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1987 American Whippet Club National

Pages 1 through 27



Three times winner of the AWC Stud Dog class

We are delighted with the contributions Maestro has already made to the breed, continuing a long and successful American tradition of top-grade English imports bred to bitches of native breeding. With his superb pedigree, combining the best of the classical English bloodlines for both beauty and basic correctness, Maestro has proved an excellent match for different bloodlines. Best of all, he is an indomitable character, as sound in mind as in body, and "as honest as they come"!

His percentage of top winners must be unique among top sires:

at 6 years of age he has 12 adult litters with 18 champions so far (16 AKC, 3 Canadian, and 1 Field Ch.). His three younger litters in the U.S. (all born 1986 or later) include pointed puppies; he also has winning get from A.I. in Sweden, and one more litter is expected by the end of 1987. His champions include numerous AWC Specialty and Supported show BOB and BOS winners, and most have won AWC weekend majors.

Maestro is standing at stud at Whippoorwill. See also Pedigree section!

WHIPPOORWILL
Dr. Barbara Henderson
16200 Burton Lane
Laurel, MD 20707. (301) 490-6598
BOHEM
Bo Bengtson
1912 Mission Ridge Road
Santa Barbara, CA 93105

THE WHIPPET NEWS

Statement of Editorial Policy

Established by the Editor with the concurrence of the Board of Directors of the American Whippet Club.

OBJECTIVES: To unite those people interested in the breeding, showing, racing, coursing and generally improving the breed of Whippets for the purpose of exerting effectually a combined influence upon all matters affecting the breed. To promote and maintain a high standard of conduct

in the transaction of all business connected with the breeding of Whippets.

Material for the WHIPPET NEWSLETTER and ANNUAL is always welcome from all readers, whether AWC members or non—members, and all the material that is used is presented with a minimum of editing, so as to retain the individ­ual style of the writer. Each issue is the result of material sent in by the readers and reflects the interest of the readers.

The articles or material submitted for publication should pertain to Whippets in general, be constructive and free from personal animosities and grievances; further, the material and not the contributor is the basis of acceptance, and the editor will decide the suitability of the material submitted. When sub ­ mitting material, please typewrite or print plainly, especially proper names.

NOTICE: The opinions expressed in the WHIPPET NEWSLETTER and ANNUAL are

those of the individual writers and advertisers and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the editor or the AMERICAN WHIPPET CLUB, or any group to which the individual writer may belong. Further, the editor of the WHIPPET NEWS cannot be responsible for statements made anywhere in the publi­ cation except on the editorial pages and in the editor's personal advertisements.

THE WHIPPET NEWS is the official publication of the American Whippet Club and

is available to non—members of the American Whippet Club for a donation of $10.00 per year. This donation includes the WHIPPET NEWS ANNUAL and the monthly NEWS ­ LETTER.


"Lisa" has had a spectacular show career. She is shown here winning Best of Breed at the first American Whippet Club National Specialty from the Open Bitch class under judge Mrs. W.P. Wear — with her father going Best of Opposite. She was Best of Winners at the AWC Midwest Specialty under judge Tom Partis and finished her championship at Berks County, WB under Mrs. Kathleen Andrews. She then travelled south and was Best of Opposite at the AWC Southern Specialty under judge Clifford Thompson. Lisa also likes to run, competing in coursing and U Val.

Lisa has two champion sisters: Ch Morshor's Majestic Glitter, FCh and Ch Morshor's Majestic Design. A fourth sister, Mt. Fern's Crystal Speed, has both majors. A repeat breeding is due in March, 1988.

MORSHOR
Dianne T. Bleecker
RD 2, Box 398, Prospect Road, Middletown, NY 10940

The Whippet News Annual cover was donated by Sue and Bill Peterson of Topaz Kennels

to the Best of Breed winner at the first American Whippet Club National Specialty


A "SPECIAL" ANNUAL

This edition of the Whippet News Annual is even more special than usual because this year we are spotlighting specialties. There is a very "special" feature article on all of the AWC specialties since they began in 1931. In it are listed the winners of the major awards from those shows. We have included photographs of most of the specialty Best of Breed winners from those 57 years. It is a fascinating gathering. Along with the more familiar contemporary winners, there are now faces we can attach to many of the names we find recurring in the depths of our pedigrees. It took a tremendous effort to bring together all these records and photographs and we want to thank Bo Bengtson for his work in assembling this valuable information.

