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munchkin
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 3:01 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

It has been brought to my attention that not all people know that most cases of meningitis in dogs is SRMA (steroid responsive meningitis arteritis ) an Auto Immune disease, therefore it is in the genes and can be passed on through breeding from the parents or siblings. I have highlighted a few internet searches about SRMA for people to read if they feel they want to know more. I do feel we need to educate people in Auto Immune problems as we are trying to make beardies a better, stronger and clear breed and not fill them with silly problems. I could not imagine how Sandy, Julie or Kathrine (to name but a few) felt when told there poor babies had an Auto Immune problem that might kill their beloved babies or as a breeder find it in your line. Of course a good breeder would stop breeding from those dogs straight away and most do, some donít and that is where all the problems start.
Jo Tuckers site is a really good read

http://cimda.co.uk/smf/index.php?PHPSESSID=d0237a7b918d28e8dfa59a075fbc848d&

This is just the basics of understanding

https://www.fitzpatrickreferrals.co.uk/neurology/steroid-responsive-meningitis-arteritis-srma/

More in depth reading

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1748-5827.2009.00848.x/full

I think anyone who has a dog with meningitis or another Auto Immune disease would have far more knowledge than me about the problems and bet they have spent hours searching the internet for reasons why their dogs have it or how they can help keep their dogs in the best health they can, my heart goes out to you all you do a wonderful job. If you have a dog with an AI problem and find some good reading pages please put a link they are interesting to read.

xxxx



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Jacky L
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 3:19 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

This is a very interesting topic Nikki.

I believe that Fitzpatrick Referrals, is also known as the Bionic Vet. He is a specialist who does amazing things for dogs. I am sure he recently had a TV programme possibly called Super Vet or something similar.

Jo Tucker is a wealth of knowledge on all auto immune issues.

I find it heartbreaking when you see the suffering from AI problems and even worse when an unsuspecting puppy buyer loses one to any AI problem or the puppy lives in pain for the rest of their life.

I know a lot of breeders have said they will start being honest about the health of their dogs and potential AI problems but lack of knowledge or ignoring the facts in front of you, are the to the detriment of the breed.

I am aware of breeders who have breed from apparently unaffected dogs, with AI affected siblings and although the unaffected dogs have remained fine, their offspring have been affected. It does make you wonder on the degree of unaffected dogs who may be carriers of AI.

Lets hope there is going to be a proper test available soon , so that we can reduce the problems of AI in our beloved beardies

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 4:41 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

My Freddie had auto immune polyarthritis two and half years ago. He was very ill and intensive care at the vets for over a week. Luckily we had amazing vets who knew what they were treating . He has made a full recovery and is now nearly 10. He had some strange conditions and blood counts at the beginning which were not consistent with auto immune symptoms and as a result our vets have used Freddie to write a research paper on him and his auto-immune which has been accepted for publication...so this should help others
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 8:14 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Thank you Nikki, always good to keep reminding, Knowledge goes a long way in helping our babies

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2016 8:21 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Thanks Nikki , any knowledge is valuable and worthwhile to help this special breed as you say .

Amazingly, even with all the info available, I have heard of a breeder who still isn't convinced a pre disposition to an AI disease is hereditary Twisted Evil so whilst some stop breeding form dogs that have affected offspring, ie.Merry's , others will simply continue and keep their heads buried in the sand.

I do 'sort of' understand that there was always a chance that dogs who have never developed an AI condition might be used to breed but as the Beardie world is a small one , and certainly smaller again with forum's like this , that now surely everyone who cares about this breed must know the truth !

