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IGS in Border Collies

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I am definitely considering that. I am thankful that this info just came to my attention but unfortunate it is not the best timing. I am flying to Italy today for two weeks so I am hoping/praying that all stays status quo with him until I return and can get in to see my regular vet.

 

My pet/house sitter is very diligent and I will be in close contact with her. I also have instructed a close friend and contact for the sitter that if he were to get sick suddenly they need to give him B12 as a precaution.

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That's true Gentle Lake, as well as your earlier point about testing the level of B12 vs for IGS since there could be other causes and from what I'm reading it sounds like that is definitely something to consider with GI issues.

 

I'm going to be doing some research as far as pricing for tests and plan to speak with my vet as soon as I get home. They typically have the lowest prices around here but I'm sure that is a send out thing so maybe the lab they use is pricier than typical.

 

What symptoms was your Tillie exhibiting that had you looking at those values?

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Remember, though, that with a young dog who's had problems for a while, there's a much higher likelihood of IGS than there would've been in a dog Tilly's age.

 

Tilly would have increasing frequent bouts of diarrhea and vomiting, which also became more intense and lasted longer. Some of the vomit was very foul smelling; sometimes it looked and smelled more like feces than vomit. Once she'd gotten everything out of her stomach and couldn't even keep down water, she'd just vomit very slimy bile. She'd also sometimes stretch in a way that's indicative of stomach pain and also be generally lethargic.

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Unless they have gone up Animal Genetics in Fl. charge $45. for IGS and will do a panel for Border Collies for $180.00. Panel includes IGS, CEA, MDR1, NCL, PLL, TNS.

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The insidious thing about IGS is that it can so easily be hidden when treated. The unscrupulous could breed from an affected dog and no one might know. It's not as if they look sick. An unwary breeder might breed from an affected dog that is on B12 shots but not know that their dog's problem was inherited. Breed an affected dog and you have 100 per cent carriers in the litter.

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As I've often said on this forum, you can't legislate morals or scruples. Breeders who care will do the right thing. No breeder has to breed to an "unknown." They can always ask the owner of the other dog to present test results. Once again, if the market pressure is there, including from breeders who don't want to produce affected puppies, then testing will follow. This doesn't have to be legislated from the top. It can be pushed from the middle (breeders) and bottom (buyers) just as easily and probably more effectively. My opinion.

 

As a very occasional breeder, I would do the right thing. I don't need someone to require me to do the right thing. It may seem a small difference, but it really isn't. And as puppy buyer, I can base my choices and how well I know the breeder and how much I trust the breeder. Don't need a rule to tell me who to choose or who to trust either. In fact, I would trust those who are testing voluntarily over those who must be compelled. Again, my opinion.

 

Yes, there are breeders who don't talk about things, breeders who take chances, breeders who just plain don't care. It's up to those of us who are buying pups to choose wisely.

 

J.

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personally, I would also like to see testing required. When you sell puppies, you are selling a product to the public and are now engaged in a business transaction. it is not about morals, but consumer protection. There are a lot of folks out there that have never heard of some of this stuff, including myself, until recently. Luckily, the parents of my newest pup were both tested for IGS, etc. But there are too many folks that don't believe in testing and can potentially be selling pups that will end up costing the new owners lots of heartache and thousands of dollars in vet bills to figure out what's wrong. Let's face it, markets don't always dictate behavior changes.

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Not only do sellers have a responsibility for selling quality products but buyers have responsibilities for investigating the best source of those products. It feels like many here want to legislate sellers so that buyers no longer need to be responsible (educated) for their own choices.

 

An educated puppy buyer will more likely be a better puppy/dog owner.

 

Buying a puppy is not like buying a hat; if it doesn't fit you can't (shouldn't) just toss puppy. Buying a puppy should take effort on the part of the buyer. I'm not saying that breeders shouldn't test, just that breeders should be educated about what they are breeding. They should know what should be tested for, not test for everything. Testing for everything focuses the breeder on just the diseases that have tests not the overall health of their lines (and the entire breed) as determined by overall genetic diversity.

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personally, I would also like to see testing required. When you sell puppies, you are selling a product to the public and are now engaged in a business transaction. it is not about morals, but consumer protection. There are a lot of folks out there that have never heard of some of this stuff, including myself, until recently. Luckily, the parents of my newest pup were both tested for IGS, etc. But there are too many folks that don't believe in testing and can potentially be selling pups that will end up costing the new owners lots of heartache and thousands of dollars in vet bills to figure out what's wrong. Let's face it, markets don't always dictate behavior changes.

