by guest blogger Jessica Brown
Dog breeders are well aware of the problems associated with inbreeding dogs, some breeders continue to use closely related dogs to
preserve and improve their breed. Most breeders have found that using unrelated breeds or outcrossing to another breed when permissible can insure vigor in their blood line. When using this technique breeder’s stand the risk of importing some undesirable traits, these traits can be bred out in time.
Breeders have found a certain amount of inbreeding may improve their breed; there is a chance that constantly inbreeding may limit the gene pool so that their breed loses vigor. Most reputable breeders know when to balance inbreeding against cross breeding, with unrelated lines in order for their breed to have overall good health.
Problems Caused by Inbreeding:
- Inbreeding may cause problems in all breeds, for example the Pug, breeders attempts to shape a flatter face and rounder head has resulted, in females requiring C-sections as well as other congenital problems.
- Fifteen percent of all dogs will suffer from skin disorders such as allergies, atopic dermatitis and inflicts itch. Some breeds which are prone to the skin problems are terrier breeds such as Boston and Bull Terriers.
- Dogs such as Basset Hounds, Cardigan Welsh Corgis and Dachshund have inherited diseases which compromise their immune system. These diseases include primary severe combined immunodeficiency disorder.
- An inherited abnormality that affects the platelets in the blood causing it not clot after the dog has been injured, is found in the Basset Hounds, this condition may lead to hemorrhaging.
- Neurological problems often affect purebreds; Pugs are prone to encephalitis, which is a fatal brain disease. German Shepherds inherit degenerative myelopathy, which is a crippling spinal cord disease eventually causing paralysis.
- Australian Cattle Dogs, English Setters, Dalmatians, as well as several other breeds suffer from hearing loss due to inbreeding. More than sixty purebred breeds will suffer from inherited eye diseases such as progressive retinal atrophy a common cause of blindness and cataracts.
- Inherited cardiac disease due to inbreeding effects several breeds including German Shepherds, Irish Wolfhounds and Doberman Pinschers. The Boxer is genetically predisposed to irregular heartbeats. Small breeds including Staffordshire Terriers, Cocker Spaniels and Poodles are prone to high blood pressure.
- Genetics is a noticeable influence on different types of cancers found in dogs, which have been inbred; this is more frequent in the larger breeds such as Great Danes, Rottweiler, Labrador and St. Bernard’s. These breeds are so heavy that their weight causes stress on their bones therefore causing bone cancer or osteosarcoma. Golden Retrievers are prone to malignant blood vessel tumors, leukemia and brain tumors. German Shepherds and Chows are prone to gastric cancer and Scottish Terriers develop bladder cancers eighteen times more often than other breeds.
Jessica Brown is the assistant to veterinarian and wireless dog fence expert, Susan Wright, DMV. Jessica writes articles to educate dog owners on dog dangers in and around the home.
Photo courtesy: http://www.sunnydayphotos.com