In the beginning of May, we received an email from Jan Osterbauer from Canada, which almost made my world collaps. She had done eye investigations on the beautiful “Firstprizebears Mia Farrow” and was diagnosed with cataract.
A message, that brought lots of tears, sadness, desperation and a world destruction to me. I was and am desperate.
Since 1988, we investigate all our dogs, who participate in the breeding program in heritable eye diseases and that until their 6 year. Just as long as they are in the breeding-program. As far as I know, we are the only Kennel in Europe who does this. In Scandinavia, Benelux and the United Kingdom, no eye investigation what so ever is obliged. There is just a handful of breeders, who may investigate, but the results of these investigations are almost unfindable. In Germany, only those Beardies are investigated, who have a HD-A, because than they are fully allowed for the breeding program.
With a HD-B, it is not necessary to check the eyes. They only investigate once and not regular.
Back to Mia Farrow. Her mother, Firstprizebears Helen Hunt is from her mothers side investigated until the 5th generation. Father Lasse is also investigated and free.
It was the first litter for our beautiful double World Winner “Hellen Hunt”, aka Lilli. Lilli has a weak blatter and is treated for this with a medicament. The veterinarians have insured us, that nothing is known about side effects during pregnancy.
Therefore, we have continued to give this medication to Lilli, even during her pregnancy. Lilli had 7 puppies, of which 3 where born dead. It where puppies, who died during birth, large and firm. To see this was very sad. A male, that bearly lived, was very small and devloped later to a normal puppy. At least that was what we thought. After he had been shipped to the United States, he died 4 weeks later, due to (as was found out) a large heart. This story could also be read on on homepage, it was “Mel Gibson”. The medication Lilli recieved, as we know now, can cause hartfailures.
When we received this message from Canada, we had the repitition litter at our house, 7 puppies, 7 weeks old, ONLY: this time we had stopped giving the medication before she came in season and continued after she had stopped giving milk to the puppies.
Thousands of tears have flown, due to desperation and 200 question marks have been unanswered since. On Friday 09-05 we have taken 7 puppies, Lilli, Lasse and our Prada (the litter sister to Mia Farrow) to an eye investigation. 500 Euro’s poorer but with the certainty that Lilli, Lasse, and the 7 puppies where free of eye deviations. Only my beautiful and beloved Prada, had a small cataract spot on one of her eyes. The world collapsed. That Saturday, Paz Davidovich came over from Israel, to join me to the Show of Dortmund/GER. She has the litter sister to these 2 bitches, “Marily Monroe”. I have told Paz abouth this misery and asked her to do an eye investigation once returning to Israel. Immediately sought the appropriate specialist. The next day I had to really concentrate to keep a straight face and could an didn’t want to let anybody know. From the Canadian owner I had to hear what costs she had made sofar for this dog etc., etc. I wanted to have the bitch back and offered her a replacement for free. Beside that I have asked her, to give me some time to process the negative news.
In the mean time, Paz had brought “Marily”to an eye investigation and was free of eye diseases.
We have contacted several eye specialists, with the question if cataract could have been caused by the medicine. The Answer: Unisone…. we don’t know anything about that…..
By now we have found several articles on the net and the side effects are enormous. In France and Italy, this medication is not even allowed.
The lady from Canada did not grant our requestand was of the opinion that this heavy breeders mistake I had made, had to be announced to everybody and the Bearded Collie community had to be warned abouth these disease inheriters. THANKS!
The thing no one wants to understand or doesn’t understand: All Beardies, that are not examined, can ALL have eye deviations. OR: He or she who doesn’t examine has no problems?!.
What makes me sad and mad, is the fact, that for now more than 25 years we do examinitions with all our dogs inside the breed program and now all of a sudden WE have a serious breeding problem and have to stop with everything that has to do with these dogs??
No, this is not going to happen, because I am convinced, that this form of cataract is not inheritable, but arose by a toxic side effect.
There will be a lot of dumm Beardie breeders, who laugh in their fist right now. Fine, but one thing they all should do: eye examinations, before throwing with stones.
I thought about it for a long time, how to handle with this story. Openness you should be able to afford. This openness I also expect from others and therefore I have decided to make this public.