One last thing I will mention is that the worry never stops for those of us who have an affected dog , even when they have got over a particular AI condition ...we all dread signs of another and try desperately hard to stop triggers that could start it ...easy with things like avoiding vaccinations or speying etc but what about for those dogs that have a noise sensitivity, Fireworks, gunshots ..... stress ..how many of us live with that on a daily basis and try so hard not to pass it on to the dogs ..it's never over with a dog that has the predisposition Crying or Very sad

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2016 11:43 am Reply with quoteBack to top

So true Jill, once a dog develops an AI condition it's more likely to develop another one. I've only had to deal with Hypothyroidism but Jokas' brother Bonus developed SLO and then became Hypothyroid. Sad To be honest I wouldn't want to breed now as it's such a difficult situation with such a low 'actual' population and the predisposition to develop AI.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2016 2:58 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

So true Jill about the breeders. Flynns(meningitis) breeders Potterdale took their bitch (Flynns Mum) out of their breeding program, but the father continued to sire pups. And of course both Maddies (Addisons) breeders continued as if nothing was wrong in doing it, even mating the same lines again Evil or Very Mad If all of us can highlight this, then it has to help the breed.

Noise sensitivity is a nightmare Jill, I agree and have first hand results of it with Georgie. Crying or Very sad

Thanks for highlighting in this post Nikki xxx

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2016 7:10 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

A True Breeder has a heart, the Best welfare for their own dogs and the puppies that they have gone on to have and also the Healthy life that the puppies go onto have in their forever homes.

Auto Immune can lie dormant and then go on to show itself in many VERY Heart breaking ways.

Why would anybody want to risk this precious breed of going through a Horrific ordeal.

Poppy spent 12 months of her life fighting this disease.
Went through 6 Blood Transfusions, 12 months of steroids and many other drugs, Lost all her hair, had sores on her body, When she wasn't on a drip staying at the vets for days she had to visit everyday for blood tests. Thank god she was a fighter and also that I have amazing vets.

As a owner. I went through Heart ache, watching my baby girl slip away from me and then come back to me only to watch her slip away again, this went on for months, never really knowing if she would make it.
I had to take time off work, obviously unpaid, spent nearly £15000 on getting Poppy well again ( I would have remortgaged my house if necessary).

Do not push this Disease under the Carpet IT WILL NOT GO AWAY.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2016 9:26 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Although we all know what went on whilst Pops was ill that was heart wrenching to read again Kath ..

no one would seriously put another dog , and the owners, through this with another litter surely ? Though I have recently talked to a non beardie person about this issue and they were in complete denial that AI conditions are hereditary ..YES I did find it hard to not punch them .

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2016 3:27 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

It is heart breaking enough to have to watch your dog suffer from this illness, but in some cases you also have to watch a once confident, loving, friendly dog have a complete personality change into a fearful, stressed and anxious dog. This is the extreme of autoimmune disease and many may not be aware of this, but I have been asked by many bearded collie guardians or their vets to try and help clam these dogs and to restore some normality. I have faced many challenges in my career but none greater than this, as I believe these personality changes and behavioural changes are due to the illness itself, the medication they have to be on and at times how we as guardians react to this and the way we behave towards our dogs. I have worked with dogs that have never bitten or behaved aggressively who suddenly become fear aggressive and will bite and cause serious damage. This causes the dogs themselves so much stress and confusion as well as being heartbreaking for their guardians.

Trying to attempt to work with dogs like this can have a negative effect upon the dogs and can easily make things worse, so you have to be so tuned to the dog you are trying to help. I have been fortunate that on occasions when I have worked with vets they have been able to take regular blood tests to measure and assess the illness and this has told us that the behaviour modification is working, although I can see this myself itís nice to have the scientific proof this is the case. In some cases blood levels have returned to normal levels and medication can be reduced.

In the last two years I have taken a step back from the bearded collie world but I do know people who still persist to breed from dogs whoís relatives have had an autoimmune disease and from offspring of suffers of the disease who may be carriers. Although I know very good breeders who are trying to fight this illness and rid it from the breed but they dont always get the support or we may not hear about them but they are out there.

Sadly despite the good work some lovers of this breed are doing this may be all put at risk by the ones who breed any dog for the wrong reasons.

