genetic breed

Ectobiology And Learning How To Perform CPR On A Baby

Ectobiology is the science of cloning, breeding, and genetic modification of an organism using appearification! Typically the one who has to partake in this activity within the session is the session’s designated leader of the SBURB players! Several of the machines needed for the tasks to complete ectobiology are located all over the universe and there seems to typically be more than one of each piece, so I wouldn’t worry too much if yours gets caught in a random explosion of any type. The paradox ghost slime that gets appearified contains the genetic code of the living organism you were attempting to clone. The equipment does most of the work, analyzing the slime and extracting the genome inside to produce replicas or new breeds of species.

Ectobiology does not, however, have to be done only on humans or trolls! For science reasons, you can utilize ectobiology on anything living! For example, our lovely Mutie was an imperfect cloning attempt of Jasper’s paradox ghost imprint, and in imperfect cloning attempts, strange mutations may occur, such as Mutie’s extra eyes!

The process of ectobiology isn’t very difficult in the first place, as you basically are just picking a point in time and space and creating paradox slime from attempting to appearify something that cannot be appearified at that time, such as when Rose tried to appearify Jasper before Roxy would later actually succeed in appearifying him. Then, the Ectobiology Apparatus will intentionally vacuum this slime into tubes, in which there is typically enough tubes for the paradox ghost slime of their current session and their scratch session. Space players will get a similar machine, but one that is specifically utilized for frog breeding. Please for the love of all Genesis Frogs, do not get these mixed up. DO NOT.

Now, if I am honest with you guys, I think the hardest part of all the ectobiology is becoming a temporary parent until the babies are prepped for being shipped back in time on a meteor!

Things I would recommend for leaders to partake in:

  1. Learn how to conduct CPR on babies. It’s so useful since you dont know whats going to be laying around on your planet or what the consorts may attempt to feed them (most of the time its bugs and that’s really gross to know your friend ate a bug once or that your friend let it happen so just don’t).

  2. Carry around one of those mom bags. Y’know the giant bags new moms carry around filled with diapers and formula and bottles and all that stuff? Yeah if the babies are sticking around more than a day you will need this. Desperately.

  3. Create a list of emergency numbers and a list of the best babysitters of the incipisphere. Trust me.

  4. No matter how tempting it may be, do not let the babies near their strife specibus. Please, take it from the girl who’s strife specibus is ScissorKind. Do not let your baby near the strife specibi.  

  5. Give the babies all the affection! I don’t care if your matesprit is super jealous afterwards, just kiss them all over and cuddle them because babies love kisses!.. Unless they don’t, in which you can interact with the child from a distance utilizing silly faces and singing songs!

  6. Send them on the meteor ASAP, please do not keep them past a few months, in which case you might risk causing a Doomed Session by missing the meteors that you need for sending them back in time on Earth.

  7. Never. Take. Your. Eyes. Off. The. Baby. Even if you need to reread this guide, if you have the babies already, DO NOT LOOK AWAY.

And now some words of wisdom from my friend, my session’s leader, Alex!

“for some reason ectobabies are far more advanced than regular babies in terms of like, acrobatics and shit”
“they climb on everything“
“broken glass tubes? look at my new home”
“oh you have a shelf that shouldn’t be able to be climbed?”
“guess what bitch“
“little shits“

Anyways, I think that sums it up! Good luck to your session and please remember the basic rules!

-Mod Ama, who’s birthday is today

tenderfacemeat  asked:

recently read about an english mastiff breeder in nsw who outcrossed their line with a greyhound, to controversy within breed circles. personally, no expert, but i think this is a great idea. do you have suggestions for how to find other breeders doing similar, or how dog lovers can encourage this sort of thing more generally -- especially in breeds with severely bottlenecked genetics like the english mastiff? (qt: came for the berner breed eval, stayed for everything else)

I think it’s a great idea, outcrossing to a breed to acquire a few desired characteristics and then breeding back to the target breed.

Dog breeders are likely to have a fit because the dogs in question are no longer ‘pure’.

Originally posted by avocadosalad2

Nobody cares, really, if a dog’s lines are ‘pure’ back to 100 generations. If somebody wants a purebred dog they just want a dog that looks and acts a certain way. The obsession with ‘purity’ in the dog breeding world is not based on science and frankly a little bit worrying.

Dogs are dogs. We should be breeding for health first, behavior and shape second. ‘Purity’ is such an unimportant and genetically meaningless concept.

There are so many breeds that could be improved by crossing to another breed with the desired trait every 5-10 generations. Here is a fairly famous example of crossing Corgis to Boxers in order to bring the genetic bobtail into boxers before docking was banned in the UK. Here are some of their photos.

Generation one:

Generation 2:

And Generation 5, winning prizes at shows.

There is, as expected, a bit of a huff with some boxer clubs that these bob-tailed boxers are not ‘true’ boxers. But as they continue to be bred to boxers for more and more generations, they really are. The only corgi-specific gene that is still selected for is the bob tail one, and these dogs are otherwise indistinguishable from ‘real’ boxers.

If we could do this targeting desirable health traits in breeds that are lacking them, we could improve the health of multiple breeds. This would require a major shift in current breed clubs, and breeder’s philosophy, and I unfortunately don’t know how to make this happen.

everystarstorm  asked:

As a biologist the episode "The Zoo" really interested me. A much smaller population separated for thousands of years makes me really wonder how physically different the zoo humans are to earth humans. The zoo humans are even selectively bread. It's just something I've been thinking about since I saw that episode.

