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Shimmer Ring Standard Poodle breeder Valerie Wilmot of Euless, Texas, believes in breeding dogs that are beautiful and healthy. Her dedication to the breed spans more than 25 years so when she introduced a sire to her breeding program a few years ago that was later diagnosed with Addison’s disease, she was crushed. 

Tick populations are at an all-time high this year, experts say. Dogs are particularly susceptible to ticks — and thus tick-borne diseases — because they spend a lot of time outdoors and are low to the ground where ticks live. Since ticks do not usually transmit disease until 24 to 48 hours after attachment, owners can help prevent illness by promptly removing ticks. 

When her Bearded Collie, "Maggie" (Alashaw's Up and At Em,' OA, OAJ, NAC, OJC, CGC) collapsed, Jenny Scheytt of Sterling Heights, Mich., knew something was wrong, so she took the dog to an emergency veterinary clinic. Though the emergency veterinarian who treated Maggie had not seen many cases of Addison's disease, he recognized the possibility partly because Bearded Collies are among the affected breeds.

On a sunny spring day in West Trenton, N.J., owners of more than 100 Cocker Spaniels, ages 6 months to 16 years, brought them to play together and sample frosty treats, while they enjoyed an ice cream social and auction fundraiser. Many had traveled hundreds of miles. Behind the fun was an eye examination and blood draw clinic that one day may lead to a DNA test for hereditary cataracts in Cocker Spaniels.

Glaucoma can happen fast.

Fast is exactly the way Harold Watson of Florence, South Carolina, recalls glaucoma affecting his 9-year-old tricolor Cocker “Cody” (CH Kamps Palmtree’s Dress Code). “All of a sudden one evening, Cody was rubbing his face, and his eye immediately turned gray and cloudy,” he says.

Diligent breeders regularly health test their breeding stock before including them in planned litters. Eye examinations, one of the required tests for all varieties of Poodle to obtain Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) certification, are important to identify vision disorders such as optic nerve hypoplasia (ONH), micropapilla (Mp) and juvenile cataracts.

Breeder Lorraine Effa of Loriben Yorkies in Abbotsford, British Columbia, practices careful breeding by studying pedigrees and putting a great deal of thought into choosing breeding partners. Not surprisingly, she had high expectations that a particularly promising 6-month-old male, Loriben's Strike Up the Band ("Archie"), could easily become a finished conformation champion.
Breeder Lorraine Effa of Loriben Yorkies in Abbotsford, British Columbia, practices careful breeding by studying pedigrees and putting a great deal of thought into choosing breeding partners. Not surprisingly, she had high expectations that a particularly promising 6-month-old male, Loriben's Strike Up the Band ("Archie"), could easily become a finished conformation champion.

Owners of Standard Poodles diagnosed with chronic active hepatitis (CAH) commonly describe early signs of the disease — poor appetite, intermittent vomiting and lethargy — that could fit several disorders. Many times, owners do not learn their dog has CAH until the disease progresses to a severe condition.

When her bitch, CH Rocket City's Angel Among Us, gained 10 pounds in the last couple of weeks of pregnancy, Pat Rzonca of New Caney, Texas, didn't think too much about it. Rzonca, who has bred Bulldogs under the Rocket City prefix since 1998 and is an AKC judge, knows that a bitch's weight gain in the later stages of gestation relates partly to the number of puppies she carries.

When Karen Moriello bought 3-year-old "Lefty," a male yellow Labrador Retriever, she hoped to provide a loving home in Brooklyn, Wis., for a dog who could no longer compete in field trials due to exercise-induced hyperthermia. Lefty enjoyed hunting recreationally with Moriello and her husband, but a year after moving to Wisconsin, the dog developed an irritating skin disease.

Hardworking dogs know the natural stress that comes from competing in field trials and hunting. In fact, virtually all dog sports involve stress related to travel, being in unknown surroundings and a change in routine. These stressors challenge dogs and potentially could shortchange their performance if not managed properly.

Professional trainer and handler George Hickox of Pittsburgh, Pa., knows well the importance of managing stress in his pointing and flushing dogs. "I am on the road extensively with my dogs, traveling to clinics and hunting destinations," he says.