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Archiesdad
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2008 1:47 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Hi everyone,

Just to let you know that Archie's story is being published in Dogs Today magazine. Beverley Cuddy, Editor of Dogs Today has put together a brilliant piece about Archie and his bilateral ulna shortening problem.

The piece is basically a diary of events ever since he was diagnosed with the problem and the struggles he has faced at such a young age.

Beverley has carried out a great deal of research on behalf of the breed and as an owner of a Beardie expresses her concerns. She has published the results of this research and some of it does not make good reading!

Christine and i have co-operated fully in the piece and the breeder of Archie, Justine Hey also contributes to the article.

Archie is featured in the February edition on sale 5th January 2009.

I'm sure the article will ruffle a few feathers and hopefully it will stimulate debate.

It's a damn good read - but I'm biased!!

To Beverley - thank you.

To Beardie breeders and the Kennel Club - time for a reality check before it's too late!!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all.

Archie, Christine and Chris


Last edited by Archiesdad on Tue Dec 23, 2008 3:43 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Wongie
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2008 2:03 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Always knew Archie was a star Smile

Merry Christmas Chris and Christine and special Christmas nose kisses for Archie and Dr Robbie XX

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Cornish Cleo
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2008 2:11 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Will definitely be buying that, then Chris.

As you say, may ruffle a few feathers, but lets hope it does some good. We need to protect our precious breed.

Archie the star, eh Exclamation We all knew it, but now its official Surprised Surprised

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pat
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2008 3:45 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

That is great news. Feathers will be ruffled no doubt.

Is Archie doing autographs Wink Wink Question

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ALISONERANSOM
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2008 3:47 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I get Dogs Today by subscription so will look forward to that one. Glad to hear a journalist has managed a balanced piece and you are pleased with the article! Even more fame for the lovely Archie! What a good patient he has been. Good temerament in his breeding. Mine have always been good at the vet but can't imagine then getting through what he has! My vet can never get over getting a beardie kiss after a blood test or skin scrape!
Hope you have a great Christmas with Archie
Alison (Devon)
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Hampam
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2008 7:29 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

HI CHRIS
can the magazine be bought at newsagents , or smiths, or do you have to order it?

Pamela C & Huxley
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2008 10:42 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Its available anywhere, Panela,

Merry Christmas Laughing Laughing Laughing

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Threebeards
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2008 4:44 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I wonder if this is available in NZ?

Good on you for doing the article.

Pam.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2008 5:18 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Hi Pam - if you can't get a copy over there we will get one out to you
Sue

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2008 5:57 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Oh thanks Sue.

What are you doing up at this hour, not Sadie again is it Question

Pam.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2008 6:35 am Reply with quoteBack to top

yup - she is on the sofa barking - but have to say Mike went out at 5am and I stayed up - have just got back from a walk in the dark along the sea wall.
Have a lovely Christmas Eve and hope Santa dosen't get stuck in your chimney!

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2008 8:27 am Reply with quoteBack to top

How to order...

Apologies for the advert! But if you want to buy the Archie edition - and can't find it locally - you'll be able to order over the Internet at the same price it is for sale in the shops P&P free.

But make sure you wait til 5th Jane to order all you'll end up with January, (which does have some Beardie content - great piece on Jo Tucker and autoimmune in the supplement. And a bit on inbreeding.)

www.dogstodaymagazine.co.uk

There's a single copy option or you can order more issues at a discount to be sent anywhere in the world.

Thank you so much to Chris and Christine and breeder Justine for co-operating with the article.

Such a shame the other breeder who has had two cases of Ulna Shortening wasn't so quick to come back to me and share his experiences, let's hope he'll be co-operating with BeaCon even if he doesn't want to talk to me - we need help to find out more about this condition before we all jump to the conclusion there's nothing to worry about! And to do that we need to share information.

Regards
Beverley

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2008 9:08 am Reply with quoteBack to top

THanks for that.


merry Christmas to every one.


Pamela c & Huxley
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2008 10:19 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Thanks Beverley,
Will keep that in mind.

Pam.
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Archiesdad
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2008 5:47 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Pat,

Sure Archie will paws to sign a few autographs!!

Merry Christmas

Chris

PS That was not out of a xmas cracker
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2008 11:13 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Happy Christmas everyone

I may have been too quick to give up on the other breeder! He has been in touch to say he was offended by my comment. So apologies.

Really do just want to get to the bottom of this, no desire to upset anyone!

