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Storm's Mom
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I know of some top breeders that breed dogs that granted, have their Ch title, but are vWD affected. Is it just me that thinks this is unethical breeding? I would think that no matter how great the overall dog and pedigree is that health should be the first priority when breeding. I know that they suggest breeding carriers to clears to keep the gene pool more diverse, but to breed an affected dog? Even if it's to just to clear dogs(which I'm sure isn't the case with all breedings as the dog they're breeding is affected). I thought that our purpose for breeding was to produce the healthiest dogs? Having a vWD affected dog can be avoided, so why would you breed knowing the dog will have health issues throughout it's life? I'm just frustrated... Any opinions?
 

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Got mutt?
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I'm not a breeder, but I would think it would have to be on a case by case basis with the indiviual dog. If they are otherwise are breeding quality (and not clinically affected), and are clear of other health issues (HD, cardio, and the like) I don't see that there would be a whole lot of harm in breeding them to another outstanding dog who is verified vWD clear. The pups would then be carriers, but would not be affected. Like others have said, with the genetic test available, vWD is one of the easiest things to breed away from.
 

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First off, I would suggest looking for a clear or carrier if you are new to the breed and worried about VWD. All reputable breeders test if there is any chance of affected being produced. You should have no problem finding a quality puppy who is clear or a carrier.

Now, please let me give you a few facts. Most VWD affected dogs live perfectly normal lives with no bleeding issues whatsoever, until the DCM, Cancer. Liver disease or Wobblers gets them in the end. Furthermore, if an affected dog is bred to a clear then no affected will be produced. The gene pool is already narrow and if everything else looks good, it could be very detrimental to the breed to pull affected dogs from the gene pool.

Having owned the breed for over 40 years, I would buy an affected puppy myself, providing the overall health and longevity looked good. This breed has some fairly serious health and longevity issues and at the best it is a roll of the dice. With that I certainly wouldn't tell anyone else what to do.
 

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Our gene pool is waaaay too small to cut out VWD affecteds - especially when VWD is a minor health issue compared to other problems in our breed. I personally won't produce affecteds but have no problem breeding a clear to an affected - which is what I did with my first litter.
 

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So, I know of some top breeders that breed dogs that granted, have their Ch title, but are vWD affected. Is it just me that thinks this is unethical breeding? I would think that no matter how great the overall dog and pedigree is that health should be the first priority when breeding. I know that they suggest breeding carriers to clears to keep the gene pool more diverse, but to breed an affected dog? Even if it's to just to clear dogs(which I'm sure isn't the case with all breedings as the dog they're breeding is affected). I thought that our purpose for breeding was to produce the healthiest dogs? Having a vWD affected dog can be avoided, so why would you breed knowing the dog will have health issues throughout it's life? I'm just frustrated... Any opinions?
If you breed an affected to a clear all the puppies will be carriers. How is that unethical? You have just improved on the affecteds without compromising health, as carriers are just that, carriers and do not have the disease.

Breeding affected to affected or affected to carrier whereby you will still be producing affecteds is a much different scenario. One that has to be weighed with all the other health stats before proceeding.

In the case of Vwd, you cannot assume "unethical" unless you have all the information as to why those to dogs were chosen. Just too many variables and other afflictions to consider.
 

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Storm's Mom
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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
No, I mean it as somewhat unethical to breed a vWD affected to a carrier/affected. I agree that we should breed carriers. At the time I didn't take into account that an affected can be bred to a clear, but what I mean is those that ARE affected could have been avoided all together with proper testing, so why are some breeders breeding dogs that have the potential to produce those that ARE affected? Say we continue to breed the amount of affected dogs ONLY to clears(of course, meaning the responsible breeders who health test), eventually the ones that are affected would die out and we would only have carriers and clears. There shouldn't be a reason for a breeder to be breeding an affected with an affected or a carrier, in my opinion anyway, if someone could draw me a scenario where it is worth it, I could possibly understand why. It seems to me that having an affected could be more of a hassle on the dog, but I've never had one, so I really don't know how serious the disease really is. I've read ways on how to avoid them getting hurt so they won't bleed and such, but it still seems scary to deal with if something were to happen, and somewhat of a risk.
 

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Storm's Mom
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks everyone! This definitely broadened my horizons towards dogs that are affected. I understand there are more serious health problems to consider when choosing a breeding pair, but I was just curious about breeding in regards to vWD and how it could possibly eliminate all vWD affected dogs in the future so that vWD is lesser of a problem than it is now. Not a huge issue, was just kinda curious. Thanks for all the help!
 

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I appreciate the information in this thread. My Dobe is vWd affected(not clinically) and I have been telling people who tell me he should be bred that it would be unethical to do so. It's good to know that if he did prove himself in conformation and other venues(and other things pertaining to pedigree adds up) that he could be suitable for breeding. He will not be bred as he is neutered, but I have learned something so thanks!
 

