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Up Topic Dog Boards / Breeding / Cleft palate - recessive gene or not????
- By nicolla [gb] Date 19.06.02 15:04 GMT
How many of you feel that cleft palates are caused by a recessive gene?

My vet disagrees and I'm really not sure.

If I kept a puppy from a litter which had contained a cleft palate and it is caused by a recessive gene ie both parents had to carry it, will the pup carry it and continue it down the line?

The pup I had with it had quite a deformed head, and the skull line on the top of the head (down the centre of the skull) had no hair on it, so this could have just been a deformed pup, yes or no? I don't wish to carry recessive genes down the line hoping that they don't rear their ugly heads, should the other pup be placed in a pet home and spayed????????????
- By issysmum [gb] Date 19.06.02 15:22 GMT
I know of someone with a stud dog that was only used once. The litter contained a cleft plate pup as did each litter in every generation after that for 3 generations.

In my mind that's too often to be a coincedence.

x x x
- By Brainless [gb] Date 19.06.02 16:54 GMT
As far as i was aware it is a developmental accident, possibly caused by an external factor at a critical time in development. A friend of mine has a dauughter with a cleft palate and hair lip.
- By mari [ie] Date 19.06.02 19:49 GMT
To my knowledge a cleft palate is not caused by any recessive gene .It is as brainless say a developmental thing which occurs in all breeds .
It is always one of the first things you are warned about in any breed book advising about whelping.
I for one would not be thinking of spaying a bitch I would be hoping to produce from because of a cleft palate. Mari
- By pamela Reidie [gb] Date 19.06.02 21:15 GMT
Well I am going to through the cat amongst the pigeons and tell you it is a Hereditary thing.

Well it is in humans so I guess it will be in dogs.

My hubby has one. ( He would kill me for posting this as he has had excellent Plastic surgery and you can not tell now but it causes heart ache)

Well My hubby has 3 brothers and they all have them.

His father and grandfather had one also. now bare in mind this was 44 years ago so they knew less but he tells me that he has been told that it definately 100% Hereditary.

It is also generally seen in men rather than woman although there are some females with them but very small in percentage compared to males.

The fault is not just in the mouth it actually is to do with the skull formation.

My Hubby also tells me that although it is not 100% there is belief that it is carried by the "Y" Chromosome males in other words.

My husband has 1 son who does not have it and only one of his brothers have sons and one of them has it slightly but looks more like a small lip rather that an hair lip but when test ??? it is or could have been one.

So there you go don't know how much that helps.

Btw One of my brother in laws actuallly has a double one.

- By emma [gb] Date 19.06.02 22:04 GMT
I have heard many reasons for a cleft palate .
But as a breeder who has experienced cleft palates let me explain.
I had a litter of pups sired by a male of simular lines to the bitch.
The litter produced 2 puppies with cleft palates 1 bitch who was PTS at 3 weeks old as the palate was too big and a male who was and still is fine {no health problems or eating problems}
Now the stud dogs litter sister has just had a litter has just had a litter which resulted in again 2 cleft palates 1 bitch with a large hole and again a male with a smaller hole!!!!!!
After much discussion it seems that this line has this problem but no-one has ever been honest enough to say anything.
I Would never breed from a dog with a cleft palate and would take great care with any other dogs from a litter which contained a cleft palate puppy { I am having to do a total outcross matting with the pups aunt to avoid any risk of clefts happening again}
My vet said it was hereditary and in my experience that seems to be the case and advised me to be careful when picking a stud dog with the litter sister to the cleft puppies.
None of the puppies were deformed in anyway and you wouldn't even notice that the male dog had one.
Cleft palates sometimes come with hare lips too but I have never heard of any other deformality in the head.
- By Isabel Date 19.06.02 22:22 GMT
I was told that in humans their is a link to epilepsy, in that sufferers of epilepsy are slightly more likely to have children with a cleft palate. This is of course heresay but it was told to me by an Obstetritian and of course I have no idea if it applies to dogs.
- By mari [ie] Date 19.06.02 22:22 GMT
I dont mind being wrong , none of us are infallible , but this is one time I do mind being wrong , I was always led to believe it was not a hereditory thing .
I never had a pup with a cleft palate so I would not have payed a lot of attention to it .
I just know it is advised in all books to check for cleft palate and pts the pup with it .
I do now intend to go looking for info , I will get back to you all on this and let yuo know my findings. Mari
- By mari [ie] Date 20.06.02 01:18 GMT
Well I have just finished looking up cleft palate and yes it is hereditory in most cases
HERE IS A link as it has most of the answers to all questions . Mari
- By westie lover [gb] Date 20.06.02 09:19 GMT
Hi. Thought I would add my observations. My labrador had 3 litters of puppies, the first mating being so successful I used the same dog on her twice more. She had 9 puppies each time and out of the 27 one had a cleft palate. I have also had one cleft palate in all the Westie puppies I have bred (2-3 litters a year for 15 years) using the same breeding lines and occasionally line breeding - but not very close. The Westie bitch that threw the cleft palate was mated to the same dog 3 times and a total of 14 puppies, only one of which was affected. I used the same dog on her aunty and a daughter (who was by another dog) and have never had one since. I am not disputing others opinions that it may be hereditary at all, but in my experience the factor does seem to be very, very low.
- By Brainless [gb] Date 20.06.02 09:21 GMT
I knew I wasn't totally wrong, as it does say toxins can cause it among them steroids!

Thankfully I have never come across the condition, and beleive it is rare in our breed at least in UK!

