First Pug fails health check
THE PUG best of breed at Boston ch show failed her high-profile breed veterinary check.
She was Jenny and Ian Brown’s two-year-old Sensayuma Sugar Free, who won her second CC.
The vet who examined her, Martin Pengelly, said she was suffering from pigmentary keratitis in both eyes.
Mrs Brown said she felt like she had let down the breed.
"It was absolutely awful,” she said. "You go from being as high as a kite and in a few minutes all that has gone. She has never had any problems with her eyes apart from the odd bout of conjunctivitis which always clears up quickly.
"It’s awful for us and for the breed as we’ve never had a fail. I feel like I have let the breed and other breeders down.”
DOG WORLD reported last week that the Pug was one of four breeds which had never failed a high-profile check.
Mrs Brown said: "At Boston the vet said I could take her to my vet and get some steroid drops which could clear it up as it was only in its early stages, but he didn’t seem too positive about it. It isn’t causing her distress.
"The judge (Barbara Dabbs) commented how lovely her eyes were. She’s very upset – I managed to see her before she left.”
Mrs Brown said Pug breeders and exhibitors have been working hard for the health of the breed.
"I think these health checks are aimed at the wrong people,” she said. "We try to breed the best dogs possible and puppy farmers continue to breed dogs with terrible things wrong with them in the worst conditions.
"To go through all this stress for a hobby… We’re supposed to enjoy it and now I will be frightened of getting a CC.”
Mrs Brown said of the Pugs she had bred nine had won 50 CCs between them.
"I’ve always done everything by the book which is why this seems so unfair,” she said. "I don’t know what to do now. I’m not going to go to Manchester – I just don’t feel like it. And I don’t really know about Crufts. It’s such a shame because my little bitch loves showing, she lives for it.”
Mr Pengelly said pigmentary keratitis was not an easy condition for judges to spot.
"As the pigment goes across the eye it’s not as smooth as the cornea should be,” he said. "There is a slight ripple. You can control this condition and keep it to the minimum so the dog can keep its vision, and clever surgery can lift off that layer, although it may come back.
"I feel very sorry for the owner, but it is better she knows now so she can do something about it for the welfare of the dog in the long term.
"It’s not painful but it does obscure the vision – it’s like drawing a blind across the eye. I was very upset for her, but the Kennel Club makes the rules and the first thing it says under high-profile breeds’ guidance is corneal pathology, and that’s precisely what this is. It would ultimately affect the welfare of the dog.”