Also found in this Annual is a "special" section on the first American Whippet Club National Specialty, held in 1987 in Columbus, Ohio. The Best of Breed winner from that landmark event is this year's "cover girl". The remainder of the major award winners from this show are also pictured, along with comments from the judges.

One more "special" feature for 1987, which we hope will become a regular, is a review of the year's AWC specialties, with the awards listed and photographs of the Best of Breed winner from each show.

We hope you enjoy our Special Annual.

Editor's Note: I would like to dedicate my work on this 'special' edition of the Whippet News Annual to my special dog, Ch Vagabonded Contender - Strider, who died in January.

He was my first Whippet, my first show dog, my first Champion, and a long-time friend. - WC


President ........................................ Mrs Philip S.P. Fell

Vice—President ........................................ Barbara Henderson, VMD

Delegate to the American Kennel Club ........................................ Mrs Philip S.P. Fell

Secretary—Treasurer ........................................ Ms Carol Willumsen
2300 Hillside Avenue Orange City , FL 32763

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

CLASS OF 1988

Mrs Douglas Arthur
Dr James Gray
Mrs Barbara Koch

CLASS OF 1989

Mrs Phoebe Booth
Mrs Philip S.P. Fell
Dr Barbara Henderson

CLASS OF 1990

Mr Bo Bengtson
Mrs William Dresser
Miss Carol Willumsen

THE AMERICAN WHIPPET CLUB, INC.

Founded January 11, 1930

Applications for membership in the American Whippet Club are available upon written request to the AWC Secretary (address above).

Subscription to the AWC Monthly Newsletter — $10.00 per year

WHIPPET NEWS AND NEWSLETTER EDITOR

Pat Dresser, 1462 Granger Road, Medina, Ohio 44256 (216) 239-1839

WHIPPET NEWS ANNUAL EDITOR

Wendy Clark, 110 Tibet Road, Columbus, Ohio 43202 (614) 268-1848


The group winning son of Best in Show parents has the qualities of all great whippets: excellent house pet (couch rat), solid showman (handled by Ms. Jennifer Bates of Cajen Whippets) and as a sire. His kids will impact the Southwest whippet world in 1988 onward.

BriarThorn

Russ & Vicky Thorn
Arlington, Texas
(817) 274-3998
Several Showboat (J.R.) litters planned for 1988




SPATS
Photo at 2 yrs. Red & White 20 1/8"

TAMI
Born 7/14/86 Blue & White 20 1/4"
(Unusual dark slate coloring)


"TRAVIS", shown sparingly in 1987 due to his youth, is pictured winning a major at nine months under the renown hound judge, Gerda Kennedy. He now has five points - - from the puppy classes!

1988 promises to be a banner year as Travis' littermates join him in the ring:

"Spenser" - Cajen's Man About Town Bob and Pam Kautz, Ramona, CA

"Buster" - Cajen's Talk A Blue Streak John and Cherrie Metzner, Idaho Falls, ID "Casey" - Cajen's Caught In The Act Hillary Knoeppel, Plano, TX

We think they're very promising and hope you do too.

OWNER:
Faye Lunardi
Oklahoma City, OK
HANDLER:
Ken Dicker Houston, TX
BREEDER/CO-OWNER:
Cajen Whippets
Carolynn Bates
Duncanville, TX

KENNEL LISTINGS

ALOUETTES

Ellen (Mrs S) Adler, 422 Shady Brook Dr., Richardson, TX 75080.
(214) 235-8999

AMIR

Betsy & James Prior, P.O. Box 1607, Romoland, CA 92380.

 

(714) 943-1789

BANDANA

John & Debbie Tomlinson, 1209 Country Club Rt.3, Olney, TX

 

76374. (817) 564-5851

BARCHET

Patty & Drew Edwards and Linda Johnson, 4776 Hwy 78, Lilburn, GA

 

30247. (404) 972-6270 or 466-2908

BELAYA

Carol & John Chittum, 725 W. Grand View Ave., Sierra Madre, CA

 

91024. (818) 355-2241

BRIARTHORN

Russ & Vicki Thorn, 2221 Shadydale Dr., Arlington, TX 76012.

