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Just out of interest, I have just been looking at the inbreeding coefficients of some of the litters currently available and have discovered that many of them are way over the breed average of 13.4  one litters coefficient is way over 25.

I am wondering if breeders are bothered that they are producing litters with these results? If not can somebody please explain to me, as a Setter pet owner why this is so?  If I was currently looking for a puppy, these kind of results would make me look elsewhere.

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Is that Goldings Cassanova Sue?  I know there was another litter after Barkley. His co-efficient is very low, maybe the dam side has lowered it?

Barkley does have a slight problem with his pancreas, but since he has been on digestive enzymes, he is doing very well, eating normally and so far no repetition of his gastric issues. It also makes me wonder about the cause of Tally's issues, considering how she has come back to life since being on the enzymes too  Barkley is quite closely related to Tally on the dam side which makes things that more interesting.  Tally's most unexpected reversal in her condition has been well noted at Cambridge so I am sure they will be taking this on board when they have similar cases presented to them.  Maybe the problem coming down the line with thyroid issues is actually caused initially by malabsorption.  This is something I will take up with Dr. Jean Dodds.

Oh sh*t. I have just read on a malabsorption website that malabsorption DOES cause hypothyroidism.  Looking at the symptoms listed too, I know that my other affected dogs have had this condition too.  Perhaps the vets are barking up the wrong tree and treating yet another symptom and NOT the true cause.

http://www.patient.co.uk/doctor/Gastrointestinal-Malabsorption.htm

I took it as rather a chicken and egg situation. I am going to take it up with  Jean Dodds for her take on it.  It will also take it up with my endocrinologist at Manchester Royal and  see what he has to say.  Will post back on this once I get some answers.  I would have thought it would be the malabsorption which would cause the other issues, due to malnutrition because if they whole system isn't being properly fed the bit by bit the house of cards will come down?

Yes it certainly does. It can make it very course and brittle.  My Lotte had the classic rats tail too, she looked almost like an Irish Water Spaniel.  I think there was something more going on with her though, as she seriously did look like a yetti within weeks of going to the groomer (apart from her tail). I would go as far as saying she had hirsutism, which suggests a pituitary issue. I felt really sorry for her. Nalle (Elwood Pyjama Party) was very thin (which goes against the hypothyroid grain - but falls well within the malabsorption scale) had an ok coat, although a bit dry looking, but once he was on thyroxin it came through looking really good. 

I have just been looking at the Nzymes website, and they claim that once the dog is on enzymes then after about 3 months you could find a reduction in treatment, and this is what I have found with Tally. She was on 800mcgs of thyroxin per day, but is now down to 400.  They are also claiming the product is helping a whole host of conditions which is rather interesting.

The interesting thing  Tracy is that all my unwell dogs have been classed sick euthyroid, I am too, as are two of my brothers, who like myself have also developed loss of adrenal function (Addisons) and I would bet my bottom dollar that malabsorption is behind it all.  This is something I intend to find out a lot more about.  However, I do know that these condition all mimic each other in dogs as well as humans, so finding a common link might be like looking for a needle in a haystack,   It is easy to say these conditions are genetic, especially as with my family condition, but there is obviously a interplay which goes on between genes, environment and nutritional factors which could go back across generations. I think this is a good starting point for some good research.......

Hypothyroid people are overweight too, due to the slowing down of metabolism.

Sorry that was meant to be higher up. I suffered from hypothyroidism years ago, in fact started to go into a coma!

I was  incredibly tired, had some hair thinning and loss etc- exactly the same symptoms dogs get. I have taken 225 mcg of thyroxin for the last 25 years and am ok. 

Fran, We (IRWS) have been monitoring the breed for 30 years and although there have been literally a handful of hypothyroid cases spread over the years, there are still not enough to designate it as a breed issue.  We can only tell if we do have a problem by the number of cases reported and the research done, in house, to see if they are related or there is a link in some way.  So far there is little clinical evidence ie to be diagnosed without blood tests, to cause mass blood testing -- but when there is, you can bet your socks we will be on to it!

One of the things which worries me about the hypothyroid issues Ann is the number who go undiagnosed, just as in humans, so obviously those will never come to light. They are diagnosed with conditions such as ongoing IBS, skin problems, epilepsy, anxiety disorders, sound sensitive, photophobic, LP, neuropathy and even congestive heart failure if it manages to get that far.  I have had to fight hard to get a proper diagnosis for my dogs who have/had any of these issues, and one poor dog had the entire list of symptoms but because he (and the others) were just within the normal range (and I mean just), the condition was discarded, until I took it much further.  I know many owners would have given up and just accepted the vets conclusion that the dog was 'just' suffering from one, or a mixture of the above conditions.  I really don't think we have a true picture of how much hypothyroidism there is in UK setters.

For anyone who is interested, Dr. Jean Dodds (whom I turned to for help with my dogs) is in the UK this year, and there will be a seminar in Northampton in June. Details below:

Internationally renowned expert in clinical pathology, haematology, endocrinology, immunology, nutrition

Update on Thyroid Disease, Vaccine Issues, Nutrition in Dogs
On Sunday 10th June at Roade Village Hall, Northamptonshire
9.30am to 5pm – Registration from 9am

£70 per person including refreshments and lunch

For further information please contact
Christine Stansfield
Tel: 01944 738714
Email: c_stansfield@btinternet.com

I take your point, Fran.  I have been in contact with Jean Dodds for some time over the hypothyroid thing, to get more information and swap ideas, as I know they are very keen on hypothyroidism in America.  We have put out literature on the subject to the breed(think I might do it again) and pleaded with people to look carefully at their dogs, reporting any hyprothyroid symptoms to the database eg - obesity, lethargy, dry, brittle coat, itchy skin, alopoecia, cold intolerance, epilepsy etc.  Very few, as I say, have been reported and people will not test for something they do not see - given that there are so many tests for other things that are obvious.

Continue to keep a careful watch, dear Fran, and PLEASE let me know if you have anything to report.... and that goes for all IRWS owners on this list too.  If we don't know about an issue we cannot, as a breed, do anything about it!

Thank you very much Ann. I certainly will, but hopefully it is NOT going to happen to my gorgeous and very healthy girl. However, take a look at the reply I have just posted back to Sue. Perhaps hypothyroidism is not the actual cause. I will be taking this up with both Jean Dodds and Ben Harris. I am already dropping a small amount of enzymes into Daisy's food, because I don't think it will hurt, if anything, it could well help prevent anything from developing there in future.

We have red & whites and a red.  Our red does have hypothyroidism and takes a little blue pill each day (well one and a half now).  She developed it aged 6 and is now over 10.

She had - rat tail, coarse coat, dry skin, huge weight gain very quickly without an increase in diet or much change of exercise, hip problems, lethargy and the vet thinks it may have given her arthritus in her back/ hips.

We did let the breeder of the stud dog owner know and she was very grateful of the info.  Unfortunately  she also had 4 tumours cut out before the age of 3, allergies that made all her hair fall out, pyometra and now she is blind and half deaf.  

She still enjoys her days and we were advised this could be possibly as a result of over vaccinating her - we've read a couple of books on the subject but we're still un-decided in general but have suspended her vaccinations at the moment as she should have built up a lot of immunity in the 10yrs worth of jabs she received - we will have her titre tested.

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