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I have been trying to think of a way to post this...I have been banging on, on this site, about breeders and owners, 'putting their hands up' to a ''new problem'' or even a problem that has been around for a while. So I am putting my ''hands up''
Some people will have see the Blog placed by Carol Gill (thank you Carol for posting this) called ''Crufts 2009'' in this blog it states that there is a leaflet supplied by ISAE with reference to a 'new eye problem' in Irish setters. It does not say which lines, or who own the dogs, this problem has been found in..Carol asked me if I knew!! (all three people involved have stated that ''If asked we would not lie'' we would say who we were).
I have one of the 3 ''affected'' dogs, 3 doesn't sound much but when you think that only 7dogs have been tested then this number is quite high.
The dogs have what we think is akin to or is CSNB (Congenital Stationary Night Blindness) which is found in Breards only, at the moment, THIS IS NOT PRA.
The dogs in question have the problem in varying degrees Jas being the worst one affected, she is clinically blind at night.
People have already said that they feel that this comes down a particular line, and named the dog...
PLEASE LETS NOT START SLINGING MUD AT DIFFERENT DOGS, OR ABOUT DIFFERENT BREEDERS. although my bitch and her sister (the other affected bitch) do have many famous dogs, in there lines the THIRD dog has a very different male line, so NO MUD SLINGING PLEASE I am putting this on this site, to get a conversation going, and to see if there are people who have noticed a problem, which I have to say is VERY difficult to see, I have heard of people with totally blind animals that didn't know their dogs were blind, if it happens slowly the dogs adapt to their surroundings, and these, affected dogs, CAN see during the day...
I must reiterate that a breeder CAN NOT legislate against something that they do not know about, and this comes from very diverse lines. If you feel that your dog has any kind of vision problem please ask, where ever you are, this could be a very widespread problem.
Lets now discuss this and see if we can get to the bottom of it ASAP....lets not let it linger and spread through this lovely breed, it isn't PRA, or something painful like Bloat, but it must be very distressing for the animal and I know that it is distressing for the owner involved. We all love this breed or we wouldn't be on this site, and this site is so good to ''get the word out'' and lets see if you can get this eradicated.

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My dogs were tested one at a time but we took them all up to the back corridor of one block of our boarding kennels where it is very dark. We put obstacles along the corridor & Roger released them one at a time to come to me.

Promise, Fern, Bliss & Woody all had their eyes examined at ISAE 2007, ( there was no examinations there last year due to the celebrations)
I will have whoever I enter at ISAE done again this year. I can't have them done at ISC of Wales as I'm judging!!! But I have heard that not many have booked to have them tested which is very disappointing.

As to the bloat I don't know if I made it clear but I have never bred from a dog after it has bloated.

With regards to not breeding from any relations I think it would be almost impossible to find a line completely free of bloat & if you did there would most likely be some other problem or would be totally unacceptable type wise.

No-one has mentioned MO as far as I am aware, I have never had a case but I know it is still a problem but seems to be hushed up. Years ago at an Irish Setter Health Seminar everyone who had experienced bloat in their lines was asked to raise their hands & then all those who had experienced MO, it was nearly all the same people. Some breeders still screen their puppies for it.

There was no "reply to this" under your last posting
Hi there Jane
Oh what a pratt I am....I completely forgot about you judging, dah....Sorry, foot in mouth time....
There sometimes isn't a ''Reply to This'' under some of them, don't know why. Just go to the nearest one above.....
How many put up their hands to the bloat/MO question, not many I bet??? It is a shame that more people don't get their dogs eye tested, you should be commended for that.
Just speak to Lyn about the horrors of LOPRA, her poor Layla is a victim of it, dreadful...
It is going to be difficult to mate anything to anything soon, and not have something wrong with the DNA etc. It is becoming a gamble when you mate you dog or bitch...All too many problems...so sad....
Have a good day at Wales, at least you don't have far to go....
It has come to my notice since I posted this message on here, that there are some people who think that I was, to use their terminology, 'getting at the faces'. I WAS NOT!!!!! I was merely giving my support to Dee at this difficult time and also recounting the experience that I had in 2007 when I went public about the problems that I was facing at that time. As Dee quite rightly pointed out, the purpose of this blog was never intended to sling mud, or lay blame. So please make sure that you read carefully what is written, either by me or anyone else and NOT what you THINK is written.
How come evrybody seems to know the lines that carry bloat, epilepsy etc.Where are they getting this information .Is it freely available to all or do you have to be in the know. My information aquired on these topics was based on reading what some dogs died of if it was written up somewhere and peicing together the pedigrees of the animals to see if there was a pattern.Sadly this knowledge was aquired in the seventies.
The information about CLAD in England only came about when Jim Smith produced a detailed pedigree of known affected animals and Puppy deaths which he published.When this was seen in its entirety it was easy to see the lines of descent of this complaint (although not all as it appeared in some field trial lines). Some unfortunate people had more than one litter with this problem using similar lines for successive matings, and then i suppose due to great distress they left the breed. The information had to come out into the open to get sorted out.

