Continued Education & Health

Continued Education Through The American Kennel Club

Breeding Basics Certification

Nutritional Influences on Reproduction Certification

Whelping & Medical Intervention Certification

ABC's of Dog Breeding, Genetic Defects, and Health Certification

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Why Health Test?

     Our top priorities at North Shore are the health and temperament of our dogs. Good conformation and performance are irrelevant when good health is not a factor. When selecting our breeding dogs, we start from the inside as longevity is our always our goal. We believe health comes before titles and looks. We do breed specific health testing, aquire as much medical history as possible, and always consider genetic diversity to minimize the risk of your puppy inheriting a preventable disease.
     Our Greyhounds are tested genetically for Degenerative Myelopathy, Malignant Hyperthermia, and Greyhound Polyneuropathy. Degenerative Myelopathy is the dog equivalent of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, DM is a progressive degenerative disorder of the spinal cord. Because the nerves that control the hind limbs are the first to degenerate, the most common clinical signs are back muscle wasting and gait abnormalities. Malignant Hyperthermia is a condition that only manifests if affected dogs are treated with certain inhalant anesthetics, and can cause uncontrollable muscle contractions and a dangerous increase in body temperature (hyperthermia). Greyhound Polyneuropathy is an inherited progressive neurologic disorder affecting Greyhounds. Affected dogs typically present between three and nine months of age with exercise intolerance and an abnormal “bunny-hopping” gait. The symptoms progress to severe muscle wasting and Ataxia. Affected dogs may also have an abnormal sounding bark, be unable to bark, have noisy breathing and/or have difficulty breathing. In severe cases dogs can die from respiratory failure, but typically, affected dogs are humanely euthanized by one year of age.
     The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals recommends Greyhounds also receive a cardiac screening, We have licensed veterinarians perform an advanced cardiac exam and also an eye exam. We are also currently testing for hypothyroidism.    
     Our Dobermans are tested genetically for Deafness and Vestibular Syndrome of Dobermans, Degenerative Myelopathy, Dilated Cardiomyopathy, DCM1, Dilated Cardiomyopathy, DCM2, Narcolepsy, Von Willebrand's Disease Type I, and Ehlers Danlos. Deafness and Vestibular Syndrome of Dobermans is a disease that affects the hearing and balance mechanisms of the inner ear. Degenerative Myelopathy is explained above. DCM is the most common acquired heart disease of adult dogs. The heart has two heavily muscled ventricles that pump blood away from the heart. This disease causes progressive weakening of the ventricles by reducing the muscle mass, which causes the ventricles to dilate. Dilated ventricles do not contract and circulate oxygenated blood well, which eventually leads to heart failure. Von Willebrand Disease Type I is a type of coagulopathy which is a disorder of blood clotting. Ehlers Danlos is a disorder of collagen production leading to stretchy, hyper-elastic skin and loose joints.
     For Dobermans, The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals recommends an echocardiographic exam followed by a holter test within 90 days. OFA also recommends testing for hypothyroidism, hip dysplasia, von Willebrand's disease, performing an eye exam, and a working aptitude test.
     Another health related factor we consider is the genetic coefficient of inbreeding (COI), which is the most accurate method for measuring inbreeding. An increase in inbreeding can lead to a reduction in adult size, reduction in lifespan, reduced litter size and fertility, and loss of genetic diversity. Another consequence of inbreeding, caused by the decreased diversity in the genes of the immune system, is a weaker immune system and higher rate of autoimmune disorders. It has been proven that the higher the inbreeding coefficient is, the higher the risk of health issues are. Some autosomal-recessive conditions can have a large and noticeable impact on a dog's health and welfare (e.g. forms of blindness, epilepsy, etc.), while others may only have a very small, and mostly unnoticeable effect.
     As the degree of inbreeding increases, so does the chance of a dog inheriting more than one autosomal-recessive condition. As the number of these smaller conditions increase, they can have an accumulative effect, leading to a decrease in the general health of the dog, otherwise known as inbreeding depression. Purebred dogs with little inbreeding in their pedigrees might live years longer than inbred canines of the same breed. Inbred females tend to give birth to smaller litters, with a higher incidence of birth defects among the puppies. Inbred dogs might have an apparent "lack of vigor," or fitness.
     Overall, inbred dog fertility is lower than canines without close relatives in the family tree. "Anecdotal evidence suggests that loss of genetic variation and high levels of inbreeding have adverse consequences for canine health and fertility," according to an article on inbreeding and pedigree analysis appearing on the May 2008 issue of the journal "Genetics".
    We all wish our pets could stand by our sides forever. Unfortunately, we know that is not possible but we do know that breeding for longevity gives us the best chance to keep them with us as long as possible. We hope our dogs are amazing family members long into their senior years. That's why we send all of our Doberman's genetic testing to The Doberman Diversity Project. The DDP has a mission to reduce the incidence of heritable diseases in the Doberman. We fully stand behind this wonderful research project, although we hope to someday not have a need for them. 
     We at North Shore promise to always put the health of our dogs first. We promise to never stop health testing and to always do our best to better our breeds. We strive to have intelligent, healthy Dobermans who make the great, loyal family members and protectors they are so well known to be. We strive to have Greyhounds who are healthy, conformationally correct, and especially- FAST! The Greyhound was built to run fast and we will never breed for less! We hope that everytime we breed one of our dogs, we are bettering the breed. We hope that every breeding is always better than the last!

Our Veterinary References

Please feel free to call our vets and ask about us! We ask that if you do call, please ask to leave a message for the veterinarian you are calling so they can call you back when they have free time. We don't ever want to take their personal care away from another wonderful client!

Veterinary Clinic Of Symbioun, Inc.

Dr. Law
1201 N Van Buren St, Abilene, KS 67410
(785) 263-3221

The Veterinary Clinic of Symbioun is one of the top reproductive veterinary clinics in the United States. The clinic has over 40 years of experience in canine reproduction. They have a dedicated, honest team who has helped us more times than we can count. They also specialize in large animal care as well! 

Abilene Animal Hospital, P.A.

Dr. Gose & Dr. Rankin
320 NE 14th St, Abilene, KS 67410
(785) 263-2301

Abilene Animal Hospital has a highly ranked veterinary staff and has been in operation for 75 years. Their team of veterinarians specializes in many different aspects of veterinary care. Dr. Gose specializes in orthopedic and soft tissue surgery along with dental care. Dr. Rankin has worked in almost every aspect of veterinary care. She is also our vet for our horses and goats along with Dr. Murray!

Bluestem Veterinary Service

Dr. Myers
1126 Eden Rd. Abilene, KS 67410
(785) 479-2256

Dr. Myers has a wonderful veterinary clinic north of Abilene. Bluestem offers both small and large animal care. Dr. Myers has visited our farm to vaccinate our dogs many, many times over the years.