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Health Forum

12 May 2011
The Show season is here and I think most of us are aware that bringing so many dogs together in a strange place, always puts them at some risk of picking up a disease or eating some totally disgusting thing and becoming ill. Last year at the October shows, the Gundogs were exposed to Kennel Cough. Some dogs were very ill, some took it home to all the dogs at home and some remained well. I do not blame the person who brought her dog to the show as we all heard the dog coughing and although we knew the problem, I am very sure that she did not as she was new to showing and it was most probably her first dog and the first time that she was at a show.

The problem is this: Do not assume that because you take your dog to the vet for an annual booster, it will include the kennel cough vaccine. Most probably it will NOT unless the vet knows you well and knows what activities you do with your dog. The average dog is NOT given this vaccine but my vet knows that my dogs do go to the kennels and attend dog shows all over the country so my dogs always have the vaccine. You MUST ask for it if the vet does not know your dogs or you have not been before. This is not a form of neglect by the vet but merely a way to save you money and the thinking that the average dog does not need this, especially if they are a stay at home family dog. The other problem is that giving your dog the vaccine and then taking them to the kennels immediately will probably not do any good as there is not enough time for the antibodies to develop. It is far better to do this every year and keep your dog and all the other dogs around you healthy. Before you ask, NO it is not 100% but it is certainly better than nothing. There are always several different strains but it does cover the most common and you can rest knowing that you have done the best for your dog and all the others at the shows.

Have a healthy and fun showing year........
Diane Hacking
Stagmanskop Labradors.


5 April 2011
Subject: Great News for Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Breeders

Whilst in the UK in March for the UK CKCS Club Championship Show and Crufts, I heard the rumour that DNA tests had been discovered for two inherited health problems that affect Cavalier King Charles Spaniels -namely Episodic Falling Syndrome and Dry Eye Curly Coat Syndrome (known scientifically as congenital keratoconjunctivitis sicca and ichthyosiform dermatosis). My first Cavalier, bought locally as a pet, suffered from Dry Eye Curly Coat, and words cannot explain the suffering and expense we (and this little dog) went through. She had to be put to sleep at 2 years and 3 months.

It was thus with great excitement that I received an e-mail today from the UK CKCS Club Health Representative, notifying me officially of the discovery of DNA tests for both Episodic Falling Syndrome and Dry Eye Curly Coat Syndrome. The DNA tests identify carriers of the conditions, meaning that parents can be tested prior to mating, enabling breeding decisons to be made so as to avoid these conditions. I attach the press release here. This is a wonderful breakthrough, both for the breed, and for those breeders who want to health test breeding stock in order to minimise health problems in the breed.

The test will be avaliable in the UK from mid-April. However, the test is a simple one, based simply on a mouth swab and so breeders in all countries will be able to perform the test. Oliver Foreman, the PhD student involved in research states that: "The tests will only be available at the Animal Health Trust (ie in the UK), but we can send DNA testing kits in the post. Sampling can be done at home following the instructions sent with the kits. Once the swabs are dry the DNA doesn't degrade". Further details are contained in the press release.

Rosemary Leaver
Rozehyl Cavalier King Charles Spaniels


1 April 2011
Dear Andrea,
I am sorry to hear about the ordeal that you went through with your puppies.

About the breeder though. The clues that you should have picked up on that the breeder was not a reputable one are:

1. There is no such breed as a teacup miniature Maltese.
2. NO reputable breeder would EVER sell their puppies at a pet shop.

I do agree with you there is cruelty going on if the pup was sold before 9 weeks and also if it had not been vaccinated.

All reputable breeders will only sell a pup to you after a long chat with you in person. They will provide the puppy to you with its vaccination certificate and will also provide a feeding sheet and registration certificate with your puppy. Most reputable breeders will also ask you to sign a contract which would cover you and themselves legally if there are any problems with the puppy. A puppy will never be sold before 9 weeks of age by a reputable breeder.

If in future you would like to have another KUSA pure bred puppy I suggest that you contact KUSA themselves and ask for accredited breeders in your area. The accredited breeders have to microchip all of there puppies and also have to test their puppies for genetic problems found in their breed whether it is a Maltese or a Great Dane.

I hope the terrible ordeal that you had does not sour you owning a pure bred KUSA registered dog. After all not all of us are painted with the same brush.

Tracy Martins


1 April 2011
Dear Andrea
First of all let me say I am sorry for your loss and the vet bills you have had to pay for buying a puppy from a supposedly KUSA breeder. I would think that the Maltese breeders who are KUSA Breeders must be highly upset that their wonderful breed is being exploited by such a person. Did you not suspect that because the puppy did not have proper baby teeth that it was to young to leave its mother? I know that some toy breeders will only let their puppies go at three months old not at 5 weeks. Parvo Virus is rife at the moment and I know that both my Rottweiler and boxer puppy were vaccinated every three weeks as recommended by the vaccine manufactures not by the vets recommendation of every four weeks. This 'BREEDER' if you can call her that has no idea how puppies should be raised and I would say she is only in it to make money. I do hope you plan to sue her for the price of the puppy and all your other expenses. I as a concerned breeder would not have sold you a Maltese if I had of known that you had a pit-bull. Contact KUSA and tell them what has happened to you. Maybe they will help you. As far as I know this persons property will be infected with the Parvo Virus and will remain there for at least a year. How many more unsuspecting puppy buyers is she going to con out of their money. Did you receive a vaccination certificated with the puppy? As a breeder I worry about disease on my property all the time my whole kennel is vaccinated every year for Rabies and Nobivac DHP 5-IN-1. Cleanliness in you runs and in the dogs them selves is of the utter most importance. My bitches are given a booster Parvo Virus vaccine the day that the puppies are whelped and then the puppies are vaccinated and wormed at 6 weeks, 9 weeks, 12 weeks plus their first Rabies vaccine and their last one is at 16 weeks with their second Rabies, then yearly after that. Did you find the name of this breeder in the newspaper where a lot of unscrupulous breeders can be found? You I am afraid are not the first and you won't be the last person to buy a puppy under these circumstances, Educating a puppy buyer is up to the breeder and should take place when the puppy is purchased, Vaccination, microchip and eye certificates should be given on the day the puppy goes to its new home although registration papers could take a little longer. Each breeder should also supply a feeding menu and a do and don't do with you new puppy list. I do hope the other puppy makes a full recovery although it will take time. Please remember not to buy another puppy for at least 6 – 9 months. Ask your vet to put the surviving puppy on a intestinal food for a while.
Anita Bodenstein


30 March 2011
Good day

Here is the story in a nut shell.