Itís about time that some lovers of this breed focused on the inside of these wonderful dogs rather than how they look on the outside.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2016 8:39 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Going off on slight tangent, Iíve often wondered how many AI problems go undiagnosed because general practise vets just donít have the experience to recognise the possibilities. Many immune-mediated diseases present confusing symptoms and test results that in some cases can mimic more common conditions and send vets off on false trails. With some of the more serious AI diseases, prompt diagnosis and commencement of appropriate treatment can make the difference between life and death. How many lives are lost due to an inability to reach a conclusive diagnosis, resulting in deaths being attributed to vague causes such as organ failure? Iím not criticising vets being unable to diagnose these conditions Ė you wouldnít expect your GP to conclusively diagnose cancer, but you would hope he/she would recognise the potential signs and make a referral to a specialist who was able to help. I just think that sometimes (and I have been on the receiving end of this) the possibilities of an AI condition come way down the list of potential diagnoses, because there are others which are more familiar to the non-specialist vet.
In a similar vein, the majority of dog owners (unless theyíve been there before) probably have little awareness of the myriad of AI problems which can affect their dogs Ė hypothyroidism, Addisons, SLO, lupus, IMHA, thrombocytopenia, some forms of arthritis, meningitis, GME, and chronic allergies to name just a few. I would need many more hands and feet to count how many times Iíve heard ďI never knew dogs could get meningitisĒ.
So the point I was coming to (in a lengthy roundabout way as usual - sorry!), is that I do feel that breeders are not only beholden to think long and hard about their breeding program when AI conditions within lines become obvious, but also have a moral obligation to advise owners, if there is a potential predisposition towards AI conditions with their dogs so that in the event of problems, owners can prompt their vets to consider the less obvious possibilities. I accept that there is still so much more to learn about the hereditary nature of AI predisposition and the potential triggers such as diet, vaccinations, chemical treatments, illness and stress that can bring about the problems but I would far rather know and be informed about possible health threats to my dogs, than be hit with them unprepared. Many of the AI diseases are devastatingly difficult to cope with, emotionally, physically and financially. But as Katherine said, knowledge is power Ė and can save lives.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2016 9:42 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Absolutely agree with everything you say Barbs. My first beardie died aged 3.5 years after being unsuccesfully treated for 6 months, that was 40 years ago when AI diseases were not known about. Looking back with present knowledge I believe she could well have had Addisons. Nowadays I don't believe there is any excuse for vets not to be familiar with the possibility of these diseases.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2016 12:09 am Reply with quoteBack to top

snowleopard wrote:

Itís about time that some lovers of this breed focused on the inside of these wonderful dogs rather than how they look on the outside.


Well said Chris , though I feel no one can call themselves a lover of the breed if they carry on burying their heads in the sand that these conditions aren't all under the AI umbrella.

Jacquie and Barbs, we've been through two lots of the vets being wrong ..firstly , and very commonly, with Merry and her SLO being diagnosed as the easy option of 'nail bed infection' ..we had the heads up on it being in the litter when Dougall her litter brother had it , and then getting advice here , namely Hazel, who sent me a lot or articles and research that my vet actually asked for a copy to read ( we had insisted we got referred to a specialist )

..and then again with Boo and his cancer diagnosis ..it was only on our insistence , and my paranoia, that we got the biopsy done , came back as fine from our vets ..and then my insistence to get referred that we had the truth !

I know its a minefield out there but with all the info that is available , and good grief the experiences so many of us here have had there's no bloody excuse for anyone to not see how to avoid this in the future

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2016 3:21 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I do agree it is about education, the good breeders are the ones who are educated and go to seminars and talks on these sort of subjects but sadly the ones who are not educated and need to be dont bother going as they dont want to be educated.

Thanks Nikki for starting this thread it's been good to read the views so far.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2016 4:02 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I know I haven't been on FBC in a long long while but was talking to Nikki and she mentioned she had put a post up re AI and as she knows I have been looking into AI problems since Benji was diagnosed with diabetes. I got in touch with Jo Tucker at the time and she was shocked as in all the time she has been dealing with AI problems she had never come across it in beardies..I only found one other but sadly Benji's sister has just been diagnosed with it too. I actually didn't realise diabetes was AI until Jo explained , she and my vets both said now there's 2 in the litter with it others could possibly have it too Sad I knew it was hereditary in humans but with no other beardie having it thought maybe it was just one of those things . Benji was also tested for Addisons and Cushings but luckily he is clear . What I find so hard to believe is that there are still breeders out there who clearly want to mate litter mates of beardies that have had serious AI issues ie SRMA and how they can be on the Kennel Club assured breeders list is just beyond belief ! Am glad the beardie world is a small one as we do get to hear what is going on with the wonderful breed..i just wish some breeders would remove the money signs as well as Chris so rightly said the outside view and concentrate on health..

