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Old 03-03-2009, 02:08 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Mega E

Let's talk about Mega E. I know what it is, but what I don't know enough about is its genetic component.

1. Are there lines that this is common in, but lines where it is not? Or is Mega E such a breed problem that it is in all lines/types?

2. Are there studies going on where genetic material (from blood or saliva) is being examined to find faulty genes?

3. For Breeders: All other things equal (titling/hips/etc) Would you breed a dog that has a sibling with Mega E?

TIA.
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Old 03-03-2009, 02:38 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Mega E

Quote:
Originally Posted By: AngelaMOLet's talk about Mega E. I know what it is, but what I don't know enough about is its genetic component.

1. Are there lines that this is common in, but lines where it is not? Or is Mega E such a breed problem that it is in all lines/types?

2. Are there studies going on where genetic material (from blood or saliva) is being examined to find faulty genes?

3. For Breeders: All other things equal (titling/hips/etc) Would you breed a dog that has a sibling with Mega E?

TIA.
1) I have only had one Mega-E in 40 years of breeding GSD's, and that was with a different line than I have now. After 4 gnerations of breeding this line, I have not had problems.

2) I really don't know the answer to this one.

3) No, I wouldn't.
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Old 03-03-2009, 02:56 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Mega E

This is a great link for info on Mega E

Peg is the founder of cmERp, I just recently had a few conversations with her, she was very helpful in the info I needed.
http://www.caninemegaesophagus.org/index.html

http://www.caninemegaesophagus.org/R..._Genetics.html
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Old 03-03-2009, 06:46 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Mega E

Hi, Tammy. 'Tis good to find you here. :-)

Angela, I don't know the best answer to your question no. 1, but can tell you that the problem is more prevalent than anyone would wish. In any litter with a known affected, there will also be (2) carriers and (3) sub-clinicals. Littermates can be 2 -and- 3, or just one or the other. Unfortunately, there is a huge need for a DNA test and that is likely quite a ways off, though there is a study that is about to get underway at Texas A&M. The study will look at megaesophagus but it will likely take another grant on top of this one in order to focus specifically on megaesophagus. There is a bit of info about the study on my website. I hope members here will share about it, especially in that we still need more samples submitted. The dog must have been diagnosed as a pup so that it is clear that it is a congenital case (of which most are, unfortunately); we cannot knowingly collect from relatives. The faster we can get more samples submitted, the faster the study can get underway, and the faster we can maybe learn a bit more about transmission - potentially!

Because of the above, I personally would not risk breeding a littermate, even if it's a 'guaranteed' that the sire or dam is from a line or a litter in which it was determined that there is megaesophagus. Unfortunately, it seems that megaesophagus can skip around quite a bit, sometimes skipping one generation only to be carried to the next generation and at times it seems that more pups in the litter are affected, rather than a random one pup. It honestly frightens me that there are risk takers (of which I am definitely one in most cases), just not in this regard. We'll never be able to "stamp out" megaesophagus with such a breeding practice.

If anyone has read this far, a GSD pup came to my attention today. The pup is located in Wisconsin - I reside in the Houston TX area. I am hoping to network to get this pup down here at which point I will care for her until I can find a replacement foster home. She is just 8 weeks old,,, and unfortunately, sheltered.

Thanks for asking your very important questions! I am so very glad that you did!

Sincerely,

Peg M.
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Old 03-03-2009, 07:32 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Mega E

It's fairly common in the breed. One of the problems is the REALLY sick puppies just fail to thrive and die early on, and no vet exam is done to confirm what the cause was.

Other problem is many other puppies are afflicted but have few problem as they age and by the time they are a year may barely have the condition at all. So if you never knew to do a barium test, and now the dog was healthy and well, breed away!!!

There are some studies but I'm not at my computer with them saved..... PM me and I can remember to add the links later.
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