Category Archives: woodinville

Echo Wins two Majors at Boise ID

Echo (Kazuri’s Feeling The Siren’s Call) has had a wonderful weekend in Boise, at the Idaho Capital City Kennel Club.

She went reserve to the major on the Friday under judge Mr Dean A Laney.

On the Saturday she went Best of Winners and Best of Opposite over a Special and won her first major – a 4point major under Mr Gary L Anderson!

She made us proud the next day by garnering her second major under judge Mrs Anne Katona when she went Winners Bitch again on the Sunday.

Echo is the daughter of Peyton (CH Malarky In Good Company) X Vixen (CH Hailstorms Feeling A Little Foxy At Kazuri TKN).

She currently has 10/15 of her CH points with limited showing. I couldn’t be prouder.

Echo wins her first CH points

We usually start showing our puppies when they are 6 months so they can get some ring experience. We don’t have high hopes for the young ones to win, but we don’t want them to be afraid of being in the ring – in fact we want them to think it is a game and kind of fun to show.

Because of COVID-19, Miss Echo (Kazuri’s Feeling the Sirens Call), didn’t get to attend her first show until after she turned one. She attended the shows at Enumclaw and won Winners Bitch and Best of Opposite for her first point on the first day under judge Richard Lewis. She went reserve the other days.

This weekend, at Snake River Kennel Club in Filer Idaho, she won winners bitch and best of Opposite over a special on Saturday under judge Mr David Bolus and winners bitch on Sunday under judge Mrs Pamela B Peat.

We thank you these judges for recognizing our tiny pistol, and to the wonderful Tammie Wilcox for showing her when I couldn’t travel due to work commitments. We are on the board with our first 3 points. 🙂

Epilepsy and Beagles

Epilepsy is a complex disease. There is so much we don’t know about it. We can have dogs who don’t exhibit symptoms produce it, or others who do exhibit symptoms. Unfortunately we can not genetically test for it, so we have no way to predict. We do know it is polygenic. This means that it must be inherited from both sides, and it does seem to look like it can be passed hidden through many generations before popping up in the “perfect storm” in one puppy who exhibits the symptoms.

Some amazing breeders have put together some great information, so I thought I would share it here.

The first paper is called “Complexity of the Epilepsy Genetic Challenge”
By Khalida Hendricks

The only way epilepsy could “come from the one parent”, with no fault or contribution from the other
parent, is if the allele for epilepsy is dominant so that the offspring only has to inherit one single
dominant copy from the bitch. If the allele was dominant, epilepsy would not be able to skip
generations as we know it does.
So although it is true we do not know the exact means of inheritance, we KNOW that an affected
offspring must inherit at least one affected allele from the dam and one from the sire. (see below for
further comment on multi-genetic traits). This means that a “producer” list is a valid option, as any
beagle, male or female, that has produced the genetic form of idiopathic epilepsy must possess at least
one copy of one allele that contributes to the idiopathic epilepsy genotype.
The grey area comes in the diagnosis of the affected offspring – was the epilepsy truly genetic,
idiopathic epilepsy, or is it possible something else caused the epilepsy? It does seem that
environmental triggers may come into play even with the genetic factors, so a case of epilepsy could be
purely genetic, purely environmental, or a mix of genetic and environmental. I think most people
suspect the third option. So if 3% of beagles present with IE, it could be that some higher percent
actually possesses the genotype to develop it but never had it triggered.
Then we cloud the waters even further. It does not appear that IE in beagles is a single genetic trait,
meaning that it requires not just one allele from each parent, but it requires some specific combination
of alleles, likely from each parent. So suppose it requires a combination of three genes: aa bb cc
Suppose sire is aa bb Cc…he will not be affected, but any bitch that is Aa Bb Cc could produce an
epileptic puppy with this sire (6.25% chance of epileptic genotype for each puppy), regardless of how
“safe” her pedigree has been determined thanks to the A’s and B’s and C’s coming down through the
lines. An aa bb cc bitch (perhaps one who is asymptomatic) with this sire would produce puppies with a
50% chance of having the epileptic genotype. So this sire will likely produce more epilepsy. But maybe
another sire is Aa Bb Cc…Now a breeding the same Aa Bb Cc bitch would only have a 1.56% of having
the epileptic genotype per puppy, and even the aa bb cc bitch would produces puppies with only a
12.5% chance of having the epileptic genotype. So he is a lot less likely to sire a puppy with IE, but it
is still possible. He might be bred 100 times before he sires a puppy with just the right genetic combo
and just the right environmental triggers.
We don’t know if it is one gene (most likely not), two genes, or many more genes that cause IE in
beagles. Maybe some of the genes involved are dominant, some partially dominant, some recessive.
But we can be pretty sure that it takes a contribution from both sire and dam to produce it. So producer
lists are a start. Ideally, we would have producer lists along with frequency of producing vs not
producing, and a cross reference with the dams who have produced it. I firmly believe if we had
enough data we could narrow it down. But we don’t have enough data, from what I understand, and
even if we did the data might not be “clean” enough, because of the probability that environmental
influences also come into play.

