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The Real Fun Begins...

Imaje's If It Doesn't Fit
CH Imaje's U Will B Assimilated x CH Tapestry's Blu Lite Special

Unfortunately, we ran into major health issues with this litter that made us re-think our breeding program. I had 3 generations down from my foundation bitch OFA'd (all excellent) and OFA'd "K" who I had bought as an addition to my breeding program (she OFA'd good).

Out of this litter we wound up with 2 pups with Legg Perthes, two of the pups broke legs and one seizes due to idiopathic epilepsy (the epilepsy dog was one who broke a foreleg and had Legg Perthes) and one started seizing due to a brain tumor (this dog was hypothyroid and was one of the leg break dogs). A mild case of Legg Perthes will show up on OFA x-rays (as it causes changes in the joint conformation) and the dog will not OFA. Kind of interesting how at the time I was one of the few to OFA hips and yet I run into this type of problem (Murphy's law, I guess<g>).

I notified everyone who had related dogs and decided to scrap my breeding program and start over (not an easy decision). Though I heard a few comments get back to me about me having crippled dogs (mostly from novice breeders, who still were wearing their rose colored "it won't happen to me glasses"). I can't tell you the outpouring of support and concern I received from fellow breeders. I had decided to show the one male I had kept who was healthy at the time - he later succumbed to a brain tumor. At the first show following all this madness he went BOW. There wasn't a dry eye at ringside.

On the dog with the brain tumor and hypothroidism. Cochran (from our OJ litter) never really liked the show ring (I retired him with 14 points - both majors - just lacking that last single, but it just wasn't fun for him). He was never going to be bred and I decided enough was enough.

The diagnosis of hypothroidism was made when he was 5 years of age. We discovered it when he had a seizure and I had a complete blood and thyroid panel done within one hour of the seizure. I immediately thought - oh, great another epileptic since his litter sister had been seizing since age 2. His thyroid came back extremely low. So low that I called him our "No Thyroid" dog. Unfortunately, at the time, we didn't realize that his seizures were due to a brain tumor and once the tumor grew in size we started to see several neurological signs in addition to the recourrence of the seizures (head pressing, balance problems, motor skill problems, howling due to pain). It was very sad and distressing to watch. In the end, he was on high does of phenobarb and prednisone, and was rapidly deteriorating. We had a spinal tap and brain biopsy done and ask that he not be recovered from surgery.

I've been blessed with an incredible new foundation bitch thanks to Yvonne Morgan and so, I start again. Having been through this, I know the heartache and disappointment first hand. My one wish is that no other breeder ever have to have this type of experience. I know however, that it is one of the risks that accompanies being a breeder. I just hope I can one day help someone walking in those shoes, as the IG community has done for me.

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