I see Beth has closed her discussion. I'm opening one back up. Feel free to post. I would love to hear from those who are suffering from this horrible disease right along with their beloved dogs. Would you buy another at risk puppy? Does your breeder test?
I'm new to this MyCorgi forum but DO NOT LIKE the idea of "I don't like what you're saying so I'm stopping this discussion!". DM is a devastating disease to the dogs and people it afflicts. Getting the word out to pet people (who mostly own these dogs) is imperative, not only to help them help their dogs but to encourage them to educate themselves and make their OWN decisions about the DNA test out to detect the mutated gene respnsible for this horrendous disease. Should breeders test their dogs? Is the test accurate and reliable? What does this test tell us? How do we respond to a less than desirable test result? There are a lot of misguided talk and people imposing their own "scientific" interpretations. The facts are very simple and can be found published in medical publications as well as on the DM website at http://www.caninegeneticdiseases.net/DM/mainDM.htm . That said, I must close to attend morning services. I'll say an extra prayer for DM our dogs and the researchers. I hope others who have these dogs will contribute to this discussion to give us a MORE ROUNDED view of this disease.
I want to be clear, I did not stop the discussion because of a difference of opinion.
The original post attracted very little attention here. I then began a debate with one person, with an affiliation to another site with a particular point of view.
The thread then drew interest from one or two members who only post in threads about DM, which is fine. It's an open site and everyone has a right to express themselves.
However, at the point at which a new person, seemingly also affiliated with this other site, joins solely to post in one thread and back the point of view of the original person I was debating, I figured out what would happen next. I have been around the internets a time or two. I thought that before the end of the day, several other people would join MyCorgi specifically to post in this thread and back the other poster.
I did not wish to participate in that sort of discussion (having seen it happen on many other forums about many other topics), and so I closed the thread. As I predicted, several new people have joined solely to say they believe that At Risk dogs should not be bred. That is their right, but I did not want to see it happening in my own thread.
Sorry Beth, I don't believe anyone ganged up on you. I simply believe none of us agree with you. I was invited to sign on to this forum a couple years ago. It's not that easy for a computer illiterate to navigate. I'm floundering here but learning. One should never stop learning.
As a long time breeder who has lived with multiple DM dogs, comforted others losing them, there is NO WAY you will ever convince me that this test is not valid, is not needed and should be avoided. Research needs numbers. We don't have them. If breeders don't test, all we're going to get are the pet dogs we suspect are affected and related individuals! The statistics are skewed that way already. We need familial groups tested, we need numbers, we need all breeders to CARE about the future of our beloved breed.
I was terrified to get my results, especially when it turned out identifying the gene was NOT the entire answer. You stated on YOUR thread about polygenic. The researachers don't necessarily believe it is polygenic. They believe SOMETHING triggers the gene to manifest into the disease. They are looking at all facets, including but not limited to nutrition and environmental factors as well as genetic. That right there should tell you they are not convinced it is definitely another gene!
Despite incorrect information being circulated, the DM test IS accurate for what it is intended to do- identify the gene-nothing more. We do know that a dog without the gene (clear) will not get the disease. We do know that a dog with only one copy of the gene (carrier) will not get the disease in IT'S lifetime. They do believe if the dog lived to be 30+, there is a possibility it MIGHT get the disease. The dogs that carry both copies ("at risk") run a chance of developing the disease. The % of dogs is not great when looking at the whole picture, at this time - perhaps 10% or less. ONE dog is too many for me but if that is the % we must live with, I could porbably accept it if I had no choice. However, because we DON'T have the NUMBERS, we don't know that is what we have to live with. WE NEED ALL BREEDERS TO TEST THEIR STOCK!!! I don't care what THEY do with their test results. I know what I will do with mine! That is all I can control.
A quick answer to an AT RISK puppy - NO!!! EMPHATICALLY NO I would not buy another AT RISK puppy especially since I know several breeders who now have their heads in the right place and are trying to insure the breed continues.
When one has a vibrant dog even at 13 years old become afflicted with this horrible disease it is beyond my comprehension why breeders would not use the tools currently available. What to do with AT RISK puppies spay or neuter them but by no means but them back in the breeding pool. Inform the puppy purchaser the possibility exists and may never surface but at least give them some insight in the event it does. After running my boy to the vet/vets with several misdiagnosis you know who diagnosed my boy. The dog trainer.
As I stated on the former discussion on this topic I recently visited a cart mfgr's web site only to read "most carts are now going to corgi's". This should be setting off alarm bells world wide. as the disease is becoming more prevalent.
With the DM test although it is relatively new at least there is a start point if not the complete answer to eradicating it from the breed . With more breeders concern and more testing data compiled it can only ENHANCE THE BREED. Otherwise the breed will be known as "those cart dogs" and who will then purchase those puppies.
My Rusty was put down in 2006 because of DM., he was 12. It was the most painful thing we ever had to do as a family. Rusty lost his dignity, lost control of his bodily functions and we could tell just felt terrible about it. I was thinking of getting a doggie wheelchair but the vet told us that we would have to relieve Rusty manually. I know he felt self conscious when we held him up to have a BM. Rusty had a great dispostion and I would have loved to have his personality again. I went to another breeder when getting Chloe and asked specfically if her dogs were tested for DM. The breeder was all over it and said she tested her dogs.
I did not want to go through that heartache again.
A health certificate from a vet? That's not a check for genetic diseases.
