Male Animals and Health

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Tango, Nov 20, 2003.

  1. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps it has been a run of bad (and very sad) luck but recently many of my animals have succombed to a health problem. My male Rottie had to be put down recently because he was loaded with prostatic cysts and becoming overly aggressive probably due to feeling poorly. He's just underwent a $1500 surgery in February to correct bilateral hernias. My razorback boar, hand-raised from a two-week orphan, is having serious kidney problems. Friends have experienced sudden deaths in their male studs that after necropsies showed "male" type problems. These are animals that have been well taken care of and fed premium, species- appropriate feeds. Is there an old-timer's secret to maintaining male stud animals in prime health? I know neutering will take care of many of these problems but then they couldn't be studs- and that is the point in keeping them in tact. Perhaps it is just a run of bad luck but if anyone has any little things they supplement or do, would you mind sharing? I try my best to keep my animals in good condition and this hurts.
     
  2. Little Quacker in OR

    Little Quacker in OR Well-Known Member

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    I hear you Tango! It sure does hurt! I am thinking that although these losses are terrible for you...they are a tiny part of the whole. Meaning....if I were in your shoes I would want more information on the backgrounds and health of the relatives of these animals. I would be writing letters, on the phone and sending e mails to the breeders of your dog and the boar and researching what is going on with all of them. This gives you better info on a bigger number of animals and how they are doing or have done. That way you can find out if any of the related animals died from the same or simular problems. We are breeding these days for many qualities, read this as "required deformaties" in some cases.... and in doing so we weaken the gene pool and leave them open to other invaders. It's just the price we pay for the qualities that we want and require. We had a wonderful Rott also...lost him at 10 yrs old with cancer of the spine.
    Do some research on the backgrounds and you may find that your experiences were unusual within their families...or..you may find out that there are serious problems within these breeding programs which need to be addressed. Sorry for your pain...it's part of having domestic critters though....the pits. LQ
     

  3. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    Thanks so much for your reply LQ. As for my Rottie- his father had it but they were operable. His mother's side was very healthy. Not one AKC champion withing three generations so I thought he would be a healthy dog. Toth was loaded with these cysts and had already undergone one surgery. The vet said that I should have neutered him, but I wanted to keep one of his sons later in his life. Toth was put to sleep at 5 years of age. Our previous Rottie was put down at 9 due to pancreatic cancer (came from oneof the top kennels in the coutnry at the time). Neither was neutered because they were kept as guards and they fulfilled their jobs with passion. I am aware of the problems with certain breeds- they seem to be more common as time goes on. I see Vision care centers and other specialty vet centers for domestic animals. the AKC has caused a great deal of suffering imo. As for my young boar however, he is a wild razorback brought to me as a baby orphan so I have no history. I didn't plan on keeping any of his children or perpetuating his genes (breeding for feeders only) since I've read that many wild herds are severely inbred. It seems so cruel that having started so poorly he had found a family who loved him, a good job (inseminating my 5 razorback sows), and he was well taken care of. Now he is lying out there and there is nothing I can do but shoot him. The vet says that if I smell ammonia on his breath there is little he can do. I started smelling the ammonia yesterday. I was really hoping to hear someone say something that would give me hope for the studs I keep. But as my friend just told me on the phone "you work with animals, you will have animal-related problems." This sucks :(
     
  4. bgak47

    bgak47 Well-Known Member

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    Tango... I'm sorry for your losses. It seems pretty evident to me that pure-breeds in ALL of our domestic animals are becoming too inbred. Selective breeding means that we,as breeders,are trying to promote certian(sp) physical characteristics in our animals. Or maybe it's certen(sp) behaviors or personalities.IMHO it would be a good thing to introduce some variables into the genetic mix. All of my favorite & best dogs have been cross-breeds. It seems to me that cross-breeding every few generations makes for a stronger,healthier,& more intelligent animal.Of course,If you are breeding for food animals, intelligence is the last thing that you want.
     