@everystarstorm said:
Also adding to the selective breeding thing I think that adds to how complacent they are. After all humans are inherently curious and questioning but the zoo humans just aren’t. Not to say the socializing part didn’t play a huge roll in it but not one of the humans ever questions anything in the zoo. That’s not something humans do, it’s even the plot of several movies.

That’s a really interesting observation. Physically, the Zoomans even subsist on a different diet. And yet, Steven and Greg eat the food easily. That’s Homeworld’s reverse-engineering organic food like fruits. 

And they’ve never felt physical pain. Like, everyone is barefoot and walking on the ground, but I doubt the ground has anything that can actually injure them. One thing that interests me about the selective breeding aspect, is that Homeworld probably has records of them. The selective breeding may be such that it maximises genetic diversity or minimises congenital defects. 

In fact, having a species so separated for so many years, it would be interesting to ask whether they were still considered “human beings” in the way we see ourselves. Their physical makeup may appear the same, but physiologically, they might have faster metabolisms (judging by the length of a “day” in the Zoo) and different base inclinations.

Taking it further, in another few centuries, they might be considered a new branch off the genetic tree. 

anonymous asked:

Munchkin cats don't actually have any issues coming from their short legs. Amazingly, they can run and jump like any other cat. They just have shorter legs.

Welp. Looks like it’s time for another (educational?) RHS Essay-Post on Animals.

“Don’t have any issues” is inaccurate, or at least unproven. The statistical majority is healthy thanks to carefully selective breeding. HOWEVER: This doesn’t mean that the whole breed is healthy.

Here’s the thing about breeds and health issues: Munchkin cats are so NEW to the world, as a breed, that they’re not old enough for health issues that DO crop up in them to be recognized as a common trait of the “breed” yet.

Scottish fold cats were considered a “safe” breed and hailed as precious, and ethical, and Not Prone to Health Issues– until we discovered how badly damaged they are by osteochrondroplasia. (That is: abnormal developement of bone and cartilage structures.) It’s genetic. It’s a health issue. And, we later found out, it’s the very REASON their ears fold that way– the cartilage in their ears isn’t properly formed. Nor is the cartilage in the rest of their body. Osteochondroplasia is a very painful disease that ALL Scottish Folds are afflicted with to some degree, and it leads to joint degeneration and weakened joints, arthritis, lameness, often crippling the cat for life.

You can’t call munchkin breeding “safe” yet. Sure, they can run and play. But so can dachshund puppies, declawed kittens, and baby white/white chinchillas (the latter of which is always fatal).

Senior dachshunds are prone to spinal degeneration.

When those declawed kittens grow up, there’s a 60% chance of them developing arthritis, particularly around the hips.

And those baby white/white chinchillas won’t live to see their third month.

It’s even known that you can’t breed two Munchkin cats together, because most of the babies won’t survive. When the dominant Munchkin gene– let’s call it by its scientific name, pseudochondroplasia– is homozygous, the same gene inherited from both parents: the gene is lethal, and the affected fetus is resorbed into the mother long before it can be born.

Heterozygous genetics for pseudochondroplasia GENERALLY don’t come with any dangers to hormonal, nutritional, physical, mental, anatomical developement (**As far as we know, in our still yet limited understanding of genetics).

But there are still some concerning appearances of structural deformities associated with Munchkin breeding. Most notably:

- Pectus (the spine is dipped deeper than normal between the shoulders, which leaves a lot less room in the chest cavity, which results in the heart and lungs being pressed in on and constantly stressed.)

- Lordosis (the muscles along the spine are too short, which means the spine doesn’t stay in place where it’s supposed to, sinks into the body, and a lot of cats can’t live more than a few months with this condition.)

Pectus and lordosis are not exclusive to the munchkin mutation, but they occur more often in munchkin kittens than in other breeds.

(It’s no wonder many cat breed organizations actually refuse to recognize Munchkin cats as their own breed, because the “traits” that make a cat a “munchkin” [not JUST short legs] are also symptoms of many, MANY health issues ranging from nutritional deficiencies to viral infections and genetic illnesses. And these associations consider breeding the munchkin cats unethical.

And as breeders reinforce this pseudochondroplasia gene, strengthen it, and change the way it manifests and interacts with other genes: they’re increasing the chance of these associated afflictions as well.

Any time an animal’s anatomy changes, you are changing the way they move, the way they bear weight, the way their body functions, propagating genes that nature considers deleterious, and a newly-discovered mutated gene can’t be considered “safe” until we’ve THOROUGHLY studied its interaction through far more generations than this mere 30 years we’ve had with breeding munchkins.

What’s more, cats HIDE their pain and coordination troubles. Do you have any idea how arthritic cats that are declawed become? Most people don’t notice it until they do a necropsy. Because declawing is thought to be so commonplace and so safe, that SURELY it doesn’t hurt the kitty and cause health problems! Except, it can cause everything from infection to misplaced calcium growths to arthritis to inability to use a litter box.

Statistics for munchkin cat health are still not a very big sample size, let alone anything conclusive.

Until genetics, study, and breeding of Munchkin cats develope much, much further, we can’t conclusively call them free of health issues.

And I, for one, cannot condone any animal that we know runs a steeper risk of health issues, and yet are continued to be bred For The Aesthetic.

