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Sep 21
GO GO!!! GUINNESS & MARGOT

​An AMAZING run at Irish Shows sees our Rattustrap Top Totty add to her champion titles with IRISH SHOW CHAMPION!!!! Margot was awarded her 7th Bitch Green Star at sucessive IKC Championship Shows. 5 with Best of Breed & 2 with Reserve Best Of Breed

 

Not to be outdone Irish Champion/ Irish Junior Champion Rattustrap Proper Job is awarded Group 4 at Bangor & North Down Canine Club Championship show. this is the FIRST EVER group placing for a Manchester Terrier at an IKC Championship show in Ireland. But that wasn't enough for this Rattustrap Superstar!!! He then is Best In Show at Eyrecourt Agricultural show!!!

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Sep 04
Safe Fruits for Dogs

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Oct 26
TWO CHAMPIONS sired by Dave in one weekend!!!

​On home ground Bolly, Rattustrap Imperial Red JW is awarded her third CC making her a British Champion.

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In Finland Jedi, Black Manter's Made By Rattustrap is awarded his first CAC after 24 months making him a Finnish Champion!

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Way to go Rattustrap Black Sheep babies:)

Oct 26
The top 10 reasons to add coconut oil to your dog’s diet:

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  1. Coconut oil improves overall skin health, and clears up skin conditions such as eczema, flea allergies, contact dermatitis, and itchy skin.
  2. Incredibly emollient, coconut oil helps moisturize the driest skin and makes a dog’s coat gleam with health — whether you add it to her diet, her shampoo, or both!
  3. Applied topically to the skin, coconut oil promotes the healing of cuts, wounds, hot spots, bites, and stings.
  4. The antibacterial and antifungal properties of coconut oil help reduce doggy odor, and its pleasantly tropical aroma imparts a delightful scent to a dog’s skin and coat.
  5. Coconut oil prevents and treats yeast infections, including candida. Its antiviral agents also help dogs recover quickly from kennel cough.
  6. Digestion and nutrient absorption are improved by the addition of coconut oil to a dog’s diet. It can, however, cause stool to loosen; if that happens, just add a few spoonfuls of canned pumpkin to your dog’s diet
  7. Coconut oil reduces — and sometimes eliminates — doggy breath. Some dog lovers even brush their pets’ teeth with the stuff! Which makes sense, as dogs love the taste of coconut oil, and that makes the chore less arduous for brusher and brushee.
  8. Like cinnamon, coconut oil helps prevent diabetes by regulating and balancing insulin. It also promotes normal thyroid function, and helps prevent infection and heart disease.
  9. Helping to reduce weight and increase energy, coconut oil also promotes mobility in dogs with arthritisand other joint issues.
  10. Again like cinnamon, coconut oil is excellent for brain health; it’s being used to stave off dementia in humans, and it’s a must to keep senior dogs’ minds from becoming cloudy.


Sep 21
THE MOST DANGEROUS PET CHEW EVER!!!!!

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THE MOST DANGEROUS PET CHEW EVER: RAWHIDE!

How can one of the most popular chew sticks on the planet be so dangerous for your pets, you ask? I mean, most dogs chew on rawhide for hours on end, and not only does it keep them busy, but they seem to last forever.

Well if you understood what it took to make this toxic “raw” leather stick, you would quickly understand what the problem is. 

Aside from the horror stories circulating all over social media these days, of pets needing emergency surgery after consuming rawhide, the majority of pet parents today, especially the newbies, believe that this chew is some sort of dried up meat stick. Let me debunk that myth right away!

A rawhide stick is not the by-product of the beef industry nor is it made of dehydrated meat. Rather, rawhide is the by-product of the “Leather Industry”, so theoretically it is a leather chew. Sounds awesome, right?

“Producing rawhide begins with the splitting of an animal hide, usually from cattle. The top grain is generally tanned and made into leather products, while the inner portion, in its “raw” state, goes to the dogs.” TheBark.com 

So, how does this leather, which is conveniently rolled up into pretty shapes, actually get made into those rawhide chews? 

Follow along my friends and I will enlighten you on how this hide travels through a leathery process where it transforms from hide to a not-so beautiful, colorful, chew stick. Here is a paraphrased tutorial that was explained by the whole dog journal several years back:

STEP 1: Normally, cattle hides are shipped from slaughterhouses to tanneries for processing. These hides are then treated with a chemical bath to help “preserve” the product during transport to help prevent spoilage. 

(No one wants to purchase a black, spoiled rawhide stick!)

Once at the tannery: the hides are soaked and treated with either an ash-lye solution or a highly toxic recipe of sodium sulphide liming. This process will help strip the hair and fat that maybe attached to the hides themselves. 

