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The link for this Bloat Survey was just published in our "National Dog" Magazine here in Australia. 


The Abstract of the most recent study (2010) by Marko Pipan, Dorothy Cimino Brown, Carmelo L. Battaglia and Cynthia M. Otto can be found at this link:




The full survey results are not yet available, so I will be checking the Breeding Better Dogs website regularly.  It appears that this was an internet based survey done in USA.




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Thank you for that, Cheryl. I will study it in quiet. Have you seen the article in the Irish Setter Breeders Club winter newsletter? They mention a recent study done in the UK and Irish Setters are amongst the most affected breeds.

Yes, Susan, I did receive the links to the article from a friend over in UK and I did read the article.  Very interesting conclusions.  I would have liked to have seen how many dogs were calculated for the survey as well.  Given that they speak of how many dogs died and the percentage were GDV.  There were so many more IS die in that survey than other breeds.  The total number of IS used in the survey would have been valuable to know the percentage of deaths vs the percentage of dogs in the survey.  Otherwise, we have a bigger mortality issue (from other causes?).

I wonder if each breed club will get their own breed specific data as I think that would also be interesting to read.
I wonder if anyone has any other specific data that came from this UK survey?


Thanks Cheryl for so interesting article.

In the hospital the vets have said the most popular breeds, as we talk about bloat, are great danes and german shepherds. IS - very rare. I think it depends on number of those breed representatives in population. In my doggish books is clearly written:breed tendencies: IS = 1) bloat....

These all are dogs with huge chest, there is a lot of empty space where stomag can easily to twist

Kruszyna is quite well now, today we finish antibiotics, the stitchtes are having out tomorrow... She eats with appetite.

She'll recover soon.

Thanks, Cheryl


Here we go again........another pontless bloat survey and more statistics, going over the same old ground, coming up with the same old conclusions which tell us nothing that we don't already know and more of the same doom and gloom in the ISBC newsletter!!!!! I am not surprised the Association of German Shepherd Dogs refused to participate. We do not need any more surveys. We do not need to be told, yet again, where the Irish Setter stands in the table of susceptibility. We need to utilise all the information that has been gathered and move forward into research on how to prevent bloat and how to manage it.
Incidently there are thousands of IS world wide who live to a ripe old age without ever blowing up........lets celebrate that for a change!!!!!

I'd like to congratulate the Irish Setter Breeder's Club on their most recent Newsletter featuring 'Health and Education' - surely these subjects form the most important aspect in the breed at present.

The ISBC is going the way I'd expect from a breed club commited to health and wellfare of our beloved setters.

Education and Information is of paramount importance to those wishing for the best for the breed they declare to love.


I personally would wish for a more repressive stance toward breeders (some of them championship show judges) who refuse to address health matters and who refuse to hip score their dogs.

If anyone is interested in finding out more about the health tests go to the Kennel Club health site.



Depressing? Yes. But recognising and accepting the state of the breed is the first step toward improvement - and this is what the ISBC has in mind. I find their action highly laudable and the first speck of light in a long dark tunnel...

And will we all be saying that ten years down the line when we are still reading the results of yet more surveys, publishing the same old statistics going over the same old ground. Do we really need to be told whether the IS is the 5th or the 50th breed most at risk. We know this already. We know we have a problem, no one is sweeping it under the carpet or pretending it doesn't exist. We have to move on and use the information already in the public domain, and THAT is were we need to target our precious donations..........not another survey, which incidentally is only as good as the level of participation. If breeds pull out, as the Association of German Shepherd Dogs did, then the data and the statistics become compromised. That is all I am saying.
There are many breeders who DO hip score their dogs and who participate in all the DNA tests available to them. Please don't ignore them or brush them aside. They are to be counted as much as those who don't. And it might surprise you as to how numerous they actually are.
To read the last few ISBC newsletters would make you think that there isn't a single healthy IS left in the world!! Of course there are problems but there are also many successes. The small amount of DNA tests we have bear testament to that. As do they many healthy IS that live to a ripe old age. We need to maintain a balanced view.
Onwards and upwards.....not backwards.

Eva, you wrote:

There are many breeders who DO hip score their dogs and who participate in all the DNA tests available to them. Please don't ignore them or brush them aside. They are to be counted as much as those who don't. And it might surprise you as to how numerous they actually are.


