Sunday, July 17, 2016

A Chilling Drop in Longevity

As I noted last year in a post entitled The Dying AKC Is Proof Darwin Was Right:
Like the dinosaur that has noticed it has been raining ash from the sky for three straight weeks, the AKC is starting to become aware they are an ancient creature in a new world.

Adapt or die?

There was a time where adaptation might have been possible, but that point is past.

The AKC has become a toxic brand with failed leadership and no viable economic model.

They are frozen in amber and unfit for function and, as Darwin predicted for such creatures, they are doomed to extinction.

But will life go on? Oh yes. Count on it!

Want to know more about the decline in pedigree dog longevity? See here or shoot around on this blog. Lots of information!

And remember:  the core defense of the AKC is a complete and transparent lie.

1 comment:

Viatecio said...

I very recently lost my generic Boxer cross dog to a fast-growing liver carcinoma that was not symptomatically evident until the day before she died (although her liver values were concerningly high the week before, but that could go with many illnesses and further panels were in the plans). I will never know the hows, whys or whens, and I've made peace with that. She was an otherwise healthy, low-maintenance mid-size dog with a mesocephalic head design, extremely athletic build and no allergies, joint disorders, heart conditions, dental issues (other than worn teeth from a previous life of cage-chewing), thyroid malfunctions or eye problems. Age unknown, but highly likely much older than what was on her paperwork. The elevated ALT she had most of her short life with me was due to Not Cancer as per the path report at the time of the biopsy last year and the liver was grossly normal in appearance.

It was a dog that should have passed on her genes to another generation for health reasons. She was an adaptable animal, fit for function to the max.

The whole thing makes me wonder if it is better to lose them younger while they are still otherwise in their older prime (for lack of better phrasing) instead of having to watch them go downhill due to the infirmities of age. Due to my profession, I wondered how this dog would age and how I would have to change MY life to accommodate hers. I wondered if she would develop vestibular disease; lose control of bowels/bladder; lose kidney function; what neoplasiae would slowly grow to the point of questioning quality of life due to mobility, pain or appetite; or if Addisons would strike. I could see her face slowing growing whitee over the years, her limbs and joints freezing from degeneration of age; had plans of having the quality-of-life talk with the vet and my coworkers, and saying goodbye in the comfort room of my hospital.

I'll always wonder and plan same for every dog I own. Remember the past, celebrate and live in the present while planning for the future and accepting that the best of plans are laughed at by those with more power than me.

I'm not saying it's right that they go younger. But we have been in dogs long enough to know that they cannot and do not live forever. I don't have the AKC to blame for this one since genetics were unknown, and I totally get that the closed gene pool and propagating of maladaptive designs and medical issues is what you're going for here.

Many dogs are no longer traumatically killed as they were before they became house pets. Instead it is a slow decline. The dog that lives 12-16 years may have been nursed along those last few months or years on a cocktail of medications that maintained whatever margin of a quality of life, even with all the new meds and remedies that have been discovered since 2004. I see pets that should have been euthanized weeks or months ago and feel horrible that mine most likely suffered for only a few hours before her death (at my hospital on fluids and pain meds, mind you, not alone at home).

What matters to me is that, no matter my dog--especially since I will be acquiring a purebred from health- and temperament-tested working stock in the future--I give it the most fulfilled dog-appropriate life possible in the relatively short time I know it has with me. It's never easy letting them go, but knowing that they led a dog's life makes it easier. I would rather help the light burn twice as bright and enjoy them for half as long knowing that I made their life worth living and that my world was also theirs.

Sorry for the rambling and the length; I know you sometimes disapprove. But the post does invoke an interesting discussion, even though it's more of an apples/oranges thing from what you were originally after.

Raising a glass to Gideon, Clara, and others lost too young, too fast.