(Oh, and p.s.: No, munchkin cats physically cannot jump as high as other cats. They struggle to jump straight up at all.)

anonymous asked:

My dream dog is a Newfoundlander, and I have a responsible breeder already picked out for when I have a big enough yard and a steady job, but I'm finding it hard to find much info on them. Opinions?

They are a relatively rare breed owing to their size, fur and drool, but I have known a few of them over the years.

These dogs are just… messy.

(Image Source)

They are big they seriously shed and they drool like a running tap, which essentially sticks that shed hair to every available surface like glue. This is a breed so fundamentally unsuitable for my personal lifestyle that I swiftly change the topic every time the boyfriend brings up that he wants one. Speaking of changing topics, lets look at them from a medical standpoint. You may want to make yourself a cup of tea, this will be a long post.

Hips are a major issue with this breed. The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals ranks their hips, as a breed, as worse than the notorious German Shepherd. Worse again, symptoms of hip dysplasia are often aggravated by the increased size or weight of the animal, and this breeds is one of the largest ones. This causes pain and suffering. 25% of them are estimated to have dysplastic hips, with only 8% estimated to have ‘good’ hips.

Elbows are another weakness for this giant breed. Again around 20-25% of these dogs are estimated to be afflicted with elbow dysplasia. Some unfortunate individuals with have both elbow and hip dysplasia, leaving them without a good leg to stand on. Problems often develop by18 months of age, and will cause pain for the dog for the rest of its life.

Tears of the cranial cruciate ligament are also fairly common, due to sheer size and probably other orthopedic dodginess. If not treated surgically this will cause severe lameness and arthritis in the joint.

By the way, if you were wondering about the costs of these surgeries to patch up a Newfoundland skeleton, you’ll probably spend $2.5-3k on the dysplastic elbows, $2.5-3.5k per cruciate tear, and between $1.4k and $7k each side for the dysplasitc hips, depending whether they are diagnosed young, or so late that only a total hip replacement will help. Just so you know.

The consequences of leaving these conditions untreated is arthritis far sooner in the dog’s life than is fair. Some dogs will be unable to walk without daily medication from 4 years of age. Many will be put to sleep simply because their  mobility has become so impaired that they can no longer to doggy things.

Do you need a break? Because we’re not even halfway through yet.

Originally posted by sternenpalast

Personally, I have a thing against bad eyes. I can’t stand eyes that look painful, it gives me the heebie-jeebies. These poor dogs, as you probably have guessed, are prone to multiple eye conditions.

While they do get cataracts, 3rd eyelid gland prolapse and ectropion, the biggest one that concerns me is entropion. This means that the eyelids rolls inwards towards the eye. This means that instead of lovely, soft, moist conjunctiva touching the eyeball, you have prickly eyelashes or haired skin. These prickly hairs rub against the eyeball, constantly, and will cause pain, inflammation, corneal ulcers and secondary effects of healing them.

That’s just constant irritation and pain. It requires surgery to fix, again.

They also get subaortic stenosis (SAS) far too frequently.This heart condition is congenital, it’s present at birth but is often not apparent until 4+ months of age, just long enough to get that puppy well loved in a new home. While it can be managed with medication or heart surgery, only 25% of affected dogs live for more than 4 years. It can cause fainting and sudden death.

(Thanks Richard for picture)

That’s not a great disease to have running through the breed. If they don’t succumb to that heart disease young, they may also get dilated cardiomyopathy when they’re older. You know, because one heart disease wasn’t enough.

Also located under that shaggy mess of drool covered fur is another genetic disorder that can cause them to excrete cystine into their urine, resulting in urinary crystals or great big bladder stones that may require more surgery.

And of course these big, deep cheted dogs are a classic breed that gets Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (GDV aka Bloat) which can happen without warning, leaving you with a choice of either major, expensive surgery or euthanasia.

Working towards the outside of this giant breed, their thick fur might look cute, it it takes maintenance. Prepare for everything you own to be liberally coated in dog hair.

They are also profuse droolers. Their flappy jowls produce some of the most drooly dogs I’ve been, often soaking their own chest fur.

Which brings me back to Hot Spots, (aka moist dermatitis). Persistently wet skin, especially on a thick coated breed that loves water like the newfoundland, A hot spot can be huge and they spread rapidly, sometimes affecting the whole neck. Because these dogs often have some degree of skin folding there, that makes the problem even worse. The same issue happens at the other end if they have diarrhea. And being in Australia, in Summer, when more people than usual take their dogs swimming, there is also a high risk of flystrike in that constantly wet fur with infected skin. Don’t think about that too much.

These dogs are far from being an ‘easy keeper’ and in my experience the estimates lifespan of 10-12 years that one often sees on the internet s a bit optimistic. I do know people who are addicted to this breed and just can’t live without one, but it’s important to know what you’re getting into and I would strongly recommend looking into pet insurance for this breed.

The hours spent writing this blog are supported by Dr Ferox’s Patreon. From as little as $1 a month you too can show your support and choose future topics for the blog.

anonymous asked:

What do you think of the theory that 'scary clowns' are an entirely separate species from what we recognize as 'clowns'? I don't remember all the intricacies of the theory, but it was something like they actively disguised themselves as something harmless, like a circus clown?