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No, I mean it as somewhat unethical to breed a vWD affected to a carrier/affected. I agree that we should breed carriers. At the time I didn't take into account that an affected can be bred to a clear, but what I mean is those that ARE affected could have been avoided all together with proper testing, so why are some breeders breeding dogs that have the potential to produce those that ARE affected? Say we continue to breed the amount of affected dogs ONLY to clears(of course, meaning the responsible breeders who health test), eventually the ones that are affected would die out and we would only have carriers and clears. There shouldn't be a reason for a breeder to be breeding an affected with an affected or a carrier, in my opinion anyway, if someone could draw me a scenario where it is worth it, I could possibly understand why. It seems to me that having an affected could be more of a hassle on the dog, but I've never had one, so I really don't know how serious the disease really is. I've read ways on how to avoid them getting hurt so they won't bleed and such, but it still seems scary to deal with if something were to happen, and somewhat of a risk.
Just speaking for myself, I think there are times where a breeder might produce affected and should not be labeled unethical, if they test all puppies in the litter prior to placement AND only sell the affected puppies to experienced homes that have their eyes wide open to the risk. However, the risk is not very high that an affected will have any problems. I am far more concerned about where the DCM is and the overall health and longevity of the entire family line.

We have to be very careful to not toss the baby out with the bath water, in regards to something like vwd, which in the big scheme of health and longevity problems this breed faces is pretty small. Not saying it can't be a problem but it is rare for it to be a problem. Unfortunately, we cannot say that about DCM or even liver disease.

Personally, I think that right after the VWD test became available there were some affected dogs that were maybe under utilized due to VWD testing results, and the breed as a whole may have suffered some. Just the same as I wonder about the long-term consequences of basing breeding decisions solely on the new DNA cardio test when we know negative dogs that have clinical DCM. Bottom line there is no black or white answer in my opinion.
 

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A good example of looking at the overall picture and really talking to a reputable breeder in regards to reasoning behind a VWD decision, would be to look at the BYB and commercial breeders who have a terrible record as to overall health and longevity of the dogs they produce. Yet most all of those types of breeders are advertising and patting themselves on the back for breeding VWD clears to clears. Moreover, it is simple, fast and cheap to find a clear breeding pair and start slapping them together.
 

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Storm's Mom
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I've never thought of it that way Robinb but that makes a lot of sense for those breeders out there that only do things halfway thereby creating dogs of poor quality. They may be vWD free, but then they die of heart problems at 2. I've learned a lot from the different perspectives on this. Thanks to all for the help!
 

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Off The Subject

But I've heard that Dr. Muers said that less then 10 dogs with negative results on the cardio gene have become affected with cardio.

Anyone know more about this?
 

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But I've heard that Dr. Muers said that less then 10 dogs with negative results on the cardio gene have become affected with cardio.

Anyone know more about this?
I am sure that this was true at one point in time when her database was much smaller than it is now. What matters is percentages. I think I read that of the dogs in her database which have been diagnosed with DCM, 15% do not carry the mutation. I may totally be mis-remembering this... if so, anyone feel free to correct it!
 

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But I've heard that Dr. Muers said that less then 10 dogs with negative results on the cardio gene have become affected with cardio.

Anyone know more about this?
I have not seen that or the study to back the data up; not saying it does not exist but just have not seen it. All I know is that negative dogs do develop the disease and die from it, and some relatively young. For instance LUVBIRDS beloved Petey, was diagnosed at 3.5 years and died at five, he was dna negative. IMO, there needs to be a study over several years of negative dogs in order to back that up.

I am not a breeder but as a buyer, I would not base my purchasing decisions on the dna test at this time. I haven't even tested my two non-breeding dogs, as they are clinically tested every year and even if they do test dna negative the clinical testing would have to continue regardless. At this time, I would rather put my money into testing that could actually prolong their lives.
 

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Sea Hag
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I am sure that this was true at one point in time when her database was much smaller than it is now. What matters is percentages. I think I read that of the dogs in her database which have been diagnosed with DCM, 15% do not carry the mutation. I may totally be mis-remembering this... if so, anyone feel free to correct it!
Yes..when they had results from 1000 dogs, Dr. Meurs released figures which stated 15% of the negative dogs had already been diagnosed with DCM. So that would be 150 dogs from a still very small sampling. I'd look for that percentage to increase as more data is received,and time passes. Some of those negative dogs are going to develop the disease over time-we all know DCM clear today can be a diagnosed dog tomorrow.

Like Robin, I'd pay little to no attention to this particular test result if I were buying a puppy. It's still too new, with too much still not known and understood for me to consider it significant or useful.
 

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Sea Hag
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I can't believe they advocate euthanizing any vwd affected offspring!!!!! I'm shocked!
Looks to me like they're referring to the ones who are clinically affected, not all the ones who might be genetically affected. That would be a very small minority. Not agreeing with the policy, just saying I don't think it's an across the board policy.
 

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Would you breed an affected bitch--or just the male? Is an affected female at even more risk during the pregnancy and delivery than at other times?
 
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