I hear from another breeder who came to this breeder's defence that there is a fourth case. If anyone does have any more details of any other cases please do contact me or BeaCon if you prefer - both would be good!

These central health registers for breeds are great - imagine if when Archie's case was first diagnosed Chris and Christine could have searched and found others who had been through the same thing? Really does make sense to track these things - if Archie owners hadn't come on Friendly Beardie how many of us would have ever known about this condition?

Happy new year everyone
Beverley

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 25, 2008 12:41 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Hi Chris

Great nice to have an autograph of a dashing young gent Exclamation

Thought too good to come out of a cracker Exclamation

Hope you are all having a great Christmas

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 25, 2008 5:17 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Pets at home also sell the mag as do tescos
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 5:58 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Further to Beverley's comments of a few days ago.

I received an e-mail from her the morning of Thursday 18th of December, asking me for information about ulna shortening, as I have had 2 pups with this condition. I was delighted to be able to be given the opportunity to 'put on paper' my experiences and views on this condition. As I only received the e-mail in the morning, I hadn't enough time to put everything down before going to work, and said I would reply later.

An hour or so later, I received a reply from beverly asking me for the info more or less 'then and there' as they were going to press at the end of the day.

Apparently, despite the fact that this article must have been some time in the making, I was approached on the last day. I was informed that that's how many articles are put together, at the last minute. That may work for journalists, but it doesn't for me, particularly with something as involved as the condition known as ulnar shortening. So beverley, I have a heavy work load, and I can't just drop everything to suit your whim! Next time, give me some warning, I think you'll find more than eager to help in whatever way possible.

So far, I have been unable to establish just how common this problem is in Beardies. Whether this is because it is in fact uncommon, or whether it is because people are keeping quiet about it has yet to be established.

But it is thankfully, rare. So far at least.

I know of 3 'definites', my two and Archie, and 5 other possibles tho as yet unconfirmed, WORLDWIDE! Undoubtedly there will be more out there, and I'm hoping that this and Archie's article will encourage others to come forward with more information.

But can we please have a bit of balance here. To Archie's owners, I am in no way underestimating the trauma and heartache you have gone through, nor the pain and trauma that that brave wee lad of yours has had to endure, and my heart and thoughts go out to you. I know what you're going through, and what still lies ahead for Archie. And I appreciate that it is no compensation for you to say that this is a rare condition. Statistics after all are fine, as long as you aren't one of them. But so far this does seem to be a rare condition.

Should anyone wish to contact me to discuss 'ulna shortening' can they please contact me on my personal e-mail 'david@peacenik.me.uk'. I rarely come on to this list, so have been unaware that people have been trying to get in touch with me. Apologies Justine.

David
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 6:04 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Ulna Shortening.

The following is my views and opinions on the condition recently referred to Ń÷lna shortening? I wish to emphasise at this point that I have no scientific support or clinical evidence for this, what follows is guesswork, conjecture, and extrapolation based on my own personal experiences. I hope by putting my views forward that others may add their opinions and if possible experiences so that we can establish the cause of this distressing condition.

First of all, I would like to say that I have had communications with numerous veterinary surgeons, in general practice, orthopaedic vets in referral centres, vets in the Royal college of Veterinary Surgeons, and veterinary nutritionist, both in the UK and abroad. None of these have come across the condition in a Bearded Collie before.
I also subscribe to a Veterinary yahoo group, an international list, with vets in the UK, Europe, North and South America, Africa, Australia and New Zealand. None of them have come across this condition in a Bearded Collie. So please, can we have a bit of perspective here. This is quite a rare condition. So far I know of 3 ŇŇefinites? Archie, and the two I have bred. I have heard of another in the UK, and another in the States, both as yet unconfirmed. I have also, today, received an e-mail with information of a litter some years ago now, which had 3 dogs affected with what sounds like could have been ulnar shortening. None of these dogs were bred from, but at least one litter mate has been, and none of the progeny from that dog/bitch have developed or produced puppies with ulnar shortening.

I/we cannot allow ourselves the luxury of thinking that there is no inherited/genetic basis to this condition. However, although I feel there may be a genetic predisposition to the development of Ń÷lnar shortening? I do not think that it is entirely genetic. Purely on the law of averages, if the condition had a genetic basis, personally I feel it would by now, be more widespread than it is. (perhaps it is, and breeders keep quiet about it?) I use my own dogs as an example.

My first Beardie was Maggie. From her I had a litter sired by her half uncle. Very close, and a policy I would never use again. From this litter I kept a bitch Bobbie. I am in contact with all of the pups from this litter, except one, and all to date are healthy.

