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 Juvenile Hereditary Cataracts

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tracy.whalen.12
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PostSubject: Juvenile Hereditary Cataracts   Juvenile Hereditary Cataracts EmptyFri Nov 08, 2013 1:09 pm

Hey everyone!

I have a one year old husky who has recently been diagnosed with juvenile hereditary cataracts. We are very torn as to what path to take in order to treat him best. While we understand that surgery is the only way to "cure" him, we are not sure if this is the best route. There are tons of risks of the surgery that could accelerate the onset of glaucoma, retinal atrophy and other conditions. Further, there is very little data to support the idea of this cure lasting more than 3 years or so. He has been doing so well and his day to day life and temperament has not changed at all which is something I definitely was worried about when he was initially diagnosed.

I was hoping that anyone with experience with this condition could post their results and opinions of the surgery. With our research it has been difficult to determine how long the lenses will be effective before he will again have very limited to no sight.

We have also contacted the breeder in case anyone was concerned. Unfortunately it appears that they will continue to breed. Not sure if there is any way of fixing this problem either. I just don't want anyone to have to go through this. I have tried contacting the AKC and the SHCA and it appears not much can be done.

Any advice, comments and experiences would be greatly appreciated!
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jbealer
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jbealer

Female Join date : 2009-05-29
Location : Denver, CO

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PostSubject: Re: Juvenile Hereditary Cataracts   Juvenile Hereditary Cataracts EmptyFri Nov 08, 2013 2:15 pm

Kim is dealing with this i will let her know to read this.

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tracy.whalen.12
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PostSubject: Re: Juvenile Hereditary Cataracts   Juvenile Hereditary Cataracts EmptyFri Nov 08, 2013 2:16 pm

Thank you! They're beautiful!
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UndarthAngipoo
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UndarthAngipoo

Female Join date : 2012-06-16
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PostSubject: Re: Juvenile Hereditary Cataracts   Juvenile Hereditary Cataracts EmptyFri Nov 08, 2013 2:33 pm

In the meantime, you can read through this thread here. It seems to have a little more information about it...
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Demon&Dakota
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Demon&Dakota

Female Join date : 2011-08-04
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PostSubject: Re: Juvenile Hereditary Cataracts   Juvenile Hereditary Cataracts EmptyFri Nov 08, 2013 2:33 pm

Ah, yes. Juvenile cataracts. Not a fun situation. Demon was under a year when the first one developed and then a couple of months later the second one developed. We went to a specialist and got a quote on the surgery, but it wasn't financially possible for us at the time, so we made the decision to just watch and wait. If his life became severely impacted by his vision we would revisit.

Both dogs are now nearing the 5-year mark. Demon bumps into things occasionally, especially when we move them on him, he doesn't run full-speed, but overall his quality of life is no different than Dakota's whose eyes are fine. He plays, runs, walks, hikes with us all without too much trouble. In fact most people don't know he has a problem unless we mention it.

Maybe it's different for us since he has his sister with him to act as his eyes at times, but he's a happy, otherwise healthy, normal pup.

It's up to you how you go about treatment, but in my opinion, unless his quality of life and lifestyle are severely impacted I would leave it alone.

Hope this helps some.
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Huskyluv
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Huskyluv

Female Join date : 2009-06-23
Location : Huntsville, AL

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PostSubject: Re: Juvenile Hereditary Cataracts   Juvenile Hereditary Cataracts EmptyFri Nov 08, 2013 2:51 pm

I had two dogs with congenital juvenile cataracts, you can see my post in the thread that Angela linked to also but I'll also include it here...

@Huskyluv wrote:
...2 of my dogs have juvenile cataracts, they both have it in both their eyes too. And while it does obstruct their vision they have not gotten worse over the years and the vet doesn't want to put them through surgery so long as they can live life well enough with them. The vet monitors their eyes each time we bring them in and thankfully they're not getting any worse...so far (the two dogs in question are 8 years old and 6 years old currently and have had JC since they were young adults due to bad breeding). Sure they have a hard time seeing things and finding things based on vision and they have a hard time seeing in the dark but they can live a good enough life that our vet doesn't want to do surgery.
You didn't mention how bad the cataracts are and what your vet currently recommends. I personally wouldn't opt for surgery unless it was so bad that it affected their quality of life. And even then I would seek the professional opinions of multiple vets and specialists. Have you taken him to a specialist yet? I wouldn't do anything without seeing a specialist first and getting their opinion.