Last Saturday (12th of march) we received a tea cup miniature Maltese from a breeder in the Free state. She is a registered member of KUSA.

We met her mother outside the game in fourways as she was picking up a puppy from the pet store there, paradise pets.

On Monday the 14th the puppy struggled to walk so we took it to the vet on Kloof road (Bedford view). Her knee caps were misplaced. Bad breeding?

On the Wednesday the 16th the puppy was throwing up digested blood. The vet admitted her and she sadly died early hours of Thursday morning (17th). The diagnostic was either a severe case of Parvo or hook worm.

The vet also claimed that the puppy was 5 weeks and not the promised 9 weeks we were told by the breeder (I can send you the vet's report). The puppies teeth had not even come through the gums yet nor could the puppy eat puppy food.

Sadly this Parvo virus then infected our other puppy (10 week old pit bull) which we have had for nearly 2 months. This puppy had already had it 2nd shot yet still got infected. Not only that but this puppy was exposed to several other dogs whilst infected.

Our other puppy was in the vet for over a week and only came home yesterday night (29th March). He was aggressively treated for the Parvo virus and went through terrible pain and suffering during this time. It was heart breaking to see my 8.5 kg healthy, happy and bouncy puppy transform into a sad, terrified and broken spirited puppy that was just skin and bones!

We are taking legal action against the breeder; however our main concern is that there is no animal cruelty that is happening at this breeders kennels. The breeder cannot be allowed sell puppies from her kennels with Parvo and infect other dogs. This is cruel.

This is has been both emotionally and financially taxing on our family and I never want this to happen to another family.

My request to you is that you allow me to tell our story to your readers. I want to educate puppy owners on this devastating Parvo virus as well as potential puppy owners on buying puppies from 'so called' registered breeders. I have lots of photo's documenting this time; from our miniature Maltese alive, sick and dead as well as our pit bull puppy from healthy, during aggressive Parvo treatment and finally home but skin and bones...

People need to know about this virus and shady breeders!

I must make this clear that this is my, Andrea Jachs, own personal experience. I, Andrea Jachs, cannot be held accountable for any other persons experience.

Thank you for your time.

Andrea Jachs


23 February 2011
Hi Arnel
I read your posting with great interest. I would like to share the following with you.

The Weimaraner Klub has since its inception had 'Breeding Guidelines' in place.

We follow the example set by the German Weimaraner Klub.

1. All prospective breeding stock is assessed from the age of 18 months, and given a rating, which I suppose one could liken to the FCI assessments in the breed ring. A dog or a bitch must have at least a 'Good' to be passed for breeding purposes.

2. At the time of assessment an HD rating must also be produced. We allow dogs with C2 (old Grade 1) to be used for breeding, BUT the other parent must have a rating in both hips of not less than B1. The reason for this decision was that the Weimaraner gene pool in South Africa is very small and if we decided to use only A1-B1 ratings, we could lose good breeding stock. The Weimaraner breed is also one of the breeds where an HD certificate is required by KUSA before pups can be registered with KUSA.

3. When a breeder wants to do a mating, permission must be obtained from the Breeding Committee. Stud dogs are suggested if the breeder does not have one in mind. At the end of the day the decision is the breeder's, but if the litter produces any serious problems , permission will not be given for a repeat mating, or for any matings of the lines involved

4. At 6-7 weeks a litter is assessed and if the pups meet all the requirements of the breed standard (at that age of course), they are tattooed in the left ear. This tattoo is not really for identification, but is used as a stamp of approval. Puppies with excess white, incorrect bites etc are not tattooed. The Klub keeps a waiting list of prospective buyers and only pups from approved matings will be offered for sale through the Klub.

5. In Germany a hunting qualification is also required before a dog will be passed for breeding purposes. Here in South Africa, this is not required, but we do make note on the assessment of any qualifications the dog may have obtained

6. All 'Klub approved' and tattooed puppies are issued with a Klub pedigree of 4 generations

I know that many people feel that this policy is restrictive and that it causes problems for the breed. However, we have found that HD results are excellent for our breed and that generally, there are very few health problems for Weimaraners in South Africa

Renée Minny


23 February 2011
Thanks for all the responses. I am happy to report that the Golden Retriever Club of Transvaal as accepted my Agenda item to present the findings on the litter statistics to the committee and members. This is a great step forward to address the issues.

I do think that the posts and feedback received just HIGHLIGHTS that the breed clubs must get more involved in the actual litter stats – that KUSA now provides electronically (at a fee). I will be happy to assist any club with the analysis of the litter statistics as I have done with the Golden Retrievers.

It is clear that it is not an isolated problem with just one breed and the LITTER STATISTICS shows the future of each of every breed in this country and should definitely get the focus of all breed clubs and KUSA alike.

Kind regards,

Arnel Sauer


23 February 2011
Mr Eva's statement about Ridgebacks is amusing but also annoying ... "Ridgebacks have the clause which shows that we may not register any dogs with an HD grading lower than B2."

No doubt he set several people to pondering how KUSA establishes a dog's hip score when they're registered at 4 months of age.

Presumably he meant to say that puppies from parents with low hip scores are not registerable. In any event, I find it rather sad that our President dashes off an answer containing a blatant error, when he is being questioned on such an important issue.

As a person holding such high office, Mr Eva's words are held in high esteem by many and I was disappointed that he had obviously not re-read his letter or checked his facts before hitting send.



