Table 8 presents summary data from the Reproductive Information survey data. As indicated, there are 183 surveys in the database with a response that the individual had actually bred at least one litter during the survey period. Numerous respondents submitted blank forms, and they were not recorded in the database. Others indicated that they were not breeders and their forms were not recorded either. There were however 20 forms that contained some data that has been included in the database. However a look at the data suggests that they were really not active Scottie breeders because they did not produce any Scottie litters during the two year survey period. Although these surveys may be useful for some types of analysis, they should not be included in the analysis of the items reported in this table.
The data in Table 8 shows that the number of responses as well as the total number of litters and puppies produced have all declined since the 1995 survey. On the other hand, the survey appears to suggest that the breeders who are producing Scottie puppies are having litters of about the same size (avg. 4 puppies per litter) as was reported in 1995.
Table 9 reports on the numbers of Stud dogs and Brood Bitches owned by survey respondents. Just as the number of litters is down from 1995, so are the numbers of Stud dogs and Brood bitches.
Table 10 presents a comparison of data from 1995 and 2005 on how early bitches are bred, how many litters they have and an indication of how many C-Section deliveries are typically encountered. The average values in the table would be best interpreted as the average experience of these owners, and not necessarily the average situation with our bitches; as we know how many breeders responded to the question, but nothing about the number of Scotties that are involved. The other point is that the numbers and the frequency of C-Sections would appear to be lower on the 2005 survey, but the 34% rate seems high and it probably represents a significant health and financial concern for some.
Note: The age values in Table 10 are in years.
Tables 11 and 12 provide some insight into breeding issues that respondents have noted with their Brood bitches. Overall, these issues all appear to be declining.
Table 13 shows data from the two surveys in the area of Brood Bitch fertility (e.g. age of onset of their first season and the average frequency with which they have seasons). As with other areas of the survey that deal with average values, these are equally suspect. Future revisions of the Health Survey should consider asking for more specific data to include information on the numbers of dogs covered by each response to this type of question.
Note: The age values in Table 13 are in months.
Table 14 presents data on how people help their bitches in whelp and some average numbers pertaining to spay and neuter opinions. With respect to helping their bitches in whelp, the majority of the responses indicated that owners do provide some sort of assistance. The detailed survey data has more information on specific answers provided by each respondent, but this table offers some general information. The majority (74%) of those responses that said they offer help, answered the second question by providing details of the “self help” (e.g.non-professional) ways that they support the bitch. These comments ranged from offering moral support, to helping pull puppies, to specifics like cutting cords and helping puppies begin to breathe. Fewer responses (only about 15%) indicated that they rely strictly in professional services like a veterinarian or other trained staff.
Two different sets of numbers are shown for the average age at which people spay or neuter their breeding stock. Basically the first (lower age) value includes all of the responses for anyone that filled out the survey form. When looking at the survey data it was noteworthy that several responses had average ages in the 1 and 2 year range. If an animal is spayed or neutered at this age, it is questionable whether or not the animal was ever really part of a breeding program. So the second set of numbers excluded these low value responses from the calculations and therefore came up with a higher age. Again, these single responses from each survey have no data to indicate how many dogs are included in each answer. So it is really not proper to average these numbers. The best that can be said is that the average response offered by the survey respondents was that they spayed or neutered their breeding stock at these ages.
The final set of questions on the Reproductive Information survey form dealt with the three whelping problems. In all cases, the numbers of “Yes” responses was down over the previous survey. The 2005 data provides some insight into the variety of experience with each question because the table shows not only the number of “Yes” answers, but also the percentage of “Yes” answers to the total number of both “Yes” and “No” answers. (E.g. there were 113 Yes answers to the Stillborn question, but there were also 67 “No” responses. So the Yes answer represented 62% of all responses.
2005 Survey Litter Health
The Litter Survey has typically involved the fewest number of responses, with only about 15% of the survey respondents turning in a Litter Survey form.. This was again the case in 2005 with only 73 respondents submitting a survey form at all. Keep in mind that the survey instructions indicated that only litters born during the two year period immediately preceding the survey date would be considered. The following data therefore clearly shows which litters have been included in the survey analysis.
Litter Survey Data:
Table 17 provides data on the distribution of puppies in those litters that met the eligibility criteria. The first portion addresses puppies by sex and coat color. The totals by sex show a nearly equal number of males and females. The coat colors showed a predominance of Black over the other colors. It should also be noted that all references to a black brindle, red brindle, etc. were recorded as brindle and not black.
Many respondents did not clearly understand how to handle the stillborn birth and post delivery death counts. If there was no other information on the survey, the data was recorded exactly as presented. However, there were several cases where the data was adjusted to fit the following guidelines. Sex and coat color numbers for each litter were recorded for all live births. Puppies that did not survive the birth process were counted as stillborn births. The number of puppies conceived and carried by the bitch during gestation would be the sum of these two numbers. On the other hand, if a puppy died after birth, but during the first 12 weeks of life, it should be included in the live birth counts. Using these definitions, there were 616 full term puppies delivered in the 158 eligible litters included in the survey. Of these 616 pups, 57 (or 9.2%) were delivered stillborn and could not be resuscitated. After delivery, there were 46 pups that died during the first 12 week period.
Table 18 goes into some details concerning the puppies that died within 12 weeks as well as the ones that were reported to have a disease or illness. The respondents did not always record a cause of death for each one, nor did they provide a complete list of illnesses. So the following table lists what appear to be the most prevalent answers.
2005 Survey Health and Disease Summary
Table 20 offers some summary information about the dogs included in the Health and Disease survey database. The first section shows the spread of coat colors across dogs and bitches. Noteworthy is that black is the most prevalent coat color and there are more bitches than dogs in the survey.
