The April Fool’s Litter at Eleven

A very happy 11th birthday to the April Fool’s litter: April, Curran, Duncan, Fearna, Dancer, Sheena, and Cari/Oops.

4-1-09Fearna: Ch C-Myste April’s Fool 4-1-09-3As a puppy on her “gotcha” day.

4-1-09-2Duncan: Ch C-Myste Nobody’s Fool.

4-1-09-4Puppy Sheena: C-Myste Shenanigans

4-1-09-5And Cari (FKA Oops) C-Myste Joke’s On Me.

It’s no joke now that two of you have symptoms of DM (degenerative mylopathy).

For those who do not consider the DNA test for DM important: yes, it is true that not every dog who tests as at risk/affected (“A/A”) will develop the disease.  And you might not feel that dealing with a dog with DM would be an issue for you.  But consider the future owners of your puppies: they may not feel the same way.  When Fearna’s owner tells me that it breaks her heart to see her girl this way, it breaks mine a little as well.

A few years ago we had a rescue Pem overnight on her way south to a placement.  The girl was beautiful in type and appeared to be well-bred but had early symptoms of DM.  She had been dumped at a shelter in the middle of the night.

Will you chip all of your puppies and guarantee to take them back when their owners cannot deal with their condition?

The DM test is expensive for us at $65 each.  We are now told that there is no discount as the CWCCA did not support the research.  Was the membership asked if we would support it?  And were we told that if we did not support the development of the test at the club level that we would pay through the nose as individuals later?

A figure has been tossed out that 90%-95% of dogs who are A/A for DM will not develop symptoms.   I dispute those statistics without a scientific study for proof.  First:  we need to test every Cardigan possible.  Second: we need to follow each of those dogs for their entire lives.  Careful notes need to be taken of which dogs do develop symptoms when they reach 10 or more.  Dogs who die from other causes before the age that symptoms of DM can develop should not be counted in that 90%-95% figure.  Third: all dogs who are A/A should have their spinal cords examined at death as that is currently the only way that DM can be definitively diagnosed.

If you don’t think that the test is good enough at this stage: don’t berate its validity or importance but rather work toward furthering our knowledge about the condition and toward developing even better tests.

And if you decide not to test and then produce affected dogs, be ready with some big apologies and explanations in 10 or 11 years.

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