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tracy.whalen.12
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PostSubject: Re: Juvenile Hereditary Cataracts   Juvenile Hereditary Cataracts EmptyFri Nov 08, 2013 3:04 pm

Oh yes, we've gone to a specialist and we actually still have the surgery appointment set. Initially, I was so worried that he was going to become mean or aggressive without his sight because our normal vet told us this could be a side effect as his sight worsens. I was so sad and worried for him as he is such a young guy and thought he would no longer be able to go see his friends at the park and puppy daycare and he would only be able to hang out with his lame mom and dad. As the weeks have gone on I have realized that this is not the case at all. Kano (my puppy) is exactly the same although he does bump into things as the post above said. With the surgery, his day to day would not change at all except for the month period where I would have to have him on bed rest basically.

His did develop very quickly (literally within days of each other and to the point that I can see both with the naked eye). I think we will continue to monitor it and take the wait and see approach as Kim said. There are just too many risks that would make it worse much quicker and in that case we would have no other options to rectify the further damage that occurred after surgery.

Thank you all for the responses! I had actually already read that thread which is what led me to this site and further questions! I need to get one of those signatures! Your huskies are all gorgeous!
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tracy.whalen.12
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PostSubject: Re: Juvenile Hereditary Cataracts   Juvenile Hereditary Cataracts EmptyFri Nov 08, 2013 3:24 pm

I'm sorry Valerie I did not quite answer your question, his developed quickly and they're pretty dense. Although we did notice him scratching his eyes and squinting which was misdiagnosed initially as an eye infection and then an allergic reaction. We took him to michigan state university ophthalmology center as recommended by many dog owners in our area. They have recommended surgery and the date is set for 11/25. I have been emailing with the vet and she says that it is better to perform the surgery when they're younger as it is a simpler surgery because the lenses have not fully matured. From what I have heard from her, it appears that she would recommend surgery in almost all cases and did not make a distinction based on how quickly or at what magnitude they have formed. She did however say that surgery is not necessary and dogs can live a normal life without it.
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Huskyluv
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Huskyluv

Female Join date : 2009-06-23
Location : Huntsville, AL

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PostSubject: Re: Juvenile Hereditary Cataracts   Juvenile Hereditary Cataracts EmptyFri Nov 08, 2013 3:53 pm

It is worth considering that younger dogs tend to heal better and faster than older dogs.  You do have that advantage in your favor if you did decide to go ahead with the surgery at this point.  I really don't have any advice for you, wish I could be of more help.  If it were me, I'd probably opt to wait and see how he does without surgery but that's just me.  You have to do what you think is best for your baby, you know him better than we do and you're the one who's been talking to his vet and specialist.

Have you gotten more than one opinion?  I know a gal who did have surgery on her dog for a different condition (he was still losing his sight) and the surgery not only went fine, but years later he can still see perfectly with no issues or recurrence of the original problem.  I can't remember what it was called exactly that her dog had but he was losing his sight all of a sudden at a very rapid pace.

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tracy.whalen.12
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PostSubject: Re: Juvenile Hereditary Cataracts   Juvenile Hereditary Cataracts EmptyFri Nov 08, 2013 4:53 pm

The only problem that I see with having it done so young is that there is so a huge possibility of one of the many side effects to set in. In a lot of cases that I have seen the lenses only last
for a certain period of time and I am worried about the idea of him having to readjust late in life (when he may be less adaptable to that kind of change).

We have not gotten a second opinion yet and have considered it but another expensive appointment to find out the same information is deterring us from doing so.

I have spent many hours doing research and contacting many people. I was just hoping to hear real experiences from people with the same breed as I do to see what the results of the surgery have been and what just medicating and monitoring them has done. Much of my research has been inconclusive and the vet has said that there is very little official research to support any real conclusions.
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mbarnard0429
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mbarnard0429

Female Join date : 2011-08-07
Location : Michigan

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PostSubject: Re: Juvenile Hereditary Cataracts   Juvenile Hereditary Cataracts EmptySat Nov 09, 2013 3:21 am

Hi Tracy,

It's important to remember that science has not yet discovered how or why juvenile cataracts is contracted. There have been some studies that even show two affected parents can often produce a puppy with cataracts. Even the best dog and bitch will produce it from time to time. There is about a 4% prevalence rate in TESTED dogs..mostly show dogs and working lines. Because The inheritance of JC is unknown (not ses linked, etc.) it is impossible for a breeder to know if their lines are 100% JC free.