22 February 2011
Health Forum - reply to Arnel Sauer.

Arnel, indeed a very interesting letter of response you received from Mr. Eva.

We are having similar problems in the Boerboel breed, where Black, Pieblad and all sorts of other mulitcoloured dogs are being registered. It is indeed welcoming to know that KUSA will be addressing the Golden Retriever issue, and I certainly hope that they will also be address the Boerboel issue.

Retha Coetzee


21 February 2011
I am happy to say that Mr Greg Eva responded to my email regarding the findings on the litter statistics and that KUSA is now looking into the various colour variations of registered Golden Retrievers. Apparently there was a problem with the old system migration to the new one.



Dear Arnel
Your message of 9th February regarding "black" Golden Retrievers refers

Many thanks for having brought this to our attention and we have ascertained that 7 (seven) dogs were registered with this as a colour and this is now being rectified. The error took place when we transferred from one computer programme to another. The remaining 3 (three) registrations are being investigated and, once we have the result of this, we will certainly let you know. The staff have been instructed not to accept "black" in this breed in future.

Again, thank you for having brought this to our attention.

Best regards,
Greg Eva

I would suggest that each and every breed club request the litter statistics of the last ten years and also do an analysis like I have. I am sure many of you will be quite surprised at what you find. If the problems are not identified then KUSA cannot make the amendments and corrections and if this continues then we will end up with pedigrees not worth the paper they were printed on.

Thank you for your comments Anita – I wholeheartedly agree with your comments – its just sad that there are puppy farmers and stud dog owners who just breed their dogs for the financial benefit with little regard for the progeny and future generations and ultimately the future and health of the breed – in our country and across the borders, where Golden Retrievers (and other breeds) are also regularly exported.

I have raised my concern with the Golden Retriever Club of Transvaal and requested to do a presentation on my findings with the litter stats because direct feedback from Mr Greg Eva was that:


Dear Arnel

We note from DogWorld that you are very concerned indeed regarding the development of this particular breed as we are also.

The KUSA is basically a registry body which controls shows and teaches judges. The requirements that you indicate in your message regarding hip and elbow dysplasia, eye problems and colour should be motivated via the breed clubs (remembering that we do not have national breed clubs in this country), being items that must be adhered to in the same way that the Rhodesian Ridgebacks have had. Ridgebacks have the clause which shows that we may not register any dogs with an HD grading lower than B2.

Thus, the ball is in the court of the breeders themselves and the clubs that they belong to to put into effect to provide for this wonderful breed.

Best regards,
Greg Eva

But unfortunately I have not yet had feedback on whether my findings & presentation will be allowed at the Club AGM on 23 February 2011 due to various matters and issues regarding meeting protocol, etc. I hope that the club will take my request seriously so that these findings can be communicated to the people and hopefully the Golden Retriever breed club will consider instituting an "Advanced Registration Certificate" to allow for the protection of our breed.

I am communicating this information because I think this is one of THE most important factors for any Kennel Union, Breed Club, Breed Club members, dog owners, pet owners, veterinary clinics, breeders and stud dog owners alike. Perhaps other clubs / breeds will also see the benefit in this and if all people can work towards a common goal – that is the protection of the breed for the future generations – then we will have fewer dogs abandoned in shelters, having to suffer from ill health or serious operations to correct congenital defects caused by irresponsible breeding. I am not a member of any FEDCO / PROVCO or on any club committee – what is most surprising, is that the breed club(s) themselves does not take the time to investigate these matters and to do something about it. I can just hope that by me speaking out, more people will become aware and will see the positive in what I am trying to achieve!!

Kind Regards,
Arnel Sauer


14 February 2011
Eye disorders in the Bullmastiff
It was a very interesting article and high time that someone brought it to the attention of Bullmastiff owners and breeders.

One can only hope that more owners and breeders make use of these tests.

Bullmastiff Fancier


14 February 2011
I own and occasionally breed Australian Shepherds. We in our breed have also some "wonderful "colour variations. There are four colours Black Tri, Red Tri, Blue Merle & Red merle. We now see in the ring dogs/bitch's that looks like a red merle but are in fact a blue merles as a red merle would have a liver coloured nose, were as these dogs have a black nose. Dogs with excessive running copper which makes there coats look like a muddy blue merle and not a clearly defined blue merle. Breeders should not sell dogs like this to show homes. Just now some one will bring in an Aussie with a yellow coat or even better a brindle or a piebald. Learner judges need to know the breed standard of all the dogs they judge. The Americans would be mortified if they saw these dogs in the show ring. I have also bred dogs with running copper and eventually decided to place them into pet homes as I am not doing my breed any justice by keeping them let alone breeding with them. There are after all four colours according to the breed standard as I have mentioned above. We also suffer with dentition problems which with selective breeding I think can be sorted out. Luckily enough our breed does not have a big problem with hips and elbows. A few breeders myself included have started doing DNA testing for congenial eye disease. One must remember that breeding a healthy puppy is not cheap although there are some breeders who would beg to differ with that statement. I bred Rottweilers for 30 years and also had problems in the beginning, but through selective breeding sorted out those problems which were ED, HD and dentition problems. Do not give up on a breeding program just be more selective with what you breed with. A truly concerned breeder would not be prepared to take risks, but instead take a really hard look at his/her breeding stock. The puppy farmers will of course as always, not be worried about anything accept how much money they can make. We the concerned breeders hopefully one day will be able to put a correctly bred dog into even pet homes.

Anita Bodenstein


31 January 2011
I have recently acquired the litter statistics for Golden Retrievers from 2000 – 2011. I am currently going through them and I am finding quite a few s0hocking statistics.

1. Dogs are being bred from with Hip Displaysia results of 2:2, 3:3, etc. and also C1, D1, E1. I think it is high time that our registering body does something about all the people out there that BREED dogs and clearly don't know what they are doing. This is so damaging to the breed and if someone at the helm does not start doing something and refusing to register litters of dogs with such bad ratings, then what is the purpose of having a registering body?

