Indiana was kept in perfect condition, dewormed regularly, got all of his shots and was spoiled rotten.
It could of course not be prevented, that he also got sick once in a while. In November he suffered from a never stopping diarrhoea, which led us to the vet, later to the Pets Clinic, he was almost completely dehydrated.
Thanks to the professionalism of the entire crew of the Pets Clinic of the Ghent University in Merelbeke, Indiana recovered very well, but was diagnosed with Endocrine Pancreas Insufficiency. He was immediately put on a diet!
The left hip looks very bad indeed. We informed the breeder, got no reaction. Through the Internet we were being informed about Indiana’s littermate Ice. He seemed to be affected by Hip Dysplasia also, was diagnosed HD- 5, (HD-E) = severe Hip Dysplasia.
Meanwhile Indiana was immediately banned from dogsport (including Schutzdienst) and heavy duty. His x-rays were sent to different internationally renowned experts. The Belgian HD/ED-Commission diagnosed: HD-D = HD-4. Other experts confirmed this result.
Medical Follow-up: 7.09.2004 – 1 st radiographs Aged 14 months – first x-rays Dr. Koen Vandendriessche Dierenkliniek Causus, Westkerkestraat 20, B-8460 Oudenburg Radiographs were sent to the breeder. They were never returned.
Complete DENIAL!! Breeder criticized the quality of the images, proposed to x-ray again at his own Vets. (WHY?) Dr. Vandendriessche was appalled and raised objections in writing to breeder.
Medical Follow-up: 23.11.2004 – 2 nd radiographs Aged: 16 months – new x-rays were needed for HD/ED-Commission Dr. F. Coopman / Dr. H. Van Bree Universiteit Gent – Faculteit Dierengeneeskunde Arthrosis unmistakably increased, X-rays were submitted to the HD/ED- Commission: Findings: HD-D = HD-4 = a4 Diagnosis.
Department of Medical Imaging (Veterinary Faculty Ghent University) sent the images to different colleagues. Among others to: 1. ECVDI = European College of Veterinary Diagnostic Imaging, University of Giessen, Dr. Bernd Tellhelm, Member of the Scientific Council of the SV. 2. ECVS = European College of Veterinary Surgeons, Vetsuisse Faculty University in Zürich, Prof. Mark Flückiger, Member of the Scientific Council of the SV. Some recommended HD-E (HD-5), overall result HD-D (HD-4).
WUFF-Magazine 12/06-01/07: “Indiana’s last Winter: Anatomy of a Tragedy” Indiana in the Press: Part 1
The Indiana Trial The breeder kept waving all responsability, although he had promised “a show quality pup”, fit for breeding! The story of how and why I went to court was published by Dr. Hans Mosser in the german language dogmagazine: WUFF www.WUFF.de
Indy in WUFF-Magazine 02/07: “The Trial” Indiana in the Press: Part 2
What about Indy? In order to evaluate Indiana’s condition, he was regularly checked. Although obviously handicapped, he kept his spirits up. We tried to make the best of his life.
Medical Follow-up: 1.09.2005 – 3 rd radiographs Aged: 26 months – Status control Follow-up x-rays by Dr. Coopman University of Ghent Arthrosis had increased further.
Medical Follow-up: 18.05.2006 – 4 th radiographs Aged: 34 months – Status control Final radiographs Dr. Coopman University of Ghent Arthrosis increased even more, Indiana was put to sleep after the examination.
Medical Follow-up: 19.05.2006 - Autopsy Laboratorium Pathologie vd Huisdieren Prof. Dr. R. Ducatelle University of Ghent Findings: please see report of post- mortem examination.
After the first diagnosis Indiana was immediately banned from heavy duty No more dogsport, no more Schutzdienst No inline-skating, no bike rides No extensive walks, no more trips to seaside or lake, no more tracking No more preparations for Zuchtschau, we even skipped his BH Instead, Indiana was treated like a disabled
From now on, Indiana takes it easy! Flashback to first diagnose
No more dogsport for Indy and me... gives me some time to study the magnitude of Canine HD. The SV promotes a healthy German Shepherd Dog. In the SV-Genetics Database the Kennel Club documents 57,24% of all x-rayed GSDs have perfect hips, only 4,90% would be dysplastic!?
Let’s have a look at SV-charts! X-rayed pop.: 33,23% = > HD-1: 57,24% & HD-4+5: 4,90%!?
I have taken the liberty of taking into account some of the diagnoses that never find their way into the database. All Insiders know that many results are held back, and many pups are prescreened. For this simulation, a correction of the amount of x-rayed dogs of merely 10% was made, but already the result leaves one speechless. Less than half of the GSDs would give proof of anatomically perfect and sound hips. Now, what’s the REAL picture?
