Below is a letter I sent all my puppy owners after Pash’s case was confirmed.
For all my CCC puppy owners;
I have some very sad yet informative news that I feel compelled to share with everyone involved with the Coolie/Koolie breed especially the bloodline and offspring of Avalon Barcoo and Hillview Jindi (purchased from Coolibah).
On May 26th 2012 CCC had a litter of 6 beautiful puppies from Barcoo and Jindi. One of the puppies, Pash, a beautiful red and white female joined our pack……..
In late September I took Pash on a pack walk to the farm. Pash did a great a job of keeping up, she had a few clumsy falls but nothing out of the ordinary for a young pup. She was very tired when we returned home but what worried me was that she didn’t seem to bounce back like normal. Her head seemed shaky and she seemed to be off balance. I brought her to the Vet thinking that she may have an inner ear issue.
The Vet treated her with antibiotics and took some blood for further tests. The antibiotics didn’t help and the blood tests came back clear. Pash continued to be a healthy pup but her balance was still off. I brought her back to our vet and he prescribed another drug but it didn’t help either. On the third trip to the vet he asked all the other vets to come in and assess Pash. One of the senior vets thought that it could be Cerebellum Abiotrophy which is very rare brain disorder that this vet had only seen once in 20 years of practice. They recommended that I bring Pash to Canada’s leading Vet University in Guelph, to a neuro specialist. We did some research before we went to Guelph and made sure that Pash was comfortable and safe. She continued to be an adorable and highly affectionate pup. Her balance issues didn’t seem to bother her but it was getting worse. She was falling over and was very unstable on her feet.
The Guelph vets were very interested and recommended an additional treatment to rule out any other causes. If it didn’t work there was a high chance that she had Cerebellum Abiotrophy (Cerebellar granuloprival degeneration) or CA. Here are some links that you may find informative:
- Just Because of Jane – A personal experience with CA/ Ataxia in the Kelpie in Australia . This site give you a quick rundown on the disease.
- Progressive Cerebellar Atrophy | eHow.com
There are many more Ida has posted on the genetics FB page.Unfortunately the treatment didn’t work and Pash’s case was very aggressive, she got worse very quickly.
The only way to truly find out if a dog has CA is a post mortum autopsy and unfortunately Pash’s case was at a stage where it would be unfair to keep her alive so on November 22nd I brought Pash back to Guelph and we put Pash down. I heard back from the University vets, it has been confirmed that Pash definitely had CA. I just received the final report which I have attached.
It is important to understand that CA is genetic. It is my understanding from the information I have been given that both Avalon Barcoo and Hillview Jindi had to be carriers for the disease to show up in one of their pups but neither Barcoo or Jindi ever showed signs of CA. That means that CA is present in both Barcoo and Jindi’s bloodlines. CA is more common in Kelpie lines as described in Janes Story. I am not a genetic expert of any kind but CA may have shown in the bloodlines many years ago and then never seen again until now. What we do know is that Jindi and Barcoo can never have pups again together. I have some huge decisions to make about my breeding program which I will be discussing with genetic professionals, I would appreciate any constructive input you may have.
I need to look at the positive of Little Pash’s passing. CA is so rare that the University in Guelph, University of Sydney and The University of North Carolina are very keen to investigate more. They are looking at DNA and hope to find the gene or gene’s that carry CA, once they identify the genes a DNA test could be developed for future breeding dogs so that we can eliminate CA in the future. If you have or ever have a dog with CA then the universities would love to get a blood sample. You could contact me for details.
I thank God that Little Pash was with us, it would have killed me if a family had taken her home and had to go through what we have had to in last few months.
I am sorry that it has taken me so long to write to you, this has been a very difficult time and wanted to make sure the vet suspicions were confirmed before contacting you. If you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me.
Since this letter was writen Barcoo passed in Feb 2013, Jindi has been desexed and rehomed with a wonderful family. We are blessed to see Jindi being spoilt, treated like a princess, she is a LOVELY girl.