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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR FROM DOG SHOW JUDGES, BREEDERS, EXHIBITORS & HANDLERSYour Letters To Editor are one of our most-read features!  


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WKC Pedigree Commercials - Designer dogs are another layer of bad news for purebreds. Love your dog, ANY dog should be the message with predominantly purebreeds shown in commercials.  Loretta Tully

Grape-Safe: My six month old, 35 pound Shepherd mix consumed 8-1.5 oz individual packs of raisins along with an array of other foods on account of my brother leaving the pantry open. This happened on Saturday around noon. It is now Wednesday night and Buddy has displayed no signs of discomfort or irregular behavior/ appetite. I had heard dogs should not eat raisins so I looked online after I noticed to see what might happen. The results made it seem like my dog had a death sentence. I spoiled him that night because I thought it might be the last night. He seemed a little more tired than usual but no other symptoms. He has as much spunk as ever and had I listened to most of the internet's "experts" I would be in debt. Chalk this up to one case of a dog eating a lot of raisins and being fine.  Regards, Donovan

Vet on Grapes: I read your article on the killer grape and raisin "myth" and urge you not to so readily discount that grapes and raisins can be toxic. As a veterinarian, I can tell you that there is a definite potential for toxicity. The difficult part, which people just don't seem to understand, is that it's just as frustrating for us as it is to owners to not have all the answers yet.  The problem with grapes and raisins is- not EVERY dog that eats them gets renal failure. In fact, it seems pretty rare. But in cases where it has happened, some dogs have eaten a TON of grapes or raisins, and some have only eaten a few and still ended up with renal failure. Exhaustive testing has not given us many answers except that it's a water soluble compound in the grape: http://www.thedogpress.com/DogSense/Grapes-Raisins_Hassinger-1108.asp

 

Where does that leave us? Well, given that a ton of dogs eat grapes and raisins and very few get sick- either it is a toxin only being produced or found in certain strains of grapes... or only certain dogs are susceptible which could mean a genetic abnormality, mutation, breed sensitivity... we honestly don't know yet. We wish that we had more information- so that we would be better able to treat or even prevent our patients from dying of kidney failure from getting a snack of grapes/raisins. For now, we're stuck telling people that there's a slim chance THEIR dog is susceptible or ate the type of grape that will cause kidney damage. So, we can treat them aggressively with fluids and monitor their kidney values... or if they want to play Russian roulette and hope their dog isn't one of the very few that get sick- I advise strongly against it but can't force people to treat their pets. I cannot in good faith EVER tell an owner they shouldn't treat their dog aggressively if it got into grapes or raisins. Kidney failure from this toxicity can be fatal (see study references below). How can I not tell owners to treat, knowing that without treatment the dog could die? The risk may be small.... but fatal.

 

You ask "...why hasn’t a veterinary university done a study? Is it because there is no marketable vaccine, medication, or antidote for “grape” poisoning or is it because there is simply no evidence with which to indict the grape and thereby motivate a clinical trial? "  There have been studies: http://vdi.sagepub.com/content/17/3/223.full.pdf and http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1534-6935.2004.00114.x/abstract The problem, again, is that toxicity happens so infrequently, gathering data for such studies is slow going. There is no antidote for grape poisoning, as again we don't know what component or chemical is harming the kidney. And once the kidney is damaged- there's no fixing it. The kidney does not regenerate. The only treatment we have is getting the dog to vomit up as much grapes/raisins as we can then put them on large quantities of IV fluids for 2 to 3 days, hopefully preventing damage from occurring in the first place or minimizing it to where it is not fatal.

 

Knowing the grape/raisin is toxic can't "motivate a clinical trial". You would be sentencing a lot of dogs to death from kidney failure to try to discover the toxic compound and it's affect on the kidney. Look at the study above- taking dogs that died of kidney failure after eating grapes/raisins and doing histopathology on the kidney. As much research as possible is being done on dogs that have gone into renal failure after getting into grapes or raisins... without being unethical or inhumane.  There's a lot of free info out there on the web cautioning owners that grapes and raisins might be toxic. Call a veterinary clinic, they will tell you the same thing. We're trying to stop dogs from eating these things in the first place, not "make money" off of treating kidney failure. Our interest is the health of our patients which we hold in the utmost regard. Again, I urge you to reconsider your stance on this subject.  Sincerely,  Christine Brandon, DVM

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Kuvasz Fraud Refuted: (excerpts from a long but excellent land informative letter)
I am the owner of Grand Champion Mattiaci High Voltage at Glacier Creek, and it's my handler you are also insinuating is committing fraud on your website.  I met Trevor back in 1990.  If you are familiar at all with AKC, you know to import a dog from Canada you have to have a certified pedigree, and the CKC certificate with your name on it exactly.  So to register "Trevor" in the AKC, the Nichols had to have had the original CKC registration slip and certified pedigree IN THEIR NAMES, AND PROOF OF TATTOO. If Trevor was just here "being shown" then why was he registered at AKC with the Nichols as the main owners?  Plus any time you send a male out, you are at risk of having him bred without your permission since AKC does not require it!!

 As you know if you are familiar with AKC, only one owner's signature is needed for a stud dog's litter registration.  If you see Darla's letters they all complain that the dog was bred without her permission.  They DID NOT NEED HER PERMISSION.  That is a legal matter outside of the AKC, and why AKC HATES co-ownerships.  She does not understand that the owner of a stud can never ever be the breeder of a litter in AKC. So unless she had a contract with the Nichols, they were under no obligation to ever name any of their breedings "Lofranco".

