Clean Run - November 2017 - 26

Conditioning
Remember, that in order to clear the bars, dogs with ETOs are
overjumping, so jumping is even more physically taxing on
them. It is important for all dogs competing in agility to be fit
and well-conditioned, but even more so for dogs with ETOs.
For more information on an exercise and conditioning program, refer to Chapter 3 in Mastering Jumping Skills, Vol. 1).

PROgNOSIS
Depending on the underlying cause and severity of ETOS, as
well as the dog's temperament, self-confidence, handling management, and other factors, many dogs are able to adapt. Although ETOs may not resolve, these dogs and their handlers
can still enjoy many fun and successful years of agility, sometimes even competing at the highest levels of the sport. The
dogs with level-headed thinking and steady temperaments
usually cope the best. They often learn to compensate by overjumping, slowing their pace, jumping close to the wings, shaping their own approaches, and adopting other tactics to clear
the bars. Yet all dogs are different in how effectively they learn
to cope and the degree to which their ETOs worsen over time.
A responsible handler should realistically evaluate his dog's capabilities and maintain reasonable expectations. With the level
competition has risen to in the last few years, it may be unreasonable to expect an ETO-affected dog to win major championships, but often a team can still be successful and have fun if
the handler maintains the dog's confidence and keeps training
and competition positive.
Unfortunately some dogs do not learn to compensate and are
not able to adapt despite supportive measures. Their vision impairment can be significant enough to limit their performance
severely or put them at risk of injury, making it advisable to retire them from agility. Although not the preferred solution for
most diehard agility enthusiasts, it may ultimately prove to be
in some dogs' best interest to pursue alternative sports that do
not involve jumping.
Dogs with ETOs that noticeably worsen, particularly over a
short period of time, should be re-evaluated, as they can develop unrelated physical problems or injuries as they age. Keep
in mind that ETO-prone dogs experiencing discomfort may not
exhibit the classic signs of injury that one would normally expect, such as opting for close takeoff distances. Dogs with ETOs
can also develop an additional problem with their eyes as they
age, compounding their jumping problems.
Gradual progression of ETOs is common, but owners should
not assume that significant worsening of the jumping problem is solely related to the original cause of ETOs. If notable
changes occur, veterinary advice should be sought.

hERITABILITY
Many of the ocular abnormalities that are detectable with a
CERF are known to be heritable; risk factors associated with
ETOs such as refractive and/or binocular alignment issues are
also heritable conditions. ETOs most likely occur in all dog
breeds, but some breeds have a much higher incidence. Within
26

those breeds, it is often possible to identify family lines with
higher incidence. ETOs are known to occur in full and half siblings, so affected puppies may have only one parent in common. In a single litter, not all puppies will develop ETOs. Within
the same litter, there may be pups that develop ETOs as adults
and pups that as adults are blessed with world-class jumping
talent. It is equally possible for a dog with ETOs to have no
identifiable relatives that are similarly affected, and as such appears to be an isolated case. For more information, refer to my
article in this issue, "Breeding Concerns Regarding Early Takeoffs in Jumping Dogs."
More investigation into the diagnosis of the vision problems
associated with ETOs is required before it will be possible to
fully understand the heritability of each.

PREVENTION
Total prevention is not possible until all possible causes of ETOs
have been identified and are better understood. At present, if
your dog develops ETOs as described here, be assured it is not
something you could have prevented. Many owners blame
themselves or their training for causing ETOs, which is not the
case. Once the puppy is born, there is little you can do to control your dog's visual capability.
Increased awareness is the first step toward prevention of
ETOs. Many performance dog breeders are not aware that vision problems can cause ETOs or that the vision problems are
potentially heritable, so they do not screen their dogs and their
offspring for them. Because many of the known risk factors for
ETOs are indeed heritable conditions, performance (primarily agility) dog breeders should be evaluating their breeding
programs carefully. It is currently recommended that dogs
that have ETOs, or any of the risk factors associated with ETOs,
should not be bred if their offspring will be expected to perform over jumps.
If a breeder is aware that the sire or dam of a litter has ETOs, or
relatives that do, the potential for ETOs should be disclosed to
buyers of potential agility prospects. This way they can make
an informed decision. Puppy buyers who are interested in
companionship, conformation, or performance sports that do
not involve jumping, may not be concerned about ETOs. However, those that aspire to compete in agility may prefer not to
accept an increased risk that their dog will develop a jumping
problem. It is extremely disappointing to invest a great deal
of time, labor, money, and emotion into a promising young
puppy only to have jumping problems start to develop just as
the dog is beginning to show his potential. Those looking for
agility prospects may thus want to seek a puppy from a line of
proven jumpers that is believed free of ETOs.
Remember that dogs bred for conformation or herding, or other activities that do not require jumping, may not appear to have
problems. Thus, it may be difficult for a breeder of such dogs to
effectively screen for ETOs and prevent it in puppies they offer as
agility prospects. As more becomes understood about the risk
factors for ETOs and the associated tests, hopefully breeders will
seek out ways to eliminate heritable factors.
Clean Run | November 17



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Clean Run - November 2017

Contents
Clean Run - November 2017 - Cover1
Clean Run - November 2017 - Cover2
Clean Run - November 2017 - Contents
Clean Run - November 2017 - 4
Clean Run - November 2017 - 5
Clean Run - November 2017 - 6
Clean Run - November 2017 - 7
Clean Run - November 2017 - 8
Clean Run - November 2017 - 9
Clean Run - November 2017 - 10
Clean Run - November 2017 - 11
Clean Run - November 2017 - 12
Clean Run - November 2017 - 13
Clean Run - November 2017 - 14
Clean Run - November 2017 - 15
Clean Run - November 2017 - 16
Clean Run - November 2017 - 17
Clean Run - November 2017 - 18
Clean Run - November 2017 - 19
Clean Run - November 2017 - 20
Clean Run - November 2017 - 21
Clean Run - November 2017 - 22
Clean Run - November 2017 - 23
Clean Run - November 2017 - 24
Clean Run - November 2017 - 25
Clean Run - November 2017 - 26
Clean Run - November 2017 - 27
Clean Run - November 2017 - 28
Clean Run - November 2017 - 29
Clean Run - November 2017 - 30
Clean Run - November 2017 - 31
Clean Run - November 2017 - 32
Clean Run - November 2017 - 33
Clean Run - November 2017 - 34
Clean Run - November 2017 - 35
Clean Run - November 2017 - 36
Clean Run - November 2017 - 37
Clean Run - November 2017 - 38
Clean Run - November 2017 - 39
Clean Run - November 2017 - 40
Clean Run - November 2017 - 41
Clean Run - November 2017 - 42
Clean Run - November 2017 - 43
Clean Run - November 2017 - 44
Clean Run - November 2017 - 45
Clean Run - November 2017 - 46
Clean Run - November 2017 - 47
Clean Run - November 2017 - 48
Clean Run - November 2017 - 49
Clean Run - November 2017 - 50
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Clean Run - November 2017 - 53
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Clean Run - November 2017 - Cover3
Clean Run - November 2017 - Cover4
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