If you want to chat more, please message me. This is just general info. I don't know who your breeder is and I cannot comment on their merit, just that even ethical breeders have this issue from time to time.
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tracy.whalen.12
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PostSubject: Re: Juvenile Hereditary Cataracts   Juvenile Hereditary Cataracts EmptyTue Nov 19, 2013 1:25 pm

I know, and this is something that I have learned. I spoke with many people and organizations and did a lot of research and realized exactly what you said.

Unfortunately, while informing some of his litter mates that I could find on Facebook of his problem just as a warning, we discovered that there is more than likely another dog that has cataracts as well. They are seeing a specialist this week to be sure. I just worry that these dogs will continue to be used for breeding and their offspring may as well which will continue to add to the problem.

I don't think they were breeding unethically, but now that they know it is a problem I feel that something should be done to ensure that this will not be a recurring problem. Maybe there isn't anything that can be done and I guess that is what i was wondering. If there is a testing procedure that can be done or if there is a way (other than posting on their Facebook page) to let people know that this could be a potential problem with this line of huskies.
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Eresh
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Eresh

Female Join date : 2012-10-06
Location : Space Coast, Florida

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PostSubject: Re: Juvenile Hereditary Cataracts   Juvenile Hereditary Cataracts EmptyTue Nov 19, 2013 4:50 pm

If they are ethical breeders, they will not breed the parents again. If they didn't guarantee the pups' genetic health (or perhaps they did?) I doubt they're all that ethical. (Edited to add: Of course even the most ethical breeders have things crop up. The difference is that an ethical breeder will try to make restitution with the affected pups' owners while an unethical one will be like 'too bad, so sad') I hope the pups were all sold on a limited (or no) registration to decrease the chances that people will breed them. If it were me, I would post right on their Facebook wall something like "Thanks again for the pup. He seems to be doing well in spite of the juvenile cataracts he and his littermate seem to have inherited."

By the way, VetGen is seeking samples from dogs with two or more occurrences of JC in the family. I hope you and the other puppy owner will consider helping out with their research.   http://www.vetgen.com/research-genetic-disease.html
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tracy.whalen.12
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PostSubject: Re: Juvenile Hereditary Cataracts   Juvenile Hereditary Cataracts EmptyTue Nov 19, 2013 5:14 pm

Thank you so much for the link! I contacted them and gave them the name and location of the breeder. I would love to help! I know how difficult this has been for me and I am really trying to do what I can to improve the situation for others in the future.

They did not guarantee the genetic health of the dog. Being young and inexperienced, it is not something I even considered. I tried to prepare myself; I read the books, articles and tried to research the breeder as much as possible but I didn't even know what I was looking for. I read about the cataracts but I guess I assumed that meant later in life. I guess you live and you learn and try to improve the outcome for yourself and others in the future. I still love him to death but I hate being in a situation that feels so helpless. He will more than likely be blind at some point in his life whether he gets surgery or not and will experience pain, tons of vet visits, daily eye drops and so many more things for all of his life.

I really do not feel they should be using these dogs for breeding until they have a better understanding of why this problem has been occurring and where the problem stems from. This will just cause this problem to be even more prevalent if something isn't done. I have tried but I have just met a lot of dead ends.

And trust me, I posted an essay on their Facebook wall and sent a message to every person I could tell had purchased a dog from them. Not to mention a scathing review. I want to do the right things for my dog, his eye health and I want to make sure that this stress and heart ache does not have to continue for anyone else (as much as possible anyways).
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wpskier222
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PostSubject: Re: Juvenile Hereditary Cataracts   Juvenile Hereditary Cataracts EmptyTue Nov 19, 2013 5:23 pm

What is the name of the breeder and where are they located?

Edit - I ask because sometimes people ask for breeder recommendations/experiences on the forum. Smile
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tracy.whalen.12
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PostSubject: Re: Juvenile Hereditary Cataracts   Juvenile Hereditary Cataracts EmptyTue Nov 19, 2013 5:29 pm

They're called Wyse Family Breeders and they're located in michigan city, Indiana.