2. Golden Retrievers are being registered with the following colours: Beige & Tan, Apricot Black Mask, BLACK, YELLOW, Ash Grey, Beige & White, Beige Black Mask, Brown & Tan, Dark Fawn, Golden & White, Ivory, White and some other interesting combinations of colour. As far as I know, the BREED STANDARD of the Golden Retriever allows the following: Any shade of Gold or Cream, neither Red, nor Mahogany. A few white hairs on chest only permissible.

It would be interesting to see if other breeds also have these types of interesting statistics!

Anyone brave enough to respond??

Kind Regards,
Arnel Sauer


27 January 2011
Arnel Sauer
Please contact me for information, I have the official BVA forms here.
I can post to you


26 January 2011
Hi Betty
Can you please send me details of how to send xrays to BVA? I would like to do that for my dogs also.

Kind regards,
Arnel Sauer


25 January 2011
HD and ED
I send my xrays to the BVA for scoring, I understand the scoring system much better.
I have had some results that have not been good with the new FCI system. and subsequently sent them off to the BVA to find that are scored well within the breed standard for breeding had I not done so some good dogs would have been excluded from the breeding program unnecessarily
Betty Howard
Tapeatom Labradors


25 January 2011
Hi Carol
Thank you for providing that information. I have also sent an enquiry to Greg Eva, he has read my email but no response. So that you for the clarification as the vet in question was in fact listed on your feedback. I was not aware of this and I have had many responses of breeders / exhibitors and other dog people asking if I know about any vets other than Onderstepoort, especially in the other regions. Do you perhaps know where these respective vets are located as this would be good information for the people.

Thank you.
Kind regards,
Arnel Sauer


25 January 2011
Thank you Carol for sending the list of HD qualified scrutineers. This will answer a lot of questions about who can and who can not read HD x-rays. To those who think their local vet is qualified to read HD x-rays I hope you will in future use one of the vets mentioned on the list that Carol provided and get the correct scoring on your dogs hips.
Anita Bodenstein


24 January 2011
Perhaps the following communication circulated by the President of KUSA in July 2010 will help clarify the HD certification issue:


This is to advise the Prof R M Kirberger of the University of Pretoria has confirmed that Dr Nerissa stander is qualified to be accepted as an HD Scrutineer for the KUSA. Dr Stander is currently employed by the University at the Onderstepoort Veterinary Hospital.
For general information please be advised that the current scrutineers passed to read HD plates are as follows:

PROF KIRBERGER                                      012 361 5335

DR SHERRYL VAN STADEN                       073 734 1635
(nee' FOURIE)

DR WENCKE WAGNER                               083 557 8833

DR LYNELLE SWEERS                                 082 410 9923

DR ANN CARSTENS                                   072 732 1709

DR NERISSA STANDER                              082 649 7302

The certificates issued by these specialist vets all carry the SAVA and KUSA logos and are the ONLY HD gradings recognised by KUSA and in turn FCI.

Carol Immelman


22 January 2011
Hi Anita

Thank you for your response. You are 100% correct regarding the problems in Golden Retrievers and this makes this enquiry of mine even more pertinent. I have specific documentation of a local vet that provided a breeder with certification of hips and elbows and although I can't question the quality of the x-rays or the qualifications of the said vet, the question is still whether it should be done by one 'body" that can ensure quality standards and evaluation through a set of requirements. Different vets might interpret the scores differently, especially in the view of the new FCI standards where the margin between A1 and A1 etc is very small. From my understanding it seems that many breeders are using their own vets, or vets other than Onderstepoort. As I have always submitted my xrays to Onderstepoort for certification I could have saved myself a lot of money if done by another vet qualified as Radiologist and familiar with the FCI gradings.

The general public will not know the difference between a "normal" vet and Onderstepoort but this still questions the ethical aspect of the certification and grading because it is not done by an impartial person so how can the validity of the certificates be acceptable?

I have put in an enquiry to the Veterinary Council and KUSA and awaiting feedback. If there are no set guidelines then I will certainly take my future dogs to my vet in future and save myself a lot of money – but not at the expense of ethics, correctness, fairness and accuracy.

Kind regards,
Arnel Sauer


21 January 2011
Dear Arnel
You are quite correct in thinking that Hip & Elbow X-Rays can only be certified by a couple of vets in this country. Any other vet doing the reading is not qualified to issue you with a certificate that is then forwarded to KUSA on your behalf by the said qualified vet. It is not easy to read the X-Rays under the new FCI standard that is why it's done only by a specialist veterinary surgeon. People whose house vet is telling them the condition of their dog's elbows and hips are only fooling themselves. My advice after having hips and elbows X-Rayed for almost 25years DO IT PROPERLY and breeders will know exactly where they are going with HD & ED. I must say on a personal note that I have more faith in the new FCI standard that the old system which allowed too much of a margin between HD 0-0 to HD 1-1. There are a couple of vets that can X-Ray hip and elbows that can also certify, just ask around. The breed of dog you mentioned has big problems with HD & ED so I would have thought those breeders would want to do X-Rays correctly.
Anita Bodenstein


18 January 2011
When hips & elbows are done, can this be graded by ANY vet or must this be done through Onderstepoort to be officially accepted by KUSA? I recently had information sent to me where Golden Retrievers were graded by their personal vet and henceforth they have used these dogs for breeding. I always thought that all xrays must be sent to Onderstepoort for official grading. Is this the understanding of the general dog community or have I missed something somewhere?