I think it’s bunk, personally. We have pedigrees that date back to the formation of those breeds. Some of the founders were of unknown heritage, sure, but from descriptions they sound a lot like nothing more than especially aggressive mixes of jester and ruffed breeds. All clowns will eat children if pressed to. Just because the scary breeds are genetically predisposed to viewing people as prey and it’s been repressed in most others does not mean they’re another species. The ancestral clowns predated humanity, based on bite marks found on human remains. That’s probably why they came to be domesticated - brave idiots decided to turn the tables and catch and keep some because people are stupid and generally try to grab animals in their vicinity. Over time the aggression and dependency on human flesh was bred out, only to be bred back in later on.

GSD Hip Statistics

Since hip dysplasia is a hot topic in the post-Westminster dogblr, I figured I would look up OFA’s current statistics on German Shepherd Dogs. The results may surprise you.

GSD hips may not be as bad as some may lead you to believe.
They’re certainly not good,  but they aren’t nearly as bad as other breeds that get hardly any criticism. Seriously, they don’t even make the Top 10. Or Top 20, or 30. German Shepherds are #38 on OFA’s list of Hip Dysplasia rankings by breed. (OFA’s list technically says 39, but for some reason OFA lists Maine Coon cats as #19. Meow!)

The trends in GSD hip dysplasia are actually kind of cool!
When OFA first started recording GSD hips, 22.2% were dysplastic and only 2.6% were Excellent. The percentage of Excellent evals has steadily increased ever since, and is currently at 7.5%. Dysplastic evals have decreased, and are currently at 19.2%. 2001-2005 was actually a great period for GSDs, where dysplastic eval percentage fell to just 18.6%. Are these numbers ideal? No, but the important take-away here is that they’re moving in a better direction. And this is a great time to remind everyone that Rumor, the 2017 Westminster BIS winner, has OFA Excellent hips!  Let’s celebrate that, folks!

The percentage of dysplastic Cardigan Welsh Corgis, Pembroke Welsh Corgis, and English Shepherds (just to name a few) are currently higher than the percentage of dysplastic GSDs. The percentage of OFA Excellent GSDs is higher than the percentage of OFA Excellent Beagles.

It’s also interesting to note that many of the breeds with the highest incidence of hip dysplasia do not share the GSD’s extreme rear angulation. Most actually have quite moderate rear angles. Some of these breeds are larger than the GSD; some are smaller. There’s a lot we don’t know about hip dysplasia, so blaming it on structure or a particular group of breeders isn’t realistic.

glassslippers-and-tinywhiskers  asked:

Could you discuss delayed desexing and the alternatives like an ovary sparing procedure? It seems clear that in breeds like the GSD it benefits their health, but do we know much in regard to smaller breeds? (I know this topic can be controversial so if you'd prefer not to delve into it, or already have I understand) Also I've been loving the breed posts, thank you for taking the time to write them up!

I don’t at all mind discussing the topic when everyone remains civil about it. It’s very interesting and an aspect of veterinary medicine that’s bound to change as we gather more information. I’m happy to discuss it as long as all participants refrain from making personal insults.

It’s a long discussion folks. I’d grab a cuppa tea if that’s your thing. Also, unfortunately I can’t hide it under a ‘read more’ because it’s an answer to an ask, and Tumblr will eat the hidden part if I do. I will try to make it look pretty if you’re not interested.

Traditionally in dogs we have performed desexing (spey) by performing an ovariohysterrectomy, removing both ovaries and the uterus. Some alternatives have been suggested including tubal ligation, hysterectomy (removing only the uterus), ovariectomy (removing only the ovaries) or doing nothing. This is good. Science as a process should periodically review data, question the knowledge base and make recommendations based on new research. Otherwise it’s just dogma.

I don’t think you can claim that it is ‘clear’ that leaving the ovaries benefits the health of breeds like the GSD. The practice is still controversial at best, with some veterinarians outright labeling it at malpractice. There is some breed variability in terms of what relative benefits and risks might be expected, but I really wouldn’t call it ‘clear’.

Originally posted by wolfyoubemyvalentine

Before I talk about various cancer risks, let’s talk about relative risks of non-cancerous conditions.

With an ovariohysterectomy (traditional spey)that is properly performed, there is zero risk of pyometra. Stump pyo can occur if remnants of the uterus or ovaries are left behind. Cruciate tears are affected by multiple factors, but desexed dogs seem more prone to them than entire dogs. Weight gain and obesity is more common in desexed dogs.

The relative risk of pyometra in non-desexed dogs is about 25%. Risks typically increase with age.

With an ovary sparing spey (hysterectomy), only the uterus is removed. Pregnancy is prevented. Pyometra can still occur if any uterine or cervix tissue remains (a stump pyo). With the apparent influence of oestrogen, these dogs may be less at risk of cruciate disease and are less at risk of obesity.

With an ovariectomy, only the ovaries are removed. This renders the dog infertile and removes the influence of oestrogen. The uterus will atrophy and shrink down without stimulation from female hormones, rendering the risk of pyometra basically zero. It may still increase the risk of obesity and cruciate disease like the traditional spey.

Considering that pyometra is often lethal, while cruciate disease is painful but treatable, personally I would err on the side of preventing pyometra. Also keep in mind that obesity in dogs can be moderated with owner control of the diet, and obesity will predispose to cruciate injury. I would recommend removing at least the ovaries.

Male dogs have less surgical options. Vasectomy can be considered, but these dogs are basically entire but infertile.

