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Please remain decent and respectful of others views. Just wonder what all of you think of pedigree dogs exposed on bbc4 this evening 

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I recorded it and was going to watch it tonight but I had recorded the wrong programme! BBC i player here I come!

I haven't been able to watch the program yet, hopefully it will be on the Dutch television or on Youtube. Health problems in dogs is a hot item in the Netherlands too. This Sunday there will be a program on the Dutch television, 22.15h NL2 (Brandpunt). Me and a friend of my will be in that program to tell our stories about our epileptics and their breeders. 

It is on Youtube already!

part one

part two

part three

part four

I hope the links will work!

Thank you, Astrid, for putting up the links to the programme. I have just managed to view it. It saddens me, not just the display of of clearly malformed breeds but also knowing that we've been talking of the effects of inbreeding for many years now, even on this site, and still inbreeding continues in our own beloved breed. Conserving 'type' being the great issue, rather than conserving health.

Are we capable of changing our breeding policy?

I am glad you have been able to watch it. The video is not longer available! :-(

Its on Patrick Burn's website (Terrierman's Blog)


Not anymore...

I found it on another website!

Really? I have a dongle and sure will give it a try!

I am not happy about this either, but I am glad that I could make my point!

Very upsetting to see the Irish having a fit. I hardly understand any Dutch so do not know what was said but it sounded like 'all pedigree dogs are sick'...?

This opens up a real can of worms for me.  There IS a real problem with hypothyroidism in this breed ! Yes! This is made worse by fact that hypothyroidism is probably the most misdiagnosed condition and yet the easiest to diagnose on the face of the flipping earth. Not only for dogs - but for humans too, as I know some people (myself included) on this list can well appreciate. I have had 3 dogs CONFIRMED hypothyroid, but only because I am extremely knowledgeable about the condition and insisted that my dogs bloods were sent over to Dr. Jean Dodds, whose reference ranges truly reflect the breed averages. 

In this country (and most of Europe) the reference ranges (which are constantly being moved around by one particular laboratory) really leave something to be desired.  All three of my confirmed cases were extremely low on the range, but because they were - JUST - and I mean JUST still within the 'normal' range they were declared free from hypothyroidism, and the vets wanted to continue merely treating symptoms, which include seizures, and late onset M.O

The response I had from vets was  "oh it's skin problems, oh its just an ongoing infection, oh it's m.o, it's what YOU are doing, it's what YOU are feeding, its ongoing ear inflammation, oh it's IBS, oh now your dog has epilepsy Fran, you need to consider having him/her pts". and on and on it goes. 

Once my dogs were treated properly for hypothyroidism, AND addressing the root cause as in one of my dogs cases, its amazing the effect the correct treatment has.  No more fits, no more skin problems, no more neuropathy and so on. 

All of the vets I consulted in local practices refused to treat for hypothyroidism, and/or acknowledge DR. Jean Dodds results which revealed one of my dogs to be "severely hypothyroid" ("we don't use that Laboratory, we only use our own system or our trusted labs") so I had to hunt around and find a vet outside the area who would acknowledge the issue.  Most recently I took Tallulah to Ben Harris at Cambridge, and after extensive tests, what conclusion did they reach?  Hypo (bloody) thyroidism, Nothing more, Nothing less.  Ben also agreed that the ranges are not reflecting the real situation.  He said you have to look at the clinical horizon of the individual dog, ie. as to whether it is low on the range and displaying the classic symptoms, if it is, then it ought to be treated. This is not the case though, and I know that there are many many dogs out there, who have waxing/waning symptoms which are consistent with hypothyroidism who are not recognised as being such, will never be recognised especially when people trust the opinion of their own vet.

Unfortunately for Tallulah, because of the delay and all the dallying around again with the local vets,  has suffered long term damage which will probably never heal. Will the real extent of the problem ever be truly recognised? unfortunately not.  Not unless there is a real sea change in attitude from the medical profession who are in many cases pawns of the drug companies, who would rather have us spending lots on medication for individual symptoms, rather than one cheap little pill which can put a stop to the condition. There is a real battle going on in the medical/veterinary medicine community about hypothyroidism, and whilst they are busy fighting one another, people and our dogs are suffering.  Irish Setters are not exempt from this. 

I was discussing this with somebody from this list on the phone a few nights ago, and my opinion is that there is just as much an issue of hypothyroidism in Setters in the UK as there is in the U.S where testing is on the whole, better than here.   Looking back knowing what I know now, I can guarantee that two of my oldies were hypothyroid too, even from looking at  their photos I can see the classic droopy tragic expression, which means that I have had a total of 5 - yes 5 Irish who have had thyroid issues. Those old dogs were fed dry food, so the fact that I am now a raw feeder cannot be blamed as the cause, which is some of  the rubbish I have had thrown at me by my current vets, even though  the nutritionist at Cambridge thinks they are all now on a really good diet. 

Yes, most of my reds have been from very similar lines, and the one I have now who isn't showing any signs of hypothyroidism is from another line.   I am also knowledgeable enough to know that the symptoms can also be reflective of other auto-immune conditions, hence the reason why I put my foot down with my local vet and had Tallulah sent over to Cambridge.

Living with dogs who present these awful symptoms, which include seizures is very distressing for all concerned.  It is even more distressing when the real causes of these issues are not being addressed, especially by the waring veterinary community, so how on earth can there be hope of ridding this condition from the breed, when the problem isn't being correctly identified. In all honesty, it has put me off getting another red in future, as much as I love the breed, I can't go through watching the suffering again.  Nalle, Lotte and Tallulah have probably suffered the worst of symptoms which include seizures, m.o, neuropathy and laryngeal paralysis between them.  Its not what I like to see in such a wonderful noble breed, but it is even more distressing for me, for them,  that this is not being properly addressed.




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