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… It’s like VHS over Betamax, the US standard microchips vs. the world’s ISO, the PC’s dominance over the Macs’ operating system, the Kwerty keyboard over other more intuitive models…
Though you may disagree with me on some of the above examples, the history of technological standards is littered with ways in which arguably far better models lost out over their lesser rivals. And it usually comes down to marketing.
Sometimes it means getting government to buy into one standard over the other, distributing your model at a low cost to a high-use industry (reference porn and VHS) or shouldering out competitors with disingenuous practices (á la AVID microchips). Sometimes it’s just a matter of marketing-dedicated dollars and a nimble marketing arm (Microsoft vs. Mac).
Where am I going with this? For those of you whose breeds are predisposed to hip dysplasia, you might know that the OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) and PennHIP models represent rival technologies for assessing dog hips. You should also know that I consider the PennHIP model superior.
No, it’s not because I went to the University of Pennsylvania and had this method drummed into me (indeed, they did almost no chest-beating on this issue while I was there). And it’s not because Dr. Gail Smith, the veterinary surgeon originator of the PennHIP approach, was a popular prof there.
Nope. It’s because I believe that any rational person who would compare the two technologies would be hard-pressed to side with the OFA method. Here’s why: 1. Objectivity
PennHIP patients’ X-rays are assessed via objective measurements while the OFA X-rays are graded by a small panel of radiologists based on subjective impressions of the dogs’ individual hip conformation. 2. Evidence-based
PennHIP requires any veterinarian who undertakes this method to have his or her X-rays included in a database of cases, regardless of hip quality. This improves not only the value of the database but its value to dogs at large for its more accurate representation of the real incidence of hip disease. Result accuracy for individual dogs are continually refined as more enter the database.
The OFA’s approach effectively allows veterinarians to select the best images or decline to submit poor quality hips for evaluation, thus skewing their database towards better hips. This selection bias renders this database somewhat useless. 3. Early prediction of future disease
The OFA method does not purport to accurately predict future disease. Moreover, it cannot be undertaken until an animal is two years old and well into its breeding years. This means that many dogs will enter the show ring before its hips are evaluated, thus increasing the chance that poor hips will enter the genetic pool through award-based incentives.
PennHIP can be employed as early as 16 weeks for an accurate prediction of future changes to the hips. Therein lies its most valuable asset: its ability to eliminate hip dysplasia entirely from the genetic pool if everyone used this method on their pre-pubescent dogs.
But PennHIP does have some downsides and detractions. Here’s a run-down of these:
OFA can be used by any veterinarian with an X-ray machine while PennHIP vets must be certified after completing a one to two day course. In my area (Miami) only one vet is certified. I counted about 25 PennHIP veterinarians in the whole state of Florida.
OFA requires a simple fee for evaluation and certification on one X-ray. If the hips are judged obviously poor by the general practitioner veterinarian taking the X-ray, many elect not to send in the film and incur an additional expense. Many vets don’t sedate or anesthetize for this X-ray (though I do).
PennHIP requires the dog’s owner to commit to the entire service: anesthesia, three X-rays and the evaluation fee. Tack on any additional fees to reimburse the veterinarian for his or her certification status and you’ve got a pricier procedure, sometimes two to three times what OFA costs.
I’ve already mentioned this one but it deserves a special mention for those who choose to limit their dogs’ anesthetic experiences. While I would not undertake OFA X-rays without anesthesia or sedation, many vets do. Dog owners unwilling to have their dogs anesthetized can usually find veterinarians to perform drug-free OFA X-rays. Not so for PennHIP. 4. Pain
OFA says PennHIP causes pain while the animal’s limbs are submitted to the more natural weight-bearing position required for these X-rays. But PennHIP denies this, citing only a handful of cases where patients were more than minimally lame for a day or more (with no lasting discomfort for any). I can’t vouch for this, but I will attest to having some OFA patients experience some discomfort after their X-rays if their hips were poor.
(To check out what the different styles of X-ray positioning looks like, check out this previous post of mine.)
For me, it seems the OFA procedure is so inferior a method that if we were comparing treatment regimens instead of diagnostics, there would be little doubt that the newer, pricier model would have been overwhelmingly accepted years ago as the ideal alternative. But it’s not.