***********

This second paper is a collection of thoughts put together by Darlene Stewart – Aladar Beagles.

WHAT WE KNOW

A seizure is caused by an abnormal nerve signal that results in a muscle response. There are many types of seizures, majority involve some loss of consciousness. If you stood behind the dog and called its name, most would be unable to respond.

1) Generalized – these are the type most people think of when they hear the word seizure. The dog will lose consciousness and get rigid. They may paddle and sometimes appear to be chewing. Many will salivate, urinate and or defecate

2) Petit Mal – Signs of this form are brief. Generally, you will see a very brief loss of consciousness, loss of muscle tone and maybe a blank stare. Even though these seizures do not appear to be as severe, the underlying cause is the same as generalized.

3) Simple Focal Seizures – The muscle movements occur in one area of the body. You may see facial twitches or muscle jerking in one area like a leg or twitching of the side. Your beagle may be alert and aware during this type.  But these can progress to generalized seizures.

4) Complex Focal Seizures – These seizures are associated with strange, repetitive behaviors. Lip smacking or fly biting are common examples. Some dogs get very aggressive or vocal while others may hide abnormally.

5) Cluster – this is a term used when an animal has multiple seizures within a 24 hour period of time. These are considered very serious and need veterinary attention immediately.

6) Status Epilepticus – This is a continuous seizure that lasts 15- 30 minutes or more or multiple seizures that occur so close together that no return to normal consciousness occurs. These can be life threatening so immediate veterinary attention is needed.

Seizures can be caused by anything that disrupts normal brain circuitry.  There are two types.

1) Secondary – This is a seizure caused by a known toxin, metabolic disturbance or possibly a previous brain injury/trauma. Numerous types of testing are needed to rule these in or out. These tests include a complete chemistry panel and CBC, thyroid, urine and stool.  These tests can identify hypoglycemia or a possible liver shunt. If negative then an EEG as well as a CT or MRI should be performed to look for a structural brain lesion, such as a mass.  Regular x-rays can only show us the bones of the skull, but not the soft tissue of the brain itself

 2) Idiopathic (Primary) – This diagnosis means that there is no known cause for the seizures.  This conclusion is reached after a full array of tests have been completed and they are negative. Most of these seizures are considered inherited. Close inspection of the dog’s pedigree may reveal affected relatives.  Unfortunately this is the most common type that is diagnosed.  Usually once on anti-seizure medication the seizure activity is well controlled.

Age of Onset of Idiopathic Epilepsy

Most dogs will start to seizure somewhere between 18 months and 5 years of age (classic onset) although in beagles seizures have been known to occur as early as 3 months (early onset) and as late as 9 years (late onset). In beagles late onset seizures appear to be about as common as the classical form.

Comments from Anita M. Oberbauer, Ph.D.-Professor and Department Chair —Department of Animal Science, UC Davis  (http://animalscience.ucdavis.edu/faculty/oberbauer/) concerning the three age groups noted in beagles:

“That does indeed sound like three distinct syndromes. And syndrome is likely the best adjective to describe it. We are finding in other breeds that epilepsy is highly polygenic and while it does track to particular lines, it is less than predictable. Furthermore, we have identified regions in that are associated with epilepsy in some breeds but not at all applicable in others yet there are some that do appear to be informative across breeds.  Anecdotally when breeders do purposely breed away from so called “hot” (high risk) sires, the incidence does decline.  That is what I would advise your breed to do in the absence of any concerted study or validated testing scheme.  As an aside, I do not know of any screening test that has successfully identified physiological/measurable manifestations in advance of actual seizures. “ 

Treatment

A treatment plan should be developed between an owner and their veterinarian. Obviously, if a dog has secondary seizures, correction of the underlying cause (if possible) can reduce the frequency of or even eliminate the seizures.  Dogs with infrequent seizures may require no treatment and may just need to be monitored while others may require one or more anticonvulsant medications to control their seizures. Dogs with cluster seizures are challenging to control. Phenobarbital has traditionally been the drug of choice for treating seizures.  There are, however, several new and promising drugs becoming more widely available for dogs.