 

(817) 274-3998

BUNCRANA

Pat McLaughlin, Widgeon Lane, Little Compton, RI 02837.

 

(401) 635-8790

CAJEN

Carolynn Bates, 314 Kelly Court, Duncanville, TX 75137.

 

(214) 298-8863

CHERCHE

Glenda Durance, Rt.3, Box 193, Hull, GA 30646.

 

(404) 548-2880

DUNBERRY

Wendy Clark, 110 Tibet Road, Columbus, OH 43202.

 

(614) 268-1848

FALLOWFIELD

Connie Brunkow, 807 W. Washington, Champaign, IL 61820.

 

(217) 398-5846

FOLQUIN

Boris & Elizabeth Wolkonsky, P.O. Box 253, Lakeside, CA 92040.

 

(619) 443-1655

FRANKLY

Mary Jane Frank-Smith, 2893 LaVista Road, Decatur, GA 30033.

 

(404) 634-5210

GLENWOULFE

Maurice & Mary Woulfe, 44 W. Valley Brook Rd., Long Valley, NJ

 

07853. (201) 876-9452

GOLD-DUST

Joan & Bob Goldstein, 5 Klinger Lane, Warren, NJ 07060.

 

(201) 561-3833

HALMARQUE

Marilyn Rew, 1213 Circle High Dr., Burnsville, MN 55337.

 

(612) 435-9749

KEZO

Tom & Ellen Hammatt, 24062 Castilla Lane, Mission Viejo, CA

 

92691. (714) 770-9881

LIMBERLOST

Dr. Colleen M. O'Keefe, 268 Crescent Ave., Palatine, IL 60067.

 

(312) 705-1320

 

LINDENHALL

Kate-Marie Barry, 1959 Zink Road, Fairborn, OH 45324.

(513) 429-9131

QUEENIES

Ron & Cheri Boutelle, Rt.3, Box 3748, Holts Summit, MO 65043.

 

(314) 896-4294

RA YBAR

Ray & Barbara Parsons, 4465 Northwind Rd., Las Cruces, NM 88005.

 

(505) 523-6793

RINGMASTER

Paul & Sue Abraham, 5615 North Poplar, Fresno, CA 93704.

 

(209) 431-3321

RIPPLETON

Estelle Hall Lyon, 3845 Rippleton Rd., Cazenovia, NY 13035.

 

(315) 655-9345

RUNNERS

Isabell Stoffers Speight, 20827 Mesarica Rd., Covina, CA 91724.

 

(818) 332-2190

SUNNYSIDE

Ken & Eileen Steiner, Shamrock Drive, Box 540, Warren, MA

 

01083. (413) 436-7034

WHIPPOORWILL

Barbara L. Henderson, VMD, 16200 Burtons Lane, Laurel, MD 20707.

 

(301) 953-3386

WILDFIRE

Lori Nelson, HCO3 Box 4728, Cave Creek, AZ 85331.

 

(602) 488-3801


Winners Dog, Best of Winners
AWC Supported Entry, Ravenna Kennel Club

This lovely dog's grandsire is CH. GlenEcho's Tinman, Winners Dog of the 1981 Midwest Specialty. CH. GlenEcho's Tinman is also the sire of GlenEcho's Chancellor, Winners Dog of the 1985 Southern Specialty.

Specialties are our Specialty

Breeder/Owner:
Gabrielle Glenn
5630 Kapp Road
Lyman, S.C. 27040

Handled by:
Peter Baynes
Pfafftown , N.C

Winners Dog, Best of Winners
AWC Supported Entry, Ravenna Kennel Club

This lovely dog's grandsire is CH. GlenEcho's Tinman, Winners Dog of the 1981 Midwest Specialty. CH. GlenEcho's Tinman is also the sire of GlenEcho's Chancellor, Winners Dog of the 1985 Southern Specialty.

