Thursday, August 25, 2005

Epilepsy - Humble pie

I know the previous epilepsy log was a bit dramatic, but it's also realistic and honest. It was inspired by some breeders on a Belgian Shepherd list after a woman's 2 year old dog started having seizures. This is a dog she was hoping to start her kennel with, it was her dream. The woman was freaked out, understandably so, and asked for help.

It's funny how some breeders started chiming in and getting defensive. You start to notice the same names over and over again. Guilt maybe? Something to hide? I know who NOT to get a Belgian from, not that I'd ever get another one. The words "an epi dog can live a happy, normal life" are repeated over and over again as if that makes everything OK.

Advice like "Let the dogs be happy members of your family, eat this huge piece of humble pie that the breeder has given you and take the dogs out for a nice looooooooong walk" is given. Anger is discouraged. Silence is encouraged. Certain people... breeders.... comment on how "the subject is getting old, let's move on." (Those are direct quotes, believe it or not.) I was appalled by what I was reading.

Guess what? The woman apologized. She had nothing to apologize for, and it was wrong that she felt the need to in the first place! Her breeder was not honest with her from the start, turns out the dam has seizures along with other dogs in her litter. This was before she was bred.

The woman has neutered her dream and is eating her humble pie in silence. She hasn't mentioned epilepsy or seizures since.

I never did join in on that conversation, the log below was created but not sent. The reason I posted it yesterday was because my friend's Giant Schnauzer has just started clustering. She's now going through everything that we went through, and my heart goes out to her.

Yes, I realize that breeding isn't easy. When you put two dogs together you never know what you will get. That's life, you deal with it and move on. What I don't find acceptable is the lack of honesty. To find out about yet another Giant who died before the age of three from uncontrollable seizures, and then to have a 'respectable' breeder tell you to keep silent, they don't want people to know?! I'm sorry, that's wrong. To see breeders continuing to breed the same lines because they are winning in the show ring, then sell the puppies to unsuspecting owners for large amounts of money? In who's world is that OK?

My questions are these:
Why should the pet people be the ones eating humble pie that is served to them unknowingly?
Why aren't the breeders eating what they serve?

1 comment:

Ravenmasque said...

Perhaps if more folks did not suffer in silence there would be more pressure on the breeders in question.

Most of us have things we are working on, and if we do not learn and grow there is no point in doing it.

Personally, I have been most fortunite with seizure free families, but I have other issues I am dealing with. I have had noise shy and dogs who do not enjoy the touch of strangers.

I have elimintated a few totally, and continued on with a few, with each generation there is improvment. Why continue? Because the family has tremendous attributes that I want to keep as well as a few I have been trying to breed away from.

Actually right now Ceilidh has little 9 week old 1/2 siblings, they have accepted all new challenges, and have not yet shyed from anything.

I can only speak for myself and am not trying to forgive blatent breeding of Epilepsy carrying and producing dogs. When I had seizures in a litter (1994) both parents were never used again and none of the offspring were ever bred. Both of those parents were bred once before each, none of those kids seized, but when bred together 4/8 in the litter did.