Why does a breeders continue to breed sire that produces Dysplasia - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 64 (permalink) Old 03-25-2014, 10:36 PM Thread Starter
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Why does a breeders continue to breed sire that produces Dysplasia

I'd like to know what other GSD owners and breeders recommend. We purchased two puppies from different litters from a GSD breeder in Corona, California. Both our puppies were diagnosed with bilateral elbow dysplasia and a few months later our male was also diagnosed with bilateral hip dysplasia.
The breeder's claimed they had never in 37 years had a dog with elbow dysplasia and wow we got two from different litters but the same sire. They said we were not eligible for a warranty refund for ED because we had surgery to treat the problem. Okay, but shouldn't the OFA rating of ED, and CT Scans, performed by Board Certified Radiologist be sufficient for them to confirm? We have been GSD owners and had lost our two 12 year olds and wanted healthy lines. What a mistake I made in choosing this breeder. I didn't realize that the sire was Fast Normal meant he is borderline by OFA standards. When our boy was diagnosed with HD we took him to be examined by their Vet. Their Vet recognized our Vet's that are excellent and said he agreed with the diagnosis. Yet the breeder wanted him xrayed but it wasn't done by PENN or OFA standards. Still the diagnosis was HD. But their vet said Mild. The breeder will not warranty their puppies unless it is MODERATE to SEVERE Hip Dysplasia. They said " not covered under our warranty. Specifically it will not affect the health of the dog." DO YOU AGREE? I find this awful and shocking. Shouldn't a good breeder care if they are producing puppies with dysplasia? Shouldn't they stop breeding that male? What would you recommend?
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post #2 of 64 (permalink) Old 03-25-2014, 10:44 PM
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Is your dog showing symptoms?

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post #3 of 64 (permalink) Old 03-25-2014, 10:51 PM
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IMO, and I do not know a ton about breeding, but if it is a passing score and it is an exceptional dog otherwise and being bred to a passing female, I don't see the problem.

ANY litter, statistically, has the chance of throwing pups with these issues. They are doing the best they can to set the dogs up for good health, and I can't say there is any way to blame this on the sire.

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post #4 of 64 (permalink) Old 03-25-2014, 10:55 PM
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There is nothing wrong with a breeder requiring an official report by OFA or PennHip or a similar certifying organization rather than taking a vet's word for it. While some vets are very good at interpreting x-rays, many are not and see problems where none actually exist or vice versa. With something like OFA there is also no question as to the objectivity of the evaluators. So requiring an official report is pretty much standard practice amongst most breeders.

As for the warranty only covering moderate to severe HD, and not covering ED, I personally don't agree with that sort of warranty but if this is what is stipulated in the contract you signed and the breeder isn't violating the contract, then there really isn't anything you can do about that as you agreed to those terms.

Fast Normal does not necessarily equate to OFA borderline. I had a FN dog that was also OFA Good and there are many other examples. The systems are a bit apples and oranges so you can't draw direct parallels.

As for the diagnosis of Mild HD on your dog, it IS true that most dogs with Mild HD never experience problems. Especially if they are well managed with appropriate diet that includes joint supplements, appropriate exercise to keep muscles well formed and helping to support the joint, and not allowed to get overweight.

As for if the breeder should stop breeding the male or not, that we can't really determine from the information you've given. The OFA stats list something around 20% of GSDs as dysplastic based on x-rays submitted to them. The real percentage is probably higher as many dogs, especially those with x-rays that are obviously bad, aren't submitted. There is no bloodline of GSD that is completely free of dysplasia and if every dog who produced a dysplastic pup was eliminated from breeding there would be very few GSDs left to carry on the breed. There is one well known breeding program that focused extensively on eliminating HD and was for the most part successful, only to find they now had another genetic health disorder occurring at a much greater frequency than is the norm for the breed. As the saying goes, "breed one thing out and you breed another thing in". Breeders must find balance when it comes to temperament and health and work to reduce the incidence of all problems in those areas and can't over focus on any one thing. So with regard to this particular male, without knowing how he has produced overall and also the frequency of this problem (is it 1 or 2 problems out of a dozen or out of a hundred? Big difference there.) there is no way to say what the breeder should do with regard to continuing to breed him.

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post #5 of 64 (permalink) Old 03-25-2014, 11:35 PM
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Chris, and other breeders, what is the line in regards to pulling from a program? 2 dysplastic pups in a litter? 2 in 2 consecutive litters?

It is my understanding that a male
/female match may genetically not jive. But same male same female bred to different pairs can be perfectly fine.

Where does the breeders responsibility lay in regards to informing prospective buyers? If a fantastic male/female pairing produced 3 out of 7 dysplastic dogs, and a breeder wanted to try a different match up, should they inform prospective owners? Just totally curious.

OP, sorry bout your situation. It sounds as if your breeder is following their contract. I always hope people would go above and beyond, and it's disappointing when I hear things like this. But technically, they are following their contract.