Hip replacements over FHOs, TPLOs over extra-capsular repairs, cyclosporine instead of perianal fistula surgery, hyposensitization over serial steroid therapy…
These are some off-the-top-of-my-head examples of where more expensive therapeutic regimens won out in favor of far less effective methods. In fact, it would be fair to say that NOT offering the more effective choice in these cases could be construed as malpractice…or at least as depriving clients of their right to informed consent.
Not so with PennHIP. The minimal access clients have to this superior diagnostic tool (at least in my area) means that veterinarians are justified in ignoring its clear superiority in favor of the more accessible, less expensive alternative.
If I were to give Dr. Gail Smith some unsolicited advice for his PennHIP program, from one marketing-minded veterinarian to another, I’d…
1. ...infuse his not-for-profit program with enough emergency donor cash to increase the marketing and distribution of his course.
2. ...reduce the barriers to entry for veterinarians (like me) who want to play but find few opportunities to do so at my local conferences.
3. ...minimize the evaluation cost for each patient submission.
4. ...market my method to savvy pet health insurance providers who have incentives to better understand the hip risk each patient faces.
5. ...make sure every veterinary student left vet school knowing which method was best. After all, when even Penn vets like me leave school with a fuzzy idea as to whether PennHIP is really superior or not, you can’t expect veterinary graduates of other programs to know any better.
6. ...enlist breed clubs, have a presence at major dog shows and write articles for pet owner publications (and blogs like this one) to raise demand for the service at it's source: responsible dog owners.
These are just a few broad ideas. Sounds to me as if Dr. Smith could use a few students from across the street at Wharton to help bang out his plan. Maybe one of these days he’ll take some serious steps to keep PennHIP from going the way of the Betamax. I really wish he would. Our dogs deserve better.
OK, so PennHIP vs. OFA…what do you do?
Staffordshire Bull Terrier "Lines" of ancestors..
As of today there are only 2 "lines" alive. See the table below
So what are these "lines" ? If a dog is marked with [letter]- Line, means that the male SBT is a descendant from the dog mention in the table below. If a dog is marked with [letter]- Family, means that the female SBT is a descendant from the dog mention in the table below. Females do not pass on the lines, so if the last male of the line dies without male offspring, the line ends.
There are 6 different "main lines" as shown below. (SBTpedigree will update the lines (on the newly added entries) frequently. Please check news for more information.)
Name Line Males Females Line (males) active 2011-2021 Brindle Mick "M" Line 32536 42495 Yes (List of males) Fearless Joe "J" Line 119 177 Not in this database Ribchester Bob "R" Line 6751 8713 Yes (List of males) Game Lad "L" Line 19 18 Not in this database Rum Bottle "B" Line 12 8 Not in this database Cinderbank Beauty "C" Line 12 10 Not in this database
The text below is of Chapters IV and V, from the book "The Staffordshire Bull Terrier" written by H. N. Beilby. (with a few edits) Remember that this book was written a long time ago (around 1944) so terms that refer to date and time was when the book was written.
Although the Staffordshire has been in existence for such a long period, it is only comparatively recently that any authentic and reliable records have been kept, and it is next to impossible to trace back the pedigrees of individual dogs further than ten to fifteen years. In order, therefore, to establish as far as possible the descent and breeding of the present leading strains, I first of all examined the registrations of Staffordshires with the Kennel Club for the two and a half years -- May, 1935, to Dec., 1937 -- during which period most of the leading dogs of the time were registered, and I have tabulated those which have produced the largest number of registered progeny during this period.
This gave the following result:
About 580 dogs were registered. 225 from unregistered sires and 355 from registered sires. Of the latter, 146 were sired by well-known dogs, which is just one quarter of the total registrations.