I must admit I think it is best certainly to not breed from an affected puppies siblings to a mate where there has been incidence of the conditon in their close family.
- By mari [ie] Date 21.06.02 01:25 GMT
Hi Barbara I still think it is not all hereditory .
I also dont think you were totally wrong .
what I presented was my findings , that is only fair .
I still think taking my own observations into account everything is not as straight cut and dried as some vets and experts say.
Left up to myself and judging by the small amount of cleft palates in litters I would be willing to go on my own instincts . Mari
- By sharie [gb] Date 24.06.02 11:00 GMT
I read a really interesting article somewhere on the web about this. Apparently some bitchs are not able to absorb or lack a vitamin and so some lines are producing cleft palates. Feeding folic acid during pregnancy is supposed to help as a lot of bitchs (and women )are lacking in this and that why doctors always tell women to take these additives before and during early pregnancy.
I've only seen two cleft palates in all my litters but this time I am going to supplement my bitch with folic acid, just in case.
- By Christine Date 24.06.02 11:15 GMT
HiSharie, just out of interest what do you feed your dogs?
- By sharie [gb] Date 25.06.02 16:45 GMT
Hi Christine
All my dogs are fed raw meat ie tripe chicken beef etc plus a mixer. They also get bones and fruit and veg added to their diet. In fact its seems to be quite similar to a BARF diet. It was recommended to me by most of the breeders and old timers in my breed Bull Terriers.
- By Christine Date 25.06.02 18:04 GMT
Hi Shari I was thinking along the lines of fleetgold & giving supplements before & during whelp. Did you give her any folic acid at all ? By the way, thats what I feed mine without the mixer tho :) although a lot of vets now call this "old fashioned" & not suitable any more!!
- By sharie [gb] Date 25.06.02 22:37 GMT
Yes vets do call it an old fashioned diet.
I wonder why?
Is it because they sell commercial dog food, is it because they have only one or two lectures during Vetinary training on diets (all run by the big food manufacturers I have heard).

No I never fed the bitch Folic acid.
It was a problem litter, we lost one pup due to uterine inertia (needed an emergency c-section), one was misformed, one cleft palate and one we had to have put down at 2 weeks as it wasnt growing properly. The bitch although in prime health when I mated her wouldnt eat, she had 10 puppies inside her and was unwell for the majority of her pregnancy.
One puppy later only developed one testicle.
We wondered if it was the bitch but shes since had two beautiful healthy litters (to our dog) and no cleft palates or problems whatsoever. Later heard the original stud dog we used had produced similar problems in other pups though.

However, we are going to mate her daughter and this time I am going to supplement her, very similar to Fleetgold is doing.
- By fleetgold [gb] Date 24.06.02 12:18 GMT
I always feel that the folic acid is even more important before pregnancy. When planning a litter I always start the bitch on folic acid about 2 or 3 months before mating, and then keep her on it until about 3 to 4 weeks after mating. The only time I missed this was when I had an accidental mating and didn't start the folic acid until after the mating, this produced the only cleft palate I have ever had.

I was told by a vet who is well known for her expertise in fertility matters that giving biotin helps to cut down on cleft palates. When I did some research on this I discovered that one of the effects of biotin is to increase the uptake of folic acid in the body.

Take the rough with the smooth
- By Christine Date 24.06.02 13:17 GMT
Very interesting Fleetgold. I gave mine biotin but I didn`t know it increased the uptake of folic acid
- By fleetgold [gb] Date 24.06.02 17:23 GMT
What did you actually give the Biotin for Christine? How much did you give (the vet couldn't remember the dosage when she told me about it)?

Take the rough with the smooth
- By Christine Date 24.06.02 18:44 GMT
Hi Fleetgold, I gave it to my first & second girls but I was just told it was good for her!! Also every so often to keep her in condition. I used the liquid one & would give a desertspoonful-tablespoonful bought from the chemist. It was sbviously very good advice then!
- By DIVASHAMU [ca] Date 29.05.03 11:49 GMT
In my reading there is a couple of schools of thought. Cleft Palate is a recessive characteristic. If there is a large percentage (40%) of affected puppies a toxicity factor with Vitamin A or other fat soluable vitamin could have played a factor during the 46 - 48 day of gestation. Another theory is an infection by a virus if only one pup is affected in the litter. Many of these pups fail to thrive because of their inability to suckle at the teat of the bitch. Since they are not gaining weight rapidly as its siblings are, body temperature is usually low therefore it struggles to remain the status quo. Some have been hand raised by breeders who know how to tube feed them. (This is the insertion of a very fine tube through the mouth down into the stomach. Hourly feedings with replacement bitches milk.) I must warn you though success is not always immediate or permanent. Many of these puppies die or have to be euthanized.

The internet has a number of veterinarian authored articles on this topic. They cover all aspects of the discussion from yes it's hereditary, no it's not. Toxicity has a role. All of them are written in terms that are easy to understand but I will be willing to help anyone decode the information if needed. My background is in Nursing as well I have been breeding and showing dogs for 24 Plus years.
- By DIVASHAMU [ca] Date 29.05.03 11:59 GMT
I want to correct the date of concern during the pregnancy when toxicity can cause problems. In my previous e-mail I just sent I quoted 46 - 48th day but it s/b 25th - 28th day. Sorry for the confusion.

Here are the things that can cause toxicity: Steroids, Vitamin A overdosages, tiopronin, sulfa drugs, meclizine, griseofulvin. Some plants are also toxic but usual cause problems in livestock rather than dogs.

Hope this makes more sense.

Up Topic Dog Boards / Breeding / Cleft palate - recessive gene or not????

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