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You can be in tears and damn angry at the same time!
Bren adult
lil_shepherd
Watching 'Supervet' last night, I was deeply sorry for the lady with the GSD pup who agreed to have it put to sleep on the recommendation of Noel-I-hate-the-supervet-label-Fitzpatrick because even he can do nothing with severe hip dysplasia plus other problems - until she bought another pup from the exact same breeding! Does she not know that this is inherited? And that responsible GSD (and other) breeders have their dogs hip scored before they breed from them? And what are the breeders thinking?

Nipping over to the Supervet page on Facebook I am relieved to see that amid all the 'rainbow bridge'-style comments there are a number of people with the same opinion.
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That sounds awful. I don't know how disabling or painful hip dysplasia is, so have no idea whether that is a normal - well, 'treatment' is hardly the word.

But to go and get another puppy and to contribute to the breeder thinking there is a demand for animals with inherited conditions - ugh.


Hip dysplasia can be mild or very painful, and is progressive. Eventually, it will probably result in paralysis of the hind legs.

Watching you talk about the world of pedigree breeding, I've never understood why the organisations that own breed standards don't just put "does not have this horrible condition" in the breed standard.

Well, in a way they do. The 'breed standard' is just a description of an ideal dog (in one or two cases it is a description of an actual dog) and in the case of the GSD, and others, the way it moves is part of the standard. The reason the pup was at the vet in the first place was that, though it was about six months old, it was having difficulty walking!

A pedigree is simply a list of ancestors and a registered dog is simply one whose ancestors were also registered as being of that breed. (Not that 'puppy farms' and many backstreet breeders are above faking pedigrees and telling buyers that the pup is registered when it isn't - and isn't even pure bred. Often, another dog's pedigree is simply faked and copied.)

In the German Shepherd Dog, the 'hip scores' of stud dogs and bitches are often a matter of public record - i.e. the scores are actually advertised! And not only in the GSD. Both of my dog's parents were checked and hip scored (I think it was 1 and 5 - anything under 10 is fine - though this is not a problem in the Collie(Smooth).) It is good practice for a breeder to check both breeding stock and pups for any inherited diseases known to be in the breed (which are also present in crossbreeds - obviously - and mongrels - not so obviously.) In the case of collies it is generally for what is commonly known as 'collie eye'. Bren was checked at six weeks and I have the vet's report. Draco was checked for the patella problems that sometimes occur in ETTs as a pup before sale and found to be normal. Not that our vet didn't recheck when we brought him in for vaccination.

The KC (and, for that matter, the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy and other animal showing and breeding bodies) has no legal control even over its members, though it can fine them or eject them for breaking its rules. It can't even refuse to register pedigree dogs if those dogs are actually from KC registered parents (or it could be taken to court because it is providing a paid for service.) It can report people to trading standards, to the local council, and to the police as can you and I. (For instance, the KC tries its best to regulate such dog sports as Agility and Flyball but it actually cannot. Indeed, many of us would rather be outside their systems because we do it for fun and they tend to get awful serious in KC Agility.)

As it happens, the dog in question was very pretty and of a type of GSD that is very popular but *does not meet the show standard* and therefore, particularly in the severity of the two hereditary problems it suffered for, almost certainly not bred by either someone who who breeds for show (where reputation matters) or work (the police and other people who use GSDs are particularly strict about hip scoring because the illness severely limits the dogs ability to work.)

Incidentally, we have been involved with a breed of cat that was subject to a hereditary disease that did not kill - or, indeed, seriously incapacitate the cat - but would cause it pain. The breeding policy of the club (and approved by the GCCF) is that no cat of the breed that carries the gene for this condition should breed, and that every breeding animal should be tested and neutered if it carries the gene. (This has virtually killed off the breed in this country, since we were small enough to start with!)

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