  5. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    Thanks bgak47. You are absolutely right
    . I know that my Rottie died due to his predisposition to his condition. I know that is true for a lot of pure breeds. my razorback falling ill so young (9 months) is a shock however. I don't breed animals just because I have them- they are all destined for something and I always try to improve the lines (I've had to cull out the majority of my Florida White rabbits due to defective hearts). Having read that razorbacks were so inbred in the wild I knew I wouldn't be breeding his kids but I never suspected such a robust animal would have his kidneys shut down on him. He's always been the picture of health. I ask myself if there was anything I could have done but as I think about all the junk people say they feed their pigs and the sound nutrition mine has always had, I don't know what I've done wrong to have his life extinguish so soon.
     
  6. Little Quacker in OR

    Little Quacker in OR Well-Known Member

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    Your friend is correct Tango..but it doesn't make it any easier I know. Regarding the aside re the AKC. I must take issue with that. Anyone, anywhere can have a population of dogs relatively free of genetic problems. Let mother nature weed out the weak and affected and of course you have the strongest, smartest and fittest that survive. These pariah dogs and other wild dogs(like dingos)can be found in many places on the globe. Most all of our modern breeds, if turned loose and left alone would, in a few generations, come to resemble the generic feral dog. The trick here is to breed a particular set of characteristics into a gene pool and come up with a breed for a particular purpose. One that can help the hunter get the game, the sheepman herd or protect the sheep, the stockman control the cattle, lead the blind, rescue the lost, pull the sleds across the northern wastes, trail the criminal, protect the officer, carry the messages in war, guard the premises, run down the wolf, tree the coon, save the swimmer, retrieve whatever from the field,or from the bottom of the lake etc. To keep a certain breed and have it retain the characteristics that define that breed and keep that breed going is the trick. The most important characteristic of a breed is type. Without it, you just have a dog. Without Kennel Clubs(of whatever country), before very long, with everyone just doing their own thing and breeding whatever to whomever..there would no longer be a recognizable breed anywhere. Then, the attributes so carefully imbedded would all disappear along with the special uses of that breed. That's what breeding is all about. Managing a breed so you keep the type that makes it what it is, keeping the qualities so needed and at the same time limiting the problems that come with it. Dog shows are a valuable tool to help the breeder gauge just how they are doing...field trials, coursing, herding, obedience, terrier trials, agility and many other competitions help them keep in touch with what the breed is bred to do. Many, many champions are duel or triple champions..excelling at Doing as well as Looking like they are supposed to. So don't be too quick to hollar about the AKC, or The Kennel Club of GB etc. Not everyone can make do with just a mongrel, although goodness knows there are lots of wonderfull mixed breeds out there. If you want to herd sheep..you need a sheep dog. If you are going to be working cattle..you need a tough, no-nonsense dog with cow sense. Mixed breeds just don't have the consistancy to be able to pass qualities on that the person needs when they go to buy a pup. YOu want to know what you are getting. Hang in there...things will get better. LQ
     
  7. j.r. guerra in s. tx.

    j.r. guerra in s. tx. Well-Known Member

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    Tango, I have nothing to help you with medical / nutritional advice. Just wanted to say I'm sorry you are going through this.

    Some dogs I have known deserve much longer lives - they were very special to me. I guess when man named them 'dog' they were just spelling God backward - their capacity to love their owners is just limitless.
     
