GSD Owners Information Group Aims
Please note that the information contained within this website is in no way intended to replace that of professional veterinary advice or treatment.
We have started a new chat group where we discuss issues relating to the GSD breed in an informative nonbiased manner. All issues discussed are of an educational nature. If you are interested in joining, please email WorldwideGSDs@yahoogroups.com. Please include details about the history of your relationship with the GSD breed and doggy world. All applicants will be considered.
The centre was formed because of the obvious requirements of owners, both old and new, who have experienced problems with their chosen breed, the German Shepherd Dog. we are here to assist those people and provide them with useful information wherever possible.
We are a voluntary organisation, that has come together through our mutual love of German Shepherds and our numerous years of experience and knowledge. We have access to information on many subjects associated with the breed, and are in constant contact with experts world-wide.
If you have any queries or need any
assistance, please feel free to approach any of the following
will do their best to help you:
Dorothy Cullum - Tel: 01277 220933
Mrs. Joyce Ixer - Tel: 01962 776 239
Chris Harvey - Tel: 01223 208216
is presently being carried out on numerous problems, this has partly been made
possible through owners of effected GSD's getting in touch with the GSD Owners
Information Group. The group can provide information on anal furunculosis,
auto-immune problems, epilepsy, exorine pancreatic insufficiency, HD, malabsorption, and thyroid deficiency. Researchers at veterinary universities
pass up to date information on to the group, who in turn can pass this
information on to interested owners.
If you feel you can assist with any of the above please
GSD Owners Information Group Aims
To help everybody, where possible, on the subjects of GSD health and veterinary queries.
To point them in the right direction in order to gain useful advice and assistance.
To help raise and obtain funds to assist with research where needed.
The well-being of the breed was in our minds when this group was formed. It is neither for personal gain nor a 'witch-hunt'. We wish to see the breed continue to become a healthy and happy breed.
"Unfortunately" said the voice in the crowd, "Many breeders appear to be disinterested, and those who are concerned, often find it very difficult to assist in obtaining information that would help us."
A statement which appears to have held much truth with reference to up to date information on health and veterinary matters being available to owners in all domains of the dog world.
At that time I
was member of the GSD League Committee and News Editor of Dog Training Weekly.
I was somewhat concerned with the lack of information available to owners with
queries on the health problems they had with their GSD’s.
Where did one go?
Obtaining the correct advice, which would prove helpful to the owner was somewhat difficult because of the professional barrier which existed between the owner and those with the knowledge in the field.
A number of us discussed this subject, including various breeders, the then Secretary of the League, Mrs Joyce Ixer and Mrs Lin Delamar, a retired chemist who had Veterinary experience and a vast knowledge of the breed, plus was the first person to have a hydrotherapy pool. I myself was a Laboratory Technician with the AHT, so we had a great deal in common, plus a few willing contacts.
Discussions with Sherry Scott, Veterinary Surgeons Stewart Hasty and his wife Jane Nixon, Dr Sue Guthrie, Veterinary Surgeon and writer who worked for the Guide Dogs for the Blind, made us realise we all had something in common - a concern about the various health issues and the lack of easily accessible, understandable information.
Lin Delamar, who unfortunately is no longer with us, arranged a group meeting. Through her dedication and concern for the German Shepherd Dog, the Information Group was formed, and it has been continued in her memory.
Our first meeting took place in Bucks at the Scott’s lovely country home on Friday 10th May 1996 at which all persons referred to were present. Much came under discussion, but the real cause for anxiety came from the subject of CDRM now referred to as DM.
Sue Guthrie was a resident researcher at Cambridge and had been working on the problem with German Shepherds. Her expertise and advice was always given freely and we will always be grateful for her input. Sue was however keen to put her knowledge into books and thus she chose to leave the group. Some time after this in 1998 a solicitor who had a client that had lost two GSD’s from this problem contacted me. I was put in contact with a veterinary surgeon at Glasgow University called Pamela Johnson, who agreed to do more research into the subject, and was given the gift of £1000 towards it. Unfortunately no further useful feedback came from this.
By this time more interest had been shown in the Group, knowledge collected, and many queries and questions came from interested parties on other health problems. Our information and contacts had thus accumulated.
Together with Mrs Ixer we attended Veterinary Seminars and Conferences, I in my capacity of News Editor for Dog Training Weekly and the Secretary of the newly accepted GSD owners Info Group. We were able to turn to our various contacts and obtain up to date information and advice on procedures and problems.
Queries and complaints about certain subjects gave me the opportunity to meet with Dr Jeff Samson on 15th November 1999. He has always helped and advised the group, with great enthusiasm. We are most thankful for this. The meeting was extremely fruitful and the help and advice he and Mrs Ruth Dennis, an orthopaedic Veterinary Surgeon, gave us proved to be extremely useful. Our discussions included the subjects DM and HD, DNA etc.
On the 20th January 2000 I received a phone call from Dr Brian Catchpole, who left a message saying “He had been advised to contact me by Dr Samson, would I please contact at my convenience “. Returning the call I was asked if the Group would assist him in his research by obtaining urine samples from animals, which had been correctly diagnosed as having DM. He would also need samples from healthy and arthritic animals. We agreed to do, but unfortunately the samples do not just appear, so after discussions with Joyce it was agreed to ask for help through various media contacts and to increase our group in number.
We had tragically lost Lin in the spring; this left a large gap in our number and our hearts. I am sure that Lin would be extremely pleased with the success of the group if she were still with us.
Chris Harvey and Valerie Egger agreed to join the group, and later for the purposes of collecting and collating information Barbara Harvard joined us.
The Group agreed to make contact with the Kennel Club and give them examples of our pamphlets relating to our work and the information made available by us. A meeting was set for 13th July 2000 with Mrs Venessa McAlpine. Joyce and I attended this, we decided we were happy with the idea, and as a result it was suggested that we should have the pamphlets at hand for distribution at Discover Dogs in the November. We were complemented on the range, without scare mongering. Many people have and are assisted in filling in questionnaires and collecting samples for researchers, this is continuing as and when required.