Posts Categorised: Health

You think your dog works hard? Check out these dogs who rack up over 3,000 miles conditioning in just 6 months and then run 150 miles a day for over a week in competition.

Mitch Seavey, has won the Iditarod THREE times (2004, 2013 and 2017) and holds the record as the oldest person to win.

His son, Dallas, has won the Iditarod FOUR times (only one person has ever won it 5 times) in 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016.

Dallas holds the record for the youngest person to win. Mitch also came in second to Dallas in 2015 and 2016 and 3rd in 2014 when Dallas won and Dallas came in second to Mitch in 2017.

They’ve also smashed the winning time record over and over. Mitch currently holds the record at 8 days 3 hours 40 minutes 13 seconds. They are the first father and son duo in Iditarod history to claim the top two finishing positions of the race. Between them they’ve won the last 6 Iditarod races.

So why would I – a Lab person – tell you about sled dogs? Well, if a top musher chooses Dynamite products for his dogs it might be something for you to consider.

“We use Dynamite products year round in the kennel to maintain healthy, thriving dogs. The nutritional vitamin and mineral supplements are a key element in our their successful performance and great overall health,” says Dallas Seavey.

What other products does he use?

He says he’s had great success treating viral and bacterial infections “with activated Miracle Clay, Solace, Dyna Pro, and Trace Minerals Concentrate every 3 hours around the clock until well.”

Let me know if you have any questions about any of these Dynamite products!

Image courtesy Dynamite Specialty Products

What Is CNM In Labradors?

The CNM Project in France recently released an update on their research into Centronuclear myopathy (CNM) in Labrador Retrievers. You can read the very scientific update at http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0046408

In a nutshell, CNM is a collapsing disorder. Symptoms generally develop between two to five months of age and include gait abnormalities, generalized weakness and tiring easily, a lack of “knee cap” reflexes and muscle wasting. CNM can affect both sexes and all three recognized colors.

It’s a genetic disorder and requires two copies of the CNM gene – one from each parent.

Puppies with only one copy of the gene are carriers and don’t develop symptoms, but if they are later bred they can pass the CNM gene on to their puppies. The researchers estimate one dog in seven is a carrier so all breeding animals should be tested (unless both parents are tested clear).

Dogs that are affected or carriers can be bred, but must be bred to a dog clear of the CNM gene to prevent producing more affected dogs. And that’s in addition to testing for dysplasia and eye problems, at the very least!

In the past seven years the researchers tested samples from over 7,400 Labs and found 80 affected dogs. They believe it started with a single mutation about 50 years ago and has rapidly spread to at least 18 countries through the use of popular sires.

Although it is not fatal, it is a debilitating disorder and an affected dog will require a supportive caretaker.

 

 

Here is a video of a 5 month old affected puppy. Note the general weakness and body position, particularly the head and neck.

 

Here is a video of another Lab having a particularly tough day although she’s determined to get her bumper.

 

Here is a video of an adult Lab who has been able to overcome many of the symptoms of CNM with the help of his caregivers. According to his owners, “As a puppy, he couldn’t hold his head up, control his tongue, hold a tug toy, walk for more than a few feet without having to crawl, or climb stairs.”

And, no, CNM is not the same as Exercise Induced Collapse (EIC), although both disorders are genetic. CNM is a muscle weakness whereas EIC is a neurologic dysfunction.

Here is a video from the University of Minnesota where they are doing research on EIC.

If you want to learn more about CNM, go to the official CNM website at http://www.labradorcnm.com/pages/site/0-frame_site.html

Most dogs aren’t normal?

I read an interesting article this morning. Are breeders blind? Or are we operating under a misconception? The article concludes that the majority of dogs are not normal.

WHAAAT?

“According to Padgett (1991), most breeders continue to believe that the dogs they own are genetically normal.”

Well, gee, I thought they were.

Padgett also reported that “the average number of defects in most breeds may be fourteen.” Some breeds could have as many as 58 defects.