Most people have no idea whatsoever, how many GSDs are affected by Hip Dysplasia. I am glad to be able to offer some graphics on the subject to all whom it may concern.
Less than half of the GSDs have sound hips! The simulation shows that with a tiny correction, the amount of a1 (HD-1) results drops from 57% to merely 44%! The amount of severely dysplastic dogs (HD-4 & HD-5) increases from 4,90% to an alarming 26,90%!!
So DO be careful when numbers are presented to document the phenomenon of Hip Dysplasia. They might NOT be accurate. Withheld x- rays need to be taken into account, when searching for "the whole picture". A mere 10% of non-registered bad diagnoses was used in the simulation to have an idea of Hip Dysplasia’s REAL frequency. I hope GSD-enthusiasts and -breeders will do all that is in their power to improve the situation.
1986-2003: No changes!! Figures indicate no major improvement since 1986
Further information about the real magnitude of Canine Hip Dysplasia and other studies and statistics can be found on our website: www.bloggen.be/hd
In the meantime, Indy had a quiet life, nevertheless he seemed to become less and less mobile by the day.
An operation would carry many risks. We did not want Indy to suffer maybe even more than he already had. Together, Lisa and I made the final decision to have him put to sleep.
In the last weeks of his life, all of his friends came to say their Goodbyes...
All members of my family, and the people Indy met during his daily walks...
Not to mention the ones who were nuts about him! Like Yentl...
Finally, I brought Indy to the University of Ghent for an ultimate evaluation after which we put him to sleep. An “In Memoriam” was put on our website: www.bloggen.be/hd
Revelation of the post-mortem In order to evaluate if "the final decision" was indeed the right one, a post-mortem examination took place. We found our personal impressions of his pain (of which we had no proof) confirmed by the images of the autopsy. As the expert said: “The circular ligaments inside the hip bowl were destroyed (partially torn apart) and the cartilage was completely battered.”
It was a great relief reading the medical confirmation that indeed this hip was ruined to a degree that euthanasia was the only way for us to immediately stop his pain. (We found out later that Indiana’s brother Ice had already been put to sleep, after many months of pain.)
I quote an expert: "That is a severely dysplastic femur head and socket. It looks like it could easily dislocate because the socket is so open and the femur head is deformed and arthritic from what I can see. One side looks pretty good, and even though the positioning is not ideal, still the dysplastic hip joint is very evident...
… They would have to replace the socket and femur head to give Indiana any kind of painfree life. That surgery is very painful and requires a long time for recuperation which is difficult for a large breed dog to remain quiet enough physically for it to heal....
Often a very powerful hindquarter musculature and ligamentation will hold the leg in position, but with that socket, sooner or later, I would think, one false step by that dog and it could dislocate and the pain would be excruciating!! I think Jantie did the right thing, personally, from what I can see of the x- ray, this dog was in serious trouble, with no good outlook for the future."
Lisa and I are now at rest, Indiana will not have to suffer anymore. We believe we took the right decision. Now we need to see to it, that less GSDs must suffer like he did. We hope you will help us in this endeavour.
Epilogue This is certainly not a “unique” story. Many thousands of dogs are affected by CHD every year. I call upon all scientific personnel and dog fans to strive for a healthier GSD. Calling upon the German Kennel Club SV has proved to be unsuccessful. The association and its breeders wave all responsibility when it comes to HD and disregard the latest scientific findings.
Breeding regulations need to be adjusted, so that less dogs must suffer. I’m convinced public awareness will increase the pressure on the SV and the breeders, and you can help to spread the word. Lisa and I hope you will try and do just that. The lives of Ice and Indiana should not have been in vain. May God bless you and all GSDs!
This presentation was made as a small contribution to the breed, in order to change something that could lead to a healthier GSD. “Ut aliquid fiat!”, as the Romans say. So that something changes! Damit etwas geschehe!
Music featured: Niccoló Paganini, “Violin Concerto No. 1, Op. 6”: Rondo, by Viktoria Mullova & Academy of St Martin in the Fields, conducted by Sir Neville Marriner Giuseppe Verdi, Macbeth, “Patria oppressa!”, by Dresden State Opera Chorus & Dresden State Orchestra, conducted by Silvio Varviso
Antonio Vivaldi, “Le quattro Stagioni”: L’ autunno, l’ inverno, la primavera, by Viktoria Mullova & Chamber Orchestra of Europe, conducted by Claudio Abado Conrado García, “Valle del Alto”, by Alborada de Ocobamba (dedicado a todo los niños del mundo) More Music: