Let me begin with an urgent call for additional samples for the genetic research project underway aimed at identifying the gene responsible for Scottie cramp. This important project is now underway, and we badly need samples from affected dogs. There are sample collection kits available from Helen Prince, which contain both the questionnaires, sample tubes, and instructions on the needed information. The nature of this research is such that the more samples Dr. Olby has, the more power she will have in terms of isolating differences in the genetic makeup of affected dogs from normal dogs. We cannot hope to accomplish our goal without numerous samples from affected dogs- please help with this important research project. If you have an affected dog, do it today.
The two other genetic searches we have underway are proceeding well and I believe that we will reach our goals of identifying the genes responsible for both bladder cancer and cerebellar abiotrophy. The identification of these genes is our first step in controlling these problems. For me, the pain is in the waiting. I know we will get there, but the wait is indeed torturing.
There is news regarding the process of identifying and diagnosing dogs with cerebellar abiotrophy. For several years Dr. Jerold Bell, with assistance by Dr. de la Hunta, has provided the fancy with diagnosis and counseling regarding dogs suspected of having this problem. Recently, I was advised by Dr. Bell that, due to time commitments and Dr. de la Hunta's advancing age, they could no longer provide this service to us. The Trust is indebted to and exceedingly grateful to both researchers for the many kindnesses they have provided us over the years.
The Trust has entered discussions with Dr. Natasha Olby to provide diagnostic services to owners who suspect that they have a dog with this problem. What has evolved is that Dr. Olby is willing to review histories and videotapes of suspected dogs and to provide the owner a written opinion that the suspect dog shows signs and symptoms consistent with cerebellar abiotrophy. The owner would then contact Dr. Bell with that opinion in hand, and Dr. Bell will do the necessary steps to list the dog into the pedigree database, and the list of affected dogs on the STCA website. I realize that this additional step necessary to effect inclusion of a dog is difficult, but this is the best solution available to the Trust at this time.
Elsewhere in this issue is a very long list of friends of our dogs who have donated their time and money to the Trust in recent months in order to make our work possible. The Trust is exceedingly grateful to each and every one of you for your gifts.
Bagpiper 2011 #1 Health Trust Newsletter
As I write this, we stand at the beginning of a new year and a new decade. It is tempting to think about what your Trust has accomplished over the past several years, and to consider the promise of the future. I have often thought that if your dogs do not enjoy vitality and health, we do not have much to be thankful for. Yet, past years have delivered many advances aimed at improving our dog’s health and well-being, and the future offers promise of additional rewards in this area.
Let me begin with thanks to the many, many people who have gifted the Trust with your time and money in the hope that we might make progress against canine disease. Your donations to the Trust have allowed us to fund numerous research priorities designed to gather information needed to fight canine disease and improve outcomes. The Trust has funded research in many areas: infertility, genetic research, cancer, and improved diagnostics all come to mind. In addition, we have tried to educate owners about health in the hope that improved health for their dogs will result. We have subsidized registry initiatives for several years, expecting that open registries will allow breeders to improve breeding decisions for their dogs. At the end of the day, the very best disease is the one we avoided in your dog, and information is our best tool toward this end.
As most of you know, the Trust has three legacy projects underway at this time. I call these legacy projects because of their cost, the extreme importance of the respective diseases in our breed, and because a successful outcome on these researches will mean huge benefit for the dogs. All are genetic searches aimed at discovering the genes responsible for cerebellar abiotrophy, transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder, and Scottie cramp.
At this time, I can report to you that, in the case of CA and TCC, the research is going well and good progress is being made toward our goal. In neither case have we finished our work, but I believe that we have to correct researchers, and that they will eventually accomplish what we need. In the case of cramp, we have collected samples for the past year, and analysis is just underway; I would expect that this particular project will take several years to yield results. As always, there remains the urgent need for samples from affected dogs, and if you have a dog afflicted with one of these problems, please consider donating a blood sample toward this research. Any trustee would be pleased to discuss with you how to achieve this.
The high cost of these projects aside, it is samples submitted for this research which will allow us to accomplish our goals. All of this research depends on statistical analysis of how affected dogs genetic makeup differs from unaffected dogs; and the more affected dogs we can study, the more clearly this population will stand out from unaffected dogs.
I want to call your attention to an opportunity recently offered to the Trust. One of our readers, Mr. Donald Dieck of Troy, Michigan, recently offered the Trust a challenge grant of $2500.00 for canine research. Running from April 1, 2011 to October 1, 2011, Don will match your contribution dollar for dollar toward achieving better health for our dogs. This wonderful gift is an expression of his view that together, we will make a difference. As you send your donations, please mark your check “Challenge” to partner with Don and his dog Duncan in making a difference for your dog’s future. Details of this gift opportunity can be found in this issue of the Bagpiper.
In closing, let me say again how very grateful the Trust is to everyone who has expressed confidence in what we do. Your gifts enable the execution of our goals; whether they are gifts of time, information, samples for research, or money. We are thankful for all of you.
Bagpiper 2010 #4 Health Trust Newsletter
Another Montgomery is now history. The STCA Board met on Thursday and elected Michael Krolewski to serve as our newest Trustee, and also elected Helen Prince to a new term. Michael served the Trust previously and we are thrilled to have both his and Helen's expertise again in place as we attempt to enhance the well-being of our dogs.
On Friday, the Trust again offered the registry initiatives which we have had in recent years in our efforts to encourage breeders to get their dogs listed in the CHIC open registry. Voluntary listing of the health status of our dogs is one of the surest means available to us as we try to breed a healthier Scottie, and it is gratifying to all to see so many dogs listed in this database.
The Trust was privileged to receive a wonderful piece of art this year for use as a fundraising tool. DeeAnn Bodrero gave us a beautiful, framed giclee print of her original painting "Essence." This was raffled during the year and the winning ticket was drawn Friday evening at Montgomery. The winning ticket was owned by Donald Dieck, and it is hoped that he will always enjoy this beautiful piece of art. The thank everyone who supported this raffle.
I have recently learned from AKC Canine Health Foundation that they will co-sponsor and help fund the analysis phase of our effort to discover the gene which causes cramp in our breed. For the past year, the Trust has funded efforts to collect blood samples toward the goal of identifying this gene, and it is finally time to begin the analysis of these samples. As is always the case in research of this nature, more is always better, and we would encourage you to donate a blood sample to this important work, should you own a Scottie with this problem.
Additionally, we have recently communicated with both Dr. Olby and Dr. Ostrander, who are searching for the genes responsible for both cerebellar abiotrophy and transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder. The Trust has had ongoing research efforts underway toward the identification of these genes for several years. There continues to be a need for samples from affected dogs with both of these disorders. In addition, Dr. Ostrander badly needs samples from affected Cairns and Westies with bladder cancer. Should you know of an affected dog, we would desperately urge you to consider the inclusion of the dog in this most important research.
Both Dr. Olby and Dr. Ostrander report good progress toward the identification of the genes responsible for the problems they are working on. It is hoped that they will soon have answers for us and that we can then begin efforts to reduce the incidence of these genes in our dogs. Both CA and TCC are late onset diseases. Neither will be apparent as we look at the whelping box. How wonderful it will be to be able to assure the new owner that their puppy will not succumb to either of these problems! Your efforts to help us help you have brought us to where we are today, and the Trust is committed to the completion of these important goals.
Soon, the STCA will have a brand new website available for your use. It is our hope that the ongoing work of the Trust will always be available to you there, and that you will use this resource to remain abreast of what we are doing and planning for your dogs.
Bagpiper 2010 #3 Health Trust Newsletter
I want to share with you the story of CH. Norma’s Ditch Witch, our first home-bred champion, because she so well illustrates the nature of what the Trust is trying to do on behalf of our dogs. Ditcher had lived a long life. She suffered an open pyometra which required an emergency spay at age seven. Two years ago, at 11 ½ years of age, I realized she had a rock hard mass in her abdomen. We took her to the veterinary school at Texas A&M, where they removed a benign tumor that had arisen from the colon. The tumor weighed in excess of two pounds and took over four hours to remove. She came back from that and seemed to be in radiant health. The past two years may well have been the healthiest years of her life.