An entire male dog is more at risk of perineal hernia, benign prostatic hyperplasia, perianal adenoma and inter-male aggression. A castrated male dog is relatively more at risk of, again, obesity, cruciate ligament disease, and possibly diabetes.

With the information above, and I haven’t brought cancers into the equation yet, you might wonder of preventing obesity in desexed dogs might reduce the incidence of cruciate disease and subsequently other conditions that we know are more common in obese dogs, namely cruciate ligament disease and diabetes. You might conclude that there is little benefit to leaving a dog entire if you’re able to control its weight.

I think that’s a reasonable assumption so far, though it’s clear to me that the benefits of traditional desexing are more pronounced in females.

Originally posted by heartsnmagic

Now lets talk about cancers.

There are multiple types of cancer. Some are more devastating than others. Some are more common than others. In terms of highly malignant cancers that show up relatively commonly in dogs, the ones we talk most about, and of most interest in this topic, are mammary cancer, haemangiosarcoma (HSARC), Mast Cell Tumor (MCT) and osteosarcoma (OSC).

  • Mammary cancer is extremely common in entire female dogs. In European countries where prophylactic desexing is not routinely performed mammary tumours make up 50-70% of all cancers seen. They are relatively rare in countries with a high desexing rate but extremely predictable in dogs desexed late in life or not at all. Speying earlier appears more protective compared to being left entire: speying before the first heat reduces risk to 0.05%, before second heat to 8%, and before 3rd heat to 26%. after the third heat there is negligible reduction in risk of mammary cancer compared to intact dogs.
  • Osteosarcoma may be three times (3x) more common in desexed large breed dogs.
  • Mast Cell Tumors maybe up to three times (3x) more common in desexed dogs of certain breeds. Lymphoma may be up to 10% more common in desexed dogs of certain breeds.
  • Haemangiosarcoma may be more common in neutered dogs of some breeds, but less common in neutered dogs of other breeds.

There isn’t much consensus across ALL dog breeds in ALL situations. There are numerous retrospective studies, and more coming out all the time (Science!) but more data needs to be analysed.

What is fairly clear is that there is a dramatic reduction in otherwise common mammary cancers by early desexing of females. There is probably some benefit in reducing other cancer risks to later desexng, or not desexing, dogs also.

So do you? Or don’t you?

There’s certainly more incentive to desex female dogs, as even pyometra on its own is a sneaky, life threatening condition. I recommend desexing most female dogs in their senior years if they haven’t already been done for this reason alone.

Assuming you do chose to desex, and I’m talking about procedures that involve at least removal of the gonads, it becomes a matter of when. If you don’t remove the ovaries then you have no benefits from desexing other than infertility. There’s no significant benefit in leaving the ovaries compared to leaving the dog entire.

For a small dog, OSC is incredibly rare. HSARC is rare. MCT can happen to anything. We weight up those relatively low risks compared to the very high risk of mammary cancer and pyometra, and I would advise speying before the first heat. With males timing is not as critical unless behavioural factors are involved.

For a larger dog, I personally think it’s worth delaying desexing to between the first and second heat. I would get too nervous about mammary cancers to wait beyond the second heat but there may be some benefit in preventing osteosarcoma by delaying surgery until more skeletal maturity, and same for cruciate injuries.

(I have a theory that osteosarcoma occurs in its predilection sites due to increased bio-mechanical forces in these areas, so waiting for skeletal maturity before removing the gonads might be helpful.)

On the other hand, screening for hip dysplasia and desexing if the dog definitely has it so you can perform a JPS also has benefits, because you’re addressing pathology the dog definitely has right now.

There are so many unknowns in these hypothetical scenarios. This makes it a challenge to make recommendations when clients just want the ‘right’ answer.

The best plan for the individual dog may depend on breed or breed mix (genetic testing would be ideal, but an added cost) or any known predispositions within the family or bloodlines.

So, this explanation is getting rather long, but there’s so much interesting information on this topic and it’s growing all the time.

Originally posted by mensweardog

TL:DR there is probably a benefit to delayed desexing in dogs prone to OSC, cruciate injury and HSARC. Some of the other risks may be mitigated by weight control. There is minimal if any benefit, and definitely some risk, in delaying desexing for small breeds.

But this field may change as more information is gathered. It will be worth watching over the next decade.

NB: shelters and rescues will always desex as young as possible, because their primary aim is population control. They are justified in doing this and their cases shouldn’t be considered in these scenarios.

(Majority of these statistics come from ‘The spay/neuter controversy’ presented at the OVMA by John Berg, DVM, DACVS and ‘ Long-term health effects of neutering dogs: comparison of Labrador Retrievers with Golden Retrievers‘ by Hart, Hart, et al)

Dr Ferox’s writing time is brought to you by her supporters on Patreon. You can support the blog from as little as $1 a month.

ashjest  asked:

Hello! I've noticed the current hot cat of internet is the Scottish fold. They are certainly handsome little things and the ones I've come across seem to be consistently curious and intelligent (&adored by their people, which could of course be a factor). I've been looking into getting a companion for my own hellion. Do you do breed overviews on cats? I'd love to see your thoughts on them. Tax: came for Lucifer, stayed for more excellent anecdotes and you being all around excellent. Thank you ;)

I can talk about certain cat breeds. Cats have not been bred into quite the same variety of forms as dogs have been, but there are a few interesting bits that have been propagated for human amusement.

