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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.

Few Cocker Spaniel owners recognize the signs of immune-mediated hemolytic anemia (IMHA), though the breed has an increased risk for developing the fast-acting, potentially fatal illness. A disease in which a dog’s immune system attacks and destroys the oxygen-carrying red blood cells, IMHA is a major cause of severe anemia.

A dedicated Siberian Husky enthusiast who enjoys conditioning and working her dogs for sledding sports, Karen Yeargain of Prineville, Oregon, frequently posts pictures of her winning sprint and mid-distance racing dogs. The powerful, muscular dogs stand out against beautiful snowy mountainous scenery. Yeargain’s pride is seen in her smile.

Despite living in Norway, an ocean and a continent away from the U.S., Line Leret manages the website for the Health & Genetics Committee of the Papillon Club of America. A recent posting - and one that Leret takes to heart - is a request for blood samples from Papillons diagnosed with progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), an inherited eye disorder that can lead to blindness.

After a package of more than 50 small firecrackers was tied around a Toy Poodle and set on fire, the tiny dog ran away frightened by the noise and stinging from the pain. With blisters covering more than half his small body, “Crackers,” as he was later named, was left lying alone, suffering for no one knows how long until a caring woman scooped him up and took him to a nearby veterinary clinic in Oklahoma City.

Seeing a beloved canine companion lose control of his body, suffer spasms and foam at the mouth is a shock for any breeder, especially one who had no idea epilepsy was in the dog's bloodline. When the cause is unidentifiable, which is known as idiopathic epilepsy (IE), it can be even more distressing.