Six weeks ago, as I prepared to return to Texas from our home in Las Vegas, we decided that my wife would keep Ditch Witch there with her for the few days she planned to remain in Vegas. Ditcher thrived, demanding not her usual one walk a day but two- one in the mornings and one at dusk. One day, Norma noticed that Ditcher had not eaten her dinner- a cardinal sign. When friends arrived, Ditch did not greet them with her usual enthusiasm. My wife rushed her to the veterinarian and they did an ultrasound and asked that Norma return the following day for a second ultrasound which revealed an enlarged gallbladder and was suspicious for pancreatitis. The following day, Norma flew home to Texas with Ditcher and on Saturday took her to Texas A&M where she was hospitalized with what was believed to be pancreatitis. Ultrasound there was suspicious for several hazy small masses in the liver and spleen- the plan was to defer evaluation until she got over the pancreatitis. She came home and was with us a week when she quit eating again. She would eat nothing- so back to A&M she went. Startled by her deterioration, the internist ordered yet another ultrasound which revealed that the masses in the liver and spleen were now larger and decidedly more organized. Needle aspirate of one of the masses revealed carcinoma. Impossible to tell what the origin was. The internist had nothing to suggest- she felt that anything we might try would offer just days of survival. And thus we had to give her up- aged 13 ½ years- vigorous and happy two weeks earlier.
It has been my observation that dogs have so many of the problems humans’ experience. But that when dogs develop a cancer, it tends to happen at warp speed. Ditcher’s lab work was reasonably normal other than modest liver enzyme increases initially- a finding which breeders of Scotties tend to ignore, but a week later the liver enzymes had greatly increased and it was obvious that she was in bad trouble. This is why I am little comforted by wellness exams- they tend to make us feel good but provide only a snapshot view of a system moving at great speed, and which might (and did) look entirely different in a week’s time. We do wellness exams- but it is essential that you look carefully and continuously at the dog in an effort to pick up signs that your dog is not well.
It has been said that the Trust puts a lot of emphasis on cancer. Sadly, cancer takes over fifty percent of purebred dogs and probably a much higher percentage of our breed. The Trust is sponsoring research aimed at the identification of the genes responsible for the extraordinary incidence of TCC of the bladder, as well as cerebellar abiotrophy and Scottie cramp. In addition to these long-term investments, we are co-sponsoring a host of other research projects with other breed clubs. Some are related to cancers important in our breed and many are addressing other problems. One example which comes to mind is a project aimed at increasing the sophistication of veterinary pathologists in the diagnosis of veterinary malignancy. We continually look for worthy research in an attempt to address other problems in the breed. When we find such a project, it is exciting and we are highly prone to support it. The Canine Health Foundation is beginning research aimed at identifying the gene responsible for stomach cancer- yet another malignancy for which Scotties are at high risk.
We just completed a cycle of educational meetings aimed at offering information to owners to assist them in the care of their dogs, and we hope to have additional such programs in the future. Education and awareness are our best weapons in the effort to provide a healthier existence for our dogs. The Trust always welcomes your ideas as to how we might better serve you.
Montgomery is again upon us. The Trust will sponsor and provide low-cost vWD testing, DNA profiling, microchipping, and free patellar exams to facilitate your efforts to enter your dogs into open health registries.
Finally, this year we will be raffling a lovely portrait of a Scottie donated to the Trust by artist DeeAnn Bodrero. Tickets for this stunning piece of art will be available from any Trustee on Friday at LuLuTemple. Please don’t miss this opportunity to meet the artist and possibly win this beautiful work of art.
Louis A. Mitchell, M.D.
Chair, STCA Health Trust Fund
Bagpiper 2010 #2 Health Trust Newsletter
Report to Door County Scottie Rally, Inc.
Door County Scottie Rally, Inc. has been a generous supporter of the Health Trust for many years. Perhaps a year ago, I was talking with Michele Geiger-Bronsky and her husband Tom, asking them for ideas as to what DoorCounty would like to see happen with their 2008 contribution. She reminded me that DoorCounty is all about companion animal owners and the love that they share with their dogs. And she told me that they would very much like to see the money used for education of companion dog owners in how to better care for their dogs.
With this information in mind, the Trust met by teleconference and, after a bit of brainstorming, decided that we would attempt a series of full day educational meetings- open to any Scottie owner, geared to the companion dog owner, and guided by an overarching theme of “Caring For Your Scot From Puppyhood To Senior Years.” Trustee Nan Barcan, a master of coordination, was elected to monitor and coordinate the project. Nan wrote each regional club, explaining our dream, and offering for the Health Trust to defray a generous amount of the costs of producing such a meeting. We asked the clubs to send a proposal for a meeting detailing the who, what, when where, and how they would create the event. We then sat back with fingers crossed and waited.