As usual, please note the disclaimer. These posts are about the breed from a veterinary viewpoint as seen in clinical practice, i.e. the problems we are faced with. It’s not the be-all and end-all of the breed and is not to make a judgement about whether the breed is right for you. If you are asking for an opinion about these animals in a veterinary setting, that is what you will get. It’s not going to be all sunshine and cupcakes, and is not intended as a personal insult against your favorite breed. This is general advice for what is common, often with a scientific consensus but sometimes based on personal experiences, and is not a guarantee of what your animal is going to encounter in their life.

Originally posted by waffles-the-cat

They’re cute ears, right?

The ‘fold’ characteristic of the breed occurs because of a single gene mutation affecting cartilage. The ears are the most obvious external sign, but the mutation also affects cartilage everywhere else in the body, which results in osteochondrodysplasia and multiple painful joint problems.

All Scottish folds will have this to some degree, if they have folded ears. This gene is autosomal dominant, which means that only one copy is required to fold the ears. Cats that are homozygous for this mutation would be expected to have worse symptoms than cats that are heterozygous.

This is such a significant problem, and brings the ethics of breeding these cats with folded ears into question, that registration for the breed was delayed due to negative welfare impacts on the cat. It’s worth noting though that a Scottish fold without the fold mutation is still a Scottish fold, and will have the same personality as one, just minus this one genetic feature/issue.

This breed also has a higher incidence of polycystic kidney disease, where random cysts of fluid occur in the kidneys, leading to early kidney failure, and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a disease of the heart muscle which will result in heart failure, but there are genetic screening tests available for these conditions which should be used in breeding colonies.

I wonder if the general public would accept Scottish Folds without the fold, or whether we are just enamored with those ears and not the rest of the cat.

anonymous asked:

Could you do an evaluation on German Shepherds?

I knew this question would come. German Shepherds are so notorious from a health perspective. They are also extremely common and a well-loved breed with many devoted enthusiasts, and I’m bound to offend somebody by not being suitably approving of their favorite breed. So let me start with this disclaimer:

Now, with that in mind, let’s talk specifically about German Shepherds.

“Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong… in a German Shepherd.” - Veterinary Pathologists

Many a vet student wizened to the fact early in their studies that if they were presented with a question like “Name a breed in which X occurs”, there was a better than 50% chance that ‘German Shepherd’ would be one of the right answers. That should tell you an awful lot about the breed.

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

Random question but I do enjoy your commentary ^_^ so, many of the "pit bull" bites and attacks we hear about come from bully breed mutts, well, lately I've been hearing more and more of severe attacks, (not bites) and on strangers (not the owners themselves) and I've been hearing this for over a decade now. I guess what I'm trying to ask is, could there be some sort of genetic human aggression being passed down? I know the APBT doesn't have it but what of these BBMs?

hmm. normally id assume it was the usual problematic ownership issue where you have people with these dogs who dont really exercise, train, and stimulate their dogs appropriately, and with BBMs you would get that paired with the fact that many of these dogs are shelter pulls who will already have behavioral issues for a variety of reasons so you get pretty unstable, uncontrollable animals

but thats honestly a really interesting point! i think its safe to say that the majority of the BBMs you find in the country are extremely far removed from actual APBTs by now anyway (especially since real pit bulls are actually pretty uncommon LOL ive rarely encountered true blooded ones at least). i wonder which of the bully breeds have actually been going into these mutts to be honest. its pretty possible that they could have been inheriting genes from some human aggressive breeds/individuals 

however i am not american nor am i savvy in the bully breed circle, so i cant say with too much certainty what is going on there

anonymous asked:

You've probably been asked this before but if the schipperke wasn't bred to be a barge dog, what was it bred for? Also what is the supporting evidence to show it was never used for such a purpose? :0

Ah, anon! You may regret you asked me this!

The whole barge dog thing is very curious! When I first started researching schipperke history I quickly read, like most people, that they were named schipperke because it means “Little Skipper” and they were always bred for being barge dogs.

However, then I read a bit more and a lot of sources claim that’s wrong because the more accurate translation of schipperke is “Little Shepherd” and also schipperkes potentially come from an older now extinct breed called the Leauvenaar which is also purportedly the origin for the Belgian Shepherd. Therefore, they aren’t barge dogs and that’s some fabulous myth made up by the English when the breed got popular in Britain. I posted about this here, here and here.

And then I shared some of this information on a Schipperke Facebook group and it did not go over well! The members there firmly held to the barge dog theory. So I did some further research and I wrote up this long post about it in which I concluded that they were probably bred for versatile use on barges.

Did it end there though, anon? Of course not! A different Schipperke Facebook group had a post about the anti-barge dog theory, citing the linguistics of schipperke as the chief reason they weren’t barge dogs. Because it still seems the most accurate translation of schipperke is “Little Shepherd”! So I wrote up another big long post that concluded the etymology is most likely Flemish for “Little Shepherd” but the breed is unlikely to be closely related to shepherds at all.

But wait, there’s more! Because I had brought up all this controversy amongst the Schipperke community one of the anti-shepherd members posted a 2015 scientific study that was not about this particular debate at all, but in one of its charts it essentially proved that schipperkes are not at all shepherds and are most closely related to small spitz breeds, like the Pomeranian. Some time later @herebelife posted a brand new study from this year that presented the same results and showed that schipperkes are not shepherds, and are definitely spitzes.

So, anon, conclusions!