 … so does Darla have any proof, contracts documents etc that Tank-you was in fact imported into the US by her? Can the Nichols provide proof that it was Trevor they were being sent in the mid 1980's and not a dog named "Tank you"? (letters discussing arrangements, original ckc certificate etc). If she changed a CKC registration slip 20 years later, who is at fraud?  All CKC dogs had to have tattoos, so does she have proof that the dog she tattooed as Tank you was in fact the dog the Nichols bred?

From AKC you will note that a dog CAN be registered in the AKC if the owner is NOT a US citizen.  So Darla appears to be committing fraud by claiming otherwise and your website is perpetuating it. So the dog has to be in the US and the names have to be identical on the owership papers.  There is nothing that says the ADDRESSES of both have to be identical. What I have seen as all the "proof" Darla has is that somehow her Canadian address was left off the import application.  Therefore this was a simple clerical error that AKC could have addressed easily.  Notice she never claims the import application forged her signature, which WOULD be true fraud. She just claims a dog owned by a Canadian cannot be registered with AKC. The following is off the AKC website. 

 Dogs imported into the U.S. may be eligible for registration in the AKC Stud Book, provided:

1.The imported dog is of a breed eligible for individual registration in the AKC Stud Book.

2.The dog is physically in the United States even if the owner is a foreign resident. Note: If the current owner is not a resident of the US, we would require proof that the dog was or is in the US. We will generally check the dogs show records in-house to see if the dog has been shown. We would also accept a statement from a Vet stating that the dog was examined in the US.

3.The imported dog was registered in country of birth with a Foreign Registry Organization listed in Section IV of this pamphlet. Note: If the dog was imported to another foreign country before coming into the US we would require a copy of the pedigree from both the birth country and the interim country.

4.The AKC application form is accompanied by a legible photocopy of a complete official three-generation Pedigree and certification from the Foreign Registry Organization. The dog must have an unrestricted registration. Note: The complete 3 generation pedigree would require names & numbers for all dogs listed. In the case that both parents are already AKC registered they may omit the pedigree, but must still submit a copy of the Registration Certificate.

5.The AKC application and the foreign registration must reflect identical ownership.

6.The dog has been positively and permanently identified (microchip or tattoo) prior to being registered.

 If you read Darla's own site, she congratulates Trevor's descendants and claims credit for all the dogs descended from Trevor who have won anything of significance.  She is not by any means a "top breeder" as she has not had a canadian champion in nearly 20 years, and maybe one or two AKC champions through her breeding partners in the US. 

I hope this helps give some of the "rest of the story".  It’s frustrating seeing the true fraud perpetuated. Especially as my dog is 6 times removed from Trevor/Tank you and the AKC has a program in place to grandfather questionable dogs in after 3 generations even if there was somehow a questionable registration issue with AKC.
Deborah Blank -  Glacier Creek Kuvasz http://glaciercreekkuvasz.com 
We thank Deborah for the AKC info and caution on co-ownerships. 

CA Grapes: I read your article with a great deal of interest; I live in California wine country, and often go running through the vineyards with my dog for exercise. He has recently developed a taste for grapes eaten right off the vine. Because I had heard the "killer grapes" warning, I was alarmed by this, and tried to discourage him. He is a 70-pound Lab/collie mix, and eats whole bunches, including the stems, all at once. This might be 70-100 grapes in an afternoon.  He has never had a problem. I don't think he's unique or magical; I think your assessment is very sensible. I am also very puzzled by the prevailing notion that a dog might be said to have been poisoned by grapes that it ate 48 hours previously...what other potential causes are being ignored, from that same time period? How can the cause possibly be narrowed down to the grapes?  Thanks again for sharing your information, and the good work you've done.  Ben Malisow

Mini-Grape Fan: Yes, yes…  I know.  This is an OLD discussion, but I must say, refreshing as hell!  As a child, I was amused by offering grapes to our family Dachshund.  They can’t bite them easily, you know.  So, the game was to tease the dog, then break the skin of the grape and give it back to the dog, so it could eat it.  Our Minnie enjoyed MANY grapes with no ill effects and died of cancer at the age of 18.

 

As a young adult, my Labrador, Ziggie enjoyed harvesting the grapes from the vines in the yard.  He was purposely run over by the septic tank guy.  (We hate the septic tank guy!)  He never suffered from ingesting unknown put certainly notable quantities of grapes straight off the vine.  It was cute.  I have photos.  He did not die of grape poisoning.  An accomplished and longtime breeder of show beagles, who is a regular contributor to my magazine, Show Beagle Quarterly, has many grape vines on his property.  He freezes the grapes whole and actively serves them to his beagles as a treat in winter, and fresh in summer.  In his sixty-some years of having many dogs in his care, he has never had a case of grape poisoning.

 

So, you can now add THOSE cases to your database!  Ha!  I say.  Ha!  I say it again!  Dogs generally do not eat things that will kill them.  They are genetically conditioned to know these things.  You know that, I know that, but there are people out there who cannot imagine that a dog is capable of making a single valid instinctive decision.  They are wrong.  If grapes were poisonous, dogs would not accept them, let alone pursue them.  Now, shall we talk cocamides, as they relate to “cocoa mulch” which is made from COCOANUT HUSKS?  Debbie Tissot, Albedo Beagles, Show Beagle Quarterly

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