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Puddles
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Discussion Starter #1
Since getting my GR puppy in April it has been quite the learning curve about breed standards / clearances & breeders. I know there are many breeders on this forum and really hope to learn something from all of you.

I have been trying to get a better understanding on reading OFA clearances but have found it a little overwhelming. On researching my pups blood lines I have noted way too many with "breeder option" distichiasis and ulvea cyst. I have googled these conditions and have to admit it's a little concerning and we will be getting eye certs done when she is 12 months.

Sadly this condition runs back several generations on both sides... definitely should have read this prior to purchase! Anyway, in reading the breed standard it says any dog with (and it listed several other eye conditions) Distichiasis should be "excused from the ring".

So if this is something they consider a major fault (I'm assuming being asked to leave the ring is a major problem) then why do breeders continue to use these dogs for breeding? And yes, my girl had / has this problem. Gratefully as she grew up a little the drainage has stopped. How did all these dogs get their Championship?

Is this eye conditions serious?? What should I be watching for?? Anything I should be doing beside Cerf exams??

Thanks for helping me through the confusion, any insight would be welcome.
 

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Molly had distiachiasis on her last two CERF. I asked the opthalmalogist why it is a breeder's option and he said it's because it is not a big deal in goldens. The lashes are very fine and short don't bother the dog. He said in other breeds, the lashes are thick and pose a bigger issue. Molly has never needed to get treatment for distichiasis. You can't tell she has it -- no tearing or or draining or anything. The standard says "any dogs showing evidence of..." and I bet you can't tell for most dogs if they had distichiasis and if you could, then it is probably abnormally severe and should be considered if being bred. Otherwise I hear it is something that probably shouldn't be doubled up on.
 

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Ah the conversation of breeding. It is a tough one and not clear cut especially on breeders options.

So, first. There is no perfect dog. Not structurally, not health wise. Breeders, good ones know this. If a breeder has perfect dogs, that is a huge problem. They are either brand new, ignorant or kennel blind.

Eyes in particular are challenging because they can and do change.

Breeders options are just that. The eye is not perfect but OFA has not determined this issue in this particular breed does not result in the failing of the eye certification.

So, the decision of if to breed and how to breed is left in the hands of the owner and the dog has an eye certification. Most breeders are cautious in the breeding of these dogs and will not breed two dogs together with the same breeder option. Some breeders have options they are okay with and others that are deal breakers.

It is important to remember you are breeding a whole dog and not just an eye.

I would gladly take a puppy with Distichia from parents of strong hip, elbow, and heart backgrounds with a pedigree of low cancer incidence over a perfect eye puppy with cancer and dysplasia riddled lines. Also to me the Distichia puppy would be a much bigger genetic diversity loss to the breed than the perfect eye puppy if not used in a breeding program.

Another thing to keep in mind is that dysticia in particular ranges in presentation and length of impact. Distichia can be many hard, course hairs that irritate the eye for life or one tiny soft hair that does no injury that only is seen once in a lifetime.

Why are these dogs Champions, because they earned it and that is no small feat. Why did the judges not excuse? Only a guess but they probably did not have the Distichia while being shown or the Distichia was so small only the in depth eye exam with special tools shows it.
 

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Puddles
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Discussion Starter #4
So the breeders option is more about documenting information for other breeders to help them make good breeding decisions, that makes sense. So it's not as horrible as the breed standard makes it sound, great! What about the ulvea cyst... several of the dogs listed with the distichiasis came up with this condition on their next clearances. Anything to be worried about? Are their any symptoms I should be on the look out for?

I do not plan to breed but will be getting clearances anyway. I can't help but think it helps to provide as much information as possible. I know that asking about breeding practices is a sensitive subject but truly just trying to learn. Thanks for the insight.
 

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The Uveal Cyst is one of my areas of concern. I can't say I would not breed a bitch with them if I had them. It would be something I would have to really think on. At this time I automatically rule out any boys with them.

The cysts are tricky because of the relationship to PU. Not every Uveal Cyst is going to become PU. But, every dog with PU has Uveal Cysts.
When and if there is a DNA PU test, I would be more comfortable using a dog with a cyst that tested clear of PU, again if and when that happens.

The best thing all owners can do is to have eyes checked annually.
 

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Kate
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Other thing about the distichias.... it's dogs with teary eyes that would be excused from the ring. Same thing with clear signs of other stuff going on.

A good example is this past summer I was sitting outside the ring and somebody with a 6 month old lab pup sat down next to me. Her dog was going to be shown...

I did a couple double take looks at the dog because I could see a clear sign of ectropian with him. Very houndy eyes.

I chatted with a handler friend who does handle labs - and he knew EXACTLY which dog I was asking about and grunted that he wouldn't show that dog....