The 6 sires with the largest numbers to their credit were:
Vindictive Monty 35 Jim the Dandy 30 Game Lad 25 Rum Bottle 24 Fearless Joe 17 (Died in 1936) Corinthian Rogue 15 Total: 146
The first and second were both sired by the fifth, who was therefore the direct male ancestor of 82 of the dogs registered in the period. In order to ascertain the value of the strain represented by the three other dogs on the list, I have extended the chart up to the end of 1943, to cover all Staffordshires that have ever been registered with the Kennel Club. In discussing these strains I shall adopt standard practice and refer to the sire's male ancestry as the "line", and the dam's female ancestors as the "family". This extended chart has revealed many interesting points, and shows that of the original six " Game Lad " and " Rum Bottle " are also entitled to rank as founders of "lines", as well as " Brindle Mick " (brother to "Cross Guns Johnson").
It therefore appeared that there were so far at least four distinct lines of Staffordshire Bull Terriers:
J. Fearless Joe and his male descendants, with about 300 registrations. L. Game Lad and his male descendants, with about 120 registrations. M. Brindle Mick and his male descendants, with about 300 registrations. B. Rum Bottle (The Westall Strain) and his male descendants, with about 100 registrations.
This was the position at the end of 1943. The chart has now been extended to cover all Staffordshires registered up to the end of 1946. In the Three years that have elapsed, two more male lines have justified their inclusion, namely, the "R" line, founded by " Ribchester Bob ", born about 1931, and the "C" line, which descends from " Cinderbank Beauty ", through " Togo ". The numerical strength of the six lines is now roughly as follows:
J line 1200 registrations M line 1500 registrations L line 500 registrations B line 300 registrations R line 500 registrations C line 100 registrations
or, putting it another way, two-thirds of all registered Staffordshires belong to one or other lines listed. A study of the chart reveals a number of interesting points.
It will be noticed that out of 65 dogs:
J line 23 representatives 775 progeny registrations M line 21 representatives 923 progeny registrations L line 5 representatives 298 progeny registrations B line 4 representatives 183 progeny registrations R line 3 representatives 304 progeny registrations C line 3 representatives 54 progeny registrations Misc. 6 representatives 177 progeny registrations
It will be realized that (in the case of the "J" line, for instance) the difference between the figure of 775 and 1200 is accounted for by the comparatively large number of registrations which stand to the credit of sires of the line who have not sired more than a few dogs each, and do not therefore appear in the chart. The same applies to the other lines. The performance of certain sires attracts attention, Ch. " Gentleman Jim ", who has been producing stock for eight years, easily heads the list with 255, while our other Champion, " Game Laddie ", can claim nine years of stud service (72). " Ribchester Max " stands high with 173 registrations in eight years. Among the younger dogs, with not more than two years at stud, " Brigands Bosun " easily heads the list (86), with " Jolly Roger " runner-up (48). In 1937 there were five "line" dogs at stud, by 1941 this number had increased to twenty-two, and in 1946 there were at least fifty-six available to breeders. This is real progress.
CHAPTER V Main "Lines" The "J" Line
Dealing first with the "J" line:
" Fearless Joe " had some half-dozen good registered sons, but it is mainly upon two of these that his reputation depends. By his mating with " Queenie ", one of our most important foundation bitches, he produced " Vindictive Monty ", a good bodied fawn with strong skull and jaw, a shade heavy in shoulder, and perhaps a trifle long in muzzle, although in no sense weak. Joe's other notable son was Jim the Dandy ", a dark brindle with a well ribbed body, glorious head and expression, bone adequate, perhaps slightly weak in pasterns. His dam did not hold the high record of " Queenie ".
It will be convenient to consider the progeny of Vindictive Monty and Jim the Dandy separately.
" Vindictive Monty " sired about thirty registered sons of which, again, two only have played a specially important part in Staffordshire history. " Vindictive Montyson " has won one C.C., and is a strong well-proportioned fawn who inherits to some extent his sire's muzzle properties; bone and rib excellent. He has produced two good fawn sons in " Beecher Prince " and " Montyson Again ", both of which have produced decent stock. " Jim the Dandy " had about 30/40 registered sons, of which some four or five have made substantial contribution to the line. " Tackle " was a dark brindle with good head and legs, rather light in rib. He sired " O'Boy " (who is not unlike his sire but a size larger), "Tactful Steve", " Emden Convoy " and about twenty others that were registered. " O'Boy 's" son, " Brigands Benson ", has won well and has produced a good son in " The Tackler ", a present-day winning dark brindle.
