THE HEALTH OF OUR BREED: TAKING IT TO THE NEXT LEVEL                                       DISCUSSIONS WITH DR. GEORGE A. PADGETT D.V.M.                                                       Professor Emeritus of Veterinary Pathology                                                       Michigan State University                                                       Author of THE CONTROL OF CANINE GENETIC DISEASE                                                       Co-authored by Dale Malony and Judy Huston   When Judy Huston read The Control of Canine Genetic Disease in 1999, it sparked a flame in her and inspired a new drive in her life. She was motivated to apply the principles described in Dr. Padgett's book to improve the health of a whole breed, and in almost no time, she had conducted a health survey of over 1000 dogs and generated excitement among many breed club members. That survey has since developed into a multi-pronged project independent of any breed club, and is positively impacting the decision making process for many breeders as they strive to pick the ideal match and produce the best and healthiest puppies possible. This project not only includes genetic disease tracking, but also involves developing projects for breeder/owner education and a worldwide internet database of our dogs. Since every dog alive is at least carrier of genetic diseases, there are still a large number of dogs that need to be surveyed and tracked in order to truly improve the health of our breed. Inspiration Little did Judy know that her Kyra (Crystal's Lady in Red) would become a statistic to be included in the next genetic health survey. Kyra was the inspiration for Judy's initial desire to learn about the diseases which affect our dogs and pushed her to keep on keepin' on, even when it seemed progress had slowed to a crawl. (See Judy's article, "Loving Kyra" also in this edition of the Annual.)
Kyra was born September 20, 1995, and until December 2001, she was the healthiest, happiest, highest-drive dog Judy had ever been around – bossy and spoiled too. Sadly, in January 2002, Kyra was simultaneously diagnosed with Cauda Equina Syndrome, Spinal Stenosis, and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (Eosinophilic Ulcerative Colitis/Proctitis). On January 22, 2002, a discectomy and a nucleotomy of the L7-S1 disc were performed
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