Specialties are our Specialty

"Yeager" completed his championship with his second and third majors in Columbus at the Lima and Central Ohio KC shows (Nov. 1987), going WD, BOW under hound specialist Dr. Ron Spritzer and WD, BOW under breeder-judge Mr. James Prior. Yeager is well-made, very sound with excellent bone and the free-flowing side movement that is the mark of his pedigree. We thank the judges who have appreciated this fine young dog.

owner/breeder
HIGH FLYER
Erma & Ralph Kovach, MD
6671 Gates Mills Blvd.
Gates Mills, OH 44040
(216) 449-3318

co-owner/co-breeder
DUNBERRY
Wendy Clark
110 Tibet Road
Columbus, OH 43202
(614) 268-1848


Glamorous Glennis has been attracting attention at important events since her first show at six months of age:

  • 1986 AWC BEST IN FUTURITY, judge Bo Bengtson
  • BEST BRED-BY-EXHIBITOR, 1987 AWC NATIONAL SPECIALTY, judge Doris Wear
  • BEST JUNIOR IN SWEEPSTAKES, 1987 AWC NATIONAL SPECIALTY, judge Phoebe Booth
  • FIRST, BRED-BY-EXHIBITOR BITCH, 1987 AWC MIDWEST SPECIALTY, judge Tom Partis
  • WB, BOW at AWC SUPPORTED ENTRY, SOMERSET HILLS KC, judge John Reeve-Newson

We thank all those who have admired Glennis' many attributes. Watch for her in 1988 as a "Special" girl.

owner/breeder
HIGH FLYER
Erma & Ralph Kovach, MD
6671 Gates Mills Blvd.
Gates Mills, OH 44040
(216) 449-3318

co-owner/co-breeder
DUNBERRY
Wendy Clark
110 Tibet Road
Columbus, OH 43202
(614) 268-1848


BEST IN SWEEPSTAKES - AWC EASTERN SPECIALTY

"Gunner" began his show career with a flourish, going BEST IN SWEEPSTAKES at the AWC Eastern Specialty under judge Joan Goldstein. He continued his winning ways, acquiring most of his points as a puppy, with all-rounders and breeder-judges alike appreciating his easy ways and free-flowing side movement. After he has taken some time off to mature, he will be showing his "Special" ways again.

owner/breeder
HIGH FLYER
Erma & Ralph Kovach, MD
6671 Gates Mills Blvd.
Gates Mills, OH 44040
(216) 449-3318

co-owner/co-breeder
DUNBERRY
Wendy Clark
110 Tibet Road
Columbus, OH 43202
(614) 268-1848


WINNERS BITCH, AWC SUPPORTED ENTRY - KENNESAW KENNEL CLUB

In her judge's critique of the AWC National Specialty Sweepstakes (Sighthound Review, July/Aug.1987), Phoebe Booth called Skimmer a "drop dead gorgeous orange/white baby who will turn a few heads when she gets it all together." Indeed. But in the mean­time, this little girl just wants to have fun! She traveled to the summer Specialties, but missed most of her classes because of conflicts. In those she made, we should have been billed as entertainment rather than exhibitor! Even so, she caught the eye of judge and spectator alike.

Fall came, and with it the AWC Southern Specialty weekend. Skimmer moved from Puppy class to BBE and kept her feet on the ground long enough to catch the attention of judge Betsy Prior at the Kennesaw KC Supported Entry. We thank Mrs Prior for appreciating Skimmer's exhuberance as well as her other qualities and awarding her this fine win in Atlanta for a 5 point major.

Watch for Skimmer in the ring in 1988, and we'll try to get her feet on the ground!

owner/breeder
HIGH FLYER
Erma & Ralph Kovach, MD
6671 Gates Mills Blvd.
Gates Mills, OH 44040
(216) 449-3318

co-owner/co-breeder
DUNBERRY
Wendy Clark
110 Tibet Road
Columbus, OH 43202
(614) 268-1848


THE CALIFORNIA CONTINGENT

"Splash" lives in California, co-owned with Elizabeth Smith of Carmel. This lovely little girl is pointed in limited showing. Watch for her beautiful moving ways in the ring in 1988.

owner/breeder
HIGH FLYER
Erma & Ralph Kovach, MD
6671 Gates Mills Blvd.
Gates Mills, OH 44040
(216) 449-3318

co-owner/co-breeder
DUNBERRY
Wendy Clark
110 Tibet Road
Columbus, OH 43202
(614) 268-1848


"Pinch" is a littermate of Ch. High Flyer Top Gun and Dunberry Water Skimmer. She, too, has a good start on her show career, going WB, BOS for 2 points at Toledo KC under judge Jack Dexter and WB, BOW for a major at Progressive KC under breeder-judge Dr. John Reeve-Newson. She will be seen in the show ring in 1988 with her owner/handler Shirley Hitter, of New Waterford, OH.

