Grew up on a small farm in ye olde country, northern MN, moved to the NW U.S. in 1976. I've had a wonderful Border Collie, then a Corsky (Husky Corgi mix) and now I just adopted a 9 year old Cardigan Corgi.
It's not sex-linked, it's on one of the regular chromosomes. Purebred corgis (and other dwarfed breeds) have 2 copies; so mixes will have only 1. It's an extra copy of a fibroblast growth factor gene. Caused the cartilage plates at ends of bones to fuse early. It's obviously a 1-time-only event, kinda interesting for excruciatingly technical reasons -- it's called a "retrogene", and I hadn't heard of this mutational mechanism before.
Somebody took the trouble to map the gene and sequence it.
Dr. Coates' paper on Degenerative Myelopathy attracted a lot of interest when it came out, 'cause it's the SOD1 gene which, when damaged, causes Lou Gehrig's disease (ALS) in humans. That sort of stuff is right up our alley. I work for a neurologist whoi collects these rare hereditary neurological diseases.
Hope your cardy is OK. Something like that happened to Al, but it's his knee, not back. I feared for his back at the time, so I made a sling and carried him out 17 miles. I think I should do surgery, but I don't have much money right now. Poor little guy. He's only 7.
At 11:26pm on September 19, 2013, John Wolff said…
Wow Jolly, great to hear from you. A corsky? Interesting mix.
We've always had to keep out of the national parks. Plenty other places to go on this side. You have to be careful of harnesses; we have one that I only use for emergency belays, and it can wear a sore on the collarbone if they wear it for long hikes. We did have a Ruffwear harness that we just used for car safety belt; I lost it this spring. Red/yellow. It was good. You can take those on/off over the head without separating the plastic buckles: just fold the wrist through the chest loop. I liked the Ruffwear; the leash slipped through a little loop, so it was easy to assemble/disassemble, but I don't think you even had to do that to slip it on/off if you fold the wrists through.
I did test our other harness to see if it would hold the dog in a vertical hang like a climber's seat harness. It would not. Al slipped neatly out of it (this just before we crossed the high log over the Suiattle River on the PCT). That was a 9-day trip in wet weather; that's when I found he fits inside the we, useless down sleeping bag. Like an electric blanket.
I though about sewing a lightweight version with no buckles.
Sadly, I think Al's climbing days are over. His knee blew out a year ago on a long hike; he awoke lame on day6 and I carried him out 17 miles. I'd thought he was healed, and we did several trips this spring/summer, but he started limping badly after we spent a night on Mt. Hinman. It's a bad time for this; I have no money right now, and the various surgeries work only so well. Even with a good surgical result, I would not be confident in bringing him out into the mountains again. It's sad. He was always so strong and joyful, he could go anywhere I could go. We've slept at 9000'. He fits inside my sleeping bag. Al going lame? It's like Beethoven going deaf. He's only 7.
There's somebody here with a Border Cardy. Beautiful dog.
I work in a genetics lab. The leg dwarfing gene has been all worked out: all dwarfed dogs have exactly the same one-time-only mutation. Somebody had a dwarfed puppy once, thought it was cute, bred it, and now all 16 dwarf breeds have that little bit of common ancestry.