After a short while, three clubs came forward with proposals. Ideally situated in terms of the geography, the WashingtonState, Greater Louisville, and Greater New York all wanted to produce and present a meeting! All the proposals were worthy, well thought out, studded with superb speakers, and promising to offer attendees a wonderful experience. We accepted them all, and again we sat back, fingers crossed, and waited. These meetings were for the pet owner, and for the companion dog on the ground today.
The Trust is funding three genetic searches, as well as a host of other research projects aimed at the improvement or elimination of problems our dogs face. We invest in these dreams in hopes of improving the lives of dogs yet unborn. These are the projects that will be the legacy of the Trust when people look back at what we achieved. But, the meetings we proposed would be an accomplishment for the dogs people own today.
I can now tell you that each of the three meetings has recently taken place. Not without memorable weather testing the resolve of the attendees but with excitement and enthusiasm for all privileged to attend. Nan Barcan, who also was a major force behind the New York meeting, said that people kept coming up to her asking what the topics would be next year. Review of written critiques by people who attended leaves no doubt that this was a wonderful idea, and that people loved what we did for their dogs. Each of the meeting coordinators submitted a report on their meeting, and they are reprinted here.
WashingtonState Scottish Terrier Club Health Seminar Report
WSSTC was honored to be one of the clubs to offer a health seminar to the Scottie lovers in the area. We had a very nice attendance pulling folks fromWashington, Oregon, and British Columbia, Canada.
The day started with a continental breakfast and guests greeting old and new friends.
The program started with Dr. Priscilla K. Stockner, BS, MS, DVM, MBA. Dr. Stockner spoke on immunization. The Why, With What, and When to vaccinate.
Next she covered identifying your dogs through photos and microchips.
She gave valuable information on first aid and CPR and when it is safe to treat your Scottie at home and when it is time to consult a vet.
Dr. Stockner finished up with a Disaster Preparedness Plan for family and animals. She gave many great tips on what to have on hand for you and your pup.
Jeanne Hampel RN is a dog trainer in the Seattle area. She shared the important role temperament, socialization and threshold plays in the raising of an emotionally healthy Scottish Terrier. She offered many training tips.
At this time we broke for a buffet lunch and lots more visiting.
After the lunch break Elizabeth Warfield BS, LVT gave an outstanding presentation on three very important topics. What's bugging your Scottie; a discussion on common parasites here in the Pacific Northwest. She hit on the different treatment options.
The Golden Years was Ms. Warfield’s next topic. This session discussed common age related conditions and how to provide support for our aging Scottie.
Last she discussed SurvivingCancer. What to look for, noticing changes, and different options for increasing your Scottie's odds of surviving cancer were offered. She gently discussed what to look for to know when to say good-bye.
Transitional Cell Carcinoma, Canine Lymphoma, Nasal Carcinoma, and other forms of cancer were presented.
I will say it became extremely quiet during this discussion as many of us have lost a beloved Scottie much too soon to cancer.
Ms. Warfield had a wonderful slide presentation that demonstrated each of her topics.
I believe even the most seasoned person owned by a Scottie came away with an abundance of information. Handouts and bags of goodies were available to all attendees.
We closed the day with a question and answer session with all of our presenters. Then a raffle of many lovely items generously donated by several people. Again, we would like to send our gratitude to the STCA-HTF for the grant to educate people on caring for our wonderful breed!
A Day With Your Scottie: Health Seminar for Pet Owners
Dr. Dana R Leab
On Saturday, March 6, 2010, the members of the Scottish Terrier Club of Greater Louisville (STCGL) were the hosts for one of the Scottie Health Seminars. It was a day of education for Scottie owners and their pets, topped with great food and lots of Southern Hospitality.
Our location was a dog training facility; therefore, participants could bring their dogs, crates, and anything necessary for their comfort. Members of the STCGL provided a continental breakfast and a home cooked lunch. How much better could it get!
Our program for the day was right up there with the hospitality. It was as follows:
# Dr. Marcia Dawson – exercise, nutrition & basic care. And additional presentation was given on “The Older Scottie”. She is a member of the STCGL, Board member of the Scottish Terrier Club of America (STCA), retired veterinarian, and a Scottie owner/breeder/handler.
# Mrs. Lucy Berninger – “Good Dog: behavior and training. She is an obedience specialist and thoroughly understands the Scottie. Her “star” Humvee recently completed his 15th title.