Arnel Sauer


16 July 2011
Does anyone know the protocols for importing semen from Australia to South Africa?
Arnel Sauer


17 July 2011
I would like to know why some vets do not have any idea about breeding, mating, nutrition and puppy delivery! Especially for Golden Retrievers. Recently a breeder who used my stud dog contacted her vet for assistance after an hour has passed between delivering 3 puppies & she was worried. The vet told her to wait 3 HOURS before calling him again. She waited the 3 hrs then contacted the vet who told her to come into practice for emergency caesarean as all the puppies would probably be dead by now. They managed to save one more puppy and another 5 was dead! So out a total litter of 9 puppies, only 4 survived – due to the inadequacy of a vet! This is not the first time something like this has happened – different people, different vets. The literature and especially the “Book of the Bitch” clearly states that after 1 hrs one should seek vet advice and then caesarean is usually offered to save the puppies. I know some breeds differ in their deliveries but this was so unnecessary & we TRUST our vet for the best information and then something like this happens. Not everyone is experienced and even being experienced, sometimes things happen out of the ordinary that we seek vet advice. Has anyone else experienced something like this & is there a general issue that vets are not aware of the differences in various breeds? This is especially a serious issue when using imported dogs, imported semen or stud dogs at great cost.
I am going to post an article on my website and hopefully a tragedy like this can be avoided in future!
Arnel Sauer


19 July 2011
I feel your pain with the unnecessary loss and trauma of the golden retriever litter. Unfortunately these days (indeed, if ever) we cannot trust medical professionals to be what it says on the tin: a professional. Many are clueless and often just shrug when things go wrong. Some treat you as a over anxious novice who does not have a clue and cannot tell the time. And they have large indemnity signs at the reception.

You must insist on referrals; I have learnt the hard way never to trust any one of my animals to a vet in whom I did not have confidence. You may do this and then find that many offer student or young vets after hours. A locum is another unknown. You have to insist that the senior vet is there or at least on call at a moment’s notice during the night. Have a back-up plan; know the vets in your area, rate them in terms of knowledge.

Question the vet endlessly. The ones who are worth their knitting know that the questions come from a good place and answer professionally. The ones who get offended should be avoided at all costs.

Also don’t assume that the vet knows the medical particularities of your breed. All sighthound owners are repeatedly advised by breeders and online that a special anaesthetic is required due to the low body fat. Now multiply this concern when a sighthound is in whelping distress and needs an anaesthetic for a caesarean section.

In short, don't trust what it says on the tin: you have to defend your pet yourself and fight for good care.



20 July 2011
Please could anyone tell me the possible life span of a dog that has had a possible lymphatic cancerous lump removed from the lining that supplies the blood to the intestines?

I took my daxie in to the vet as he was very uncomfortable in the belly area and after a X-ray a mass was seen the vet went in to have a look and he discovered a lump. He has removed most of it for testing, but thinks it may be a type of lymphatic cancer.

I have gone the chemo route once before with one of my daxies and do not want to do this again.

If my dog pulls through the operation completely I would like to know if anyone knows the time span he would have before he starts to show signs of poor quality of life?



27 July 2011
On Friday the vet told me my 10 year old cross dobermann pincher/sausage dog has bone cancer. When I took her for a second opinion the second vet said that her knee's/cross ligaments are off. Therefore the knee and surrounding area's show a lot of inflammation. Where can I send the X-rays for a 3rd opinion?

Kind regards

Christelle Ferreira


28 July 2011

Hi Arnel,

I can imagine what the owner of the Golden bitch is going through. It is devastating to say the least. It however happened to me as well that I asked my Vet for assistance when my Siberian bitch did not deliver a puppy for over an hour. She did however not ask me to wait 3 hours, she first inquired whether the bitch looked like she was in distress or not, whether I could please take her temperature, and a couple of other questions. When all the answers were satisfying, she recommended I take the bitch on a leash for a good walk and make sure to take a towel with as movement can stimulate contractions. We stayed in contact about every 1/2 hour and my bitch indeed took 3 hours before the next one came. All of them were healthy and happy. When this very same bitch had a second litter, I knew what to do and not to panic and everything went alright. In the second litter she took 4 hours to deliver the 2nd last one.

I think it is a mixture of knowing your bitch, knowing and trusting your Vet and for the Vet it certainly helps if s(he) knows the breed. I would guess a few more questions would have been in order. My advice is always, when in doubt, rather go to the clinic and get it checked out. If I would have waited for 3 hours with my first Siberian litter the bitch and the entire litter would have died as she had complications. My first bitch was totally distressed, the bitch that took 3 - 4 hours was as calm as a sleeping bunny.

Carmen Schnider
Satsanga Siberians


28 July 2011

I recently lost a Rottie male who throughout his life was a gentle giant. His name was Ty Blue. He was diagnosed with lymphatic cancer and I had another 7 wonderful weeks with him. Do not operate as this can accelerate the cancer. Always remember the great times you had with your friend no matter how long or short that they were and when it’s time to go, let them go with dignity. My husband always says remember when you bring home a new baby, one day they will also have to take that last walkies in the car. Pets are put on this earth to give us pleasure and happiness, so always remember them like that.

Anita Bodenstein


30 July 2011
Hi Arnel,
You question the knowledge of vets and I had a similar experience many years ago with one of the best known vets in the country before he became a prof. My son rang me at work that my bitch had started whelping at aprox.3.00 p.m so when I came home at aprox.5.00 p.m. and saw that she had 3 puppies but was struggling I rang the vet and he told me I worried to much and should just wait so after ringing at regular intervals and having words and being told to just go to bed and the next morning everything would be fine, I didn’t ring again walked my dog waited walked again and with intervals had 13 puppies with 3 that died because they were very big and had suffocated and by than it was 2.00 a.m. If I had listened to the vet most probably the bitch as well as the puppies would have died. The outcome of this all was 10 healthy puppies but a very weakened bitch that because of all this had no milk all because of a very helpful vet that I even visited at 8.00 p.m. with the dog and was send away.


30 July 2011
Dear Christelle,
I do not know which province you are in, but you could try Onderstepoort or you could try Bryanston veterinary hospital. Dr Labetti at the hospital deals mostly with cancer and chemotherapy so maybe he can help you. Otherwise try Onderstepoort.