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post #6 of 64 (permalink) Old 03-26-2014, 12:30 AM Thread Starter
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Yes (Hunter is great) our boy does have symptoms, of his hip dysplasia. It was diagnosed because I noticed he turns his hind feet outwards when walking. He can't track properly so the only way he can run is to bunny hop using both hind legs. He can't keep up with other dogs when trying to play. There have been incidents where he either pinches a nerve or something and screams in pain while holding his hind leg off the ground. We are hoping he a lucky one who can get by without surgery and won't do it unless he get where he can't walk and or it places him in too much pain. I agree with you Chris - it is important they are managed well. They both get an excellent diet and are a correct weight both have food allergy issues so they can't have join supplement so they are on Adequan (polysulfated glycosaminoglycan) injectable arthritis care for their joints. We plan to add swimming to our boy's exercise because he really can't run.

What we found out after our dogs were diagnosed is that there are several other owners with dysplastic puppies from this sire. I have been in touch with 4 others in addition to our 2. Sure the statistic probably make the breeder decide to keep him in the breeding program. If he sires 80 puppies a year and only 8 have dysplasia from those litters that doesn't hurt them because I haven't found anyone where they honored their warranty.
I was suggesting an official report from the OFA or similar should be valid but the breeder wouldn't accept it. They wanted us to wait on the arthroscopic surgery until their Vet returned in a couple weeks from vacation. Since our puppies had ununited anconeals with fragments you could feel crunching in their elbows it wasn't in their best interest. We have taken them to the very best animal hospital in the area VCA West Los Angeles. They are one of the largest private animal hospitals in the Country, they are also a teaching hospital. Both our dogs have both had stem cells injections processed by VET STEM after their ED surgery. The cells were collected laproscopically (from fat in their abdomen) and since we were in there they had prophylactic gastropexy for torsion. An elective choice since the surgery to collect the stem cells allowed it without adding much surgery time and having experienced two of our previous GSDs that required emergency surgery for Bloat/Torsion (Both survived thank GOD). The stem cells really helped the ED for now. We know they are at risk for arthritis. Our girl gets lame when she runs hard because she is missing the anconeals stabilize the joint in motion. Sadly hers were badly mangled from being smashed in the joint for months. The reason she would lift her front legs when sitting.

I recognize there is percentage of dysplasia from breeding good to good having read the OFA website numerous times, after the diagnosis. YET anyone would be concerned if they got two puppies from two different litters from the same breeder and sire (different dams) both having ED and the breeder claim is they never had any previously. We thought okay it could just be bad luck but sadly it was a flat out lie, because later I connected with another owner who got a puppy from the same sire a year before that was diagnosed with both bilateral ED and bilateral hip dysplasia. He needed the puppy to train for a replacement service dog for his elderly GSD. Same situation the breeder refused to honor the warranty claimed it didn't exist. I also spoke with owners of a littermate of our male also has hip dysplasia. They are a military family who can hardly afford the Vet bills. The breeder wasn't honoring their diagnosis expecting them to fly the dog back from the East Coast to California. Then this week I was contacted by a family whose 9 month old male was just diagnosed with Hip Dysplasia from the same sire. It just seems wrong if you have multiple puppies with ED and HD to continue to breed him. They have several males and around 15 females. Removing one male from their breeding program that produces dysplasia would seem appropriate.

As for us we've now spent about $25K on our two puppies in the diagnosis and treatment. From my perspective it's not right to continue to breed that male unless you want to warn the potential owners AND honor the warranty that is a small value against the overall cost for the life of the dysplastic dog.
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post #7 of 64 (permalink) Old 03-26-2014, 12:45 AM Thread Starter
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Oh I guess I should have also clarified that the Breeder's contract (signed after we paid for the puppies, and paid to have them trained for a month at the breeder's facility) language that it must be MODERATE TO SEVERE is in direct conflict to the Health & Safety Code regulation for breeders in our State. The language in the State regulation says " if within one year after the purchaser has taken physical possession of the dog after the sale, a veterinarian licensed in this state states in writing that the dog has a
congenital or hereditary condition that adversely affects the health of the dog, or that requires, or is likely in the future to require, hospitalization or nonelective surgical procedures, the dog shall be considered unfit for sale, and the pet dealer shall provide the purchaser with any of the following remedies that the purchaser elects" ... Return the dog, Exchange the dog, or retain the dog and reimburse reasonable veterinary fees for diagnosis and treating the dog not to exceed 150% of price of dog plus sales tax.

Another thing I find odd is that the breeder marks the box of all puppies paperwork to the AKC that they cannot be bred or any offspring of theirs registered with the AKC. We did not plan to breed and would never consider it after their conditions were diagnosed but is that common?
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post #8 of 64 (permalink) Old 03-26-2014, 12:50 AM
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Originally Posted by kasmha View Post
Another thing I find odd is that the breeder marks the box of all puppies paperwork to the AKC that they cannot be bred or any offspring of theirs registered with the AKC. We did not plan to breed and would never consider it after their conditions were diagnosed but is that common?

A lot of reputable breeders only give limited registration until the dog is proven. It helps limit the number of people who just buy a puppy and start breeding. I personally have no issues with this.
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post #9 of 64 (permalink) Old 03-26-2014, 12:53 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone for the insight. This forum is awesome.
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post #10 of 64 (permalink) Old 03-26-2014, 01:27 AM
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If you want help managing the HD, search on this forum for other threads that discuss it. Supplements and low-impact exercise can help a lot.

My opinion is that with all of those problems, the least your breeder could do is refund the purchase price of your puppies, but I have no experience whatsoever with breeders.

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