Note: These posts, from the ShilohShepherd Onelist, originally were written in 2000.

--- In ShilohShepherds@e..., deev@w... wrote:


<<Tina - You've mentioned a couple of times about some hype regarding a back problem in the Shiloh that happened a long time ago.  I'm not familiar with it.  Could you enlighten us, please?
Dee>>

Dee,

I wasn't around back then and really did not want to post on this, BUT, Tina asked me to relay the information as I heard it.  Bits and pieces of it are on the AOL BB.  It is very hard to follow that thread since so many posts there were pulled by the PCFs.  Two things I will not do - mention folks names or the names of their dogs - it is the "issue" and the consequences that I will deal with ONLY. (also because I don't remember all the names of the dogs and people involved) Any errors or omissions are a result of my not having a perfect memory - anyone feel free to add to the information.


In the mid-nineties there was ONE litter of Shilohs that had back lesions whose symptoms were manifest before a year of age - Hind end paralysis.  This was the second breeding of this pair and the ONLY one in which the pups were affected.

I don't remember if the dam was bred prior to or subsequent to this one particular litter.  The sire had been used previously and was an enthusiastic male.

During the time that this litter with back lesions was being investigated, there were several other Shilohs in other parts of the country who were being treated for back problems.  There was much hue and cry that there was a general genetic defect running rampant in the breed.  A special committee was formed to gather information regarding the affected pups and the other Shilohs to allow studies to be done by geneticists and university affiliated veterinarians.  Owners of Shilohs directly related by lines to the sire/dam of the affected litter were asked to have their Shilohs' back x-rayed and to send the x-rays in to a specific place.  The purpose was to track down the exact cause of the lesions in the one litter. 

The other Shilohs mentioned above, their vets determined that their back problems were the result of an injury - it was NOT genetic.

From what I can understand about the information on the affected litter,  the geneticists and veterinarians involved in the study of line related Shilohs and the affected litter "thought" that it might be genetic, but had never seen the problem manifested in dogs before.  NONE of the line related Shilohs either had, nor produced it prior nor subsequent.  IF it had been genetic, it surely should have expressed itself, given the levels of inbreeding and linebreeding done.  Percentage wise it would have shown up somewhere else with some other combination that doubled up on the ancestors' genes. But it didn't.  It was just that ONE litter.  Other folks did research and studies to determine if there were environmental factors could have caused the problem, or if it related to a disease with non-genetic origins. 

So what was the hype and consequences?  Folks got upset and scared.  Dogs that should have been used in stud were neutered because they were of the same line, not because they were affected, nor ever produced the problem before.  NOR because the "back" problem was proven to be genetic. They backed off because the "noise" generated wasn't worth putting up with to them.  Tina has already posted that Shilohs with the strongest hip history were lost to the breed because there was lack of understanding.  The ONE litter, yes it was devastating, but it was just that - ONE litter - NOT the whole breed, nor the WHOLE line. The way I understand Tina's plan is that ALL lines were chosen/developped to add the strong points of each line. The mixture of the lines is to bring the breed as close to perfection as possible.  But as a result of the "back" problem - the good genetic influence of those dogs is not available, so the plan is negatively impacted.

Let me explain what helped me to understand.  At my job, I am paid for 40 hours of work - I know how much that will be from week to week and budget, or plan my expenses accordingly.  If one of my coworkers tells my boss that I'd really rather work 20 hours AND she believes the coworker without asking me and my hours are cut - then I will not only be mad as heck, but I will also not have the resources I had planned on working with.

Also, another result was that folks stopped turning in LMX data. They just didn't want to be involved in any controversy, so a lot of that information is not available.  This happened in the mid-nineties, but this lack of information and the smaller genepool can affect us today.

Problems that occur SHOULD be investigated.  Since I am reading Padgett's book, I'll share this:  (from the "Control of Canine Genetic Diseases")

    "The most difficult situation to encounter is when a trait is not known to be inherited in any species.  Even so, the first thing to do is the same as for a trait that is know to be inherited:  MAKE SURE THE DIAGNOSIS IS ACCURATE. (Padgett's emphasis)

    If the diagnosis is accurate, the following factors must be considered:

    1.  Is it due to trauma?
    2.  Is it due to infection?
    3.  Is it due to diet?
    4.  Is it due to a teratogen?
    5.  Is it due to a toxin?
    6.  Is it due to a birth injury?
    7.  Is it due to a chromosomal aberration?"

What it also takes is folks who are willing to provide information about their beloved companions AND to WAIT for results.

Corinne

In ShilohShepherds@y..., MaShiloh@a... wrote:
In a message dated 04/22/2000 10:33:28 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
corfil@a... writes:

<< Two things I will not do - mention folks names or the names of their dogs - it is the "issue" and the consequences that I will deal with ONLY. >>

Excellent point!  Since Cor was not with us yet, while this nightmare went on ..... I would appreciate it if those of you that WERE a part of it, would post your views .. and when all is said & done, I will give you all the FINAL RESULTS! ;( Including the long term effect this has had on the breed itself!!