owner/breeder
HIGH FLYER
Erma & Ralph Kovach, MD
6671 Gates Mills Blvd.
Gates Mills, OH 44040
(216) 449-3318

co-owner/co-breeder
DUNBERRY
Wendy Clark
110 Tibet Road
Columbus, OH 43202
(614) 268-1848


High Flyer Making Waves (A.K.A. "Willie Whippet") lives in Canada, co-owned with Donald & Sandra Bingley. He completed his Canadian Championship in a breeze in 1987 and will be working on his American Championship in 1988.

"Willie's" clone brothers, High Flyer Watermark (co-owned by Robin Shaw and Erma Kovach) and High Flyer Hurricane Country (co-owned by Jack Nightengale, DVM and Ralph Kovach, MD) are U.S. citizens and both are major pointed.

Watch for these fawn boys in the ring in 1988.

owner/breeder
HIGH FLYER
Erma & Ralph Kovach, MD
6671 Gates Mills Blvd.
Gates Mills, OH 44040
(216) 449-3318

co-owner/co-breeder
DUNBERRY
Wendy Clark
110 Tibet Road
Columbus, OH 43202
(614) 268-1848


THE NEW KID ON THE BLOCK

High Flyer and Plumcreek present Jenny. Out of an outstanding litter and a double on the top producer, Ch. Plumcreek Walk On Water, we look forward to her get. Our thanks to Donna Lynch, Hamrya, for this fine whippet.

owner co-owner

owner
HIGH FLYER
Erma & Ralph Kovach, MD
6671 Gates Mills Blvd.
Gates Mills, OH 44040
(216) 449-3318

co-owner
PLUMCREEK
Linda Larson
5S035 Karns Road
Naperville, IL 60540
(312) 369-6118


Rhapsody finished her championship with style in Columbus, Ohio, going BOB over Specials at Dayton KC (judge Robert Forsyth) and WB, BOS for a major at Lima KC under hound specialist Dr. Ron Spritzer.

Rhapsody is a lovely bitch with wonderful side-movement and soundness. She has been bred to Ch. Plumcreek Walk on Water for an early 1988 litter. Considering the past performance of this pedigree, we expect outstanding results from this breeding.

owner
HIGH FLYER
Erma & Ralph Kovach, MD
6671 Gates Mills Blvd.
Gates Mills, OH 44040
(216) 449-3318

co-owner
ROYAL MARK
Kay & Neil McLain
940 Cayuga Hts. Rd.
Ithaca, NY 14850
(607) 273-2828


MEET THE ENEMY - HYPOTHYROIDISM

By Claire Marie Larson

As I sat down in the coffee shop with Dr. Daryl Leu, an allergy specialist who practices in Portland, and Stephanie Hazen, my veterinarian, Dr. Leu said, "You could have picked an easier subject than hypothyroidism!"

There is no way an article such as this one can explore the intricacies of hypothyroidism - a disease that bewilders even research scientists with its ramifications. This article is meant only as an introduction - an introduction easier than the one I had.

In the summer of 1985, I was on top of the world. My black male, Whynot Waterdance Dream, CD, F.Ch, was simultaneously in the top ten for lure coursing(1) and the top ten for NOTRA, (2) while his litter sister was in the top ten for obedience. (3). At four years of age, Dreamer was on the downhill side of his prime, but he was still a consistent grade B racer, and unlike the years past, we'd met with a bit of luck. The Northwest flood of world-beaters from 1983 and 1984 - Trylson, Genie, Queenie, Satus, Router, Djon, Tom - had dwindled to a mere steady stream, and we were in point-striking territory at many meets and had managed to win a small NOTRA. I'd even gotten brave and sent him into the ring at a local show. Much to my delight, he had placed in a large class, with the judge's compliments on his condition.

But there were some shadows crossing our path. Earlier that year, June Harrison, after looking curiously at Dreamer at a BCWRC meet, had asked, "Have you ever tested him for thyroid?" I tried not to be offended. Dreamer was running as well as he had ever run. Surely he was one of the healthiest dogs racing! Most people felt that, if anything, I was overly cautious regarding my dogs' health. Surely my vet would have noticed if there were anything amiss on one of my numerous trips to his office!