 

 

Testing required by whom? The registry? The net effect of that is that breeders will stop registering their dogs because the cost (testing) of doing so will outweigh the benefits (marketing) of doing so. Those genetics will be lost.

 

And, what testing? As more tests become available to we just add them to the panel? How much are you willing to add to the cost of buying a pup to cover the cost of all the testing? Right now, if we just include those things that we can test for, then you are looking at around $500/dog so $3500 on average for a litter. The breeder is going to add $700 - $800/dog to cover the cost of dogs that test positive or who don't sell for other reasons.

 

So now, the cost of a pup goes from $500 - $1000 to $1000 - $1500 with no guarantee the dog will work.

 

But that's just for the genetic tests. Add in the cost of hips, and clinical evaluations for BCC and epilepsy (future) and you are up to close to $2500 for a pup.

 

>99% of those tests are going to come back negative which means that the money spent was wasted.

 

What I would propose is that we test for the things we know are potential issues (CEA) in the population, and individual buyers can write into their purchase contract that they intend to test for x,y,z and if any of those tests come back positive then they have the option of returning the dog to the seller. Most buyers are going to be content with the knowledge that most of the things we can test for are so rare as to be unlikely to affect their dog unless there are indications to the contrary or a history in the line. Some are going to want to run every test in the book and they are free to do so as long as they can find a breeder willing to accept return of the pup if they test positive.

 

And we shouldn't kid ourselves. A dog returned to a breeder because of a disease which causes significant morbidity or eventual mortality is unsaleable and there's a good chance that pup will be euthanized.

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Can't one just test the parents? I mean isn't CEA usually tested for in the parents?

 

I'm not one for mandatory testing either. But I thought testing was usually done on the parents (except for BAER) and breeding decisions made based on that. Is there no carrier test available for something like IGS?

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Testing of parents will tell you what the pups might be unless both parents are both normal or both affected; all other combinations will require testing each pup. Testing each pup would be required if knowing the status of the individual was required for registration of the pups.

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Many posts ago, Julie recommended putting effort into education. I like that idea best. The incidence of this disease is so low that it seems silly to require breeders to test (increased puppy prices, less registered litters, etc. as an undesired outcome).

 

And if the buyer prefers that the test for x,y, or z is done, then of course they are free to purchase a pup from someone who does the testing. Seems like a better alternative than having the registry require testing (unless we find the incidence sky rockets).

 

People often get mad at vets for not knowing about this, but I'd like to point out that it's HARD to know every breed-specific disease out there whenever the incidence in the population is so low! Instead of blaming vets for not being informed, maybe we could educate owners to know what's out there so that they can bring up possibilities with their vet. In a challenging case, I'd be happy for a well-educated Pomeranian owner to come to me with info on a rare disease I wasn't aware of! Speaking from the viewpoint of a vet, I think it would be more effective to educate owners than the entire vet population. I know for myself, I'm likely to forget or even gloss over some rare disease in a breed that I am not personally invested in...there's just so much to know as a general practitioner!

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"People often get mad at vets for not knowing about this, but I'd like to point out that it's HARD to know every breed-specific disease out there whenever the incidence in the population is so low! Instead of blaming vets for not being informed, maybe we could educate owners to know what's out there so that they can bring up possibilities with their vet. In a challenging case, I'd be happy for a well-educated Pomeranian owner to come to me with info on a rare disease I wasn't aware of! Speaking from the viewpoint of a vet, I think it would be more effective to educate owners than the entire vet population. I know for myself, I'm likely to forget or even gloss over some rare disease in a breed that I am not personally invested in...there's just so much to know as a general practitioner!"

 

This.

 

I've had owners ask me to test for diseases I've never heard of because they are obscure and only happen in a few breeds in rare cases. I had one ask me to test for a disease that isn't uncommon, but that I had never heard of in her breed. In many cases the owners were right, and I have no trouble admitting it. More power to them for being on top of things.

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A combined test for dogs and cats with chronic GI signs, with B12 levels being just one of the values checked, was released by Antech at least 4 years ago. Cost can be a problem for some clients though.

 

Liz,

 

Could you tell me the name of that specific test?

 

Thanks,

 

Chandra

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Canine Maldigestion Profile, run by Antech. It sounds like other labs offer similar profiles though. And, the vet's skill at interpreting these results in combination with history and clinical signs is key. You don't get yes or no results.