  1. Schipperkes are spitzes
  2. Schipperkes are probably not descended from the Leuvenaar
  3. “Schipperke” is most probably Flemish for “little shepherd”
  4. Schipperkes were probably bred and used for a multitude of tasks, the most common likely being ratters as well as something of a watchdog and were most probably used on barges but also in a lot of other situations

anonymous asked:

Are there any particular health issues associated with the Arabian Horse?

That’s a prickly question.

Horse people spend a lot of time talking about conformation. It’s important that a horse moves well and is comfortable to ride. There’s all sorts of detail about the angles of all the joints in the limb, where the neck meets the head, how low the back sinks, how round the hind quarters are an all sorts of things that I’m not interested in at all.

Horses and I do not ‘click’. I find them interesting from a distance but I don’t worship the ground they walk on, and there are plenty of other people out there who do. I gave up horse work after this particular incident, and I have no desire to go back to it.

Consequently I can’t talk about horse breeds in as much detail as I would other species.

I have maintained frequently on this blog that the more extreme the anatomy, the more problems you will encounter. I’m not going to talk about horse legs, because as far as I can tell issues there are not breed specific, and there are far better people than I to talk about those. Instead, let’s regard the Arabian head.

(Image Source: By Ealdgyth - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, )

That’s not a bad horse. There is a slight dish to the face characteristic of the breed, but it’s really just an aesthetic.

(Updated image source)

This one, on the other hand, raises questions.

You can’t tell me that’s not going too far. I know certain breeders were breeding their horses to be ‘living art’ rather than for a function, and enthusiasts will claim that the Arabian head has it’s distinct appearance to ‘make the breed breathe better’, but I think that’s mostly wishful thinking. There is no way the grey horse pictures above has a breathing advantage over the bay.

There is also limited free space in the head of a horse when you account for those enormous teeth.

(Image source)

You need to be able to fit those teeth and a big airway in the head of a horse, and if you insist on dishing it out something has to compromise. Arabians are already sometimes referred to as having “Dental challenges.”

There are a number of genetic conditions that Arabian horses carry.

Severe Combined Immunodeficiency and Lavender Foal Syndrome are both recessive lethal conditions and affected foals don’t survive very long. There is a DNA test for both of these, so conscientious breeders could eliminate these conditions.

Cerebellar Abiotrophy also has a genetic test available, it causes progressive incoordination from early adulthood.

The breed is known to get epilepsy, which is not great if you were intending to ride the horse.

They also get Gutteral Pouch Tympany, where air is trapped in their gutteral pouch due to an excessively long membrane. It’s unclear whether this is genetic, or anatomical in nature. Time will tell.

So they are the particular issues of the Arabian horse of which I am aware, though if you were looking for information about anything that isn’t the head or genetics, I’m not the best person to ask.

**Updated with a better dished face example

Did you know you can support Dr Ferox’s blog on Patreon?

dracanthropic  asked:

Hey! So first off, wishing for you guys to get out of quarantine soon and that everyone recovers fully! I was curious about your doves as we hear a lot about your beautiful pidges all the time. The genetics of domesticated breeds and such fascinates me and I was curious, are the ringneck doves that you breed domesticated?


I talk a lot more about pigeons because there is just SO much complexity to them!

But my understanding of ringnecks is actually much more complete because *they* are my actual specialty. ^v^

Now, what we know as the Ringneck Dove, Streptopelia risoria, does not, and has NEVER existed in the wild!

They are an offshoot of the African Collared Dove, Streptopelia roseogrisea (shown below) bred exclusively towards docility and confinement tolerance.

Ringneck doves were actually domesticated the same time pigeons were, but Pigeons’ ability to free roam, forage, and faithfully return lead them to be domesticated in a VERY different way from pretty much any other animal.

Ringnecks were domesticated in a much more conventional way.

African Collard Doves have NO homing sense what so ever, so they could not be raised in a dovecote or allowed to forage the way pigeons were.

Like Pigeons, the African Collared Doves were also taken as peeps into captivity (Adult ACD are INSANELY fast fliers and prone to stress themselves to death in captivity)

They mature a little faster than pigeons, but if taken at two weeks, African Collared Dove peepers are feathered enough to thermoregulate, juuust beginning to take their first hopping test flights, and most importantly: Learning to self feed! 

At that age, they hand tame quite easily.

A clever, skittish, agile adult ACD that didn’t tame completely could time their escape attempts and rush an opening cage door faster than their keeper could react, leaving the least clever, skittish, and agile birds behind to live and breed under human care.

After thousands of years of breeding exclusively for docility and confinement tolerance, the Ringneck as we know it today has lost pretty much ALL survival instincts.

When released at weddings, funerals, and canned hunts, they usually just fly in a straight line until they hit something or wear out.

They have very poor flight stamina, and while they can fly VERY fast and make quite a distance in a single areal sprint, they can’t stay up for very long.

They are completely helpless outside of human care, so i you find one unattended, it DESPERATELY needs help!

The wild birds you see on occasion in the US that look like Ringnecks are actually a close, but not even remotely domesticated relative: the Eurasian Collared dove Streptopelia decaocto .

For comparison, here is Archimedes, one of my Ringneck Cocks.

Both species are about the same size, but the Eurasian Collared Dove is slightly larger and lighter.