Well, not MY breed.

When the Exercise Induced Collapse (EIC) test came out, I tested my Labs and was blindsided to learn that one was a carrier.

OMG! My dog is defective! I had no idea that one of my dogs harbored that dreaded disease.

My reaction seems to be typical of many breeders. Not only do we believe most dogs are genetically normal, but that having a dog with a defective gene was so out of the ordinary that it should be kept a secret. If we talk about having a defective gene some people might feel our dogs are “less than average or perhaps abnormal.” So we bury our heads in the sand and hope that it will go away.

If we can change our way of thinking – that most dogs are not genetically normal – then it won’t come as such a surprise to get results showing defective genes. If it’s not such a surprise, then maybe we’ll be more willing to share the results thus making it easier to eradicate that gene.

My dog carries one copy of the EIC gene. Dogs with two copies of the gene may collapse under some circumstances. She was fine, but I had to be careful to only breed her to a male who was clear of the gene.

Whew! That doesn’t sound so bad.

So we test before deciding to breed and choose mates wisely.

To learn more, see:
Breed dilemmas and extinction by Dr. Carmen L. Battaglia in The Labrador Quarterly, Winter 2010-11, discussing Padgett, George, “Genetics I Introduction,” 1991 Beagle Review, Darcroft Publishing, Wilmington, VT, Vol. 1, No. 1, Winter 1991, pg. 14-16.

Dog Vaccine Dangers

I used to be a vet tech and blithely gave vaccines to all my animals. DHLPP for dogs, seven-way for horses, FeLP for cats. The veterinarians said they would keep my animals healthy and I believed.

Then I heard about the feline leukemia vaccine causing cancer in cats. I thought it would be better not to give this vaccine, but the Association of Feline Practitioners said to give it anyway – just give it in the cat’s rear leg.

Why, you ask? That way when the cat developed cancer they could just amputate the leg. For more information see: https://www.vetinfo.com/feline-leukemia-vaccine.html Where they say, “By limiting the vaccination site to the back leg, amputation is a better idea.”

The more I thought about it, the more I distrusted the use of vaccines. Inject a small dose of the disease directly into an animal and hope their immune system could deal with it? How unnatural.

Then to increase the efficiency, the drug makers started adding adjuvants. These are substances that the World Health Organization listed as Class III carcinogens with Class IV being the highest risk. (IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans: Volume 74, World Health Organization, International Agency for Research on Cancer, Feb. 23-Mar. 2, 1999, p. 24, 305, 310.)

Although required by law, the rabies vaccine is one of the most dangerous of the vaccines. Researchers believe it causes the most and worst adverse reactions in animals, including cancerous tumors at the injection site. Here is a webpage I came across recently that chronicles the decline and eventual death of an Australian Shepherd after her second rabies vaccination. http://www.pinecrest-aussies.com/in-memory-of-belle.html

There is a study underway to improve the safety of rabies vaccines and to determine, by challenge, if they confer immunity for longer than three years as currently believed by most states. One French study showed dogs were immune to a rabies challenge five years after vaccination, while a study in Wisconsin found sufficient antibody titers after seven years. The current study, the Rabies Challenge Fund, is about to start its third year, but is short on funds. Please consider making a donation today! This is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Their website is www.RabiesChallengeFund.org

UPDATE – January 25, 2018
Research shows that dogs who have received two doses of rabies virus vaccine are protected for at least FIVE years. The study is still ongoing and they are collecting and analyzing data from 6.5 and 7 years post-vaccination.

Here are links to more information about vaccine dangers:

Veterinarian Quotes
http://www.yourpurebredpuppy.com/health/common/vaccinations.html

Ron Schultz, DVM quoted on Shirley’s Wellness Cafe
http://www.shirleys-wellness-cafe.com/petvacc.htm

Vaccine Safety
http://www.vaccines.net/newpage114.htm

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