The main goal of our foundation is to fund genetic research. We will start with three broad categories that are of interest to Cardigan breeders and pet owners:
INTERVERTEBRAL DISK DISEASE
IVDD, intervertebral disk disease affects all dog breeds to some extent, but the dwarfed breeds are particularly affected. The cartiladge of dwarfed dogs is more brittle than in normal breeds, and therefore the disks are more prone to breakage. Not a foregone conclusion for dwarfed dogs, some dogs live a full and normal life without suffering this ill. Therefore, it is our belief that breeders should be able to breed away from IVDD using a genetic test or information from an open database. Of all the ills of the Cardigan, we feel that this one is the worst. Dogs suffering serious incidents of disk breakage can be debilitated for life. This condition usually strikes Cardigans of middle age, between about age 4 and 8. However, dogs of any age can be affected. The Dachshund Club of America disk book is an excellent resource, and a link is provided at the bottom of this page.
ENDOCRINE AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE
Endrocrine autoimmune diseases include Addison's disease, immune mediated hemolytic anemia, lupus, hypothyroidism, parahypothyroidism, etc. These can occur singly, or together, as in Schmidt's syndrome and polyglandular syndrome. Some autoimmune issues, such as Addison's, can be difficult to diagnose, but with a knowledgable veterinarian, dogs can live a normal life (the Addison's dog website and chat list are excellent resources). Some are life threatening and difficult to treat, such as AIHA (autoimmune mediated hemolytic anemia). The incidence of autoimmune diseases in Cardigans is not known, but Addison's disease, for example, is thought to be 100X more prevalent in the canine population as a whole (about 1 in 100) vs in humans. Research is ongoing for Addison's and hypothyroidism and our intent is to help support this research.
Cancer is a very broad topic and is obviously a problem in all breeds; indeed, all animals. We will support efforts to create genetic tests for various cancers in canines, where research is available, and to facilitate exchange of information via our open database. Some of the known cancers in Cardigans are hemangiosarcoma, lymphosarcoma and brain tumors.
Intervertebral Disk Disease Articles · Nutritional Control of Hip Dysplasia in Dogs · A Buyer's Perspective on Genetic Disease
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