But at an exhibition race at Multnomah Kennel Club, Dreamer came under the practiced eye of a Salem whippet-owning veterinarian, one Stephanie Hazen, there at the invitation of a club member. She plied me with questions and then had the effrontery to strongly recommend testing.

What did she see that my vet and I did not? It worried me, and I did have the tests run on Dreamer and had my bitch tested as well; when I got the report, without even consulting my own vet, I called the results down to Dr. Hazen's office.

1 Sighthound Review (July/August, 1985)

2 Oval Racing Record (July/August, 1985)

3 Sighthound Review (July/August, 1985)

"Well, this first dog is borderline," she said. "You'll want to watch that one. But the second dog is barely alive."

With a sinking feeling, I explained that the second dog was indeed alive and was my pride and joy, Dreamer.

It was the beginning of an awareness of a problem that has the potential of being as troublesome in whippets as cryptorchidism (commonly called monor­ chidism). In fact, hypothyroidism in the long run may be more dangerous. Cryptorchidism is in evidence at a very early age, while hypothyroidism is usually an adult—onset disease, with many unsuspecting opportunities to breed affected dogs. Cryptorchidism demands one surgery procedure for sterilization; hypothyroidism means an annoying daily routine of medication from diagnosis to the day the dog dies (this is not a curable disease). With sterilization, there is an end to the danger of further health problems associated with cryptorchidism; but hypothyroidism has been recognized as playing a major role in bone marrow hypoplasia (underdevelopment), and it exacerbates a genetic disease called von Willebrand's disease, a bleeding hemophilia. Von Willebrand's disease is common in several breeds and has now been found in whippets.

It was also the beginning of an awareness that — if I may be permitted to step on my soapbox for a moment — this is a problem many whippet people do not take seriously. I have heard more than once from whippet fanciers that no one knows if hypothyroidism is hereditary, that it isn't a problem because it is easily controlled; yet every article I have read speaks of familial relationships, and one, by Charlene R. Kickbush, DVM, goes so far as to say, "We should keep track of pedigree analyses on hypothyroidism just as we would for hip dysplasia or PRA." It has not been proved to be hereditary, but it is strongly suspected.

What is hypothyroidism? It is a disorder resulting from a deficiency of effective circulating thyroid hormone. The secretion of the circulating thyroid hormone is the result of a chain reaction that starts with the hypothalamus, which produces a hormone labeled TRH (thyrotropin). TRH stimulates secretion of TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone), which is produced by the pituitary. TSH stimulates the secretion of T3 (triidothyronine) and T4 (thyroxine), the circulating hormones, from the thyroid gland. All of the T4 is produced by the thyroid gland, but as much as 50% of the T3 in the body is derived from T4 conversion (deiodination). T3 is the "metabolic—initiating" (in other words, active) hormone. With all this interplay, it's obvious that things could go wrong at any one of a number of levels.

Why is thyroid function important? How thyroid hormone affects the cells is not exactly clear, but researchers have shown that thyroid hormone increases oxygen consumption, heat production, metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins and fats, and cardiac output.

That's the easy part. When it comes to diagnosis, the symptoms are multi­ tudinous and contradictory; more than one veterinary article has labeled hypothyroidism "the great imposter."

Dr. Leu explained that he, as an allergy specialist, sees cases that have manifested skin problems. Many dogs who suffer from allergies are also hypothyroid. In his initial examination, he looks at the pattern of hair loss, since often hypothyroid—caused hair loss is symmetrical, being internally generated, rather than patchy or asymmetrical as would be caused by external stimuli such as mange or ringworm. He examines the coat for a dry or greasy feel, since the oil—water balance of the hair follicle is upset in a thyroid—deficient dog, and examines whether the guard hairs are still present. He looks for sebaceous plugs and excessive skin pigmentation. He examines the pads for thickness or dryness. He clips a nail to see if it is dry and brittle or unusually soft. Then he checks for bacterial skin infections. All of these observations are of the layers of the barrier to the body, whether the hair, the hair follicle, the keratin, the melanin or the immune system.