(No, no one wants to see a hairy hide…)

Next on this glorious journey, these hides are then treated with chemicals that help “puff” the hide, making it easier to split into layers. 

The outer layer of the hide is used for goods like car seats, clothing, shoes, purses, etc. But, it’s the inner layer that is needed to make the rawhide. (Oh and other things like gelatin, cosmetics, and glue as well!)

STEP 2: Now that we have the inner layer of the hide, it’s time to go to the post-tannery stage! Hides are washed and whitened using a solution of hydrogen peroxide and/or bleach; this will also help remove the smell of the rotten or putrid leather. Bonus! 
(Research also shows that other chemicals maybe used here to help the whitening process if the bleach isn’t strong enough.)

STEP 3: Now it’s time to make these whitened sheets of this “leathery by-product” look delicious! So, here is where the artistic painting process comes in.

“Basted, smoked, and decoratively tinted products might be any color (or odor) underneath the coating of (often artificial) dyes and flavors. They can even be painted with a coating of titanium oxide to make them appear white and pretty on the pet store shelves.” - whole-dog-journal.com

“…the Material Safety Data Sheet reveals a toxic confection containing the carcinogen FD&C Red 40, along with preservatives like sodium benzoate. But tracking the effects of chemical exposure is nearly impossible when it’s a matter of slow, low-dose poisoning.”– thebark.com

Ok, now that these hides have been painted, it’s time for the final process.

STEP 4: Getting it to last forever!

Because the FDA does not consider these chews to be food, really it’s a free for all when it comes to the manufacturers of these leather strips, and the products they may want to add to these chews, to get them to last forever. Any sort of glue can be added here to get these bad boys to never come apart. 

When tested: Lead, arsenic, mercury, chromium salts, formaldehyde, and other toxic chemicals have been detected in raw hides. So it’s safe to say that any sort of glues can be used as well! 

Finally, it’s time to package and attach all the glorious marketing labels to the product.

Check out the fine print warning that’s attached with some of these rawhides: 
“Choking or blockages. If your dog swallows large pieces of rawhide, the rawhide can get stuck in the esophagus or other parts of the digestive tract. Sometimes, abdominal surgery is needed to remove them from the stomach or intestines. If it isn’t resolved, a blockage can lead to death.“

(Oh, how lovely…)

And there it is! It’s now ready to be shipped to store shelves where it can be purchased for our loving animal companions. 

How do proactive veterinarians feel about these chews?

Here is world-renowned veterinarian Doctor Karen Becker's take on the matter:

“The name ‘rawhide’ is technically incorrect. A more accurate name would be processed-hide, because the skin isn’t raw at all. But the term “rawhide” has stuck.

Rawhide chews start out hard, but as your dog works the chew it becomes softer, and eventually he can unknot the knots on each end and the chew takes on the consistency of a slimy piece of taffy or bubble gum. And by that time your dog cannot stop working it -- it becomes almost addictive.

At this point, there’s no longer any dental benefit to the chew because it has turned soft and gooey, and, in fact, it has become a choking and intestinal obstruction hazard.“

P.S. Ready for the jaw dropper?

An investigation by Humane Society International stated in their report, “In a particularly grisly twist, the skins of brutally slaughtered dogs in Thailand are mixed with other bits of skin to produce rawhide chew toys for pet dogs. Manufacturers told investigators that these chew toys are regularly exported to and sold in U.S. stores.” – dogingtonpost.com


Jun 24
COI FAQS: Understanding the Coefficient of Inbreeding

By Carol Beuchat PhD


You probably see references to the coefficient of inbreeding (COI) often, but do you understand what it means? Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions.

What is the coefficient of inbreeding?
In the early 1900s, animal breeders knew that breeding related animals produced more consistent, predictable traits in the offspring, but they also found that there was some loss in vitality and vigor. Fertility was lower, offspring were smaller, early mortality was higher, lifespan was shorter - things that reduced their profit and the quality of their animals, and the higher the level of inbreeding, the greater the detrimental effects. Both the benefits and the risks of inbreeding are a consequence of homozygosity (see below). So a statistic was devised that estimated the level of inbreeding that would result from a particular cross so breeders had a quantitative way of evaluating both the risks and benefits. 

What does the number tell me?
The coefficient of inbreeding is the probability of inheriting two copies of the same allele from an ancestor that occurs on both sides of the pedigree. These alleles are "identical by descent". The inbreeding coefficient is also the fraction of all of the genes of an animal that are homozygous (two copies of the same allele). So, for a mating that would result in offspring with an inbreeding coefficient of 10%, there is a one in 10 chance that any particular locus would have two copies of the same allele, and 10% of all of the genes in an animal will be homozygous.