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 12:28 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

It is a year since Sirius was diagnosed, and for the first nine months of that year he was on an utterly dreadful cocktail of drugs to keep him alive and fight the condition, and drugs to combat the side effects to the drugs. He lost all his hair, was a total mess in terms of skin (sores, turning black) and what initially came out of the back end, until he was put on a prescription diet and had long term ABs (I know, long term abs!) but it was the only way. We didn't know whether he would end up with Crohns as a result of all the medication.

I have just returned from the vet with Wizard, who has had his boosters because his Tither tests results were low (I thought, "I'll show them at the vets, that the World Small Animal Veterinary Association recommend vaccinating no more than every three years) they were understanding about my concern not to over vaccinate and why, but in the end I had to get Wizard done. If I had Sirius Tither tested who knows what the outcome would be, and anyway I couldn't do anything about it because he is AI....we also discussed ticks and fleas, and worms, which are all a nightmare to treat if you have an AI dog. I am about to make a coconut oil and brewer's yeast tick and flea treatment, Sirius has been on coconut oil since the start thanks to Kath's advice, and has shown no signs of those nasties so far!

My vet admitted today that had we not been so aware of changes in Sirius's behaviour etc. and the fact we had been informed that his litter sister had been diagnosed with SRMA some weeks earlier, he may not have had such a quick referral to and diagnosis at the specialist vet. The thought of him spending one day longer than he had to without the right medication doesn't bear thinking about.

My general vet , Claire (who I learnt today is leaving Crying or Very sad ) and my Specialist vet (David Walker at Anderson Moores, of Alabama Rot fame) have been amazing, but it is the owner who inevitably has to live with the fact that they have an AI dog, and the condition could raise it's ugly head again, perhaps as SLO next time. I would not wish this on my worst enemy, but certainly not on their dog!

I will say that I feel lucky at the moment, Sirius seems to have no real personality changes and he is a bomb-proof, full of energy, bundle of laughs, thick coated Rolling Eyes cuddle monster (as apposed to Wizard who is a cuddle bunny Wink ) and who has taught Wizard how to play (Merlin never liked the crazy games which Beardies play) and his GI track seems pretty good ......but I am always looking over my shoulder in case the dreaded AI demon creeps up from behind again (or the implications of having a now unvaccinated dog)!

And....thank you to everyone on here who has supported each other, I for one would have "gone under" without everyone's support.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 1:21 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Julie its great to read about Sirius's journey back to health ..I know after seeing Dozzie before her diagnosis how very poorly they are ..I hope his litter sister is on the mend too now , as if I remember rightly she did have a relapse. I sincerely hope none of their litter mates develop an AI and that Sirius won't develop another one either ...you know its something we dread here too Crying or Very sad

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 2:00 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Julie I am so pleased that Sirius is on the mend now and pray he keeps healthy from now on. It's heart breaking to hear the background behind these conditions so hard for both owners and dogs.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 2:12 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

After reading what Julie has posted regarding Wizard and his Titre test, I would like to explain that just because a titre comes back low it doesn't mean the dog has no immunity, it just means they haven't recently met the challenge of that disease and needed to mount a response. Even if a titre were to come back nil there is a thing called immune memory which means that there are still antibodies to disease in the body which can fight the infection but it would just take a little longer for the body to respond. Vets tend to panic when titres come back low and frighten owners into re vaccinating unecessarily.

One of Triskels titre tests came back low for Adenovirus (Hepatitis), unusually one of the vets at Glasgow had hand written on the form that no booster was necessary! This saved me having to fight the vet over the fact I would not have revaccinated anyway. Very Happy next time she was titred Adenovirus was sky high even though no booster had been administered. Very Happy

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 4:36 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

So right Jacquie with regards to the Titre test, a low results still means that they have Immunity, its just that they have not come into contact with the virus.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 4:47 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Mine field!

