Help in approaching breeders

This is the main focus of the research underway by the Canine Epilepsy Research Consortium. Some of your questions may not have clear answers at this time, but ask them anyway!

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Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2005 7:58 pm
Location: Mass

Help in approaching breeders

Post by Morgan » Sat Feb 12, 2005 8:55 pm

I've just found the CEN and am very grateful for the work that you're doing and hope that the gene(s) and or mutations are identified relatively soon. I'm on my second dog with epilepsy. We were devastated when our second dog started to seizure. Both are/were labs.

I contacted the breeders a year ago when Morgan, then age 5, started to seize. I told them that I didn't want anything from them and that I thought that they should know of Morgan's seizures. I was told that the dam never conceived again. The sire's kennel was not too receptive (surprise) and said that he would continue breeding him and that he had over 700 puppies "out there" and I was the first to complain about epilepsy! (yeah right!). Morgans father is a champion show dog and Morgan comes from a long line of champions on both sides. This added to my security in purchasing a puppy from these breeders. Anyway, Morgan's seizures have become more frequent and intense (not grand mal yet as Zack's were) and our vet said that epilepsy has become more common. Well this has angered me. It's become more common because, those who know that their sire or dam may be at risk, are continuing to breed. This has resulted in my wanting to do something about it.

I just found this site last week. I do intend to submit a sample myself but I'd like to try and get a "useful research family" by contacting the breeders again. They may submit samples of the sire and dam and grandparents, if they have them or have access to them, but I doubt that the dams' breeder will contact the other buyers from my litter or give me their contact info so I can call them but I'd like to try.

Any suggestions on how I should approach them?

As far as finding the owners of the other puppies from my litter, I was thinking about running an ad in the Boston Globe saying something like
"Did you purchase a labrador retriever from Pine River Kennel in Scotland Ct in 1999 whose dam was named "Vicky" and whose sire was named "Sea Cruz" from Ocean Spray in Nortan MA? Does it have seizures? Mine does........Call me....

Just kidding...........but I'd love to!

Description of Morgan's seizures:
I'm leaning towards focal growing to generalized at this time. He started with an aura, happy, wagging his tail, humps his back like a cat and his rear right leg raises as if he has a muscle cramp. He's conscious through all of it. That's all that happened the first 2 times. We took it as a muscle spasm. The 3rd time he had the same aura but as it went on he stiffened slightly and eventually fell back into a sitting position, still conscious, but there was that odor of expressed anal glands at the end. He had 2 seizures the first year which was last year and those are the ones I described above. Then between Dec 7th and Jan 25th he had 3 seizures, starting out the same but growing in length and severity. He remains standing or in a sitting position and he's conscious but he's tensing up more and his body is starting to quiver. This time there wasn't the anal gland smell but there was a little nugget on the floor afterwards.

This turned out to be a lot longer than I intended sorry but I do feel better. Any suggestions on how to approach the breeders would be welcomed. I could just email them this link but I want to talk to them again..........


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Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 4:55 pm

help in approaching breeders

Post by naumh » Mon May 02, 2005 3:21 pm

I am in a similar position - yet different.

My dog (who is being neutered this week) was intended to be shown in the conformation show ring. However, when he came down with epilepsy my dreams of showing him stopped.

I notified the breeder of my dogs epilepsy. She indicated that she has never had this appear in her line before and had even conducted the same breeding before with no occurrence of epilepsy. I thought that she was genuinely telling me the truth.

I finally submitted samples of my dogs blood to the research project discussed on this website. I sent my breeder a letter explaining the project and outlining what she needs to do to submit samples. I provided partially completed individual dog forms and 3 generation pedigrees on the sire and dam (both owned by the breeder.) To that I added information about the project printed right from this website. (I was even willing to pay for drawing the blood and overnight shipping.) My letter concluded with saying that I felt (submitting samples) was "the right thing to do."

Although, she wasn't opposed, she didn't want to do anything without talking to the breeder from where most of her dogs come from. She handed all the information to him. He indicated to her that he is unsure of these types of projects. So, all my efforts rest in someone else's hands. I am now struggling with contacting this other breeder - who doesn't know me.

It's been a while since you posted this message. Have you had any progress?

Malachi's mom

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