It still means that the new pup's health could be a lottery, the luck of how the genes fall.


by Hundmutter on 16 November 2020 - 08:11

They can make you aware of the consideration they gave to planning the mating. If as a buyer I ask broad questions about e.g. epilepsy, I for one would take more confidence if they told me they had wanted to mate the bitch to Dog A but had looked back in his pedigree and found a link to known fitters and so had used Dog B instead. This sort of an open remark / info tells me much more about a breeder and the breeding, than would some evasive "oh well there's not so much epilepsy about these days, I don't see it in my dogs." sort of reply. You cannot have a script for all conversations, but you can listen carefully and use what you already know to assess their answers !

You might get a recommendation from someone you talk to @ Club or a Show, and they would think it was a good breeder who had produced a nice dog and treated them fairly ... but the person would not necessarily know / have even asked about ancestry and genetic links to diseases. So how much is the info - for good OR bad - already 'publicly disclosed ' ?

If, conversely, you saw an ad that admitted certain lines had been used so there was a risk, would you even consider buying ?

And ALL pups are a crap shoot, remember.  Even the best research cannot make up for sheer bad luck, with health issues, or suitability for training or anything else. Combine your research and the knowledge & care taken by the good breeder, and you ought to come out on top; yet if you get simply unlucky it can still all go wrong.

Whether its a bad reaction to diet or medication, or a genetic mutation, or something else, unfortunately we can all only do our best, some things are beyond control.


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