Would you praise your taxi driver for not being drunk? No, you'd take it for granted...

I agree, fortunately many (most?) breeders DO hip score and get the available DNA tests. It is what a conscientious breeder does - without having to be told. These breeders do not need our praise - they know they are doing the right thing and are being honest about there stock toward future puppy buyers.


In most countries of europe no dog will be used for breeding unless he has been scored. Yet in Britain I still see it happening. Sorry, you may accuse me of 'Bashing the Brits' - that is not my intention. Just stating the facts.


You are partly right, Camilla, we will never get 100% perfect hips. But we could achieve a marked improvement and far less highly dysplastic dogs if all countries only used below average scoring parents for breeding. This has been proven by studies into breeds with higher numbers scored than Irish Setters (Hovawart, GSD, Labradors at the swiss training school for dogs for the blind).

Having whole litters scored rather just individual animals is also a way forward - this is something both you and I try to do but it is not as widespread amongst breeders as could be wished.


But so long as we keep going back to unscored or hardly scored stock from the UK it is impossible for us actually to make much improvement. We will keep coming back to the average or breed mean score.

Looking back over 5 years at Irish Setters that have been scored under the BVA/KC scheme it becomes sadly apparent that no real improvement can be seen in the average score each year. Selection is not working, Why? Because there is a) no rigorous selection going on and b) all animals go back to the practically same show stock and c) animals with low scores are not used for breeding as they do not represent the winning type...


Sorry Cheryl, for going off subject. I have tried to find the full article referred to in the ISBC Newsletter on 'Mortality and Morbidity due to Gastric Dilatation Volvolus Syndrome in Pedigree Dogs' by Katy Evans and Vicki Adams. Unfortunately I can not access it anywhere on the web. Maybe someone has a copy and could mail me privately? 

Danger in lack of genetic diversity - you know I agree absolutely.

In all these discussions we end up going round in circles: to start with nobody believed in hip scoring, then  nobody believed in the danger of inbreeding, next thing that happens is that those did not believe in either are using the argument of genetic diversity for not using low scoring dogs....

What I have come to believe is that very few breeders are really are willing to compromise and put health before the preferred type. Maybe it is time to give yearly awards for 'the oldest dog' or 'the breeder of the oldest litter',or  'the litter with the highest percentage of health scored dogs'or 'the litter with the lowest average hip score', 'the owner of a stud dog owner who openly declares what problems have occurred'... instead of 'Top Dog' 'most CC winning progeny'... 'Top breeder from show awards'...


Food for thought? OK, I'll stop now, promise!

Well said, Susan!

Susan, I think you malign us.........yet again.  I will tell you now that the first litter Camilla bred using my Concept who has a low hip score to her Bubbles who also has a low hip score produced 10 siblings who are all hip scored with very low results.  Not only that but 9 of them, including my own bitch Vita are "made" up.  So it IS possible to produce winning dogs without having to compromise on health or beauty.  And why should we!!!!  There are stud dog owners who openly declare any problems that have occurred and who are very careful with the use of their stud dogs.  Who keep tabs on the progeny and who know when to stop.

Oh and by the way............my Concept is Top Sire in IS again this year with the most cc winning progeny.  I am proud of that and I WILL be posting it very soon..............


Apologies Cheryl for going off track on your Discussion.  I have tried hard to keep it on topic but have had to respond to Susan's last comment..................sorry!!



In further defence of the UK breeders may I also add that Concept is sire of the Top IS in three different countries, including the UK, who are ALL x-rayed with low hip scores.  Our current Top Breeder x-rays her stock and breeds from bitches with low hip scores.  Winning dogs bred by her in other ownerships are also x-rayed with low hip scores.  The ISBC Yearbook annually publishes a list of all the dogs that have been scored and the last copy had two pages for the first time so we are, despite not being forced to do so by our KC, as other European countries,  moving forward.  From small acorns large oaks grow.  Despite what you say Susan, winning dogs of good type with low hipscores ARE being used in the UK so perhaps the time has come for you to re-valuate your observations. 

We are also participating in health schemes, including Bloat, and it is not because of the Breed Clubs but because we want to.

Thank you Cheryl for your patience.  My next plan is to read the article in your latest link but I must take the dogs out or my guts will be well and truly gartered!!!!!!!




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