I would like to see a central register where all ailments produced in a breeders litter are recorded ,yes (,even pet puppies).
I would like this record to be available to all that would like to look at it ,so a breeder can make informed decisions about their breeding program. I do not think that any breeder wants to produce these genetic faults in their breeding program but if the information is not available the only tool is hear say (which can be dangerous) or stepping gingerly into the unknown.
Yes Colette, this is a problem, I can't mention any dog unless it is mine, or have permission of the owner, or the breeder, and lets face it most are dead. But still can't say because some people would get very very upset, in fact I probably would be sued.
My first bitch Maymont Ros Patcrump was mated in the early 70's, if you can find a dater base that will tell you of who she was mated to. The puppies were all Mafred....there was Scarlet Lake, Vermillion, etc all colours. Perhaps that will help.
As for Colette's question "how come everybody seems to know": the data base of the Irish Setter Club of the Netherlands is a source to draw from.

The Dutch genepool has traditionally followed closely trends in UK show lineage.

This scheme started beginning seventies. Driving force: the vet Wim van Gemert who noticed himself what keyrole correct information plays - his kennel vanished because of a relatively high number of epilepsy.

Three times in a setterlife (2,5 and 8 years) owners are send formulars to report health of their Irish setters. Results are published in the monthly Ierse Setter Klanken (Irish Setter Sounds) before an AGM.

In one of his last writings for the clubmonthly, Van Gemert (can't quote-from memory) said biggest reward for a breeder is not competition results, but knowing pups became old healthy, only visiting the vet for inoculations.

As for your central register - more here stated that should be done worldwide. As well more stated it is for about time to save a few families we still have, who are not so much related to dominating lineage.
Henks,point of saving the families we have got that are not related to the most popular families i think is a very valid point. I remember some years back an irish setter breeder making a comment that they did not have SHCH Kerryfair Night Fever in their pedigree. I thought at the time and even today that sort of information is very valuable when most stock go back to him. I am only using him as an example as there are not many lines out there at the moment that do not have him somewhere in the pedigree.You could say tha same about sh ch Wendover Jeeves.You need some lines which are equally nice to diversify a little in case of wide spread genetic deffects.The expression dont put all your eggs in the same basket holds true.
I have heard many breeders in the uk wondering who to mate their dogs to.It is not that easy when the gene pool is greatly reduced as most dogs are related to each other.

A very successful breeder of pointers who i equate with Mr L.C.James(Wendover) Malcolm Leslie of the Stonebridgelees pointers has a kennel of closely line bred pointers.His strategy was to go out every 4th generation.

At university i had to propagate a cell line of neuroblastome cells using tissue culture techniques.The cell line only was able to hold true for 22 to 27 generations and that was cloning.
I'm having difficulty replying from the list so hopefully my notes will be posted. Regarding gastric dilation/torsion: Dr. Larry Glickman and some of his colleagues from Purdue University began a study of bloat/torsion in the 1990's.. They went round to Irish Setter Specialties and distributed questionnaires and measured dogs both those that had bloated and those that had not. His studies were funded by the ISCA health committee and various other contributors. One factor that I didn't see mentioned on this list was the age at which the animal bloated/torsioned and whether affecteds were bred to/from. The thinking is that there's a familial predisposition and the younger the animal when they bloat, the higher the likelihood the condition is genetic. The ligaments supporting the stomach in an older animal are stretched thereby becoming more likely to torse/twist; especially if there's only one heavy meal per day with heavy exercise either before or after feeding as well as tanking up on water. In my own case, I had a lovely young boy that bloated/torsed at 17 months of age and he was not the first in his litter to do so. Nearly all of them did at an early age. The sire did as well at about 10 years of age I believe. More recently, there's a bitch line that's in the third generation of bloaters most likely because affecteds are being bred. The ethics of this is greatly disturbing to many of us but excuses are like fleas from those with affected breeding programs. Regarding epilepsy: this is another huge can of worms. Idiopathic epilepsy is frightening because the root cause of this is unknown. Although there appears to be an age component here as well. In many cases, seizure disorders at any age are labelled epilepsy when they are not. Seizures can be caused from many things including brain tumors, poisoning, low thyroid, other metabolic disorders. DNA testing for either of these conditions is still very far into the future because, IMHO, there are so many variables. I feel here too, the best we can do is educate ourselves regarding pedigrees and not breed affecteds. Just my thoughts.