WHAT WE DON’T KNOW

Unfortunately the one thing we do not know is the way idiopathic epilepsy is inherited. There are a number of possibilities as to its genetics, but until more specific research is done there is no way to say for sure as to which mechanism it follows.  Judy Musladin and Ada Lueke wrote in the “New Beagle “that the inheritance can be followed as single recessive in the great majority of pedigrees we have studied”. 

Research in other breeds has shown a potential genetic pattern although that pattern maybe polygenic in nature varying among breeds.  A quote from the Canine Epilepsy Network “Epilepsy has been proven to be hereditary in several breeds and it is suspected in numerous other breeds. Right now, we don’t know exactly how epilepsy is inherited in dogs. It may well be that there are different modes of inheritance and different genes involved in various breeds and families. Preliminary results from the Canine Epilepsy Project suggest that there are two or more genes involved in some of these families.”

 A 2003 paper noted that in Vizslas “We conclude that IE in Vizslas appears to be primarily a partial onset seizure disorder that may be inherited as an autosomal recessive trait.”  (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12774973)

The best thought is that Primary Epilepsy is inherited in some manner and all efforts to breed away from affected individuals should be undertaken by intensive pedigree analysis.

The other thing we really don’t know is why different dogs have different types of or different frequencies to their seizures. We also don’t know why different dogs respond better to treatment than others. These questions may be answered one day if the genetics of this issue are ever determined.

*************

If your dog exhibits symptoms of epilepsy, please see your vet ASAP and preferably also see a neurologist for a full diagnosis. It is important to run a panel of bloodwork to make sure that there has not been toxins involved, and there isn’t something wrong with the balance of their body.

Secondly, there are some things that have been documented to be helpful for dogs that have seizures.

  1. Switch to a species appropriate raw diet – there are many fillers and additives in many kibbles and so cutting those out allows your precious pups body to have as few toxins as possible in their body
  2. Limit vaccinations – this is a big one – I would highly recommend TITRE testing from now on (getting a blood test to make sure your dog’s immunity level is still high). Dont vaccinate your dog unless they need it as it compromises their system unnecessarily
  3. Add MCT oil daily – MCT oil (or coconut oil if you can’t find it). It has many health benefits
  4. You can try pet CBD oil – many people have reported success using this. One of the best websites i have heard of is https://petreleaf.com/

The beagle babies are 8 weeks

It’s hard to believe that 8 weeks ago these precious little ones were born. It has both flown by and felt like they have been here for a lifetime – is that weird? I adore these little ones – their fun little personalities and their unconditional love.

These are the final days with everyone being together for next week they will start leaving for their forever homes. They will always be family. Several I hope to show and so they will be part of my breeding program still. I know their new families will adore and love them as much as we do. <3

Enjoy photos of them playing outside tonight – my favorite images are my daughter rolling down the hill and the puppies chasing her. They truly LOVE the game of chase.

Thank you for your interest in my breeding program. I am sending out the final offers, but I believe these puppies are now all sold.

I have a waitlist and my current wait time is about 12 months – it could be more or less depending on circumstances. If you want to be on it, please go to my Puppy Page, for more information.

Syringomyelia and cavaliers – what you might want to know and consider before buying one

Our precious cavaliers may encounter this devastating disease. Reputable breeders are working hard to minimize the odds of this in their bloodlines, but it is not an exact science. SM is a complex disease. There is so much we don’t know about it. We can have dogs who don’t exhibit symptoms produce it,. There are some who are diagnosed by MRI with it, who are asymptomatic (no symptoms), and others who do have it and exhibit symptoms.

Unfortunately we can not genetically test for it, so we have no way to predict which puppies may or may not get it. We do know it is polygenic. This means that it must be inherited from both sides, and it does seem to look like it can be passed hidden through many generations before popping up in the “perfect storm” in one puppy who exhibits the symptoms.

The Cavalier King Charles Club (CKCS) put together some information about SM that I wanted to share with you.

SM is a progressive neurological disease that varies in severity. Cavaliers unfortunately are affected by SM in larger numbers to any other breed. It is found in all colors, in all lines, and affects both sexes. Signs are usually noticed in dogs between 6 months and 3 years but it has been diagnosed in Cavaliers up to 10 years old. At present the condition can only be identified by MRI scan or by clinical signs. SM occurs when a Cavalier is born with not enough room in the space in the skull that contains the back of the brain. Damage is caused when fluid (CSF) surrounding the brain is forced through a smaller than normal opening, into the spinal cord. The most common symptom is scratching on, or in the air near, the shoulder when the dog is excited or walking on a lead. However this is not the only symptom and it is not always present. Some refer to SM as “neck scratcher’s disease” because scratching the neck is often a sign of the disease. 