Meant to add that my breeders did a lot of research before finding a stud for their girl; she didn't have "history" either.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 8:00 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

It has been heart wrenching reading all your replies and I shouldnít have read Kathís original post as she was going through it with Poppy as lots of tears here.This thread has a lot of feeling in it and it shows from what has been written. I donít know how all of you do it as you all must be on tender hooks hoping nothing else crops up with your AI dogs. I am so lucky as my girls are fine and I have never had a dog with an AI problem but I have learnt so much on this site and even managed to tell someone in our village that her dog had SLO, the vet had never heard of it !!!!
I am really interested in the titre testing as I am considering having the girls done, Aria will be due in march and Bracken wasnít done due to her being mated and not had her done since. I was wondering what people are being charged by there vets for the test.
I donít think anyone can be blamed for a litter that up till now had shown no signs of an AI problem in the lines and has suddenly turned out to produce a litter with an AI problem as sometimes you just donít know, it is the ones that continue to use the same parents or siblings of said AI puppies that are the problem as once it starts how do you stop it ! At some point I am sure someone will sue because if you know there is a problem why use those dogs. We all know vet fees are not the cheapest and not all have insurance to pay for all the treatment so why do these people not buy a clear bitch in if they want to carry on breeding .
I would like to know the feelings of people who like me who havenít got a dog with an AI problem, how would they feel if there dog suddenly had one, would you buy a dog from a line you knew had problems, even worse were not told till after your dog produced a problem and then were told there were problems in the line. I just keep thinking of Kath paying out £15,000 and would many of us have that money to pay out not knowing if our dog will survive the treatment. It is a mine field really but we must stick together to find out how we survive this horrible problem and educate those who donít know. I really admire the breeder who says ďwe have a problem and we will stop using our dogsĒ.
I love bearded collies and donít want to see them get more problems and really want all people who are unaware of problems to see they have to be vigilant to make sure if they use a dog for breeding you have to ask questions and check the lines. I was so lucky to have Christine, Ron, Jacky and Caroline to help with choosing the right dog for Bracken, it is not just the bitch owner it is also the stud dog owner, if all goes wrong they get the blame as well.
I think if more people put there problems on http://www.beaconforhealth.org/ it would help new puppy buyers and new breeders see if there is a problem along the way. There will always be a one off but it is the 2/3 in the same litter/line that needs to be thought about..

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 9:04 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Hope that you don't mind me posting this on here.

http://www.petbloodbankuk.org/

It is another thing that we never think about unless we need it.

Poppy had 6 Transfusions.
It was a very emotional moment for me when I got to meet one of the dogs that gave blood for Poppy.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 9:38 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Nikki my vets charge around sixty something pounds for a titre test but I do insist it goes to Glasgow which I believe is the cheaper option but very reliable. There is now an in house titre test that vets can buy, it only costs around twenty pounds per titre and the results are available within 21 minutes. It seems very few vets are taking up this opportunity and it makes me cross that they are ignoring it.

http://www.petwelfarealliance.org/vaccicheck.html

Lots of info on this site here is a link to vaccine information:

http://chchealth.weebly.com/vaccination.html


Sadly I don't believe there are any lines within the breed that can be called clear it certainly isn't possible to go out and buy a clear bitch for breeding and as we have such a low 'actual' population size (only 23) the breed is in a very precarious state.

http://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/media/685423/bearded_collie.pdf

Scroll down to estimated effective population size.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2016 7:36 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Good point Jacquie about the population.

For too many years the same small number of dogs have been used for breeding which is not a true representation of the breed. These are all mainly show dogs and there are many more dogs which are not show dogs out there that could be used for breeding. They may be from the same lines but at least they would give some genetic diversity to the breed instead of one stud dog being used for multiple breeding.

Although we hope things will change I fear the damage is already done and for many breeds the future is in the balance. We may have to see many dog breeds change in the years to come to aid their survival.

Talking to someone yesterday who has had all sorts of health problems with her dog (not a beardie) she said she would never have another dog due to this and the cost of rip off vet bills and insurance.

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