Up to the present it would appear that " Vindictive Monty 's" descendants have played a more important part in the breed's history than " Jim the Dandy 's". This is rather unexpected, as Jim was the better show specimen, and is probably accounted for by their inheritance through their dams, which was first class in Vindictive Monty 's case, but only "so-so" in Jim's. It is interesting to note that most of Vindictive Monty 's notable descendants were reds or fawns, and the Jim's were mainly brindle's. I would hazard a guess that the future of this line will rest very largely on the progeny of the litter brothers " The Great Bomber " and "" Boy Dan ", and I base this on the fact that they are descended on the female side from at least three generations of outstanding bitches. It will nearly always be found that the dam of a great stud proposition (in any kind of animal) springs from a family of good females. According to Kennel Club registrations, about twenty "J" line dogs have proved themselves to be sires of importance.
The "M" Line
The virtual founder of the "M" line was " Brindle Mick " whelped in 1934, by " Tigr " ex " Brave Nell ". Mick was a brindle of great power and substance, slightly over medium size, with well-developed body, good bone, strong jaw and skull, the muzzle being of medium length and weight. In general configuration he is greatly resembled by his son " Gentleman Jim ". Mick was slightly undershot.
He sired some other important sons in " Brindle Bill ", " Furnace Jake ", the " Bandit " and " Red Ruin ".
" Gentleman Jim " , who is now ten years old, is the outstanding Staffordshire of his decade, both as a winner and a sire. He won his challenge certificates at Crufts 1939 (H. Pegg), Cheltenham 1939 (H. N. Beilby) and Bath 1939 (A. W. Fullwood). In temperament he is friendly, but fearless, and I know that he has tackled certain enemies (not canine ones) which a number of other Staffordshires had refused to face. He has sired 255 sons and daughters in the eight years 1939/1946, according to Kennel Club records, which is an unusually long period for a dog to remain a successful sire of good stock. Of these, about 10 per cent have proved to be winners to a greater or less extent, and about six of his sons have themselves established a reputation as sires; these are shown on the chart. " Brindle Mick 's" next notable son is " Brindle Bill " , who was whelped in 1939. Unfortunately there is no really good photo of him. But the sketch is a very faithful attempt to portray his general appearance. He is now dead. A smallish, heavily built mahogany brindle, rather low on leg and a shade long in back, with grand rib and bone and a massive head, somewhat shorter in face than his sire. Brindle Mick 's third son to claim attention is " Furnace Jake "; this grand brindle has 55 registrations against his name and has sired some good bitches. " Bandit " - litter brother to " Gentleman Jim " - produced " The Road Agent " and other good ones. " Red Ruin " was one of a litter of seven, at least three of which were winners. His son " Kongo " has sired some good stock in the London area.
The "M' line owes its ascendancy largely to the stud success of " Gentleman Jim " and " Brindle Bill ", to either or both of which we may look for the continued prosperity of the line.
The "L" Line
The "L" line now claims attention. It was founded by " Game Lad ", who was born about 18 years ago and is therefore one of the oldest lines of which there is a record. After doing some winning in the Black Country where he was born, he went to London, where he proved a popular sire. Smallish medium in size, he was a darkish brindle in colour, with a compact body, nice round bone, good skull and an exceptionally clean muzzle. He had one peculiarity, which was that he did not like his tail to be handled.
Although this is not one of the largest lines, it has produce two champions, which no other line has so far done. His most important sons are Ch. " Game Laddie ", " Our Ben ", and " Billy ".
" Game Laddie " has four challenge certificates, won at The Kennel Club (Holland Buckley)(, Windsor (Blacklock), Blackpool (F. W. Holden) and Richmond (Naden). Although he has several good sons, "Laddie" is probably outstanding as a sire of bitches; he has 72 registered offspring. He is a darkish brindle of intense quality and exemplary balance and his imperfections are trifling. Three of his sons are " Brinstock Aristocrat ", " Brinstock Democrat ", and " Nunsoe Fighter Pilot ". Another son of " Game Lad " was " Billy ", whose son " Belted Hero " produced " Brigands Bash'em ". " Brinstock Democrat " and " Thonock Lad " can be expected to do much towards the future success of this line.