3 October 2011

Dear All,

I would like to request some information on the collection & freezing of semen. We have had 3 occasions with very different results and it was suggested that it depends on the freezing method being used. As this is relatively new in South Africa it seems that few vets are familiar with the detailed specifics of semen collection, freezing, storing, etc. :

1. Semen imported from Canada: The percent motility of the semen on post –thaw testing was 90%. Each vial has a predetermined number of live, motile sperm cell to produce optimal conception rate and litter sizes, as determined by an extensive research programme. There were instructions from the Vet clinic in Canada on how to process the semen when ready to inseminate bitch.

2. Local Golden Retriever semen collect and stored - The percent motility of the semen on post –thaw testing was 70%.

3. Local Golden Retriever semen collect and stored – - The percent motility of the semen on post –thaw testing was 30%.

All 3 dogs are proven stud dogs, imported semen produced 10 puppies, local dog 1 produced numerous litters (between 6 – 10 puppies) and local dog 2 produced numerous litters (all 10 puppies).

Why would there be such a huge difference between these 3 dogs that has all 3 been proven stud dogs? Could it be the freezing method, the post thaw process? Are there different methods that are being used by different vets and has any been proven more successful than the other?

Any assistance or info would be greatly appreciated.

Kind Regards,

Arnel Sauer

29 November 2011
Has anyone dealt with a staph infection on the skin of a puppy? Please help with a treatment other than antibiotics!
Concerned breeder

16 May 2012

Hi Arnel
For general information please be advised that the current scrutineers passed to read HD plates are as follows:

PROF KIRBERGER 012 361 5335
DR WENCKE WAGNER 083 557 8833
DR LYNELLE SWEERS 082 410 9923
DR ANN CARSTENS 072 732 1709

30 May 2012
I would love to get in touch with other breeders that have imported semen from Germany to discuss procedures, paperwork, costs etc.
With thanks and kind regards,


23 July 2012

BARF Diet - is there anyone feeding this diet and found its benefits to outweigh normal commercial foods? I am considering changing my dogs over to this method of feeding and would like to know if any other breeders have found substantial benefits and changes to their dogs’ overall health and wellbeing?
Kind Regards,
Arnel Sauer

27 July 2012
Arnel, Contact Karen Evans 083 395 0111 regarding the BARF Diet and availability

27 July 2012
Dear Dog World SA,

I see that you have a post on your site regarding the Mason Bone Cancer Study currently underway in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. I am writing to thank you for getting the word out about this important study, and also to let you know that my American Bulldog, Sasha, is the first dog to receive treatment in the study. Her first treatment went very well, and she is scheduled to return to Philadelphia on the 30/31 of this month for her second of three treatments. We have very high hopes for the outcome of her participation in the study. The vaccine was used previously in mice with great success, and also in one study with women who had advanced stage cervical cancer. The results in the human study were remarkable. If there is interest, Sasha\'s progress can be followed on our blog:

Thanks again for getting the word out!

Carlos Ruano

22 August 2012
To all Breeders,

KUSA is now able to supply litter statistics in email format that provides information of all puppies registered, sire and dam information, together with the relevant health scores.  I have in the past 6 years regularly asked for this information and did my own analysis based on various factors.  It seems that many breeders are not interested in these statistics and I have also approach the individual breed clubs so that KUSA can be approached to either refuse registering litters with parents that have unacceptable health scores.  I have been told that this can only be done if the specific breed club make a formal request via the committee that an “Advanced Registration Certificate” be issued.  I know that KUSA is simply a registering body and that they will not easily refuse litter registrations due to the financial loss they will make if they refuse any litters – but I cant help to feel that each and every person on the Dogworld should take responsibility for the future of their breed.  I have been trying to do something from my side now for over 4 years with no support from KUSA or the specific breed club that I approached.

I have also posted my findings on Facebook and I have found that numerous other breeders have the same problem in other breeds – yet no one is willing to stand up and do something!  This is a classic case of “strength” in numbers and if more people are willing to participate to make the necessary changes that ONLY people with the best interest of their breed (and all breeds for that matter) at heart can make, we can make a difference and we can ensure that the future generations of dogs are bred more healthy.  We are all breeding dogs for the financial benefit – although if you do it properly you will never get the money spent on your dogs back in a 100 years (vet bills, food, shows, travelling, health checks, raising litters, etc.) – and if I see the amount of money being made by breeders, surely a small amount of this can be put towards protecting the breed for the future!

Just some statistics of Golden Retrievers, based on in-depth analysis* shows the following:

From January 2010 to July 2012 a total of 2969 puppies were bred.

Out of that number a total of 2177 puppies were bred where either:

·         No health checks was done on either sire or dam

·         Health checks done of only sire or only dam – which was unacceptable (this means either Sire or Dam or both had hip / elbow scoring below 2 (either C2+ / elbow 2+)

365 puppies bred were from Excellent health scores (both sire and dam)

92 puppies bred were from Acceptable health scores (this is either sire with “acceptable” bred to “excellent” dam or many various of the same analysis)

34 puppies bred were Very Good (with scores above 1 in both Sire and Dam)

28 puppies were excluded from the analysis because they were either bred from imported dogs, or they were imported dogs themselves and with the different scoring systems in each country a scoring cannot be assumed based on the current FCI scoring system that we use.

Some statistics refer to:

·         15 puppies were bred from a Sire with hip score of D2:D2

·         13 puppies bred from sire with 0:3 elbows

·         8 puppies bred from sire with E2:E1 hips and 2:0 elbows

·         934 puppies bred from sires with NO Hip scores

·         9 puppies bred from sire with C1:C2 hips and 2:2 elbows

·         29 puppies bred from sire with B1:B2 hips and 3:2 elbows

·         1801 puppies bred from sires with NO elbow scores

·         16 puppies bred from dam with C1:C2 hips and 2:2 elbows

·         8 puppies bred from dam with D1:C1 hips and NO elbow scores

·         10 puppies bred from dam with D1:D1 hips and 0:0 elbows

·         11 puppies bred from dam with D2:D2 hips and 2:2 elbows

·         25 puppies bred from dam with E1:E1 hips and 0:0 elbows

·         1031 puppies bred from dams with NO health scores done

The actual number of puppies bred is not the major concern because there is a huge demand for Golden Retriever puppies – but the fact that such a large number of dogs have NOT had health checks done or bred from with inferior / unacceptable health scores.