When you are in the ring... typical routine with judges, especially your breeder judges...

They are looking at the dog's face and looking at the eyes and expression and so on. They are going to notice if there's signs of irritated eyes or something else not being right.

They probably won't excuse the dogs, but they will "dump" them probably. Or should...
 

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I can't agree with your comment about ruling out stud dogs with a single uveal cyst. According to Dr. Wendy Townsend, the presence of a single cyst has no relationship to the likelihood of developing PU, and in fact is a very routine finding in older dogs. So to me, I would have other things I would consider more important, such as the incidence of PU in his lines, and his age.
A 9 or 10 year old dog who is clear of PU himself (preferably by ultrasound) and has no *known* PU in his lines, but has a single cyst, would seem much more desirable than a 2 year old male with no cysts.
Of course, JMO.
(fwiw, no, Tito doesn't have any cysts at least as of his last exam 11 months ago, so that isn't swaying my opinion).


QUOTE=LJack;6796002]The Uveal Cyst is one of my areas of concern. I can't say I would not breed a bitch with them if I had them. It would be something I would have to really think on. At this time I automatically rule out any boys with them.

The cysts are tricky because of the relationship to PU. Not every Uveal Cyst is going to become PU. But, every dog with PU has Uveal Cysts.
When and if there is a DNA PU test, I would be more comfortable using a dog with a cyst that tested clear of PU, again if and when that happens.

The best thing all owners can do is to have eyes checked annually.[/QUOTE]
 
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That is why I said I and my. These are my opinions. And yes I rule stud dogs out that have Uveal cysts. Is that the only thing I look at, no.

I guess if the two hypothetical dogs you mentioned were my only choices then I might need to reevaluate. Fortunately, I don't have to choose between just two dogs.

I also personally believe all US lines have it. Some seem pre-potent for it but I think we all have it lurking, so no known PU is not a really big comfort to me especially when we are as a breed having transparency issues on PU to begin with.

Nobody has to agree or follow the same breeding decisions about Uveal Cysts I do. They are just mine.
 

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This is sadly all too true.


we are as a breed having transparency issues on PU to begin with.

[/QUOTE]
 
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I agree with Barb about not ruling a dog out for a uveal cyst if there is no history of PU behind him. (Like Barb, Mystic has 100 percent clear eyes this month so it isnt personal.) My other dogs were all also totally clear including 9 1/2 year old Tally, except for Lush who has distichia on half her clearances when she is in coat and not on the ones in which she is out of coat lol). My thinking is that I did have a dog with early PU, and he had 19 uveal cysts crammed in one eye alone, plus several other issues. I can't see a ten year old dog with one uveal cyst raising the same kind of red flag as actual PU. However I DO agree people are hiding PU liek crazy, and also that they are breeding dogs when both grandparents have it and then the parents have a uveal cyst young- to me a different case scenario.

I agree distichia in goldens is usually not any kid of a deal. Like I mentioned above, Lushie has a few in full coat and other years clears without any breeder options depending what kind of coat she is in.
 

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Puddles
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Discussion Starter #11
I get what you are saying about the runny eye, as soon as we hydrated the pup her eye began to run and knew there was some sort of problem. Not something the ring judge should see. It continued to run for about 4/5 weeks, until she grew up a little.

Because eye clearances were not up to date and/or posted I didn't make the connection to a pre-existing condition. This is a two fold problem, I take responsibility for not asking for up to date clearances but believe a good breeder should have discussed this with me, she knew there was an issue. It's my distrust with the breeder that is fueling my quest to understand clearances.

This is a condition she will always have but I'm not going to breed so it's history at this point. My concern is for the future health of my girl and will be diligent with yearly exams. Thanks for the honest dialogue, I never meant to question breeders decisions, just trying to learn from my mistakes and be better informed for the future.

I don't know what PU is or what it stands for, enlighten me??
 

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PU = Pigmentary Uveitis. Do a search on the forum (and google) and you will find a wealth of information on it. It is big, bad, scary stuff.
 

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It's my understanding (and I can certainly be wrong) that pigmented cysts are the ones that we see in every dog with PU, and non-pigmented ones can come and go but are not commonly seen in dogs w PU.
Does anyone know if this is accurate?
 

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Puddles
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Discussion Starter #15
Great article... let's hope it doesn't come to this! But it was good to know there is no need to panic at this point. Looks like I have plenty of time and can get all her clearances at age 2 and yearly eye exams after that. Thanks for all the info., I was unaware the Golden had so many eye problems... very sad. I knew clearances were important but have to admit I thought it was all about hip & elbow dysplasia, thyroid and heart. Guess I never thought about all the decisions good breeders must go through to facilitate health improvements. Thanks to all of you that are diligent breeders!!
 
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