Friday, 26 August 2011

UKRCB Symposium 2011

On Sunday 25th September the UKRCB are holding a Symposium which this year will be discussing 'the current state of research into puppy education, the new approach which is proposed and research currently underway to assess the new approach to puppy education'. Having attended a talk hosted by the UKRCB earlier this year and given the topic being covered at this talk, I am really excited at the prospect of attending.
The following link will take you to the relevant page on the UKRCB website for more information

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Girls at Eight Days

Top two pictures - ticked liver and white bitch, bottom two pictures - dark liver and white bitch. Both beautiful little girls.

Boys at Eight Days

From top to bottom - Mr T (black and white boy), Mr Big (liver and white boy), Badger (black and white boy) and solid headed black and white boy - don't worry he will get a nickname too when we think of an appropriate one ...

Tilly and Bruno Pups - one week of age

Our babies are a week old today and boy how they have grown. Whilst they are very contented puppies, eyes still closed, they can certainly make their way around the whelping box in search of mom when needs-be.
Shown above, from top to bottom liver and white bitch, black and white boy, black and white boy, liver and white boy, liver and white bitch and black and white boy.
Gary and I are absolutely delighted with these puppies and enjoying every minute of watching them grow.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Tilly and Bruno Puppies Arrive

Gary and I had been on our vigil, watching Tilly from about Friday since she had puppies two days early when she had her last litter two years ago. Tilly however, had other ideas and kept hold of those little babies until the early hours of Wednesday morning when we became the proud grandparents of six beautiful puppies - seen in the picture opposite from left to right a liver and white boy, three black and white boys and two liver and white girls.
As before Tilly is proving to be a devoted mum feeding, cleaning and counting puppies each time we lift one out of the whelping box.
Of course nothing is getting done at home since the whelping box is in our big kitchen - the hub of our household - and as we all drift in and out we are all drawn to Tilly and her pups and just spend endless minutes watching them eat and sleep.

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM) in the GWP

Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM)

The following is copied from the German Wireahired Pointer Club website:

"GWPC Committee Health Statement
There has been much discussion on the subject of Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM) and the GWP on various web forums and social networking sites. This statement gives information on the current position of the GWP Club in relation to this issue.

What is DCM?

DCM is a common form of heart disease in dogs. It is the enlargement (dilation) of the heart chambers and a thinning of the heart muscle leading to a marked reduction in the ability of the heart to contract and therefore pump blood (Heart Failure). The disease is an acquired condition, that is to say the dog is not born with it, but it develops over time. Although typically physical symptoms show by middle age, it is not uncommon for cases to be diagnosed at much younger ages. The disease leads to premature death or long-term disability. Onset in middle age can be mistaken for natural ageing; however tiredness and exercise intolerance are potentially early signs of DCM. Although viral infections, immune disease and excessive alcohol consumption can all result in DCM in humans, there is no clear evidence that this happens in dogs. There is a genetic basis to the disease proven in many large and giant breeds (e.g. Doberman, Boxer, Great Dane to name but few). In these breeds the condition is thought to be caused by a dominant gene, meaning that it is passed down one line unlike a recessive gene, which requires carriers on both sides of a mating to create affected dogs (e.g. von Willebrands Disease).

What is the GWP Club Response?

In March 2011, it was brought to the attention of the GWP Committee that there have been cases of confirmed and suspected DCM involving a small number of GWPs, including younger dogs. The committee immediately requested that the GWPC Health Sub-Committee investigate this matter. This investigation is ongoing and it is likely that there will be firm guidance on the subject in the near future. There is no evidence as yet of this being a widespread condition in the GWP. The GWP Health Sub-Committee will advise in due course on what, if any, action should be taken by the Club and its members.

In the meantime, we have arranged a seminar on this important subject open to all club members and we especially hope that as many breeders as possible will attend. This will be on Saturday 24th September at Middlewich Community Centre, starting at 12.30 with a buffet lunch followed by the seminar and a questions and answers session. The Speaker will be Joanna Dukes McEwan BVMS, MVM, PhD, DVC, Dip.ECVIM-CA(Cardiology), MRCVS of the University of Liverpool Small Animal Hospital; and a leading authority on DCM. The session will cost £15 a head which includes food and drinks – available from Sharon Pinkerton – – 01469 532991/07860 292020

What does the GWP Club Committee Recommend?

Whilst the GWP Club Health Sub-Committee continue with gathering evidence and professional advice, the club recommends that anyone concerned about this condition should consult their veterinary surgeon, especially if they are planning a litter or to use their dog at stud. It is possible to test for this condition using the Echo-Doppler technique. Whilst the test is not definitive, it can give an early indication of abnormality, which would require a further test after 12 to 18 months to check for any further adverse changes in heart function. In most cases, you would need to be referred to a specialist veterinary cardiologist for these tests to be carried out. Several breeders have already begun this process of testing.

It would also be helpful for any GWP Owner having had experience of heart problems in their own dogs to share that information on a confidential basis with the GWP Health Sub-Committee, and with other breeders/stud dog owners who may plan to breed from the progeny of such dogs.

The key message from the GWP Committee at this time is for owners and breeders not to panic, nor to be complacent. Whilst there have been few confirmed cases, there have been enough in a breed of this size to prompt concern. We do encourage testing for two reasons. Firstly, the more test results that are known, the more we can assess the extent of the problem in the GWP and secondly, if detected in younger dogs, early treatment has been shown in other breeds to slow the progression into heart failure and symptomatic DCM. By taking positive action now, and working with health conscious and responsible breeders, we aim to eliminate any possibility of this condition becoming a significant problem in the future."

As responsible breeders that are passionate about our breed, we embrace any tests which are available for conditions which affect the GWP. As such, we will be testing any dogs or bitches that we own and intend to breed from for signs of this condition.