***Updated June 2016: To date (6/25/16) there have been no other puppies sired by Draven that have been diagnosed with EPI. There is no confirmed mode of inheritance for EPI or DNA test we can do yet for this disease. We are sort of blind as to how it is passed on and the genes can be buried for a long time. Because there have not been any other puppies diagnosed since the first and only one, I have decided to bring Draven out of retirement. I'm hoping for no problems but even with perfect health tested parents you can still get puppies with problems. This is why I am such an advocate for pet health insurance. I know accidents and health issues can pop up out of nowhere. Regardless, I like to let people know about this happening so that they can decide whether or not a puppy sired by him is right for them. Here are some links to the latest studies if it interests you to learn more:
Original news from 2011 starts here: I have received quite a few inquiries from customers and the general public wanting to know why I have retired Draven and Bunny. I feel it is important that I direct my answers here so that others who are questioning this, know exactly why they have been retired. My puppy owners have already been informed of these results but the general public has not, until now.
Both Bunny and Draven failed a set of health testing. They both failed their TLI tests. A TLI test is a test that measure's Trypsin-Like Immunoreactivity (TLI). This is the primary test done to find out if a dog has EPI (Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency). EPI can be a devastating condition that affects many breeds of dogs. PIease follow the links to find out the signs and symptoms and more information on this disease. http://www.epi4dogs.com/ and/or http://vetmed.tamu.edu/gilab/service/assays/tli).
I didn't test Bunny and Draven originally because both of their parents passed those tests and I felt that it was not necessary at the time. My mistake for sure. Then, after a couple of Mischa's puppies (Draven and Bunny's mom) showed up as affected with EPI, I decided that I had better test Bunny and Draven. (The affected Mischa puppies were from different sires. I never bred Mischa to the same male more than once.)
I sent blood tests to Texas A&M University to have them both tested on 6/9/11. The results for Draven's TLI score is a 4.0 with a normal range of 5.7 - 45.2. His Cobalamin is 315 (normal range 251-908) and Folate is 9.2 (normal range 7.7-24.4). The Interpretation as per TAMU: Rarely associated with signs of EPI. However, most commonly associated with chronic small intestinal disease. Bunny's TLI score results were much lower at 2.5. Her Cobalamin was 418 (normal range - 251-908) and Folate was 7.9 (normal range 7.7-24.4) Her interpretation by TAMU: Diagnostic for exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI). Neither Draven or Bunny have shown any signs of this disease to date. If they had I probably would have gotten them tested earlier and cut them from the program a lot earlier.
Years ago, I had heard rumors that a couple of Mischa's relatives had produced EPI. Not ONE person who claimed to know this would or could give me proof of parentage with any actual reports of any test scores. Unfortunately in the breeding world there is a lot of animosity and jealousy and if you listened to every rumor you would never breed any dog. I did not believe these rumors until I had proof. Well, now I do. I also have to admit to a little bit of kennel blindness, something that a lot of breeders can fall into. You can ask any of my puppy owners who have dogs from these lines and they will tell you, in no uncertain terms, that they have the most spectacular temperaments. If breeding were cut and dry, we would all have dogs with no health problems, but such is not the case and we have to learn as we go, unfortunately.
Mischa was spayed quite awhile ago and lives here with me and will forever. Bunny has been rehomed to a home that knows of her possibility to become symptomatic of EPI. She is under contract to be spayed as well. Draven will live out his days here with me forever also just like his momma.
Some breeders will use this post against me. I've heard it all in posts against other breeders who try to do the right thing.... they did it just for greed, they did it because they don't care, etc. Well, if I didn't care, why would I post this on my website? Why would I let anyone know at all? I wouldn't tell my puppy owners that called with problems, that I didn't know what was going on and to just go away. I do lots of research and try to figure out what's going on. Telling someone to go away and just deal with what they have going on is something I don't do and I won't do. Everyone that has a puppy that has this condition (or any other problem ) can, and does, call/email me anytime they have a problem or an issue. They know their family member is not without support. I have and will make the situation right. Heck, one puppy didn't show signs until well out of the contract terms. I haven't turned them away nor will I.
As always, I invite my puppy buyers to contact me with any problem, or send a brag about your puppy. I love to share your stories and accomplishments. Without you I wouldn't know what I am producing. I thank you all for that!