Health

The New Knowledge of DM (“GSD Myelopathy”)
Part 11

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The finding of CDRM in several littermate pairs, combined with the acknowledged high incidence of the disease in the German shepherd breed in general suggested that a genetic factor may well be involved in the aetiology of the disease, as previously suggested  (Clemmons, 1989). Due to this unusually high incidence of CDRM in one breed of dog and the discovery of at least two pairs of affected littermates, the investigation of a possible genetic factor was indicated. Following a literature search for diseases in other species with clinical and pathological similarities to CDRM, a working hypothesis was...

EFFECT OF ESTRUS AND OTHER FACTORS
ON APPARENT HIP JOINT CONFORMATION

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Before we get into the meat of the matter, let’s review the OFA-type definitions of canine hip dysplasia, referred to here as HD.

Cropping Ears and Docking Tails — Reasons and Controversy

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  The modern dog is to a great extent a manufactured product. That is, most breeds had been developed originally for specific purposes, but more recently have been changed via selective breeding to suit personal ideas of aesthetics (beauty). Utility has largely taken a back seat, but even in those circles where certain job functions are the breeders’ primary concerns, physical characteristics are often a result of breeders wanting the extreme rather than overall balance. This has led, over the last couple of centuries, to more differences between breeds than Nature might have developed on its own...

Another Look at Elbows

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The elbow is called a synovial (lubricated) hinge joint, although it has some minor similarity to a ball-and-socket joint. There is not that sort of rotation that we find in the hip; the twisting of the lower arm is possible because of the design of the radius. Mainly, flexion and extension are the movements in the elbow itself. The ulna acts to add stability and restrict motion, and the radius bears most, perhaps up to 80%, of the weight of the forequarters.

The PennHIP Radiograph Rationale, Technique, Differences, and Value

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As the author of "Canine Hip Dysplasia", and an international lecturer on orthopedic disorders, as well as a dog show judge, I am frequently asked to comment on similarities and differences in the procedures used and information obtained when radiographs are taken for OFA and other leg-extended positions as compared to the PennHIP evaluation, which you will see is an improved diagnostic technique.

CARPAL SUBLUXATION and WEAK PASTERNS—TWO DIFFERENT CONDITIONS?

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There are two pastern disorders that are often confused until one actually has seen the “extreme” type. The severity of “weak-by-genetic-neglect” wrists seen in many German Shepherds can approach the other type at first impression. In addition to these two, there are cases of retained cartilage and the unequal or asynchronous growth of the two bones in the lower forearm, but these are not included in the subject of this section. I constantly see variable expressions of pasterns changed by growth plate disturbances, with some dogs having a valgus (turned-out) deformity of only one carpus, some with little turning out, many with both feet pointing “east-west.”

Thyroid Problems and Suggestions on Dealing with Them

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While I am a German Shepherd Dog breeder, I have much all-breed experience in handling, judging, and consulting; as a scientist I also have been drawn to certain medical aspects of cynology (dog science). This said, we proceed to the subject; viz., the fairly common occurrence of impaired health that is traceable to, or at least suspected of coming from, a defective hormone production and regulatory system — specifically involving the thyroid gland. Incidentally, some readers may already know that Greyhounds, GSDs, Chow-Chows, and other breeds have greater incidence of low thyroid activity than the general or average dog population. Some breeds of dogs do better (have less “need” of as much of the hormones) than others, but enough breeds do not, especially in the low normal range.

PUPPYHOOD DISEASES

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Breeders’ responses to early puppy deaths vary. Some expend a great deal of effort, while others “let nature take its course” and stoically hope the next breeding will be more successful. Many have discovered that neonatal puppy mortality is preventable or call be reduced through scrupulous attention to prenatal and postnatal care. These breeders, who in the past may have accepted 20 to 25 percent mortality before weaning, have learned that such losses can be reduced dramatically by simple changes in management, including veterinary checkups.

Conception Problems and Soloxine

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At least in the German Shepherd world, many have been blaming the fact that so many of our bitches were “coming up empty” on the known use of anabolic steroids given to many of the top show dogs in an attempt to boost their chances of being placed in the very highest positions at the annual national specialty, or even the preliminary competitions where success is considered in making judging decisions at the final big show.

Eclampsia and Hypocalcemia in Cattle and Dogs

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Hypocalcemia is defined as an insufficient level of calcium in the blood. Eclampsia, once also called puerperal tetany, is one of the results — in fact, the most important one. In cattle, eclampsia has been known in some areas as “grass staggers” but it occurs in non-grass-eating animals such as dogs and cats, also. Homeostasis (optimal balance) of calcium is mainly regulated by parathyroid hormone, calcitonin, and vitamin D.

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