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Old 03-13-2013, 01:05 PM
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Default Mixed breed VS purebred health

Spin-off of the GSD thread:

Regarding genetic issues, are there any concrete reasons to believe purebred dogs or mixed breed dogs are less predisposed to them? I'm talking specifically about unhealth tested dogs, from unknown backgrounds.

What about other issues, like issues that may stem from physical conformation? Or environmental factors? Does breed, or rather purebred/mixed breed, have an influence on how a dog develops environment influenced disorders?

Here is what I was going to put into the other thread, before I decided we needed a new one:

"I'm fairly certain that mixed breeds are less predisposed to genetic illnesses...it's not that one parent has or carries a disorder, so it's likely for offspring to have it, and therefore opens up a large pool of genetic disorders for mixes. Usually (at least for many disorders) BOTH parents need to be a carrier of the disorder. So if you're breeding two dogs who's genetic issues don't generally overlap, you have a better chance of the dog not developing that specific issue. It's the same in people - if two people of an ethnic group known for carrying a specific gene for a disease, for example, Tay Sachs, reproduce, the child has a higher chance of being unhealthy. If someone of that ethnic group reproduces with someone of another ethnic group with a DIFFERENT prevalent disorder (sickle cell anemia), the child has a much less chance, or no chance at all, of having those disorders. It's not that they're now predisposed to both disorders."

But, as I mentioned in the other thread, I don't know THAT much about genetic disorders, and I'm not entirely sure that's accurate. There are obviously way too many factors to state "mixed breeds are healthier" or "purebred dogs are healthier", but is it safe to say that generally (discounting two breeds who are often carriers of the same disorder) that genetic issues are less common in mixes than untested purebreds?
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Old 03-13-2013, 01:08 PM
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Without health testing? It's a crapshoot either way.
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Old 03-13-2013, 01:19 PM
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Well IMO all dogs may be predisposed to certain health problems based on their genetics. But with purebreds, you generally have a better idea what problems you might be in for (particularly for poorly bred dogs).

It doesn't mean mixed breed dogs don't have genetic predispositions to diseases or are healthier overall, it's just that your radar may not be up as much for specific problems as much as with a purebred. Maybe people perceive that as meaning that mixed breeds are healthier?
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Old 03-13-2013, 01:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saeleofu View Post
Without health testing? It's a crapshoot either way.
Agreed.

What you're talking about as far as both parents being carriers is any disease that follows the Mendelian pattern - there are tons of genetic disorders that do not follow that pattern and, even among those often believed to follow the pattern, still cases where oddities pop up.

Even WITH health testing, you still have oddities pop up.

Genetics. Not that simple.
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Old 03-13-2013, 01:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saeleofu View Post
Without health testing? It's a crapshoot either way.
Yes, true, but would you argue there is the same probability of the mixed breed dog having a genetic issue as there is the purebred?

Lets say you have two groups of dogs of two different breeds. They aren't predisposed to any of the same genetic issues...let's say the first group carries for X disorder, and the second group carries for Y disorder.

Say there are 50 dogs of each breed in each group.
Say 30 of each breed is carrier for their given disorder (X in group 1, Y in group 2).
Say 5 of each breed is a carrier for the other disorder.

If you breed the dogs in group 1 together, there is a much, much higher chance that they will have X disorder. If you're mixing them, there isn't an equal chance the dog will have X OR Y disorder, or MORE of a chance for them to have a genetic disease. It's much less of a chance.

Or is there something wrong with my highly scientific evaluation?

Aside from the fact it doesn't consider that most genetic disorders are prevalent in a number of popular breeds.
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Old 03-13-2013, 01:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beanie View Post
Agreed.

What you're talking about as far as both parents being carriers is any disease that follows the Mendelian pattern - there are tons of genetic disorders that do not follow that pattern and, even among those often believed to follow the pattern, still cases where oddities pop up.

Even WITH health testing, you still have oddities pop up.

Genetics. Not that simple.
Right - but do mixed breeds have a higher chance of developing a genetic or non-genetic disorder that doesn't follow that pattern?
And if they don't, wouldn't the probability of a mixed breed being "healthy" go up, just because you're ruling out a plethora of issues? There's still a high chance they'll have a different type of disorder, without health testing, but wouldn't the probability be lowered?
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Old 03-13-2013, 01:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milos_mommy View Post
Aside from the fact it doesn't consider that most genetic disorders are prevalent in a number of popular breeds.
Also, it's likely that few genetically-predisposed disorders have a simple, one-gene pattern of inheritance.

The famous example of one that IS really simple is the LUA dalmatians - one pointer in the mix and subsequent careful breeding affected the incidence of that disorder tremendously in those lines.

But most diseases with a genetic component are probably not only controlled by multiple genes, but the expression of those genes is probably affected by environmental factors.
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Old 03-13-2013, 01:47 PM
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I really don't know

I've had more than a few shepherds here and I have not had one with dysplasia or bad elbows. The biggest issue has been allergies of some sort. Not any hair falls out, skin is about to type allergies, but enough to get them itching and scratching at times.

I've known a few shepherds that weren't mine to have dysplasia, heard of others with pancreatic issues, but have never met one and Mega E as well, again never met one, but i know they are out there.

That said, I run into mixed breed dogs all the time that have problems. Genetic? I don't know, but severe allergies, skin conditions, eye problems and things that send them to the vet that cost thousands.

I don't really buy that one is any more healthy than the other. I know if I go to breeders I like, my chances of getting a puppy that will grow to a healthy adult is pretty high.

I feel that if I went to a shelter and just picked any dog, i'd get health issues a lot of the time.

By the same token, if I went to a shelter looking for a specific type dog, I bet I could get a healthy one a lot of the time too.

of course I have no science to back me up, other than I am always right.. So there
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Old 03-13-2013, 01:56 PM
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I have no faith that mixed breeds retain any better health than casually pet bred UNtested purebreds, let alone carefully bred, proven and or tested purebreds.
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Old 03-13-2013, 01:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milos_mommy View Post
Right - but do mixed breeds have a higher chance of developing a genetic or non-genetic disorder that doesn't follow that pattern?
And if they don't, wouldn't the probability of a mixed breed being "healthy" go up, just because you're ruling out a plethora of issues? There's still a high chance they'll have a different type of disorder, without health testing, but wouldn't the probability be lowered?
No, a mixed breed is not more at risk of developing any disorder, Mendelian or not. And no, the fact that they are not MORE at risk of developing a disorder does not thereby make them LESS at risk. Your risk is basically the same - a dog of unknown health history, carrying who knows what, prone to throwing who knows what, potentially going to produce a dog who might end up with who knows what genetic mutations. If the dog is a mix or our definition of a "purebreed" it doesn't really matter.


Can you explain how you think a mixed breed rules out a plethora of issues?
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