Posts Categorised: Health

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.


“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: 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.

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

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

Ron Schultz, DVM quoted on Shirley’s Wellness Cafe

Vaccine Safety

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