Donna Seigart
Woodglen Irish Setters in Northern California USA
I am with you in all that you say, there was a study done here in the UK with the same kind of questionnaire, and the uptake was to say the least, not good, some people were happy to add their dogs readings and measurements but there were not enough, to give a good scientific analysis, someone here on this site, has said that it wasn't done in the UK, only in the US, (but I am pleased that it was also done in the US as well), all be it before the UK, I know it was done here because it was my daughter that had done it. I also agree with you that breeding from these animals, knowing that relatives have had these terrible problems, is abhorrent. A few of us have breed from these animal before they have bloated, this is unfortunate, and when I breed from my second bitch, I was doing so, after I had asked the vet if it was OK, not even thinking about a genetic or a familial connection, this was in the 70's when vets, like someone here, thought that all these things were just bad management, I think if you ask a vet now you would have a different reaction. After many years looking at dogs bloating (and the heartache that brought) and doing my own 'research' into this, I am like many of you here convinced it has a genetic base, all be it very diverse, and very complicated.
We need a diverse gene pool, a low COI, this will help, to broaden, and 'water' down, these genetic problems, research into the problems, and then, DO NOT BREED FROM THESE ANIMALS or their descendants, when we find the affected genes, we can start to do all this, but if people are complacent, then these problems will just go on and on, and get completely out of hand, and we will loose this beautiful breed, as we know it now. That would be horrific, and basically unnecessary, we have good scientist out there and good breeders, so we need to all work together, AND BE HONEST, we must be honest, don't sweep things under the carpet, get our heads out of the sand, and own up to problems.
I am with Jane in that I don;t believe all cases of bloat are hereditary, nearly 2 years ago I had a 2yr old dog put to sleep. To cut a long and very stressful story short he had a diseased intestine which one vet failed to pick up on this caused him to have severe gut motility problems , his food whatever he was fed just sat in his stomach, because of this he started to bloat and had his stomach tubed 3 times, each time between 5 and 10 hours of him being fed we found his latest meal sitting on top of his previous meal, after the 3rd time I made the most heartbreaking decision to put him to sleep, my vet is adamant that he was bloating due to his diseased intestine causing motility problems and simply put if his gut had been healthy he would not have bloated. however after he had gone we took the swab from his cheek and sent it off to the AHT, his illness started with recurrent colitis and food allergies and i would urge anyone whose dog appears to have a sensitive stomach to have further investigations done sooner rather than later,I insisted the vet took a biopsy when stapling his stomach, unfortunately it was only when i returned to my old vet that a proper interpretation of the results and steroid treatment started but too late. None of his siblings have thus far been affected with gut problems and my vet feels it was unfortunate and a problem that was peculiar to this individual. I have never had such a stressful 6 months and knew the morning that I had him put to sleep that he wanted to go. i agree that a predisposition could run in certain lines but think that every case is different and all the facts need to be taken into consideration before concluding that it could be genetic.
This is a very sad story, I feel for you and you family, and that you have gone through a lot of heart ache in this problem.
I think that vets are all too quick to diagnose Bloat in Irish Setters.....Irish Setter + stomach problem = Bloat. and there are many causes of a distended stomach not just GDV, but that is what they stop at, and the other diagnosis it too slow in coming, especially in the case of your poor boy. Your problem shows that you knew there was something wrong with your dog, we as lay people have to rely on the professionals, and I think in this day and age nothing can be just diagnosed, by some vets, they have got to do many many tests, and sometimes things take a while, that the dogs just don't have, you are rite in saying that not everything is bloat, Stomach problems are so easily miss diagnosed by vets, again Irish Setters always have bad stomachs. Saffy has a delicate stomach, so much so that they operated on her at the end of last year, and I have found a wonderful Pro Biotic that has helped so much, definitely not helped by the vets, but it seems to be working, very expensive, but hell it works.
I have watched many bouts of bloat, probably more than the average vet, and there are stomach problems that I have seen, many times, because lets face it some Irish do have bad stomach's, and I have had many arguments/discussions with vets about one being bloat and the other a stomach problem, we agree to differ at the moment... I hope many people that read you contribution will take a good note of it. And realise that all isn't just bloat, black and white, there are many grey areas, and if these aren't looked into then a disaster can not occur, again I am so sorry for the way you lost your poor dog.
Safest choice for future of the breed is do not breed from Irish setters who bloated as long as you have no assurance from objective experts (NOT YOU!) that it does not has a genetic cause.

As for the subject of this topic. We are discussing quite some time a problem without providing all relevant information. Not healthy. We discuss thanks to openness of Dee the affected Caspians Modesty http://setters.applegrove.net/setters/search.php?Query=caspians+mod.... She has (great)(grand)sires present in most IRS showlines.

One of the sitemembers sent me meanwhile a coi percentage for the affected setter (=31), how much of Modeesty's blood is from just one stud dog Kerryfair Night Fever (42%), possible number of forebearers in ten generations (2046) and real number of forebearers (263).

Knowing that, it is in my eyes wrong to withheld buyers and breeders of Irish setters information that could provide them tools to prevend spreading this. A pedigree is certainly one of them.

Irish setter history knows stud dogs heavily used, responsible for biggest tragedies in history of the breed. Like Rheola Benedict (for the UK) and Kinvarra Kermit (USA). They did not have the wealth of information we have on dangers of raising a coi.... Apparently we learned not enough of this episode in history, neither of warnings from so many experts including our own.

Dee what is your private e-mail address? Jemina Harrison (Pedigree Dogs Exposed) asks for it. She wants to congratulate you on your openness! Her e-mail is jem@jemimaharrison.co.uk




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