# Dr. Michael Childress – elevated liver enzymes and lymphoma. He is a faculty member, School of Veterinary Medicine, Oncology Department, PurdueUniversity.
# Rose and Jack Shacklett – First Aid for Dogs. Rose and Jack, are Scottie owners/breeders and handlers.
# Dr. Debi Knapp – Bladder Cancer. Bladder Cancer is the number one killer of Scotties
Dr. Knapp is the Director of Oncology, School of Veterinary Medicine, PurdueUniversity.
We had Scottie owners travel from Indiana, Illinois, Tennessee and Georgia, as well as, all parts of Kentucky. They came prepared with pencils, notebooks and minds ready to soak up any and all information. Also, they were full of questions for each speaker.
An evaluation form was given to each attendee. At the completion of the seminar they were asked to complete the forms and leave them on a table. As we read them not only did our ego’s inflate from the consistent positive responses, but there were many good ideas for topics to be covered in future seminars.
The Door County Scottie Rally, Inc. people, the STCA Health Trust Fund and the STCA Board deserve a huge “Thank you” from each and every participant. The often forgotten pet owners had a day in the spotlight with a program designed just for them, with the hope of many more to come.
I wish to thank all involved for this opportunity to serve and improve knowledge of our breed.
Report on Health Seminar “Health Information for Every Stage of Your Scottie’s Life”
Presented by the Scottish Terrier Club of Greater New York
March 14, 2010
True to the diehard spirit the attendees and speakers plowed their way through the aftermath of the worst Nor’easter to hit the eastern seaboard in twenty five years to attend the Health Seminar. Everyone agreed that it was worth the effort to hear the fine speakers, share information and enjoy the pleasure of Scottie people getting together.
Each attendee received a canvas bag decorated with a Marion Krupp drawing of mischievous Scottie puppy. A buffet breakfast was enjoyed, and the presentations began.
Joanne Orth, PhD started the morning session with her presentation of “Life Stages of the Scottish Terrier. Dr. Orth, who was a professor of Anatomy and Cell Biology at Temple University, has bred and shown Scotties with her husband Cliff Schultz under the Glengala prefix shared her scientific knowledge of the life stages of the breed, as well as her personal and practical experience. Photos of the Glengala Scotties illustrated each stage, and drew nods and smiles from the audience.
Kathryn Michel, DVM is an associate professor of nutrition and current chair of the AmericanCollege of Veterinary Nutrition Board of Regents. She spoke about canine nutrition in general and then specifically feeding Scotties to maintain a healthy life. The question and answer period that followed was very lively, and Dr. Michel was willing to answer and discuss the many topics the audience brought up.
Erica Cerny, whose experience living with a Scottie with Cushing’s has motivated her to research the causes, symptoms, and treatment of the disease shared her extensive research and knowledge with the group. Each attendee received a paper with detailed descriptions of how to diagnose Cushing’s, including actual results of blood tests and the most up to date treatments.
Lunch was served and there was lots of lively conversation around the room. There was a lottery for the very attractive door prizes, and the afternoon session began.
Margret Casal, DVM an Associate Professor at the University of Pennsylvania Veterinary School and a member of the vaccine committee spoke about the history of vaccines, how they are created, how they affect the canine population. She discussed how vaccination protocols have developed over the years, and some of the controversies that currently exist in this field. The question and answer period developed into a lively discussion, and Dr.Casal was very accommodating, facilitating the exchange of ideas.
Corrie Bates, DVM, who did her residency in veterinary emergency and critical care, presented various ways to deal with emergencies Scottie owners might face with their dogs. She detailed the poisons that may be ingested and the treatments, CPR for dogs, the infamous chew caught in the throat, and gave many helpful hints in keeping our Scotties safe.
Dale Mantell, DVM spoke about caring for senior Scotties. He touched on blood tests and other screening methods for detecting problems in older dogs. He also spoke briefly about TCC and its effect on the Scottish Terrier.
STCGNY President Arlene Brice presented each speaker with a Certificate of Appreciation. Everyone seemed to agree the seminar was very worthwhile.
Was this a worthy effort? Yes! Did we succeed? Yes! Would we do it again given the opportunity and resources? You bet! You see, it is for the dogs- today’s dogs and tomorrow’s dogs. All the dogs and all the owners are important to us. It is what we do.
Trustees: Nan Barcan, Darle Heck, Pam Hendrickson, Lisa Kincheloe, John Leith, Louis Mitchell, Helen Prince