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Thanks Liz and Gentle Lake. I looked at both those sites but they're not the easiest to navigate (I've been confined to my phone while out of the country) so that's why I was wanting the specific name of the group of tests. Trying to do my research before going back to my vet.

 

Thanks again!

 

Chandra

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First, I am suggesting testing the parents and testing them for common genetic diseases - not testing each pup for every test available. I do believe there is a responsibility, as the breeder, to do your best to know what you are breeding. You may have the most talented working dog, but is it really worth it to breed this dog if it is a carrier or affected of CEA or IGS and you have no idea if the dog you plan to breed to is as well? Wouldn't you want to know? I know that there are no guarantees in breeding, but we can do our best to reduce the risks. As a buyer, I would want to know the parents were tested, The sire of the pup I bought recently was tested and is a carrier of IGS. I am glad I know that and that I knew going into it. I am glad the parents were tested. And, if I should ever contemplate breeding her, would have her tested to see if she is a carrier and make decisions based on that, in addition to other considerations. if we do common sense testing of the potential parents, we can greatly reduce the occurrence od genetic diseases, lots of extra costs and other problems.

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I'm not saying don't test. I'm saying don't mandate which tests should be run but educate breeders and buyers as to which tests are important for that line AND educate breeders on the necessity of breeding for the most genetic diversity as possible. The risk with just focusing upon the diseases for which we have tests is breeders and buyers will forget it is more important to focus upon diversity (i.e. COI). By ignoring COI will will likely "see" the next new disease like we did when EOD was recognized as a genetically linked disease.

 

 

Right now everyone is focused upon IGS because it's new to us (a few years back it was all about MDR1) and many people are chiming in with dogs they know that have it. In reality it is not more prevalent than other rare (rate<0.5%) genetic diseases. It's like the media coverage of cop killings; the national rate isn't really higher (actually it's down) there is just more reporting of them so it seems more frequent to us. There will be, of course, regions of higher rates and regions of lower rates since there are regionally popular lines; but the national average is still low (based upon published data).

 

 

NOTE:

The ABCA does not recomend excluding carriers of CEA from breeding; by doing so the effective population of our gene pool would shrink (exclusion of about 25% of our gene pool). Higher COI would be very bad for our breed; go look at the state of the (A)KC breeds. The ABCA advocates only breeding carriers to normal dogs.

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How can any conclusion be drawn as to the incidence of IGS if the data available is sparse, as it must be with a new disease for which a genetic test has only recently become available? Who is recording that data? I have enquired of the ISDS without response.

 

But you are right that there may be regional variations.

 

However, my dog's sire was the most popular ISDS registered sire one year, pre DNA testing.

 

His dam has had more than one litter to the same sire, as have sisters of hers, at least one to my knowledge also to the same sire.

 

My dog is ISDS affected which means that both sire and dam must at least be carriers. Does that not worry you?

 

I do not blame the breeder as there was no test. I do not blame any vets who may have failed to flag up any affected puppies in the past. And I take full responsibility for the decisions I make. But we now have the means to try and put the genie back in the bottle.

 

No one would suggest testing every pup before registration. It isn't required for CEA but litters cannot be registered from nested parents. If that were required then education would follow as the existence of the disease is brought to the fore.

 

TNS testing can make financial sense to some breeders as the potential loss of a litter, or a significant number ofpups, can hit them in the pocket which would hurt most of all, so why not tack on an IGS test at minimal extra cost?

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Carrier rate in randomly selected 200 european Border Collies was found to be 6.2%
A Frameshift Mutation in the Cubilin Gene (CUBN) in Border Collies with Imerslund-Gräsbeck Syndrome (Selective Cobalamin Malabsorption)

Fyfe etal found a carrier rate of 6.3% in a smaller study of 95 unrelated (back through 3 generations) US Border Collies.
An exon 53 frameshift mutation in CUBN abrogates cubam function and causes Imerslund-Gräsbeck syndrome in dogs

Two different studies in very different regions found the same carrier rate of 6% for an autosomal recessive disease. The Hardy-Weinberg predicted affected rate would be 0.1%.

 

 

What would worry me more than the sire and dam were likely both carriers is how related the sire and dam were. Based upon a 6% carrier rate (>90% of the population normal) one might wonder how related the sire and dam were (and what other recessive mutations were crossed).

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