Breeders say they are active to improve the breed. Statistics on health, scientists and independent setter-experts claim exactly the opposite. Topics on health here inspired this topic. Did breeders make a mess of the Irish setter (called a "ruined breed" by expert Florence Nagle) or not and why, when & how yes or no in your eyes?
Personally I feel that setters generally are very healthy dogs.
Yes, they do have health problems, but then so does the human race for instance.
We find big increases in allergies amongst children, and so on. About 15% of the swedish people are allergic to dogs & cats. Then we have all those allergic to differant foods or to pollen or whatever...you name it, there are people allergic to it.
Our dogs live with us, they breathe the same air, they eat food prepared with chemicals etc. There are bound to be more dogs now, than say 50 years ago with allergic reactions.
That is part one.
Part two is vetenairy sience.
It is not the dog/breed itself, but the way vetenairy sience has moved forward. We can now treat dogs that in the "good" old days would get shot and never talked about again. Now they are around and may need medication for the rest of their lives.
You keep talking about how old setters used to be Henk, mine still do. Yes, some dont go much beyond the age of 10 but quite a few make it to about 14.
But then I am certain that even with all the medical help available you will have had human friends dying quite young.
I know I have.
Are we throwing up our arms in horror and calling the human race ruined?
Not that I have noticed.
PS. It may be interesting to note that most humans are results of pure outbreedings.
I too think that setters are quite a healthy breed(all pedigree dogs have some health issues) Some of the health problems associated with setters are not new ,for example, PRA and bad hips have been around a very long time and are being dealth with more now than in the" good old days" Testing has improved and we can now try to avoid certain health problems(CLAD,PRA bad hips etc) As for dogs dying young that again seems to be only in a small number of cases(or due to cancer which affects humans also!)I know a large number of old setters beyond 12 years of age!!!! There will always be health problems with all animals and humans(its mother nature!) We can just do our best to only breed from healthy, sound animals!!
I recall my friend imported a male from a well known kennel in England (specifically saying it was to be for breeding and show) who when xrayed had D hips (he also had slight ectropion and was so shy he could not be shown, but lets forget that part). She had inquired at the time of purchase weather there were any hip problems in the kennel and was assured that they never ever have problems with hips. A call was made to the breeders to inform them of the xray result and they again said they never ever had problems. This was the first case. So she asked of the hip results of the parents - well they don't xray the dogs at all as they may die under anaestetic!!!!!! Wow, my friend was shocked, me not so much.
Alenka, what does it mean-under anaestetic?? Is it true that they give a dog anaestetic for X-raying???????????????!!!!!!!!!!!! Sorry,but why??????????? If they are scared that their dog will die under anaestetic,so why do they put them under it?? I x rayed 10 dogs so far,never needed anaestetic,first heard of it today. If their dog won't listen and lie down for those few minutes,or if they don't know how to calm down their dog if he's scared,then sorry,there's a big problem of relationship with that dog. I think there 's no excuse for not x-raying. Health is most important.
there are countries that only recognize x-rays taken under anaesthetic, as far as i know. you don't need to give lots of it and by the way there are also anti-anaesthetics available that make the dog wake up.
i think that a dog can be x-rayed in a more relaxed position when sleeping. you can drag the hind legs into a perfect position, with the spine being straight, to get the perfect "photo" of the hips. when awake, the dog can still move to some extend and because of the whole procedure, he/she is definately not totally calm. why expose him/her to several x-rays and radiation if the first one is not enough for evaluation?
i also think that there are huge differences in the evaluation procedure in the various countries. what are your vets looking at? norberg-angle, etc?
Dear Laura, I am not a vet, I am a doctor for humans. Although there are lots of similar things in human and vet. medicine. Every anestetic is dangerous because of possible anfilactic schock,although very rear. I've never had that problems with x-rays repeating the procedure and wasn't aware of this problem till now (?!).
I know how dyspalzia looks like,and in human and in dogs are the same parts of an hip....two parts let's call them-or just imagine- a "semi-ball" and "cup". In every position of dogs or human leg,that "semi-ball" is IN that "cup",it will be easiest to imagine a ball with a stick on one part(that will be femur-leg of a dog)in a coffe cup of the same sizes,spinning around when moving. It never gets out of that cup,only thing that is changing is that stick,and the ball is only rolling inside that cup.
With dysplazia-ball is no longer in that cup with it's all size,it's much of a emptines between them.So when you want to move leg (that stick) ball will also be moved and there will be an empty angle between them.
If you imagine all that,there is no mistakes in position of a dog when taking pictures. If there's an empty angle,that's no chance somebodys mistake when puting dog in position for shuting,no way. At least that's with humans 100 %. If you see that angle,there's no chance on the world that there is mistake in position,sitting,lying or whatever. Only if you luxate somebodys leg.So there are no false positive results in that.So I don't see why insist in some countries for dogs to be totally calm and sedated,when you only put them in risc of anafilaxia.
Ana I feel very much like you do, but well in many countries you can officially xray dogs for hips only under anaestetic. Slovenia is one of them as you will soon learn.( That is why I xray in Zagreb (plus the fact it is much much cheaper there).) Many people argue that you can only this way put the dog in proper position for an xray. I disagree. i think it is not natural and does not give a correct score. I remember my friend who studied veterine did a paper on that and used her dog as an example. She had him xrayed (under anaestetic) so that hips looked every score from A to D.
I also agree there is no excuse for not xraying. Or doing any other health checks. But if there is no limits to what dogs can be used for breeding this is just what happens. Unfortunately not everyone is as responsible as you are.
Alenka,as you know,in Croatia you're not obligated to x-ray irish setter,only german sheepherd and some others breeds. For irish setter only thing that is needed is FT qualification and one grade of exterier. Nothing else. What hips? Never heard of it!
That's why when I bought Etna,nobody x-rayed of course,and i thought setters don't have problems with that. I took Nika (her doughter) to x ray and she hasn't got good hips. Thats why i decided that moment never to have puppies with her. I could play fool like some others do here and mate her,couldn't I,cause nobody asks me for HD results here.... But I won't of course,i care too much about this breed.
I am sorry to hear about Nika, but you have the right attitude. Unfortunately Nika has quite a lot of lines behind her (on side of father as well as mother) that were never xrayed so all can happen. Actually it happens also that from both A parents will come puppies with bad hips. There may be dogs some generations behind that carry bad hips and they may "click" in the pedigree. This is why pedigree research is soooo important. Knowing the bloodlines you have really "in and out". Trying to get as many info as possible of the dogs from the past.
Ana, when I first started out in setters (70`s), there was never any anaestetic used for X-raying hips. But since then we have introduced a different reading system in Sweden an the vets will no longer X-ray without anaestetics. It is just too difficult having the dogs lay in the correct position and showing knees at the same time on the plate. As you need to have clear hips to breed over here, you have to give your dog anaestetics. But I have never had any problems or side effects with it at all, the dogs are not totally put under and are still "in contact" and are woken up with an injection afterwards.
I remember discussing hips with some english breeders (not so long ago) and was told that irish setters never had any problems like that. Same experiance as Alenka in other words. I also imported an english setter from England that had to be put down at the age of 8 months due to almost non-existing hips.
Needless to say, I was the only person ever having experianced any hip-problem with a dog from that breeder.
The best way not to have problems is to stick your head in the sand.
But I still think those problems existed in the "good" old days.
Differance being: They were never diagnosed but ignored.