From Bobbie I then had a litter from a well known, and well used sire. In this litter I had a puppy with a nutritional osteodystrophy at 3-4 weeks of age. I believe this was my fault, as I was feeding both the mother and the pups on a home made diet, and the condition corrected Ń÷neventfully in 3-4 days when I changed him on to a commercial diet. I blamed myself for this pup√‘ predicament, as I felt the home made diet I was feeding was a balanced one.

My next litter was from Maggie, and I used the same sire with for this litter as I did with Bobbie√‘ litter. From this litter I had the first pup with ulna shortening.

My last litter was from Bobbie again, to a completely different sire, of completely different blood lines and again I had another puppy with ulna shortening.

My blood lines are very similar to those of many other breeders, and the crosses I have used are also very similar to those of many other breeders, and to my knowledge this condition has not cropped up in their stock. Granted, I have only their word on this, but I do respect their opinions and I have no reason to disbelieve them. We are fortunate in Beardies in that we have a lot of established breeders who have been around for some time and know their own, and other√‘ breeding very well. Going back through their dog√‘ pedigree√‘, and forward to stock they have produced has not revealed any dogs with ulna shortening.

As many of you will know, we have a relatively small gene pool in Bearded Collies. Every dog, from whichever country you care to chose, can trace it√‘ ancestry back to the same small handful of working collies. These original working dogs will no doubt have been selectively bred for many generations for their working ability before we, as dog showers and breeders, got a hold of them, further reducing the genetic material available. Throughout the years, several prominent, and in many cases outstanding sires have been used extensively, and hence it is difficult to go through any Beardie√‘ pedigree and not find several dogs and bitches cropping up frequently on both sides of the pedigree.

Perhaps I am just adopting the Ostrich view on this by putting my head in the sand, but I cannot accept that if this condition was purely/mainly hereditary in it√‘ origin, that there wouldn√’ be a lot more dogs about which were affected with this condition.

I suspect that diet is an important factor in the development of ulnar shortening. It is well known that excessive dietary calcium can cause a premature closure of growth plates. (which is in fact the cause of ulnar shortening) As yet I have been unable to establish whether this is an excess of calcium alone, or if even a balanced calcium/phosphorus supplement, or indeed bone is sufficient to make up an Ń∆xcess of calcium? It is also well known that this condition is not uncommon in giant breeds, and commercial diets have been developed with reduced calcium and phosphorus levels to prevent this and other bone abnormalities developing in the larger breeds.

I also suspect that there may be some inability in Beardies to utilise dietary calcium, this might explain why what I thought was a balanced diet didn√’ suit that one puppy.

I have long felt that high protein/high energy diets are not the most suitable diets to feed puppies on. (partly, I feel it is responsible for a lot of hyperactive and naughty dogs, but that√‘ another story) And I have seen a lot of developmental problems with puppies fed on high protein diets. As a result, I reared my last 3 litters on a low protein, cereal free, Ń…ypo-allergenic diet, and weaned and reared the last 2 litters on the same diet.

My first litter was weaned and reared on Hills puppy, and there were no problems in that litter. When I found out about this last puppy with US, I swapped the bitch puppy I had kept on to Hills puppy, and I have to say she has been fine. Perhaps she would have been with the other low protein diet. Who knows?

Trauma is also known to be a factor in the development of this condition. I have seen this myself in several dogs which have sustained a major trauma to the limb as a young dog, ie a fracture from a fall or a road accident.
None of my two, nor Archie were subjected to any trauma of this nature. But there may be a possibility that if there is some inability to absorb calcium adequately, so that the puppy√‘ bones didn√’ stand up to the normal stresses a lively pup normally experiences, that the growing part of the bone isn√’ strong enough to stand up to the strain and closes prematurely.

One other factor which has been going through my mind of late, is that we strive in Beardies to have the typical 5:4 length to height ratio. We achieve this by having dogs with a greater length of rib giving the back the overall greater length. In effect we have an average sized dog, with a longer back.

What if however, those dogs we have chosen over the years for greater length of back, were in actual fact not medium sized dogs with a longer back, but overall bigger dogs, with proportionately shorter legs? It is possible that we have selected dogs with shorter legs to give us this ratio, and that the shorter leg may be due to some abnormality in the growth of the bones. Not sufficient to dwarf the dog, but enough to give us the reduced height?

As I said, it√‘ conjecture on my part, and until such times as we can use genetic markers, I don√’ think we√”e going to have any simple solutions to this or other suspected genetic problems.