That's one way that the situation can be bettered! Thanks so much!
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dahowlers
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PostSubject: Re: Juvenile Hereditary Cataracts   Juvenile Hereditary Cataracts EmptyTue Nov 19, 2013 6:35 pm

I looked them up one fb, I would avoid using them in the future :/
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tracy.whalen.12
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PostSubject: Re: Juvenile Hereditary Cataracts   Juvenile Hereditary Cataracts EmptyTue Nov 19, 2013 6:47 pm

Oh that is not a question AT ALL. I trying to make it so that nobody uses them in the future without knowing the potential risks. Although, after reading Kim's post about how her one dog helps to be the eyes of the other we were contemplating getting a second husky. We were also thinking about through a rescue since many people seem to give up their dogs due to "behavior problems" (which I think is just a husky with too much pent up energy) but are unsure if this is the best course of action.
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mbarnard0429
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PostSubject: Re: Juvenile Hereditary Cataracts   Juvenile Hereditary Cataracts EmptyTue Nov 19, 2013 9:24 pm

An ethical breeder will have a guarantee like this:

Juvenile Hereditary Cataracts 2421d3767838980cb4186b21f3a31334_zps86f91c1e

This is a portion of the health guarantee for my newest pup.
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tracy.whalen.12
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PostSubject: Re: Juvenile Hereditary Cataracts   Juvenile Hereditary Cataracts EmptyTue Nov 19, 2013 9:58 pm

Wow, yeah, Kano came with the first two guarantees but not the third or fourth. Again, I think I was just an uninformed buyer. I thought I was fully educated but I clearly did not completely understand everything that I needed to know. I am disappointed in myself but I guess the good news is that I am going to take care of him and do everything I can to make sure he has the best life possible. He would have been sold either way so I am glad that he has me and the rest of his loving little family.

I see you are from michigan, and I am too! Where did you get your most recent puppy from? It is just a thought, but we were contemplating getting another dog to be his eyes and a trusted friend as his vision worsens.
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dahowlers
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PostSubject: Re: Juvenile Hereditary Cataracts   Juvenile Hereditary Cataracts EmptyTue Nov 19, 2013 10:03 pm

Oh, I'm sorry if it sounded like I was! I just meant in general haha It's not your fault at all that they didn't guarantee his health or do anything to produce healthy dogs.
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mbarnard0429
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mbarnard0429

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PostSubject: Re: Juvenile Hereditary Cataracts   Juvenile Hereditary Cataracts EmptyTue Nov 19, 2013 10:29 pm

I have a male from qudos siberians and from karnovanda - however another fantastic breeder has two females available at the moment. Message me for details. I adore this breeder as well...bralin siberians.
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mbarnard0429
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PostSubject: Re: Juvenile Hereditary Cataracts   Juvenile Hereditary Cataracts EmptyTue Nov 19, 2013 10:41 pm

I'm going to be honest, breeding two dogs who produce cataracts happens all the time..often those two dogs could be rebred and not produce a single incident. In fact, two dogs with cataracts may never breed cataracts...they don't know how it is transmitted.
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MGoBlue
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PostSubject: Re: Juvenile Hereditary Cataracts   Juvenile Hereditary Cataracts EmptyWed Jun 04, 2014 7:17 pm

So Bode has his annual checkup today. Anthony took him in, I wasn't there. The vet found a very small cataract in each eye. Due to lack of other symptoms, she's said it's probably hereditary. She said they're not obscuring his vision at all so she said we will just keep an eye on them for growth for now.

I'm pretty upset. I know it's far from a death sentence, but feel horrible that something is wrong with my baby and that it may require surgery. Part of me hopes that it never comes to that and they stay small, but another part hopes that it is necessary sooner than later while he is still young and can rebound fast. Really not the kind of news I needed to hear.
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mbarnard0429
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mbarnard0429

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PostSubject: Re: Juvenile Hereditary Cataracts   Juvenile Hereditary Cataracts EmptyThu Jun 05, 2014 12:14 am

Are you positive it's cataracts? I'd be getting a second opinion. Unless she is a veterinary ophthalmologist, I would be weary.

Do you need info on CERF clinics? That would be a better place to go for something like this.

Also note, JC can pop up out of no where and sometimes the genes just line up in a way that it happens out of parents who have never produced it before.
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