A few ECD escaped after being imported into the US and have proven incredibly invasive, outcompeting the much smaller native Mourning 

and White Winged doves 

for food and nesting spaces.

anonymous asked:

my ideal dog is a basenji. i can't find much online about what illnesses they are prone to. i know they can get progressive retinal atrophy (i think that's what it's called) and fanconi syndrome, but is there anything else i should be worried about?

Fanconi Syndrome and Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) are certainly the big two, but there are a few others to consider with varying degrees of worry.

General Disclaimer: These posts are about the breed from a veterinary viewpoint as seen in clinical practice, i.e. the problems we are faced with. It’s not the be-all and end-all of the breed and is not to make a judgement about whether the breed is right for you. If you are asking for an opinion about these animals in a veterinary setting, that is what you will get. It’s not going to be all sunshine and cupcakes, and is not intended as a personal insult against your favorite breed. This is general advice for what is common, often with a scientific consensus but sometimes based on personal experiences, and is not a guarantee of what your dog is going to encounter in their life.

(Image Source)

These smart-looking dogs have a few breed quirks, including only coming into oestrus once a year. They’re pretty cool, but fairly uncommon.

Fanconi’s Syndrome is a particular type of kidney disease, notable for being one of the few ways you can have glucose in the urine without being a diabetic. That’s cool from a veterinary academic viewpoint, but not so great for the affected dogs that will get recurrent UTI and eventual renal failure.

PRA will cause dogs to slowly go blind. It’s not painful, and blindness isn’t the end of the world for a dog, but it’s still not exactly desirable.

The Basenji get numerous other eye conditions with varying frequency: persistent pupillary membranes, retinal dysplasia and cataracts. While these can all cause vision impairment or blindness, most of these are not painful. Cataracts can be, if they progress, which they don’t always do depending on their cause. Again, blindness isn’t necessarily the worst thing in the world for a dog.

What is possibly one of the worst things in the world for a Basenji to have is Pyruate Kinase Deficiency (PKD), which is a genetic disorder resulting in a lack of a particular enzyme in red blood cells. This causes red blood cells to die early, and while initialy there is a regenerative response the dog’s can’t keep up, and will end up dying early too.

The Basenji breed also has it’s own particular type of immunoproliferative enteropathy, which looks very similar to inflammatory bowel disease, complete with protein loss and wasting away. It’s not really curable, but usually manageable, however severity can vary.

The good news for this breed is that there are genetic tests available for PKD, PRA and for genes linked with Fanconi’s Syndrome. With diligent testing and appropriately valuing those results hopefully at least PKD can become a historical disease.

Originally posted by twobarklessdogs

Have you found Dr Ferox on Patreon?

The guilt trip: It’s all in how they’re raised.

For almost two years, I felt like I had failed as a dog owner because my Bully mix (Pitterstaff/AmBully, at best guess) turned out to be dog aggressive.

“It’s all in how they’re raised!” is a sentence that makes me cringe.  Anyone that owns a DA APBT or Bully breed probably knows what I’m talking about.  While it is a great sentiment on the ability of dogs to overcome horrible situations, it ignores essential facts about canine behavior while simultaneously putting the blame on dog owners.  

One of the first pictures I have of Zuni and I, on a camping trip in early 2012.

Zuni, my craigslist rescue, wasn’t even a year old when I got her.  Her history before being picked up off the streets by a friendly married couple is unknown.  But she was a fantastic dog and I took her absolutely everywhere with me - she even came to my high school once and assisted me with a theater presentation.  We went to the dog park weekly, ran agility, practiced obedience, and played disc anywhere there was enough space for her to run.  When I started working at the kennel, she would go to daycare during my shifts.  Zuni was so good with other dogs that she was used as a neutral dog to test newcomers for the daycare program.

I did everything right with her.  Knowing her breed, I felt an additional sense of responsibility.  I couldn’t raise a dog that would contribute to the “dangerous pitbull” idea.  But I can’t control genetics and breed tendencies.  My breed isn’t dangerous, but ignoring what my breed was meant for is absolutely dangerous.

Around two years of age, the dog aggression began.  We consulted with several trainers and tried so many methods that it makes my head spin thinking about it.  The best answer we could get from anyone was that she was fear aggressive.  I worked with that for nearly a year, but couldn’t ever agree with it.  I know fear aggressive dogs, I work with them frequently.  Zuni’s behavior and body language certainly wasn’t fearful - she would strain at the end of her leash, every muscle standing out, eyes locked onto another dog with an intensity that terrified most people.  It was the same way she looked at squirrels.  I’ve broken up two fights, and both times I knew she’d never quit until she couldn’t get to the other dog.

I didn’t make any progress with Zuni until I accepted the fact that dog aggression was a part of her temperament.  I stopped blaming myself for her behavior and I stopped seeing her dog aggression as the sign of a  “bad dog.”  I stopped trying to make her like every dog she met and instead taught her to ignore other dogs in public and focus on me.  I don’t allow people to bring their dogs near her and we certainly don’t go to the dog park anymore.  I took months introducing her to Maya and making sure that they had the space that they both needed.  She’s able to run agility without losing focus and has done narcotics detection drills off leash in a room with 30 other dogs.

Zuni’s happier now, I’m happier now. Life goes on.

the-pale-horseman  asked:

How much shall we bet that some of the new breed of genetic supersoldiers Guilliman is cooking up will fall to Chaos? The Dark Gods managed to corrupt half the primarchs and their Legions. Nothing is incorruptible.