Health – is it already too late?

It has been over 2 years since my latest litter. It has been a long road of disappointments – my import bitch never got pregnant and now she is too old to try again, and the beautiful bitch I have at home has an autoimmune disease. I will – of course – never ever breed her nor any of her siblings, and I strongly hope that others not to do it either.

I have been scouting for quality puppy bitch for a while now with no luck. I have met a lot of lies and been let down by fellow breeders (I will remember your names). I hope I will locate a quality baby girl from healthy parents at some point, so if you have good ideas let me know.

We are strong believers of scientific approach and health testing in Finland. Or, at least most of us. I don´t believe in luck – I believe in facts and stone cold results. Taking DNA tests for hyperkeratosis is great but this illness has not been a problem for decades. It is simply just not enough.

Cystinuria is a big problem in many countries, and I have also bred a few (and removed their siblings from breeding). Saying that we do not know how it is inherited and going on with the same dogs is very short sighted if you ask me – we know it is inherited!

Eye screening is cheap and easy to do, so why don’t people do it? Because of fear that they might not be able to breed everybody? In my opinion breeding is a lot about letting go of the ones that are too risky. So far we have wittnessed numerous cataracts, but also PRA and vitreus degeneration in foreign dogs or dogs with foreign background. In other words: this is not a Finnish problem. The breed NEEDS YOU TO CHECK THE EYES.

Also, my greatest sorrow: the autoimmune diseases that are a result of too close one-eyed line breeding that has been going on for ages. Don’t do it! Mark my words, this is a very, very severe symptom of too little gene pool.

If you have wittnessed Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), Autoimmune hemolytic anemia (AIHA), Autoimmune diseases of the skin such as Pemphicus, and Eosinophilic myositis (Masticatory myocitis, Polymyocitis), please take action, DO NOT sweep it under the carpet. This is serious. Ask questions and don’t breed risky dogs.

I also dislike those nervous and shy temperaments of today. It is also a sign of degeneration. The Irish Terrier is not meant to be a red-coated wire-haired stuffed toy.

Perhaps the breed needs some outcrosses from other breeds to be able to continue but it has to be done wisely not to introduce new problems in the breed. Think about it. The breed is dying. Unfortunately there are not many to see it but I have also received some great feedback from my previous rants. Thank you for your support.

Happy Easter and lots of health to our beloved breed!