Stephanie, as a general practitioner, sees dogs in early stages and some cases where the disease has progressed to an advanced state while the owner sits and wonders why or is totally oblivious that there is a problem, as I was. In her patients, there may or may not be skin problems. When she suspects hypothyroidism, much of her diagnosis comes from questioning the owner about household routines and habits.

1. Is the dog a heat—seeker? What whippet isn't! But Dreamer and my "borderline" bitch, who, with age, has since slipped over the border into hypo­ thyroidism, were under the blankets even on the warmest days. Both had ears like ice.

2. What kind of appetite does the dog have? In what kind of condition is the dog? Dreamer was always gaunt and had a poor appetite. Conversely, the bitch tends to pudginess and voraciousness, also symptoms. (Remember, this disease is the great impostor.)

3. Are there reproductive problems? If the patient is a female, has she cycled normally? My bitch did not cycle until she was put on thyroid supplemen­tation at the age of four. If the patient is male, is the sperm count normal?

Sometimes a hypothyroid dog's only clinical signs of the disease are associated with reproduction - there may be no hair loss or other symptom, but the sperm count is low or nonexistent.

4. Does the dog seem to be "aging" abnormally fast? One of the effects of thyroid dysfunction is that the aging process is speeded up. A dog that seems old before its time may be hypothyroid.

5. Do wounds heal slowly? Does hair take a long time to grow back? Does the dog seem to go bald some months of the year? Some hair losses are from irritants that have the dog rubbing and scratching. (4) But hair loss is one of the classic manifestations of thyroid problems.

Both Dr. Leu and Stephanie routinely do laboratory tests on suspected hypothyroid cases. There is a test that involves an injection of TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) to reveal whether the thyroid gland has normal or low "secretory capacity." There are tests that measure levels of T3 and T4. And there is now a test available to measure thyroid antibodies. Each of these tests is but one more piece of information rather than clear-cut evidence, as interpre­ tations of the results vary and test results can be affected by the time of day, cycles in the dog's body, illnesses and drugs, especially steroids. A laboratory profile recommended by W. Jean Dodds, DVM (considered one of the premier author­ ities on hypothyroidism in the United States) includes a cholesterol level, since cholesterol will be elevated in a hypothyroid dog but not in a dog who tests low in T3/T4 due to the stress of illness or due to drugs.

I had the opportunity to sit in on a seminar for veterinarians at which Dr. Dodds was the speaker. Much of what she said was over my head; some of what she said about the incidence of von Willebrand's curled my hair; and her comments on nutrition and illness had me wondering if Dreamer might have sidestepped his disease if only I had been more knowledgeable. Dr. Dodds was kind enough to speak with me (in English I could understand) during one of the breaks.

4. My bitch still had hair loss problems reappear even though she had been on thyroid supplementation for several months; but when she was examined, Stephanie suspected allergies. Aside from the fact that she tested in normal ranges on supplementation, the hair loss was around the eyes in a pattern that suggested she had been rubbing them. When the allergy tests came back, they showed that the bitch was indeed allergic - to house dust. Two months before, I had changed her bed to an "egg-crate" type mattress pad - it was exposing her to a higher concentration of dust, since I didn't wash it regularly like her former bed.

She made a comment in passing (and has written in her articles) that addition of kelp to the diet seems to facilitate thyroid metabolism by providing a rich source of iodine and other trace minerals. I practically jumped when she said that, and we spoke about nutrition for a few moments. I was more than a little surprised to hear a research scientist and noted authority advocate "health food." But she said that there are some areas in Europe where hypothyroidism simply does not occur, even though the same bloodlines are represented that elsewhere show a normal incidence of the disease. The common denominator, she told me, is that the disease—free districts are those that traditionally prepare their own dog food. When I asked if she had any recipes or formulas for such food, she could not help me. But she assured me that in her research, she has become convinced that nutrition plays a major role in thyroid function. 5 She later said during her lecture that she recommended the addition of kelp to the diet of any dog that might be a suspect for thyroid problems.

In the introduction to her article, "Testing for Canine Thyroid Dysfunction," she says:

In recent years, the prevalence of primary thyroid hormonal imbalance in both purebred and mixed breed dogs has been increasing rapidly. This has been attributed to such factors as genetic pre­ disposition, especially among certain breeds; nutritional influences; concomitant viral infections; pituitary—thyroid axis imbalances; and immunological mechanisms.