But as always, what we need is openness and cooperation between us all, and transparency and honesty about our successes and our problems. I somehow suspect that this will prove to be our most difficult goal of all to achieve.
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 8:13 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Wow! Mega-post! Thanks for that Balfarg.

I agree that there are many routes by which US could develop. The possibilities can be grouped under three main headings; environmental, (poor diet and/or trauma); Mutation, (genetic but occuring first in the affected animal); and Congenital, (inherited). It is possible that the few cases of US that have been noted in Bearded Collies fall into the first two categories and it is not an issue that breeders need to be concerned with, (assuming that the affected animals have not been bred from). However we cannot know that for sure so we must take precautions to be on the safe side.

The article that Beverley has written uses Archie's condition to highlight the high COI in Beardies. COI (Co-efficient of Inbreeding) is a statistical analysis of a pedigree to evaluate how much inbreeding there is. The higher the COI the higher the risk of congenital problems. BeaCon in the States keeps records of conditions and pedigrees of dogs that are submitted to them but it would be nice to see something similar here... Some central resource that would allow breeders to check the COI of any potential mating, (a useful COI takes into account 10 generations). This would enable us to maintain the current genetic breadth, (alas we cannot increase the gene pool with a closed register). I'm keen to hear any views that you all have on this; both philosophical and practical.

I was glad to be able to contribute to the article but, like Balfarg, I would have preferred to have been included from the beginning rather than in the last few hours...

In the article Chris and Christine say "we just want to make sure this doesn't happen to any other dogs, if at all possible. We're not saying Archie's problem is definitely hereditary, just that it might be and it needs investigating." It seems like we are all singing from the same song sheet. I hope the Ames' can finally recognise that. It would be nice to see Archie at the puppies' birthday party in the spring... How about it Chris and Christine? Will you bury the hatchet?
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 8:52 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

As you say, Justine, BeaCon has records of health problems in Beardies with the aim of informing people about the problems and also hopefully, solving them. It is an open health registry, ie anybody can have access to it, which is surely the way to go if health problems are to be tackled.
Although BeaCon is based in America, it has and wants, details of Beardies in all countries, both healthy and otherwise, in order to have enough Beardies to make the statistics valid.
I do not see any point at all in having another British registry when this already exists. What is needed is for all Beardie owners, to be willing to put their dogs' details on the open registry, which is not happening at the moment. It costs nothing to add a dog's details.

Jan
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 9:19 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

It's true that BeaCon holds an international database and Flo and Archie's details have been submitted. However I cannot use the database to calculate the COI of any potential mating. Whatever the resource is, it should be accessible to all. Using BeaCon is a step in the right direction but we can do better
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 10:12 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

BeaCon gives an inbreeding percentage for each dog and Irena's site allows you to trace the dogs' ancestors right back to the founder dogs. I still do not see the point of trying to replicate work which has already been done, surely we should all be helping by adding as many dogs as possible ?

Jan
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 10:33 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

balfarg wrote:
Ulna Shortening.
What if however, those dogs we have chosen over the years for greater length of back, were in actual fact not medium sized dogs with a longer back, but overall bigger dogs, with proportionately shorter legs? It is possible that we have selected dogs with shorter legs to give us this ratio, and that the shorter leg may be due to some abnormality in the growth of the bones. Not sufficient to dwarf the dog, but enough to give us the reduced height?

How true this is - I meet lots of short legged Beardies here in the rings and they seem to be doing lots of winning. They are usually a bit smaller, bitches typicaly 50 cm, dogs 53 cm (in our country dogs have to be measured before they are stud approved) and definitely don't have legs from ground to elbow:elbow to withers 1:1... I think this should be emphasized in the standard and that the proportions comes from length of back and not from short legs (the standards are being reviewed just now, aren' they?).
The other thing which should be reviewed - is that single track should be mentioned as most of the allrounders in this part of Europe tend to penalize Beardies for it as it's not mentioned in the Standard and they think the legs should move paralell or what (they don't have much training in judging movement I guess...). This means that heavier dogs with barrelled ribs are preferred. Heavier means more load on legs and especially the front legs bare most of the weight. And that's probably why a medium sized dog with elbow dysplasia might have problems sooner than a dog with hip dysplasia. That's my experience as I have two Beardie dogs of the same age (9) and weight, one has HD C and moves perfectly with no problem, the other one ED 2 and barely walks and needs to take Flexicam every day.
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