Wrinkles and wrankles

I got another anonymous letter today on Shar Pei tacking.
If you don't know what this is, let me try to explain.
Shar Pei pups are very wrinkly when they are born and if the wrinkles fall over the eyes they can go blind without some surgical intervention - known as tacking. A staple or a stitch is used to hold the wrinkles out of the way to allow the eyes to still open until the dog grows into his wrinkles.
Not tacking a very wrinkly pup would be cruel as the pups would suffer, but how sad that little pups need this surgery in the first place. Wouldn't it be better to have a lot less wrinkle? Or even no wrinkle at all if they come at such a price. I know breeders have been trying to breed them less wrinkly but if tacking is still needed there's something still very wrong.
The writer introduced themselves as saying that they are a 'proper dog breeder' - not one in a breed that is known to have any health problems. But they were still too afraid to put their name and address to the letter. I suspect there are a lot of 'normal' dog breeders who find tacking highly embarrassing at the very least.
Is the anonymous writer just up to no good? Is tacking a figment of their imagination? Something really extreme that hardly ever happens? Would seem not..
The writer directed me to the dog world breed notes and I quote the relevant passage below.

"The helpline has been busy and the numbers of new owners seeking help with
their new puppies seems to be increasing. Sadly this doesn’t reflect too
well on some of the breeders, who often seem unable or unwilling to help and
simply refer the hapless and worried owners to the helplines. Some vets too
continue to show their ignorance of the breed by giving bad advice and
making things worse for the dogs rather than better.
"One choice case was of a first-time breeder who had one puppy whose eyes had
opened but at four weeks had progressively closed and clearly needed
tacking. Their vet agreed but pronounced that the puppy needed to be ten
weeks old before they would tack. However the case would be that after ten
weeks of discomfort this poor puppy would need more than a simple tack.
"Luckily, the breeder was put in touch with a Shar-Pei-friendly vet via the
stud’s owners and a simple tack done immediately has now led to a happy
puppy with no sight problems at all. It would be nice to think that all such
stories had equally happy endings."

The Kennel Club, in the run up to Pedigree Dogs Exposed, banned pups being shown post-tacking. See here for the link. But two years on it's still happening. Are we any further on? And how would you know if a dog had been tacked as a pup? Do vets routinely report this procedure to the KC? What exactly is a Shar-Pei friendly vet after all?


Anonymous said…
So would you rather the puppy had stayed with the problem and not had an operation? there is no claim in the DW report that the vet DID not then tell the Kennel Club, yet this is not how you make this to be, do you have proof to the contra? If you do publish it and inform the RCVS of that vet, if not state you have no proof!
Anonymous said…
Is that all the first 'anonymous' could get out of that story. The reference was anecdotal and no names nor veterinary practice mentioned.

The point is that the breed should not need surgery at such young age and the fact that there are shar pei friendly vets just show that the problem is very much common occurrence.

Aside from 'what the breed should look like' what benefit is there to the dog in having so many wrinkles!

Jemima Harrison said…
But there is no requirement for any vet to report any procedure to the Kennel Club. Vets "may" report, but it is not mandatory. No point, then, in reporting the vet to the RCVS. S/he has done nothing wrong.

Anonymous said…
I see you only let Ms Harrison have her say but if anyone dare have a different view!!!!
Jemima Harrison said…
Anonymous, you seem to be confusing opinion with fact. It is not "my view" that vets don't have to report procedures to the Kennel Club - it is a statement of fact.
Anonymous said…
I see Ms Harrison making a story out of another NON Story, like the Size Zero Dachs, and the others she peddles out to court the media......sad isnt it she cant bea real journalst
Beverley Cuddy said…
"cant bea real journalst "

Hmmm? Wot? Like wot you are?

Been meaning to blog about the size zero Dachshunds... thanks for reminding me anony-mouse!

Click here to sign the petition...

Anonymous said…
sad sad beverley...only listen to your own voice it seems..... no wonder you never asked to judge at shows......as they know the truw value of your opinion. Its about as good as the ropey beared collies you tried to show, they couldnt pass a health test if they had to!! no wonder you werent liked in the breed.
Beverley Cuddy said…
I decided to publish the last comment as I think it may help the sad person who made it to recognise they need to get a little help.
I know Ashes to Ashes and Life on Mars have made the 70s and 80s seem attractive, but most of us are quite happy living in the present day!
It's true I used to show dogs when I was in my teens, I used to breed dogs, too! And yes - of course - they were hip scored and eye tested! Wouldn't take much for you to check that out but why bother with facts when you can just rant and rave like a mad thing anonymously!
And it wasn't just me that thought they were pretty beautiful, too. My lovely Ancorrie was so elegant and unexaggerated - I remember like yesterday her winning BIS at the main breed club Champ show. But it wasn't yesterday, it was decades ago!
There were three Champions in my ownership - two homebred - I think there were about 15 CCs in total, don't even know where they are these days - it is that long ago! Another UK champion bred for another breeder and lots of overseas Champions and importantly very many Champions of the fireside.
I bred very few litters - a small kennel of carefully bred and much loved dogs.
My first Beardie (bought as a pet) effortlessly became a Champion when I was only 13 years old, which may explain what I am sensing here. Touch of the green eyed monsters? You didn't like being beaten by a kid all those years ago did you?
Used to happen all the time though if you're the boring person who keeps having an out of scale go on any forum that unfussy enough not to ban you.
And for the record I did get elected several times by secret ballot by the democratic breed clubs to judge the breed club championship shows and open shows.
I was also at a different time the main breed club secretary for several years - again - secret ballots.
Got a stunning Beardie at the moment that I didn't breed, but he goes back to my lovely oldies.
My life is now a bit too complex to allow me the time to show him, but he is gorgeous and I don't rule it out. It's just that with kids and work there are other things to do.
Like wasting time on anonymous cowards like you!
I shall be deleting you in future!
Anonymous said…
Talk about kettle and black regarding the tragic anonymous. I'm afraid that these days if you are disliked by breed clubs it means you must be doing something right and speaking out when others bury their heads in the sand.

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