Poodle Forum banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys,

I'm a longtime lurker but first time poster on the poodle forum! Sorry for a bit of a weird first post here, but I've been musing about this ethics/health question in my boy's lines and was curious what other's opinions were.

My boy is a great grandpup of Jaset's Satisfaction (London), a very successful and beautiful show poodle, and Gand Champion Platinum with the AKC. I noticed in the poodle health registry that London's sire has tested positive for sebaceous adenitis (subclinical). I know that we don't have the genetic specifics of SA figured out, but it is known to be hereditary. Am I correct in assuming this means that London most likely carries some genes for SA, and that his many breedings must have further propagated SA in the standard poodle breed?

To be clear, I'm not worried about my boy based on this pretty distant relationship, but I often wonder about the tradeoffs between breed health and conformation, and just found this interesting. I couldn't find this discussed anywhere else, so I was curious if maybe I misunderstand how breeders handle SA in their lines? Is breeding a dog with an SA sire many times considered generally "ok" in breeding circles? Or is this generally not ok, but an exception can be made if the dog is usually strong in conformation such as with London? Or does it not matter because the SA was subclinical?

For reference, here's the OFA link for London's sire: https://www.ofa.org/advanced-search?f=sr&appnum=1096368
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
3,827 Posts
My boy is a great grandpup of Jaset's Satisfaction (London)... London's sire has tested positive for sebaceous adenitis (subclinical). I know that we don't have the genetic specifics of SA figured out, but it is known to be hereditary.
According to your OFA link, the great-great grand father, Sparks Will Fly, was born in 11/2002. He tested positive for "subclinical" SA in 12/2006 at the age of four. This means it wasn't severe enough to present definite or readily observable symptoms, or in other words had a mild case. (link)

So he was bred, and one of his offspring that's the great grandfather of your dog was Jaset's Satisfaction, was born in 2008, and tested normal in 2010. So he didn't have SA at least at that time, and I suppose you'd say if the grandfather and father of your dog were known to be positive, so let's assume they're false.

As generations go, this is pretty far back in terms of ancestors. Climb up the family tree far enough and anything could shake out. Your dog has:
Parents 2
Grandparents 4
Great-Grandparents 8
Great-great Grandparents 16

Is breeding a dog with an SA sire many times considered generally "ok" in breeding circles? Or is this generally not ok, but an exception can be made if the dog is usually strong in conformation such as with London? Or does it not matter because the SA was subclinical?
A lot has changed in medical, genetic, and breeding circles since 2008 when the GGGF tested subclinical positive.

Breeder Guidelines

From OFA: "Two factors make SA particularly difficult for breeders to control: the possible late onset of the disease, and the subclinical state of the disease. With late onset, the dog may have already been bred long before it ever shows clinical signs of the disease. In its subclinical state, an owner may be unaware that the animal is affected since it shows no visible signs of the disease.

The challenge in controlling the disorder is in identifying dogs as clear, carrier, or affected. DNA testing remains the “gold standard” in terms of identifying a dog’s genotype, however, at present there is no DNA test to determine a dog’s status with regard to SA. Today’s best alternative is the phenotypic evaluation through the skin biopsy. As enough phenotypic information on families of dogs is entered into the database, breeders will be able to make educated assumptions on a dog’s genotype. This will allow breeders to apply greater selective pressure in controlling and reducing the incidence of the disease."


If you're thinking of breeding your boy, I recommend you have him tested.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,413 Posts
Totally off topic, but London was gorgeous during his show career! Have you posted photos of your pup here?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Vita, sorry if the wording of my post wasn't clear! I'm NOT worried about my pup getting SA from his great great grandsire, I agree that is rather unlikely. I'm also not planning on breeding my pup. I just noticed this while looking at his pedigree in the poodle health registry and it got me thinking about the ethics of breeding dogs who have extraordinary conformation but might carry health issues.

It seems like based on the info available, London was a known carrier of SA who was bred many times. Would this still be considered ethical today?

I think London is stunning and I'm not saying anything wrong was done here! I'm genuinely curious about how breeders make these trade-off decisions.