  8. Little Quacker in OR

    Little Quacker in OR Well-Known Member

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    Your friend is correct Tango..but it doesn't make it any easier I know. Regarding the aside re the AKC. I must take issue with that. Anyone, anywhere can have a population of dogs relatively free of genetic problems. Let mother nature weed out the weak and affected and of course you have the strongest, smartest and fittest that survive. These pariah dogs and other wild dogs(like dingos)can be found in many places on the globe. Most all of our modern breeds, if turned loose and left alone would, in a few generations, come to resemble the generic feral dog. The trick here is to breed a particular set of characteristics into a gene pool and come up with a breed for a particular purpose. One that can help the hunter get the game, the sheepman herd or protect the sheep, the stockman control the cattle, lead the blind, rescue the lost, pull the sleds across the northern wastes, trail the criminal, protect the officer, carry the messages in war, guard the premises, run down the wolf, tree the coon, save the swimmer, retrieve whatever from the field,or from the bottom of the lake etc. To keep a certain breed and have it retain the characteristics that define that breed and keep that breed going is the trick. The most important characteristic of a breed is type. Without it, you just have a dog. Without Kennel Clubs(of whatever country), before very long, with everyone just doing their own thing and breeding whatever to whomever..there would no longer be a recognizable breed anywhere. Then, the attributes so carefully imbedded would all disappear along with the special uses of that breed. That's what breeding is all about. Managing a breed so you keep the type that makes it what it is, keeping the qualities so needed and at the same time limiting the problems that come with it. Dog shows are a valuable tool to help the breeder gauge just how they are doing...field trials, coursing, herding, obedience, terrier trials, agility and many other competitions help them keep in touch with what the breed is bred to do. Many, many champions are duel or triple champions..excelling at Doing as well as Looking like they are supposed to. So don't be too quick to hollar about the AKC, or The Kennel Club of GB etc. Not everyone can make do with just a mongrel, although goodness knows there are lots of wonderfull mixed breeds out there. If you want to herd sheep..you need a sheep dog. If you are going to be working cattle..you need a tough, no-nonsense dog with cow sense. Mixed breeds just don't have the consistancy to be able to pass qualities on that the person needs when they go to buy a pup. YOu want to know what you are getting. Hang in there...things will get better. LQ
     
  9. fellini123

    fellini123 Well-Known Member

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    I too am sorry for your losses, but just a quick note on the AKC. They are nothing but a registry. Someone who keeps the books. It is the parent club for each breed that is responsible for setting the type, or better said, Maintaining the Standard for each breed. The AKC has nothing to do with that.
    It is these parent clubs, in your case the Rottie club of America.
    Alice in Vriginia
     
  10. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    We may be arguing the same point from different angles- I don't put type as a main concern, to me working ability, health, and intelligence are greater, but if I am looking for a Rottie, I would like for him to look like a Rottie. We've done our homework when acquiring new dogs, I can tell from experience that it gets harder over the years to weed out the bad from the good. And the bad has gotten so much worse. I have never participated in conformation shows because it isn't about how well a Collie (for instance) herds. It is about how a Collie looks. Collies have been so bred down for looks (coat/nose/ears) that the last show I attended eons ago, the group of Collies in attendance were vacant- eyed and probably wouldn't have been able to recognize sheep let alone herd them. Oh, but what coats and perfect noses and ears trained so well! They've only gone downhill from there. Dogs that lose their teeth as they age, can't deliver their own pups, can't walk to the corner without portable oxygen- these are the results of breeding for type to the exclusion of all else and I guess this was my point. This is the extreme, granted, but given so many people breeding because they have two registered dogs of the same breed the problems have escalated to the point disease is the norm. When I was looking for my Chinese Crested I spoke with as many breeders as advertise on the web and in Dog World. I'm very concerned about bloodlines, though I am seeing that there are no guarantees. I have however participated in Obedience shows and have taken collies to CD and CDX titles for myself and others, so I agree with what you are saying- that is where purebreds retain their instinct to perform for the purposes they were bred for-obedience lines and sometimes they are also conformation champions, as you say- which is the goal, or should be. I'm no longer following the AKC but it seems there are more agility and obedience competitions now than ever. I don't really want to get away from the thread itself but I do understand your points.
     
  11. kathy H

    kathy H kathyh

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    Have you had your water tested? Did the pig have kidney stones before he got sick? This seems weird to me, maybe just bad luck but I would check the water.
     
  12. waltseed

    waltseed Member

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    Originally Posted by Little Quacker in OR
    To keep a certain breed and have it retain the characteristics that define that breed and keep that breed going is the trick. The most important characteristic of a breed is type. Without it, you just have a dog. Without Kennel Clubs(of whatever country), before very long, with everyone just doing their own thing and breeding whatever to whomever..there would no longer be a recognizable breed anywhere. Then, the attributes so carefully imbedded would all disappear along with the special uses of that breed. LQ


