Pedigree Explanations for Health Issues for the Layman

All topics pertaining to health and diseases that may affect your Tamaskan Dog, as well as treatment.
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JenV
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Pedigree Explanations for Health Issues for the Layman

Post by JenV » Sun Sep 16, 2012 4:55 pm

So, I've been checking out pedigrees on the database and I'm hoping that it's just my reduced knowledge on how genetic traits are passed on from parent to offspring, but some of the pedigrees seem to have quite a bit of health conditions listed in past generations.

As a potential puppy purchaser, what should we look for in the pedigrees of the parents of our pup? If there are Addison's, Epilepsy, and Cryptorchidism on both sides of the pedigree, should we be hesitant to take a pup from that litter? Addison's and Epilepsy are both extremely scary words to a potential new puppy owner who has dealt with years of health issues in their GSD and I'd like to make sure we're adequately prepared for all possibilities and can make an informed choice.
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Re: Pedigree Explanations for Health Issues for the Layman

Post by TerriHolt » Sun Sep 16, 2012 7:42 pm

Breeder's will (i assume) be breeding dogs with the lesser chance of health issues but there is limited 'breeding stock' due to always been told "out crosses are not needed". All the registered breeders will be breeding for better health to the best of their abilities. The vast amount of the health issues has been kept, shaded (for lack of better words) while some individuals claimed the breed to be healthy and free of most issues. I was repeatedly told that HD did not exist and epilepsy was only present in 1 or 2 dogs... Now they have the freedom to improve on what we (we as in everyone who wants the breed to survive) have, new blood is being looked into and health issues we want to breed against is now visible. Because everything is now visible and not denied, owners have the ability to look up the Sire and Dam for them selves and can ask about any concerns they may have about that particular breeding and if still not satisfied then can say no to that litter.

(sorry if i didn't help much :oops: )
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Re: Pedigree Explanations for Health Issues for the Layman

Post by sky » Sun Sep 16, 2012 9:06 pm

They are aware now to the issues I learned of back in 2008/2009. My boy has epilepsy and it is found in past generations on both sides. On a possitive note, not many more have popped up and you would expect that by 2-4 years of age. However, you need to look closely at these 2-4 year old dogs that are breeding now. Since there is no test available to detect carriers, selective breeding is vital to the future health of the breed. The addition of new blood is of equal importance. Glad to see everybody doing the best they can at this point, but unfortunately it is a game of trial and error. You need to consider the gamble and make sure to also have puppy insurance.

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Re: Pedigree Explanations for Health Issues for the Layman

Post by JenV » Sun Sep 16, 2012 9:15 pm

Don't be sorry! I'm interested to hear all input and viewpoints to learn all that I can. One major reason, despite my deep bond with and love for my GSD who I consider to be my heart dog, that we decided against getting another GSD was the high incidence of health problems. I just don't see the point in spending so much money on a dog to go through the heartbreak again that we've gone through watching our boy suffer with a number of health problems through the years. We just want to make sure we know what we're getting ourselves into. Paying a few thousand dollars for a dog is completely within reach for our family, but I feel paying so much for a pup should come with some sort of comfort in knowing that you're paying for quality.

We want a pet quality pup and are not a family that would consider breeding, but DM, HD, Epilepsy, and Addison's all seem like really time, cost, and emotionally draining illnesses, even for a family who has no children and much time to devote to their animals like we do. I know things happen that breeders have no control over, I just want to make sure to learn all that I can about these illnesses and what our odds of ending up with a pup who is stricken with one of them are so that we can make the appropriate choice for our family and lifestyle to have our new pup be with us for a very long time.

Here's a question. For those with animals with Epilepsy or Addison's, what is the treatment like and what is the dog's quality of life like? If we were to make sure the pup had health insurance to cover if something like this was to happen, would the pup still be able to have a happy, comfortable, and long life?
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Re: Pedigree Explanations for Health Issues for the Layman

Post by sky » Sun Sep 16, 2012 11:04 pm

Juneau is on 5 medications right now. 4 for epilepsy and one for his retina's detaching. He still suffers seizures at least once a month. He is a happy, lovable boy. When I purchased him in 2008 there wasn't much known about the background of the dogs and was told the breed suffered from no known major health issues. I therefore did not have insurance. Juneau then is the most expensive dog I've ever owned. Meds cost $300/month on top of that the yearly blood work up. He also is fed raw as he has some grain sensitivity. Certain times during the summer he has a grass allergy. He will be turning 5 this December and I will say he has slowed down in the last year, but I can imagine his seizures age him quicker than normal. There are numerous videos of him on YouTube. He seems to enjoy his life. I'm glad he found me and wouldn't trade him for anything.

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Re: Pedigree Explanations for Health Issues for the Layman

Post by JenV » Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:16 am

I just watched a few of your videos. The one with Juneau and Rook playing is particularly cute. I love the vocal playing. My GSD is the same way. Mine has a very deep growl he does while playing that sounds like a bear. It makes me giggle every time our pups play. Your boy does seem like a normal happy dog. I'm really sorry you have to deal with the emotional stuff that comes with having an unwell dog that you care for so much(I have a lot of that with my Sampson).

For the last 9+ years (since I adopted my GSD) I've put a bit of money each month into a savings account particularly meant for dog health care. It's come in really handy for the issues with my Sampson. I didn't know there was such a thing as dog health insurance until he started having problems and our vet at the time mentioned it. Sadly, they'd all be considered pre-existing issues and we wouldn't be able to get reimbursed for them anyway. Our 6 year old Malamute/Spitz mix, thankfully, hasn't had any issues.