It is the responsibility of each and every breeder to ensure that they do the right thing and to educate the people when they enquire about puppies, but the reputable breeders don’t always have puppies readily available, so the enquiries do end up going to the other breeders that do not feel they have a responsibility towards the breed.  In the end we cannot force anyone to do anything they don’t want to do or believe in, but surely we can try! Surely we can ask the breed clubs and KUSA for support and surely if everyone stands together we CAN make a difference! ……

Kind Regards,

Arnel Sauer

23 August 2012
Hi Arnel,

Some clubs have already got a system in place. Take the South African Rhodesian Ridgeback Club as an example. Dogs with a hip score of B2:B2 or lower are not allowed to be used for breeding and it is recommended by the club that dogs with a Hip score of B1:B1 should only be bred with A hip scores. I am not to certain about elbows though as I have never asked.

As far as I know the arrangement has been made with the KUSA that puppies bred from dogs with low or no hip scores will not be registered. I stand under correction with this statement.

I think the Rottweiler clubs may have a similar agreement.

Your idea has great potential of working very well if everyone co-operates.

Tracy Martins

25 August 2012
HD/ED & DNA Testing

In response to Arnel and Tracy regarding KUSA Schedule 2 Appendix C – Breed Registration Restrictions governing the partnership of mates with suitable scores under the KUSA Hip and Elbow scoring Scheme it is with absolute disgust that we advise you that other than the seven breeds listed ALL OTHER BREEDS HAVE BEEN BANNED from introducing similar proposals for their breed!

We refer readers to Federal Council Minutes of May 2009 extraction which states:
Schedule 2 Appendix C (Breed Specific Requirements for Registration)

Resolved without objection

‘That there will be no more breeds added to Schedule 2 Appendix C (breed specific requirements for registration)  Clubs/Breeders are to be encouraged to make use of the ARC (Advanced Registration Certificate).’

An ARC, with which our breed, Irish Setters, compiled as a result of pressure from Exco, has nothing whatever to do with the control of breeding practices as purported by KUSA.

It is, depending on the conditions agreed to by any particular breed, an award of merit indicating anything from a Championship breed status, temperament testing, working qualification and /or health clearance results. 

We add that KUSA Federal Councillors have not only refused access to this schedule Appendix for our breed regarding DNA testing, but REFUSED to open a new Appendix F to cover Breed Specific Requirements to close the registration of litters whose parentage had not been tested or were inherited clear of CLAD (a killer auto-immune disease) and PRA rcd 1(an early onset blindness) following the example set by the Kennel Club (London).

 These matters, covering Irish (Red) Setters and Irish Red & White Setters have been presented to Federal Council THREE TIMES and on each occasion the proposals, sponsored by Cape Gundog Club and supported by Western Cape Provincial Council have been DEFEATED.  Did all Federal Councillors have a mandate from their Provincial Councils or Exco sub-committee?  Is KUSA Federal Council more interested in the income derived from membership and Breed Litter Registration fees than in supporting ETHICAL BREEDERS who have the health and wellbeing of their breed uppermost?

While we have passed some information to Arnel regarding Breeders Restrictions etc., which will hopefully be of assistance in her quest to improve the situation regarding Golden Retrievers Hip and Elbow scores and agree that ethical breeders can make a difference, are they getting the support of KUSA when required?  It is certainly our opinion that the above situation should change and CHANGE QUICKLY!   

Bridget &  Mark Simpson

2 November 2012
Please can someone give me advice so that my 2 males stop marking everything outside and inside.

15 January 2013

I always thought that yearly injections for your dogs or cats were a routine thing and I have never believed that one should go without doing it.  Living on a farm, my dogs come into contact with all sorts of unvaccinated animals.  Last Friday, I took my young Labrador for his yearly booster shots.  Being three, it is certainly not the first time that he has had them.  However, this was to be a different experience....

We took him to our Vet on the way to Cape Town and when we arrived in town, I noticed that Pilot was acting very funny.  My husband and I looked at him and we could see his face and mouth swelling up as we watched.  He was miserable as he could not stop rubbing his mouth on the floor and was soon shaking his head like he had an ear infection.  Suddenly his eyes were swelling shut and you could only see pink around them.  By this time we were on the phone to the vet and he told us to go to the drugstore and get a strong antihistamine which we did.  When he had a tablet, he settled down and later that evening one could see that he was more comfortable and his eyes were normal.  He still looked strange with swollen lips and found it difficult to eat or drink.  The next morning he was much better and after another pill, he returned to normal.

I am only writing this to tell you all to be careful after your dog gets his injections.  One just never knows what will happen.  I will not "name and shame " the brand but my Vet says that Pilot can never have that brand again as the next time the reaction will be worse and he could die as he might not be able to breathe.

It seems that the cause is not the injection itself but whatever they use as the "carrier" or maybe the preservative.  All I do know is that this dog is not an allergic dog and neither are Labs known for lots of allergies.  (look at what they can eat)  Neither would I advocate not having injections but PLEASE be careful and keep an eye on your dog for a few hours after having these boosters. I guess we never know what is around the bend when it comes to the health of our dogs.  

Diane Hacking
Stagmanskop Labradors

18 January 2013
It has been my opinion, and still is that we over vaccinate our dogs. I am sure if we blood tested to see what levels there are, we would be horrified, and certainly not vaccinate annually. I advise my new puppy owners, 8 weeks and 12 weeks.  We do the first at seven and a half weeks before puppy leaves as they still have immunity from their mothers.

I appreciate it would be very expensive to blood test. I only ever do one rabies vaccine although the veterinary profession advise two, then I booster every three years, and booster the other vaccinations every two years.