    Back in the 1980s, when I had registered Shelties and was in the AKC, and attending grad school in genetics, I was apalled at the poor breeding done in some of the breeds of dogs.
    At that time, there was a relatively new test for hip displasia (sp). Some breeders objected to the test being used in their breed because they said that one breeder saying his/her dogs had been tested and were free of it, implied that others did have it. To try to make a rule against such a test, as some tried, showed me that the AKC was more about the business of dog breeding than about the good of the dog.
    And let me say that most all breders I knew did love their dogs, and dogs in general, and the breed of dog they had.
    Having said that, I'll also say that while teasting for hip problems is now accepted and incouraged, there is a serious problem in Dalmation's kidneys. All registered Dalmations have a gene for bad kidneys.
    A breeder has crossed a Dalmation with another breed, then crossed back to Dalmations repetedly and has a strain of 31/32 Dalmation that looks and acts like a Dalmation. But the Dalmation club has decided not to allow them to be registered at this time. It will be another 2 years before it can even come to a vote again.
    The Border Collie breeders have been offered dual registration in their own breed club's registry and in AKC. Most have turned it down because the border collie is wanted as a working breed, not a beuty contestant.
    There is now a seperate registry for Irish Setters, that is not part of the AKC, becase many Irish setters that are AKC champions are not good hunters. The new registration group judges Irish Setters primarily in field trials.
    Almost every breed of dog was developed without a formal breed organisation. They were bred by people selecting the dogs that suited their needs. That is all that is needed.
    In the last century, a few dog breeds were created by more or less scientific methods. I expect this trend will accelerate. Perhaps the AKC will get behind it. Perhaps they will oppose it.
    As a geneticist, I can see that something will be lost and something will be gained. But mainly I can see that it will happen. Clones of the best hunting dogs will be wanted by some. Others will want clones of the best in the show ring dogs. And so on.
    My own feeling is that I miss the cycle of birth, growing up, growing old, and dying, that we still have on homesteads. Commercial dairies are already assembly lines. Likewise most commercial egg and pork factories. An old hog or chicken is found only on small homesteads, and not many there either. I think other species are going that way too. And I see local affiliates of the AKC trying to prevent non-AKC breeders from being allowed to breed dogs. I don't know if this is an official AKC position. But breeders from tehlocal AKC-afilliated Kennel Club has been lobbying the local city, county, and state government to make breeding of dogs too expencive for the aveage person.
    I know that the dogs I loved as a child would not have been around if the kennel club here adn now had their way. And my family could not afford the price of a registered dog. And a registered dog might not have been as good a farm dog as a pup from the farm down the road.
     
  13. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    Thank you j.r. He was a very special guardian. I spend a lot of time alone and I felt safe with him. The first time I was unsure was the first night he was gone and it hasn't gotten better. I have other dogs but none could fill his place. If that dog barked, I knew something needed my attention immediately. There is a person who used to come here when he got drunk. Toth would sit right beside him the entire time. If he moved Toth moved. The man knew that Toth wouldn't allow any problems around me.
     
  14. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, it has been a shock to say the least. He never had any health problems other than his bad start in life. I haven't had the water checked. We have two wells and only the one to the house is filtered (half of the animals drink from it as well). I will check the other well however because the animals further out all drink from that well. Perhaps there is something to that. Thanks for your advice.
     
  15. barbarake

    barbarake Well-Known Member

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    First of all, my condolences on your recent bad luck with your animals.

    Now - just a quick hijack. A poster said

    "Managing a breed so you keep the type that makes it what it is, keeping the qualities so needed and at the same time limiting the problems that come with it."

    In a perfect world, this would be true. Unfortunately, I think many (dog) breeders are just breeding for looks. I also have rottweilers - and what's happened to the breed in the last 25 years is just a shame. They are a wonderful breed - loyal, intelligent - but their popularity really hurt the breed. Idiots bred them for looks and/or they wanted a 'vicious' dog - and really ruined the breed.

    I currently only have one rottweiler - a 13.5 year old female. She's very old for the breed but she's still kicking right along. Absolutely wonderful dog.

    Anyway, getting back to the problem you're having with your males. I wish I had some constructive advice but I've never had that problem (I tend to have female dogs). Have you talked to a local vet - s/he might have some suggestions.

    And testing the water sounds like a good idea. The area where I'll be moving to was recently discovered to have problems with its water. There was a lot of natural radiation in the water. Maybe you have a similar problem. It only shows up in some wells - not all - so just because one well is ok, doesn't mean the other one is.