We'll definitely be going with the puppy insurance on our new pup, whenever we end up bringing them home. $30 a month for peace of mind is pretty priceless in our eyes.
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Re: Pedigree Explanations for Health Issues for the Layman

Post by Nino » Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:09 pm

Most breeders (and there is no shame in asking other knowledgeable people - and I'd be glad to point you in the direction of some people whose opinion I treasure a lot! - weather they think a given breeding is a good one or a risky one before choosing to get a pup from said mating, if a breeder does not like this to be done I would myself be worried that they had something to hide) will do their best to breed pups that does not have health problems.
There are dogs who have problems, like HD, Epilepsy, DM and Addisson's, but I do personally feel that the vast amount of dogs, and the breeders currently in the breed gives a positive prospective to the future of the breed. There will always in a breed be dogs that get's diseases even in a healthy population, and the number of dogs we do have desieses compared to the number of dogs that are perfectly fine are to my knowledge luckily largely over-weighed.
One of the big "problems" is that you will mostly always hear about the number of dogs having problems but the ones that don't you don't hear as much if any about.

- please notice that the above is written by a Tamaskan owner that do have a Tamaskan with HD, but yet is still positive about the breed, and will be taking in a Tamaskan (probably more than one) and breeding in the future (breeding will be with a healthy one of course not with the bitch I have although she shows no signs of pains)
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Re: Pedigree Explanations for Health Issues for the Layman

Post by Hawthorne » Mon Sep 17, 2012 3:33 pm

I feel that the database labels carriers, and is a very cautious approach to breeding dogs. As it should be! For the breeders I know personally, we love our dogs very much and their health is of utmost importance. But I would guess that sometimes a dog is used in a breeding program, and the issue doesn't pop up until the second, third or fourth breeding. Then, you have all of these pups on the ground who are potential carriers. Some of the dogs listed as carriers have produced one or two pups who are sufferers of a disease. Overall, as a breeder or a potential puppy purchaser, that should be much less alarming than if a dog produced mostly or all sufferers of a disease.
I feel that with the new database, our breed finally has it's head on straight--so to speak. We are no longer each re-inventing the wheel with taking notes and trying to figure out the health history of all the dogs related to ours. I really feel like we're moving forward for the betterment of the dogs and I'm so excited about what we'll be able to accomplish.
I feel like a puppy purchaser should be able to come forward and say "Hey, what about dog X in your dog's pedigree. Why is she / he labeled as a carrier of Monorchidism / Epilepsy / etc.? And the breeder can come back and say: Because dog X is a sibling of a dog who produced a pup with epilepsy (or whatever the case may be). I don't feel that this is something to be shy about. Or something to hesitate to ask. By all means, ask!! It shows the breeder you've done your homework, and for the breeder it forces them to know their dogs pedigree (which they should anyhow) :D
As for pet insurance, I can recommend PetPlan: www.gopetplan.com They cover emergencies only. Routine vaccines / flea treatment are not covered. It's for those moments, like when our dog contracted Parvo, and the thousands of dollars it takes to save their life is dependent on your financial capability to do so. I can't make those kind of decisions. I'm far too attached to my dogs. So, they each have $20k in coverage :D
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Re: Pedigree Explanations for Health Issues for the Layman

Post by Tiantai » Fri Sep 28, 2012 5:15 am

sky wrote:Juneau is on 5 medications right now. 4 for epilepsy and one for his retina's detaching. He still suffers seizures at least once a month. He is a happy, lovable boy. When I purchased him in 2008 there wasn't much known about the background of the dogs and was told the breed suffered from no known major health issues. I therefore did not have insurance. Juneau then is the most expensive dog I've ever owned. Meds cost $300/month on top of that the yearly blood work up. He also is fed raw as he has some grain sensitivity. Certain times during the summer he has a grass allergy. He will be turning 5 this December and I will say he has slowed down in the last year, but I can imagine his seizures age him quicker than normal. There are numerous videos of him on YouTube. He seems to enjoy his life. I'm glad he found me and wouldn't trade him for anything.
It's a shame that no one knew about it back then. :( Hurts me everytime I read about his case on the Tamaskan Truth 2.0 group and everywhere else that you've mentioned. While I cannot hope for a cure to dogs suffering this condition as there is no cure to it just as there is no cure to allergies, I can only hope that the gene for this will at least be slowly bred out of the breed after many generations. And then there's that insane puppy miller who even after knowing about the epilepsy continued to breed from those lines :evil: but that's besides the point.

On the positive note, I must say though I like the new .org a LOT better than the original .com site. With that public online pedigree and all the keeping track of health records it makes things a lot more clear and easier to understand.

I do think listing known allergens might benefit the breed some more however. There are lots of things that dogs are severely allergic to regardless of breeds and I think they should be included in the official website. In addition, I also think that if an owner of a dog has a known specific allergy to something that most other dogs are normally tolerant towards, that should be included in the online pedigree as well.
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Re: Pedigree Explanations for Health Issues for the Layman

Post by Rahne » Fri Sep 28, 2012 10:32 am

Tiantai wrote:I can only hope that the gene for this will at least be slowly bred out of the breed after many generations.
That's impossible without a DNA test.

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