You have to be xrayed for hip or elbow dysplasia, go to a board certified opthalmologist for annual eye checks, be DNA swabbed for vWD and DM, go to a cardiologist for the heart auscultation, etc. A health certificate on the day that a vet examines them will not be able to detect any of those things. There are specific certificates from each test that can be given thru the OFA or other places to show that a specific dog has been tested and cleared from these maladies.
I do hope that I'm just misunderstanding what you are saying here.
I, too, am new to this forum. I lost my female corgi, Maggie, just over two weeks ago to nasal cancer. By the time she was diagnosed via a CT scan at the University of Illinois, the cancer was far too advanced for any treatment. One week later, on 7/30/09, I woke to this darling dog struggling to breathe. She had refused food for two days, I knew it was time. Never, in my wildest nightmares, could I have imagined I would lose Maggie first. That is because...
My male corgi, Simon, began showing symptoms last December of what, ultimately, was presumptively diagnosed as DM. I have watched a once-active dog reduced to stumbling, having to use ramps, not being able to stay upright on smooth surfaces, and soon to be confined to a cart instead of being able to romp with the other dogs when we are outside. Both of my corgis' DNA tests came back "at risk". Until Simon began showing symptoms, i had never even HEARD of DM.
Any breeder...ANY BREEDER...who does not test for this devastating disease and then REMOVE AFFECTED DOGS FROM THEIR LINES should NOT be breeding. Plain and simple. I know of several who have buried their heads in the sand..."oh, it's an old dog disease"..."the tests are unreliable"..."the tests are too expensive"...there are as many excuses as there are naive breeders or breeders who simply do not care.
Unless a person is faced with this disease and the devastation of watching a beloved pet go through it, there is no way he/she can possibly understand the heartache. I live far, far away from any sort of facility that could possibly offer therapy for my Simon. There are no hydro-therapy facilities for dogs anywhere near me. I do what I can for him at home, it's all i CAN do. I am faced with the very real possibility of losing this dog in the foreseeable future and my heart aches beyond belief.
A breeder could guarantee to me 1,000% that a puppy is free and clear of this disease but without proof of testing, if i was offered that puppy along with a million dollars, i would turn it down.
Bobbie, in answer to your question...losing Maggie to cancer was bad, very bad. But she was suffering and I knew it. I had no choice, she was tired and she was ready. From the moment of her death, I have been at peace with my decision. On the other hand, I am watching Simon's condition deteriorate. Some day, maybe it will be many months but still, some day and after watching him decline, I will lose him. I have to LIVE with this knowledge every minute of my life now. With DM being a painless disease, it is almost harder to deal with the ultimate outcome...I look at Simon as he tries to skirt around his ramp and scramble up the steps and the confusion in his eyes when he cannot figure out why he can't do it any longer...and more confusion when he wants to come up on the couch to cuddle with me but has to wait to be lifted because his back end no longer works well enough to propel him up to my lap.
The sadness is crushing. How anybody can think this isn't an important issue in this breed is simply beyond my comprehension.
Our family went through the hell of DM several years ago. My daughter's dog Rosie (Caleb's Gibson Girl) lived to be 12, her last two years with DM. Rosie's cart was one of the first to help start the CorgiAid Cart Program, because we donated it to them after she went to the Bridge. Rosie's disposition was so sunny that she managed to hold up quite well as her little body completely betrayed her as it failed. That was one of the saddest things. It wasn't until she gave up completely that we felt comfortable sending her to the bridge.
I've been listening to the Pem and Cardi folks debate DM for years now...and frankly, there's every reason to get it out of the breeds' lines NOW before it becomes even more widespread than it already is. Like PRA and Von Willebrandt's Disease, and hip dysplasia, these genetic diseases need to be outbred so that the breeds' natural hardiness can return and provide us with assurance that our dogs will live most of their lifespans healthy... instead of us dreading the onset of the disease that kills them.
It is harder to eradicate cancer from the breeds, but we CAN eradicate DM.
Obviously Beth has hit a nerve. I have to admit that it is not likely that I will ever get another Corgi after having gone through the DM experience, unless I was absolutely certain that it is a clear dog. Woody has been a blessing to me in many ways, with and without DM. He is happy, accepting, affectionate, and resilient. I gladly hook him up to his wheelchair daily, carry him in and out and around the house, take him out in his stroller when walking in the wheelchair is just too much, help him deal with abnormal urinary and intestinal issues, make adjustments to my house and car, second guess every nuance in physical or emotional changes, spend my lunch period coming home to take him out, love him, love him, and love him. It has been a true privilege to share his life. But I would not choose to have the experience for my dog, or for me, any more than I (or anyone for that matter) would choose to help a loved family member deal with the effects of ALS. I have stated it in other forums before, that this is a no brainer. The tests are out there. If a dog could produce DM affected puppies, it should not be bred- period. I would say to those that don't think this is a big deal, that they should not knock it until they try it. Very rewarding, very humbling, very exhausting, very emotional, very heartbreaking. And there are plenty of us out there. If you are researching for aquiring a Corgi, it does not take that much more time to research DM and all the studies that are currently taking place. A little bit of time now could save you years of added time and energy in caring for your disabled dog later. By the way, there are those that choose to adopt rescue Corgis suffering from DM and other disabling conditions. They will have a special place in heaven- probably surrounded by a lot of grateful little short furry friends.
So, I am curious: since we have 4 people joining today just to forward the same point of view, and a fifth who had been a member and hadn't posted in a year until now: are you all from Corgis on Wheels and were discussing this there and came here to respond to my posts? Or did you just happen to catch it in a Google search?
Just wondering, as it seems a bit of a coincidence.