serving the white shepherd community since 1999
Send personal donation checks
or money orders to:
White Shepherd Genetics Project
Susan Ewart, Treasurer
75 Old Albany Road
Greenfield, MA 01301
Checklist of common diseases:
Heart and Vascular system diseases
Immune system diseases
Intervertebral disc disease
GSD degenerative myelopathy
Non-genetic symptoms/side effects of other conditions
Osteodystrophy/metabolic bone disease, tests still pending to further document underlying cause.
* I say no here, as the changes evident on necropsy are more consistent with age than with underlying genetic
Interpretation of necropsy results:
Content copyright 2016. White Shepherd Genetics Project. All rights reserved.
Sire: Reeves Royal Angus Von Tasz
Dam: Hoofprint Emerald "Ashlee"
Owner: Linda and David May
Breeder: Pam and Larry Koons
September 20, 1995 – January 17, 2006
10 years 4 months
The most noteworthy finding was that of a condition called Osteodystrophy, evidenced by changes in the rib cage,
and to a lesser possibility, changes in the vertebral column as well. Due to the additional findings of urinary bladder
atony, megacolon and muscle degeneration in the hind limbs, the changes in the vertebral column are more
consistent with intervertebral disc disease in the pet. At any rate, the presence of osteodystrophy is evident.
This condition is most likely due to low levels of calcium in the blood stream, causing the body to draw calcium
back out of the bones for use: metabolic bone disease. Usually this condition is associated with either a primary
hypoparathyroidism (over active parathyroid gland in response to kidney disease or nutricional inbalance), kidney
failure, improper nutrient absorption from the small intestine, etc. It appears that parathyroid or kidney
involvement is less likely in this pet based on the findings so far, but it is my understanding that there may still be
additional tests pending in that regard.
There is a strong evidence of intervertebral disc disease, and the conditions of urinary bladder atony and megacolon
are most likely secondary to this. There is arthritis (DJD) present in both the shoulders and the hips. It is difficult to
ascertain wether or not this is due to shoulder and hip dysplasia or is more an aging chance.
There is liver disease present in this pet, most likely chronic active hepatitis or hepatic cirrhosis. In many cases this
is a disease associated with age and not with any underlying infection or cancer. There is no evidence of concurrent
infection or cancer in this pet. The pancreas also shows some changes suggestive of an aging process, chronic
fibrosing pancreatitis, but again no evidence of infection or cancer. There is some evidence of mild kidney changes
as well, very likely not yet causing any active compromise to kidney function; again no evidence of infection or
The skin seems devoid of any problems: no evidence of allergic skin or ear disease, no evidence of perianal fistulae.