The "R" Line
" Ribchester Joe " was helped in 1931. His son " Ribchester Max " was a brindle of medium size, well proportioned, with good bone and feet and a great winner. He has produced a number of excellent bitches and five of his sons are shown on the chart. " Billy Bhoy " has the distinction of being a foreign champion, but Max 's best son is undoubtedly " Vindictive Monty of Wyncroft ". (What a pity that this good Staffordshire has not got a more distinctive name -- I have already corrected quite a few people who have confused him with " Vindictive Monty " of the "J" line.)
" Monty " is a deep red dog of medium size, sturdily built, with good bone, ribs and skull and a great winner. He claims 116 registered progeny up to the end of 1946. He has a number of good sons, the best of which (so far) is undoubtedly " Head Lad of Villmar ".
The "B" Line
"B" line (B for Bottle). "R" might have been the more obvious letter to use but it has already been allocated to the "Ribchester" line, and in any case Rum Bottle ", with 49 K.C. registrations, is really its founder. He was a red dog, as were most members of this line. Mr.Westall, to whom the pre-war development of this line is due, is of the opinion that red dogs are tougher in hide than brindle's, which probably accounts for their preponderance. The line is of special interest as up to 1935 it had been developed almost independently of all the other lines and there were certain fairly well defined differences, chiefly in formation of head, where the muzzle appears to have been somewhat lighter than that of "black country" dogs.
Three of " Rum Bottle 's" sons were " Invincible Lad ", " Eager Lad " and " Tough Guy ", the last of which was a well-known pre-war winner and captured one challenge certificate. The line will go down to posterity, however, through "Eager Lad" and his son " Tornado ".
" Eager Lad " has about 30 registered progeny and is a very cleanly built terrier with exemplary feet and bone and a well-balanced head.
The "C" Line
" Cinderbank Beauty " was a small tiger brindle, and my recollection of him is that he was compact, sturdy and well proportioned.
" Togo " is a shade larger -- just about medium size -- and is a very fine model of a Staffordshire, with massive and well-proportioned head and (in my opinion) true Staffordshire expression. " Pike Land Spitfire ' is a biggish dog, again built on the same excellent pattern, indeed the resemblance between " Togo " and these two sons is quite remarkable, and unlike anything I have seen in Staffordshires before. " Mapleton Pride " is mostly white, built on sturdy lines and a beautiful mover.
In conclusion, it is impossible to forecast what contribution these six lines will make to posterity, but it would appear extremely improbable that any of them will ever completely disappear. It is, however, not at all improbable that one or more new lines may develop -- indeed there are already some indications -- but that would just be guessing!
All text from the book "The Staffordshire Bull Terrier" is reconstructed by Stoutheart Staffords and you will find their web-page here. Copyright © 2021. All rights reserved. SBTpedigree.com™
This website is not an official registration database but a place for the community of Stafford lovers worldwide. Therefore no guarantees as to the correctness of the information can be given. SBTpedigree.com™ is owned by Camilla Berger, the website designed, developed and maintained by Flitzen Technologies UK Ltd
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… … https://player.vimeo.com/video/372222170
Please enjoy this short video - part one of our Tips & Tricks series for breeders. This video explains how to use a seedling mat like you purchase at a plant nursery to keep puppies warm. Seedling mats are perfect - they have a thermostat and you can control the temperature very easily. We show using it for newborns in a 'warming drawer' which is a safe and easy alternative to a warming basket or box. Use this when cleaning the whelping box or anytime you need them someplace warm and safe. Be sure to roll a towel and place in the back to fill the gap. We also use the mat inside oof crates in the weaning pen to take the chill out on colder days. This is a much safer alternative to floor heaters which can make the wire of the crate too hot and some can be a hazard. Be sure to wrap the mat well and get all wires to the outside of the crate and pen.
Thank you to our SBT Mentor volunteers for helping us produce this aftercare series showing how to use a make up sponge to syringe feed newborn pups. Produced and presented by The Stafford Knot, Inc. 501(c)(3) and SBT Mentor. This is part SIX in our educational video series.