There are occasions when I send puppies overseas, they must have the titre test 30 days after the vaccine, then if OK, travel after 90 days from when the blood was taken. The requirement is 0.5. I have never had lower than three and as high as thirteen.

In my opinion, one of the reasons puppies get the strangles may be through early vaccinations they still having  immunity from their mothers, then having been vaccinated at 6, 8 and  12 weeks.

In 40 years I have never had puppy strangles.

I am speaking of our own labradors and our regime of our older dogs. Of course many don’t agree and are afraid to go against veterinary advice which is understandable.

However this is how we do things, and are experienced breeders for many years. Looking at old breeders the first used to be 12 weeks then 16 weeks and yes these diseases we protect our puppies against were around, and today even though the vaccines are pumped in, puppies still get parvo.

Betty Howard
Tapeatom Labradors

15 February 2013
Does anybody know where I can do BAER hearing tests other than Onderstepoort in Gauteng?

Caroline van Deventer

28 February 2013
Dear Editor

I felt this was just too important not to share and have obtained permission to do so; I’m sure many people are like me and feel fairly complacent, for example: “ja, ja, I’ve heard raisins are dangerous for dogs, but I don’t feed them raisins”. This VERY graphic description of a real life incident brings home just how very careful we have to be – and would you believe, on Saturday my fourteen-year-old helped herself to a packet of chocolate mousse whilst I was unpacking groceries, ate the whole lot, including a fair amount of packaging. What was the second ingredient? Cocoa, which contains potentially lethal amounts of theobromine.

This email came from someone overseas. Please remember that xylitol is also found in diet candy, vitamin tablets and some baked goods. Check out another real-life incident on

“Warning to all dog owners, pass this on to everyone you can.

“Last Friday evening, I arrived home from work, fed Chloe, our 24 lb dachshund, just as I normally do. Ten minutes later I walked into the den just in time to see her head inside the pocket of Katie's friend's purse. She had a guilty look on her face so I looked closer and saw a small package of sugar-free gum. It contained xylitol. I remembered that I had recently read that sugar-free gum can be deadly for dogs so I jumped online and looked to see if xylitol was the ingredient. I found the first website below and it was the one. Next, I called our vet. She said to bring her in immediately. Unfortunately, it was still rush hour and it took me almost 1/2 hour to get there. Meanwhile, since this was her first case, our vet found another website to figure out the treatment. She took Chloe and said they would induce her to vomit, give her a charcoal drink to absorb the toxin (even though they don't think it works) then they would start an IV with dextrose. The xylitol causes dogs to
secrete insulin so their blood sugar drops very quickly. The second thing that happens is liver failure. If that happens, even with aggressive treatment, it can be difficult to save them. She told us she would call us.

“Almost two hours later, the vet called and said that the contents of her stomach contained 2-3 gum wrappers and that her blood sugar had dropped from 90 to 59 in 30 minutes. She wanted us to take Chloe to another hospital that has a critical care unit operating around the clock. We picked her up and took her there. They had us call the ASPCA poison control for a case number and for a donation, their doctors would direct Chloe's doctor on treatment. They would continue the IV, monitor her blood every other hour and then in 2 days test her liver function. She ended up with a central line in her jugular vein since the one in her leg collapsed, just as our regular vet had feared.

“Chloe spent almost the entire weekend in the critical care hospital. After her blood sugar was stabilized, she came home yesterday. They ran all the tests again before they released her and so far, no sign of liver damage. Had I not seen her head in the purse, she probably would have died and we wouldn't even have known why.

“Three vets told me this weekend, that they were amazed that I even knew about it since they are first learning about it too. Please tell everyone you know about xylitol and dogs. It may save another life.”

Dorothy Berry
Kurranulla Dalmatians & Cavalier King Charles Spaniels

1 July 2013
Does anyone know of an animal chiropractor in the Benoni (East Rand) area? I may need to get a dog to one and the best I have at the moment is to try and get him to Pretoria where he will need to stay until the treatment is completed.

Dorothy Berry

24 July 2013
I am a bit confused, can anyone please shed some light on Hip gradings.  I am trying to get some feedback from fellow breeders.  Would you consider a hip grading of D1 D2 to be “NORMAL” and acceptable for breeding purposes??

Alicia Tewson
Jabulablu Australian Cattle Dogs.

25 July 2013
To Alicia Tewson

According to the hip score table from the FCI a D1 is considered Moderate, and D2 Moderate to Severe. According to the old KUSA score table both D1 and D2 is classified as 2:2.

Hope this helps.

Ria Steyn

25 July 2013
Hi Alicia,

The best thing to do is contact Onderstepoort Radiology department. They have a sheet that explains what the HD scores mean.

Dr Kirberger is one of the top vets that is recognized by KUSA to grade HD scores.

If your local vet has done the grading rather take you dog to Onderstepoort and get it done there. They are extremely professional and you should have your grading the same day.

Tracy Martins
Amberlite Ridgebacks and mini long haired dachshunds.

25 July 2013
Re hip scores and breeding
Much would be dependant on the generations of hip scores going back from the dog.
I have records from my dogs going back many generations with good clearances, I would breed with such a score knowing the history.
Hip dysplasia is 30% hereditary, the remainder other factors, ie, rearing, feeding, trauma.
Betty Howard

28 July 2013
Thank you for your input Ria Steyn, Tracy Martins, and Betty Howard.

I do not own a dog that has D1 D2 hips, my foundation Bitch is x-rayed and graded at OP A2 A2, ED 00,  besides all the rest of her tests, see all listed and disclosed on my face book kennel page, "Jabulablu Australian Cattle Dogs" however in our breed, which is a breed that should have sound hips for working purposes, and therefore breeding purposes,  I am  concerned as I have observed that there are breeders of the same breed who are breeding with D1 D2 hips and go so far as to say ( on a web page ) this hip score is "Normal", but with no actual score listed, so I would like to get a general census of opinion if others feel that this score can be considered "Normal" Thank you.

Alicia Tewson
Jabulablu Australian Cattle Dogs

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