Liz, here's a photo of my blue pup Luca practicing wearing his new harness. He's a doll. :) Forgive the in-home haircut haha.

470525
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
3,827 Posts
I really don't know how breeders of today handle SA, whether it's invisible or obvious.

I have know about breeders who have shown fine looking poodles to champions, then found out afterwards it's a carrier for the eye condition PRA-prcd. When they breed, however, they only bred to normals. Some of the pups in those cases would be normal and some carriers. Their breeding strategy is to get pups with show potential that did not carry PRA-prcd, and to usually sell carrier pups as pets.

In one of my own poodles, I researched the pedigree and the grandfather of one was a carrier of PRA-prcd. He was born in the early 2000's, I think this might have been before people were knowledgeable about genetics, and he became a champion and a top producer of many champions. Here's a pic of him:

470526


The father did not carry the gene. If the grandfather been removed from the gene pool by neutering him, it would have been a real loss in the poodle world.

The problem comes in when a breeder isn't knowledgeable or caring, and breed two dogs who are both carries of the same condition. Statistically some will develop the disease, while the others will be carriers.

So to answer your question, it depends on the level of knowledge about a particular disease, whether there's a test to rule out the disease, and the ethics of the breeder.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,413 Posts
Luca is darling! 🐩 :love: And I love his tail! Thanks for my poodle porn for the day.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Vita, that makes sense. It definitely seems intuitive to me to do this for a condition like PRA-prcd, because you can genetically test the parents and determine which are normals. With SA, there is no test. So when breeding a known carrier, it seems significantly more difficult to identify whether selected mates are truly normals or carriers. Maybe you can carefully inspect the lines and only breed to mates who can be reasonably believed not to be carriers? But do you take the same care with his offspring, who have a ~50% chance of carrying, or grandchildren, who have ~25% of carrying, etc? It seems very tricky to me for even responsible breeders to keep it from cropping up again. But I really don't know anything about how SA is passed and whether this is oversimplifying (or whether subclinical SA tests are even fully accurate, etc). I suppose you also make a good point that if we do develop a test for SA in the future, we'll be glad to not have removed these genes from the pool.

Liz, thank you!! His tail definitely has character haha. Your little girl has such a beautiful coat by the way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,023 Posts
I've waited to respond until some breeders weighed in. Just my thoughts from observing breeders through the web for a few years. There are breeders who will pull a dog from their program at the slightest indication of a potential congenital problem (e.g. one breeder I know pulled a dog who had allergies), and others who will rely on using unrelatedness in their breeding program (as described above,) to diminish the potential of passing on known health issues to offspring. Some breeders are very open about their decisions -- one that I followed detailed the reasons on her web site of why she hadn't bred for 2 years -- while others may not reveal any breeding decisions publicly.

I don't know what is the 'right' course of action. It is easy to see why a breeder would be motivated to use a dog that has realized a large investment (conformation showing and health tests), by minimizing any negative outcomes through choice of mate. There also are a LOT of very good dogs available for breeding, hence the competitiveness of the show world, so on a macro level the importance of one breeding dog is diminished.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
2,275 Posts
I think one of the difficulties with SA is that the mechanism by which the dog develops the disease isn't fully understood. It is almost definitely genetically linked, but it seems not all dogs who are likely to carry the gene (genes?) go on to develop the disease. Without a genetic test or even a solid understanding of the inheritance patterns, it's not clear how much of the poodle population carries the genes. It is possible the genes are so widespread that the problem is essentially a fixed trait in the spoo population. If that's the situation, then culling dogs like London would be pointless at best and detrimental at worst.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Cowpony, I personally disagree that because a disease is widespread and difficult to understand that we should not try to reduce its occurrence in future generations. Any hereditary disease can be reduced no matter how ingrained. If SA were truly so ingrained that careful breeding based on family history were no longer viable, even breed outcrossing programs such as with mini poodles could be considered, etc... (I don't think this is the case, just as an example of how truly ingrained health problems in a breed can still be addressed). Saying we have to accept SA as an ingrained/fixed trait in the breed seems awfully pessimistic to me.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top