The Quest for Health or the BIG lie
Today we are several years down the road with the new diversity DNA studies and programs. What have we gained??? What have we learned and where do we go from here???
Those are not easy questions as we tread lightly with this relative new technology and as I have seen with so many new testing procedures the gene pool suffers. It would be so easy if we could make cold hard statements that affect health and they were always true, but that is not the case. Up to this point every time we have jumped one direction we find we jump into another problem that we did not foresee.
Am I against testing – ABSOLUTELY NOT. What I am against is using any one health test to eliminate any breeding dog from the gene pool. Doberman already have a very small gene pool and there are those who believe the breed is already doomed. I personally do not feel that way because we still have Dobermans who live to a good old age although it will never be long enough.
Yes I have lost a lot of faith in science, vets, AVMA, FCI, AKC and other organizations ASPCA, HSUS and on and on it goes. They may all start out with good intentions, but it always comes out that the dogs often loose and those running these programs just get richer.
For example we have titer test to determine immunity for diseases that we have vaccinated or not. The titer test shows if a dog has immunity still active from any vaccine or exposure to a disease. Yet in spite of this ever 12 months your vet sends you a nice little reminder card to come in and get your “annual” vaccinations regardless of the problems that they are well aware of with over vaccination.
How do you trust people who ignore the science and dupe pet owners who are not as knowledgeable as a breeder on the proper protocols??? For too long we have trusted the science or in some cases been pressured to do what we felt was not good for the breed. A long time ago a very wise breeder of many years told me if you have a problem you have to breed through it. You will not solve it by stopping breeding and you won’t solve it by radically eliminating dogs that would help maintain more diversity in our gene pool.
So why are we here with such a small gene pool because we trusted the science and we believed they had our dogs best interest at heart. I will use Vwd as a prime example. A minor problem in Dobermans yet in the early 1990’s when the test first came out they sold it on FEAR – your dog is going to DIE so you must know the Vwd status or you dog can get a small bump on the leg and bleed to death. DEATH does sell. Now we are seeing the exact same thing with the DCM1 and DCM2 genes. In fact if test your dog through one of the popular DNA diversity companies you will get a DEATH letter stating your dog is going to die of DCM. Below is a email I wrote to Embark regarding this Death letter:
am writing regarding an e mail I received that was basically
presented as a "death" sentence to one of my dogs that
tested positive for one of the DNA mutations that Embark test for.
First I was very glad that I am going on 30 years of breeding
Dobermans or I would have fainted or had a stroke.
The entire Embark "AT RISK" designation is very misleading in almost every single instance as there is no solid proof that any of the mutations tested for are an absolute death sentence even for the homozogous dogs. It is fear mongering at its best and for those who are not as knowledgeable as most breeders, would feel devastated in receiving such a negative letter.
You want the support of breeders, you need the support of breeders, if you truly want families of Dobermans to test, as that would increase your odds of finding something that actually might be helpful. I started testing all puppies in my litters, but am now questioning the wisdom of that decision when I have to spend hours reassuring a family that their puppy is no more at risk than any other Doberman out there and that to get money researchers use fear tactics to make one think their dog will die tomorrow. I have a history of decen tlongevity in my lines well before all this testing jumped on the scene so I do have a little experience and knowledge.
While I understand you may consider this a CYA (cover your ass) strategy, it is not truthful, honest or professional to state something in such a factual manner that you know you can't prove. But it will go a long way in destroying your credibility with breeders . You already have an explanation of what clear, carrier or affected means, so a simple negative, heterozygous (which in most cases in no way indicates any problem at all, or homozygous should be sufficient to CYA.
As a breeder who does care about health testing and the future of the breed, I have been sorely disappointed up to this point in the actual negative impact of these DNA mutations. But what the fear mongering did accomplish is a radical reduction of our gene pool, as those who did not have more sense or knowledge did not consider the negative impact to our breed as they radically remove good dogs from the gene pool. All of this over things that can be easily controlled through the testing ithout decimating the gene pool.”
Shipp/ Dobs4ever44Copyright ©
2010 Suzan Shipp/Dobs4ever. All rights reserved both written,
pictorial material and content on this blog are the sole property of
Suzan Shipp, Dobs4ever and J Bar S Dobermans and may not be used,
copied or reprinted without express written permission of the
author/owner Suzan Shipp.