What is a "good" value for COI? What COI is "too high"?
The original purpose of the coefficient of inbreeding was to give breeders a number that would indicate both the amount of benefit to be gained from inbreeding as well as the magnitude of the deleterious effects they could expect. The trick for the breeder then is to weight the benefits and risks of a particular breeding and judge what is an acceptable balance. A low COI will have low risk, but it will also only have a modest benefit. A high COI would produce more consistency and prepotency in the offspring, but there will also be a significant loss of vigor and health.
The deleterious effects of inbreeding begin to become evident at a COI of about 5%. At a COI of 10%, there is significant loss of vitality in the offspring as well as an increase in the expression of deleterious recessive mutations. The combined effects of these make 10% the threshold of the "extinction vortex" - the level of inbreeding at which smaller litters, higher mortality, and expression of genetic defects have a negative effect on the size of the population, and as the population gets smaller the rate of inbreeding goes up, resulting in a negative feedback loop that eventually drives a population to extinction.

So, in terms of health, a COI less than 5% is definitely best. Above that, there are detrimental effects and risks, and the breeder needs to weigh these against whatever benefit is expected to gained. Inbreeding levels of 5-10% will have modest detrimental effects on the offspring. Inbreeding levels above 10% will have significant effects not just on the quality of the offspring, but there will also be detrimental effects on the breed.


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For comparison, mating of first cousins produces a COI of 6.25%; in many societies this is considered incest and is forbidden by law). Mating of half-siblings produces a COI of 12.5%; mating of full siblings produces a COI of 25%
Do I still have to worry about COI if I am doing the health tests for my breed?
YES. For genetic disorders caused by a single recessive mutation, the DNA test will prevent the 1-in-4 risk of producing an affected animal by crossing two carriers. So, that test eliminates a risk of 25% for the disorder caused by that mutation.

But every dog has many mutations, and you have no way to know about them if a dog has only one copy and they are not expressed. If you breed two dogs with some of the same mutations, you can expect that the offspring will be homozygous for 25% of them. Many of these mutations might only have very slight effects that you wouldn't notice as a "disease", but it is the accumulation of these small effects that causes the loss of vigor and vitality in inbred animals that is called "inbreeding depression". DNA tests tell you only about one particular gene, a known risk. But if the COI of a litter is 25%, you can expect that 25% of the deleterious mutations in each puppy will be expressed. 

To breed healthy animals, you need to worry about ALL of the potential risks, and the one thing we can be sure of is that there are many more recessive mutations than the ones we have DNA tests for. Why would you invest in the DNA tests available for your breed, then produce a litter in which 15%, or 25%, or 40% of the other mutations in every animal will be expressed?

You must remember that the coefficient of inbreeding is not a measure of health. It is a measure of RISK, and with or without DNA tests, it is the best way to judge the level of genetic risk you are taking when you breed a litter.

How many generations should I use to calculate the inbreeding coefficient?
If you want to know the risk of inheriting two copies of an allele (good or bad) from an ancestor, that ancestor must be included in your database. If you have a database with just parents and grandparents, the inbreeding coefficient can't tell you anything at all about how likely you are to inherit two copies of an allele from your great great grandfather. A coefficient of inbreeding from a five generation pedigree will be an estimate of the probability of inheriting two copies of the same allele from only the animals in those 5 generations that appear on both sides of the pedigree.

But the whole point of the coefficient of inbreeding was to give breeders a way to weigh the potential benefits and risks that would result from genes that are homozygous. So you need ALL of the ancestors of a dog to be in the pedigree database you use, and for purebred dogs this means a pedigree database that goes back to the first registered dogs in the breed - the founders. 
The fewer generations used in calculating the inbreeding coefficient, the "better" (i.e. lower) it will appear to be. But this isn't an accurate assessment of the true degree of homozygosity in a dog, so it does not reflect the true level inbreeding depression and risk of genetic disease.

This graph shows how the COI calculated for five dogs in the same breed varies depending on the number of generations used in the calculations. You should use at least 8 or 10 generations, and 20 generations would be even better. For the most accurate estimate, of course, you should use the entire pedigree back to founders.