Table 20 also provides a summary of the number of healthy and diseased dogs by sex and their current living or deceased status. As can be seen, over 80% of the dogs in the database are still living. Over half of these living dogs were reported to have no health issues.
One of the major accomplishments of the 1995 Health Survey was to produce a listing of genetic traits and diseases and then use the survey data to help make a prediction of the frequency and carrier rates for each of these diseases. Table 21 offers a review of the 1995 data along with new numbers from the 2005 survey data. The 2005 survey data includes much more information, because this table lists only those diseases and genetic traits that showed up on both surveys.
Dr. George A. Padgett, DVM was the one that helped compile and calculate the original statistics. The data and his methods were based on the Hardy-Weinberg Law was also published in his book titled; Control of Canine Genetic Diseases. The data in table 21 is based on this same approach and provides very similar data.
The right hand column in Table 21 indicates how some of the carrier frequencies may have fluctuated up or down between the two surveys. Before anyone tries to put too much importance on these fluctuations in the numbers let me paraphrase a couple of comments from Dr. Padgett’s book.
Surveys are not accurate. Data is not always correct. Modes of inheritance are not always known. Hardy-Weinberg does not really apply. Guesstimates are not absolute numbers, They are just the best numbers we have today!
[Ed. The 1995 Survey report did not include an analysis of the formula used by Dr. Padgett to calculate his Guesstimate of Carrier Frequency values. However a plot of the data reveals the basis for his values and permits us to make new guesstimates based on the new data from the 2005 survey. Appendix 2 shows plots of the data from both surveys and confirms that they are both based on the same analysis.]
Table 22 offers some insight into the most frequently reported illnesses. The table lists any illness that had 20 or more occurrences in the database. You should ask, exactly how did all of the diseases that were reported get sorted? Many of the common diseases like TCC, Cushings and hypothyroid problems were pretty easy to identify and sort into these lists. But the data contained hundreds of alternative names, similar names and unrecognized names for reported illnesses.
To sort out all of these reported illnesses, the Disease and Illness index that was distributed along with the survey was used as a starting point. Each item on the list was assigned a unique three digit code that can be easily sorted by the computer. Each reported illness was then assigned to one of these illness codes. After attempting to assign codes to as many reported illnesses as possible, the complete list of illnesses and the coded index was reviewed by Dr. Marcia Dawson, DVM. Working with Dr. Dawson a few new illness codes were identified that needed to be added to the index. Dr. Dawson also provided invaluable assistance because she verified that all of the reported illnesses had been assigned to an appropriate illness code. The database file contains a complete list of the illness codes that were used as well as the original illness data from each survey form. Table 22 is therefore a report on the most frequently assigned illness codes.
In the 1995 survey analysis, Sue Martin noted that several of the related illness categories might be combined together, and that this would change the order of the most frequent illnesses. Using the 2005 data, similar results can be noted.
Allergies: Combining the 5 related Allergy codes and the general “Skin” code would result in a total of 95 occurrences and raise this to the number 2 health issue.
Periodontal: There were separate codes for periodontal disease and gingivitis, which if combined would result in 38 occurrences and raise this issue from number 12 to number 6 on the list.
Temperament: There were three codes dealing with temperament; Aggression(g), Fearfulness, and Instability that when combined would total 31 and put this in the list of top ten items.
Table 23 addresses the variety of cancers that were noted in the 2005 survey. There were over 30 different codes dealing with very specific cancers, general cancers, and abnormal tumors or growths. If all of these codes are combined together the count would be over 250, so instead, table 23 offers a listing of the top 10 cancers reported in descending order that were noted in the survey data.
2005 Survey Conclusion
The 1995 Health Survey results were documented by Susan Martin, who worked in collaboration with Dr. Padgett, in a series of Bagpiper articles that formed the bases for several other studies. Because many of the 2005 survey questions were so similar, it was only appropriate that this report should follow the same format. The following links to the 1995 Health Survey reports are offered as additional background for anyone that may be interested.
The nature of many surveys and the reports on their results is that they tend to be biased, either in terms of the questions used or the interpretation of the answers. The author hopes that this report on the 2005 Health Survey offers "Just The Facts" and that any interpretations have been left to the reader or future authors.
2005 Survey Appendixes
Appendix 1 : Listing of Illness Codes
The following list of Illness Codes were used in preparation of this survey report. The list is pages long, and was prepared with the assistance of the Health Trust and Dr. Marcia Dawson.
Figure 1 shows a scatter plot of the Guesstimate of Carrier Frequency values versus the Frequency of Occurrence data as documented in the report on the 1995 survey. This plot is essentially the Hardy-Weinberg Law in graphical form. Figure 2 shows a similar scatter plot of the numbers documented in this report on the 2005 survey.
This figure confirms that the values used in both reports are consistent with each other.
The STCA is deeply indebted to Susan Morris, Gail Gaines and Gayle Grantham for their tireless contributions in selecting, cataloging and providing a unique service we have known for many years as ScottiePhile. The ScottiePhile service has helped many Scottie owners over the years by delivering this collection of articles on important diseases and conditions in the breed. Furthermore, countless Scottie owners seeking answers to their health questions have turned to ScottiePhile and have found a personal health librarian to help guide their search.
Our Health Library now stands on the shoulders of Susan, Gail and Gayle's ScottiePhile, and moves forward in a new format. The articles are now directly available for reading and downloading, and more articles will be added as they become available.
Remember that the search button at the top of this page does search all the articles on this site. It is an efficient method of locating all articles on a particular topic.
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