The primary symptoms (usually at least one of these is present) are described as:

  • Excessive Scratching especially while on the lead, and often ‘air scratching’ where the dog scratches in mid-air, leading to a ‘bunny hop’ gait as the dog tries to scratch the air with one leg and walk. Sometimes touching the dog’s ears brings on scratching.
  • General Pain is often first noticed because a dog begins yelping or whining or whimpering for no reason. Pain episodes can disappear then return even after a year or more. In some dogs weather changes such as storms or a cold front seem to bring on episodes.
  • Weakness in Limbs where some dogs may show a lack of coordination. They may limp slightly. Dogs can start to have difficulty getting on and off couches and beds. A paw or leg might go weak. Some dogs will lick at their paws or legs obsessively, often until raw.

The secondary symptoms are described as:

  • Seeking Cool Areas or Restlessness where an affected dog will shift constantly rather than sleep comfortably.
  • Head shaking, lip-licking. Dogs often will shake their heads and ears, yawn excessively (probably an attempt to clear pressure they feel in their heads), or lick at their lips excessively.
  • Head rubbing. Some dogs start to rub their head from side to side on the floor as if their heads hurt, doing this excessively (NB: normal dogs will do this with pleasure, often before rolling on the floor). They sometimes ‘mush’ their face against the floor.
  • Digging or pushing. Some dogs begin to dig obsessively at carpets or sofas. They may run along the length of a sofa pushing themselves against it. Again, this behavior is normal in many dogs; with SM dogs, the activity is frantic.
  • Nerve damage, stiffness, seizures. This can affect a dog in many ways, from loss of feeling, hearing, or muscular movement. Some dogs have neurological problems with their eyes. Nerve damage seems to be progressive with this condition though some dogs have little or no visible damage and others have severe damage. Some dogs develop a stiffness in the neck, back and/or limbs. In severe cases the neck may bend to the right or left (‘neck scoliosis’), or the whole body may bend into a ‘C’ shape when the dog runs. The head may tilt permanently to one side or the other. The dog may have head tremors. Some dogs begin to have seizures, in some cases, several a day.

Understandably, such descriptions can be confusing – how much scratching is ‘excessive’, for example? Some people might turn to their vet with such questions, but many have found their vets were unfamiliar with syringomyelia. 

Medical management can help but typically does not resolve the clinical signs. Signs in mild cases may be controlled by non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) e.g. Rimadyl. Although corticosteroids are effective in limiting the signs most dogs require continuous therapy and subsequently develop the concomitant side effects of immunosuppression, weight gait and skin changes but sometimes there is no alternative and the lowest possible dose should be used to control signs. Gabapentin can also be given in combination with NSAIDs. Side effects are minimal and for this reason Gabapentin is preferred over corticosteroids. Oral opioids are also an alternative for example pethidine tablets at 2-10mg/kg three to four times daily or methadone syrup at 0.1-0.5mg/kg three to four times daily. Acupuncture appears to help some dogs. If the dog has seizures, then these can be controlled with phenobarbitol and potassium bromide

“Introduction to Syringomyelia” by Dr Clare Rusbridge, BVMS DipECVN MRCVS
and “Syringomelia Symptoms” by Karlin Lillington

https://ckcsc.org/syringomyelia

Chairi-like Malformation (CM) in Cavaliers – what you need to know

Our precious cavaliers may encounter this devastating disease. Reputable breeders are working hard to minimize the odds of this in their bloodlines, but it is not an exact science. CM is a complex disease. There is so much we don’t know about it. We can have dogs who don’t exhibit symptoms produce it,. There are some who are diagnosed by MRI with it, who are asymptomatic (no symptoms), and others who do have it and exhibit symptoms.

Unfortunately we can not genetically test for it, so we have no way to predict which puppies may or may not get it. We do know it is polygenic. This means that it must be inherited from both sides, and it does seem to look like it can be passed hidden through many generations before popping up in the “perfect storm” in one puppy who exhibits the symptoms.

So, lets talk about what CM actually is. The best way I can describe it would be to liken it to try to put your foot into a shoe that is too small for your foot. It is when the brain is too large for when the skull to the point that the cerebellum and brain stem are herniated into or via the foramen magnum.

Some people believe it is because the cavalier head shape has changed, but I am not entirely convinced by this theory as I have seen CM in both “domed” shaped heads as well as “flat” shaped heads. Some vets have talked about diagnosing CM by the shape of a cavalier’s head (not through MRI) and I believe that there is plenty of evidence that proves that there is CM (and clears) in many different head shapes and so i think we need to be careful of that.

Really, as a breeder, just do your research – ask questions about if your breeder does scanning and which dogs in your puppy’s bloodline have been scanned. Scanning will not guarantee your puppy will not get it. However, it may decrease your chances of getting a puppy who might have it.