The other area on which Dr. Dodds touched and that Stephanie and I have since discussed regarding Dreamer is viral infections. I nearly lost him in 1983 to a virus that during the scary moments had his temperature up to 107 degrees. It cannot be labeled a certainty, but it is a possibility that there was destruction of thyroid tissue during that illness. Or did he come through that crisis with flying colors only to give way in later years to genetic predisposition? Because I was neither knowledgeable nor observant at the time, it is a question that will never be answered.

5. Although I have heard it passed around that soybeans affect thyroid function, so far, the research of which I am aware has shown only that raw soybeans interfere with the function.

Many people will wonder, "What's the big deal? Her dog couldn't have been that ill if he was running as well as she says."

The big deal is that for years whippet people have been proud to say that the whippet breed has next to no health problems. But indiscriminate breeding by unknowledgeable people can change that in an alarmingly short time. Do we want whippets to whom we are popping pills on a daily basis? And as the incidence of hypothyroidism rises, we're facing a time bomb. Von Willebrand's disease is already present in whippets, though at this time the incidence is low. It is directly inheritable and is exacerbated by hypothyroidism. When the hypothyroid bloodlines someday meet up with the von Willebrand's disease bloodlines, we will be producing bleeders. I cannot think of a more heartbreaking prospect.

What can breeders do? Ask questions (you may have to look for a vet who has taken a special interest in the subject — besides owning a whippet, Stephanie has a hypothyroid/von Willebrand's disease Doberman). Be watchful for signs that warrant a veterinary exam and laboratory testing. Be honest. And be careful. I now watch my dogs like a hawk, test all my adults, even though only the two are on thyroid supplementation, and feed everyone kelp. And when I recently bought a six—year—old show/obedience/race grade C bitch, other people may have thought I was just buying an older multipurpose dog. But I was purchasing a dog to breed with an absence of any clinical signs of hypothyroidism. It's number two on my list of desireable qualities, right below solid temperament.

As for Dreamer, he has been difficult to regulate. His gauntness has gone and his appetite has picked up. He no longer suffers from hypothermia, but the hair loss persists. He is now on a trial of both T4 and T3 supplementation —perhaps he is what is termed a "poor converter" (converstion of T4 to T3).

Many people with racing dogs wonder, "Will my dog be faster?" I did not get the chance to find out firsthand, as Dreamer injured himself shortly after starting thyroid supplementation and my bitch, although on a therapeutic trial of supplementation in 1985, was retired before she went on a regular dose. What

I can tell you is that the first couple of weeks took some adjustment on my part. It seemed like I had puppies in the house. At odd hours of the night, they would pounce on the bed with their squeaky toys and wake me, "Will you play with us?" They were more aware of what was going on outside (squirrels in the trees, for example). And their enthusiasm for participating in whatever I was doing at the moment (cultivating the roses maybe) took me by surprise. In the months that followed, I adjusted to my "new dogs," and I've found that I like the interaction that the lethargy precluded.

Clinical Signs Associated with Canine Hypothyroidism

from Muller, Kirk & Scott, Small Animal Dermatology

General  
Lethargy
Increased sleeping
Mental depression
Personality changes
"Tragic" fecies
(frowning appearance)

Obesity or weight loss
Thermophilia
Hypothermia
Pale mucous membranes
Lack of endurance

 

Cutaneous  

Alopecia
Hyperpigmentation
Thick, cool, puffy skin
Poor wound healing
Easy bruising
Dry, dull, brittle, and
easily epilated hair

Seborrhea
Pyoderma
Pruritus
Staphylococcal hypersensitivity
Otitis externa
Hypertrichosis
Neuromusculoskeletal  
Myopathy, myalgia
Arthropathy, arthralgia
Neuropathy
Hoarseness
Gastrointestinal  
Vomiting
Diarrhea or constipation
Decreased or increased appetite
Cardiovascular  
Bradycardia
Weak apex beat
Vascular insufficiency
Cardiac arrhythmias
Reproductive  
nfertility
Decreased libido
Decreased spermatogenesis
Anestrus
Prolonged postestral bleeding
Testicular atrophy
Galactorrhea
Gynecomastia
Ocular  

Blepharoptosis
Corneal lipidosis

Uveitis
Retinopathy

The Archives


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