I also think that this needs to be noted as "history" in the book that I am working on!  after all ..... it certainly made a strong impact towards tearing our genepool to shreds!!!!  Maybe others might learn from this horrible lesson?

--- In ShilohShepherds@y..., Jerry L Pack <packman007@j...> wrote:

Tina wrote

..... I would appreciate it if those of you that WERE a part of it, would post your views .. and when all is said & done, I will give you all the FINAL RESULTS! ;( Including the long term effect this has had on the breed itself!!

I also think that this needs to be noted as "history" in the book that I am working on!  after all ..... it certainly made a strong impact towards tearing our genepool to shreds!!!!  Maybe others might learn from this horrible lesson?
<><><><><><>

Just a quickie....as McKayla was slated to be one of the dogs that would be highly suspect to this problem being a daughter of the dog in question (Captian).  She was 3 at the time & her x-rays were clear & clean when read by Tuff's University vet (the one doing the study on the affected pups...all from the same litter).

No pups produced by Mckayla ever had a back problem though we did require the x-rays for a while just to be sure.

Other litters also were "clean" and it was a very isolated case. won't bore you with any other details as they didn't matter! Tons of time & $$ were wasted on this but it was needed I guess
to clear up the matter.  what a shame.

--- In ShilohShepherds@y..., highlifeli@a... wrote:
Hi All,

I don't know how this all came up again.  Corinne did a pretty good job of summing it up even though she wasn't around at the time.  Quick study I guess.

Anyway,  2 litters of pups were affected out of the same sire/dam. The spinal injury occurred in the T13/L1 region which I discovered could also be caused by an infectious agent.  I contacted one of the leading canine neonatologist who specialized in infectious diseases at the time.  He agreed to test blood samples from certain dogs.  I contacted owners and some sent in samples.  All of which tested negative but did not disprove my theory due to not all dogs being tested.  I wrote an article for the newsletter on Canine brucellosis while we continued to xray our dogs.  Tina even did some experimental breedings and the problem never resurfaced.  It is a shame because some phenomenal animals were in those litters and we lost some good people.  Well that is my 2 cents again.  Now I can go back into lurk mode. 
LOL
Pam & Shelby & Shandy

 --- In ShilohShepherds@y..., mashiloh@a...  wrote:

Where were you when the BEST hips this breed had ever seen ....... the BEST hips that we needed to keep the % of CHD drastically reduced ....... The BEST dogs . carefully created over many generations . to be used to strengthen our progeny for years to come . WERE BEING NEUTERED & SPAYED!!  Why??  because of gossip . running rampant . passed by a few fools that had NO CLUE as to what the heck they were talking about!!!!

 Can any of you understand why such things upset me? 

 How many GOOD breeders gave up on this breed?  How many people did not get a Shiloh because of this gossip?

 --- In ShilohShepherds@y..., jcvaneman@a... wrote:
Hi Tina - I remember.... The hardest thing of all is:  How many "crazies" did it bring out of the woods to terrorize us?  You know how I am talking about with that one.. I also remember you asking all of us to check backbones  before ever breeding.  At that time, I think you had the majority of us covered and we did that.  I still have the "backbone clean" letters from the vet you brought in to help.  Everyone needs to understand that it never showed up again.  I know one of the males from those lines and I would never hesitate for one moment to use him for stud OR to buy one of his progeny.  Beautiful dog, wonderful hips, great puppies.  Hope you don't mind me backing you up on this one.... :0)  Judy - CJ's

--- In ShilohShepherds@y..., trillhill@a... wrote:
Lorelle wrote:

<<Still, I think comparing that issue (about something that was determined to not be genetic and only surfaced in one or two litters) to the current discussion of hip dysplasia is a bit like comparing apples to broccoli.  The similarities of the issues escape me.  One was hype and hysteria over a limited and non-genetic disorder, the other is discussion about how to reduce the occurrence of a known genetic problem.>>

Lorelle, at the time, I think that many people felt it was a genetic disorder--and a very frightening one at that. With the Shilohs being so inbred, the potential seemed there that many more dogs would or could be effected.  As I said before, things sometimes become clearer with the passage of time.

Karen
 

---In ShilohShepherds@y...    mashiloh@a...wrote:
<<  Still, I think comparing that issue (about something that was determined to not be genetic and only surfaced in one or two litters) to the current discussion of hip dysplasia is a bit like comparing apples to broccoli.  The similarities of the issues escape me. One discussion about how to reduce the occurrence of a known genetic problem was hype and hysteria over a limited and non-genetic disorder, the other is discussion about how to reduce the occurrence of a known genetic problem. >>

I don't think anyone was comparing the back issue with HD .. just the "presentation"!

As you must know HD is prevalent in all breeds .... some running well between 30-50%!  I think the surveys breed clubs are doing now will prove this to be an even BIGGER problem then people ever imagined!

My point is clear .........

1.  I have spent many decades ........ privately funding my HD research .... long before Padgett wrote his book or anything else!     
Kennel of Origin--The Real History of the Shiloh Shepherds


2.  I have maintained LMX data on my dogs for up to 14 GENERATIONS!!!  No small thing!!  I did not have the backing of my club (actually they just scorned my ideas!) nor help from ANYONE else!!  LMX


3.  I tried to present the LMX program to my peers, only to be told that I was in "lala" land, and should just wake up & smell the pizza!

4.  I forged on despite all opposition, and over time using this system, I was able to learn how to  REDUCE the % of CHD in my lines!! 
The Origins of the Shiloh Shepherd

5.  Over time .......... it has been PROVEN that OFA alone is just NOT enough!!  Even though some numbers  can be reduced ........ the LMX program made a MUCH larger contribution toward GOOD HIPS!!!  
What Are We Breeding For

6.  Since my LMX program also maintained OTHER GENETIC  data on my lines, I **foolishly** thought that through expending this program (by encouraging others to breed these dogs, UNDER the specific guidelines) I would be able to broaden my genepool, and in turn 'create' a breed as faultless (health wise) as possible! 
Registries: What are They???

7.  What I had NOT planned on was ............**politics**  that created the wrong environment for these dogs to be able to thrive in ;(
Yes ....... I KNEW what dogs carried what problems (thanks to the LMX data) but very few "breeders" wanted to "hear" it ........ runaway gossip caused splits that endangered the entire genepool!

History of the Club Split

8.  This insanity was encouraged, with breeders claiming that this breed was 100% programed to be genetically free of all problems!!  People just ate that up, and prices for pups went sky high, with more such breeders jumping on the band wagon! 
Broken Hearted Founder  


9.  All the while ...... none of them even bothered to study the "genetics" of their dogs!  They thought that since "inbreeding" created this 'breed" more inbreeding would just make it better & better!! 
Inbreeding
We have had lots of discussion of this subject here!!  Maybe it would also be a good time to read that stuff again ..... it's all in the archives!! Especially the RC articles!

  Shiloh  Shepherd Learning Center  I have also written many articles on this, if you missed some, maybe it would be a good time now to read them too?

10.  Worst of all  ... the hysteria over 'back hype" or this or that, only caused more "splits" and more lost LMX data!  GOOD dogs were "pulled' from the genepool, while inferior ones (since the "breeders" were NOT following the selection process that I had designed to keep the breed sound) were now being bred!  Chaos was entering the genepool, and the door was opened to much pollution!
Broken Hearted Founder  

That is why we SHOULD actually compare the two issues!  because they certainly ARE related in the fact that "gossip" and "hype' caused our dogs to go DOWN HILL .. FAST!!  If we are seeing problems now that were nearly conquered only a decade ago .... what happened??  WHY? Why is the horror of HD coming back more & more?  Why are we seeing dogs with SAS .....EPI ...... and so MANY (wait till you read the health FAQ's I am working on!!) other problems??

The bible says you reap what you sow ..... well, people have not been sowing well for the Shiloh Shepherd ;(

If I won the lotto, I would just set up a huge facility where I could control all of the breedings, and clean up this mess ..... but since I don't have those kinds of resources, I am COUNTING on the breeders that CARE for the future welfare of this breed to help me accomplish my goals ........no matter what "gossip" is being spread!

If they get discouraged ..... or "run over' by those that just want to produce puppies for a few years ... so that they can rake in some bucks ....then this entire breed is doomed!!  will there still be a Shiloh Shepherd (of quality) to be found when your grandchildren want one like their parents had? Possibly NOT!

<<<<discussion about how to reduce the occurrence of a known genetic problem>>

I think this is a great idea ... let's focus on how to reduce HD in other breeds OK?  That would be a good topic ......... As for my breed, I had the plan ... IT WORKED ..... so let's just leave it there ..... once everyone has solved the COMPLETE problem of HD in all breeds .... we can talk about how to incorporate those solutions into what is left of the Shiloh bloodline........... fair enough??

Kennel of Origin | Club History: the First 7 Years | SSDCA Officers: Where are They Now? | Back Issue Creates Chaos |Back Issue Redux--ShilohShepherd Posts 20001996 Election | Glory to God Letter (Dec. 96)| History of the Club Split | 1999 Election |SSDCA Highlights: 1997-2004 | Shiloh History: the first 40 Years | 2002 Election | 2005 Election | 2008 Election |


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