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What if there are missing pedigree data?
A dog with one or two missing parents is disconnected from its ancestors, so "on paper" it can't inherit two copies of the same allele and its coefficient of inbreeding will be incorrectly calculated to be zero. Of course, that will underestimate the inbreeding estimates for all of that animal's descendants as well. One way to get around this is to create a "virtual" dog for the missing animal and assign to it the average level of inbreeding of dogs in the same generation. 
Can I use the coefficient of inbreeding to reduce the risk of genetic disorders in my puppies?
Absolutely! This exactly what it was designed to do. Just remember that the COI is an estimate of the predicted loss of vigor and general health to expect as a consequence of the expression of recessive mutations. Except during the development of a new breed when you want to use inbreeding to fix type, you should strive to keep inbreeding below 10% to achieve modest benefit with modest risk.
Uh-oh. What if the level of inbreeding in my breed is already too high?
The closed gene pools mandated by kennel clubs for purebred dogs necessarily result in inbreeding, and in many breeds the average level of inbreeding is already high. This is the reason the occurrence of genetic disorders in purebred dogs is steadily increasing (you can watch the "genetic disorder counter" here) at the same time as lower fertility, smaller litters, and higher puppy mortality are making breeding ever more difficult.

Your first option is to make the best possible use of the genetic diversity that still exists in your breed. Identify lines that are not closely related to yours, and even if those animals wouldn't be your first pick in terms of type, a cross producing a lower COI will be beneficial in the next generation in terms of health. A genetic analysis of your breed's pedigree database can help you find these less related animals using something called cluster analysis. Don't assume that animals from different lines or even in different countries are less related. Calculate the inbreeding coefficient of a potential mating from a good pedigree database that goes back to founders. An "outcross" to a dog that is more related than you realize is likely to produce a litter with lots of nasty surprises.

What if your breed is so inbred that there is nowhere for you to go to find less related animals? Unfortunately, many breeds are facing with this problem. Genetic diversity is unavoidably lost from a breed every generation, and to restore diversity and reduce inbreeding you need a way to put the genes back by breeding to an unrelated dog, probably of a different breed. If your breed is already highly inbred and struggling with significant health issues, this is not a trivial thing to do. The animals to outcross to must be selected very carefully. For example, breeding to another highly inbred dog, even of a different breed, will produce offspring that all have the same alleles for the genes that were homozygous in the parent. The key to managing recessive mutations in any population is keeping them rare, so adding animals to the population that share many of the same mutations is asking for trouble down the road. Also, incorporating new genetic material into the breed will require a well-designed strategy worked out for at least the next 4 or 5 generations. A single crossbreeding followed by sequential backcrossing into the breed will remove most of the genetic diversity you were hoping to introduce. You definitely need to start with a carefully designed plan designed by geneticists with the tools to do it properly.

Avoiding high levels of inbreeding in the first place is much easier than trying to fix things after inbreeding becomes a problem. Breeders should work together to monitor the inbreeding of their breed so they can all benefit from healthier puppies that meet their goals as breeders now and in the future.​


Jun 15
Super Weekend for the Rattustrap Troop in Finland

​Very proud of our Rattustrap dogs and our lovely Finnish Friends Paivi, Timo, Tiina & Heidi

13th June 2015..... At the Salo National Show Multi Champion  (Onni) Rattustrap Englands Own is awarded Best Of Breed & Terrier Group 4!!!!!. Estonian Junior Champion Rattustrap Infinity (Indy) is awarded Best Bitch and The CAC

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A second day of showing (14th June) at the ​Alavus all breed Championship Dog Show. Jedi, Black Manters Made By Rattustrap (a R Black sheep sired boy) is Awarded the Dog CAC & Rattustrap Infinity again takes the bitch CAC!!!! Indy now has the required CACs to become a Finnish Champion....but unfortunately isn't old enough under Finnish KC rules.....so stick at it Indy won't be much longer until you are 24 months old :)

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Apr 07
Guinness DEFINITELY deserves a Guinness!!!!

​At the Combined Canine Shows in Ireland on 4/5th April, Irish Champion, Irish Junior Champion Rattustrap Proper Job At Ladysdale CW-15 takes the Dog Green star & Best Of Breed both days and is awarded the Dog CACIB at the international show.

Well done Guinness, Sharon & Dorothy

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Apr 04
SUPER SWEDISH SHOWING!!!! 3RD APRIL 2015

​We couldn't be happier at Rattustrap. Paivi sent news that at The Swedish Winners Show in Stockholm Black Manters Made By Rattustrap (HR Pepita I Panama x Rattustrap Black Sheep JW) is awarded The Dog CAC, Swedish Winner 2015 Sweedish Junior Winner 2015 and BEST OF BREED........Rattustrap Infinity is awarded the Bitch CAC Swedish Winner 2015, Swedish Junior Winner 2015 & BEST OF SEX.

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Apr 01
EXCITING TIMES AHEAD!!!!

Phil & I are very pleased to announce the safe arrival in The UK of frozen semen from a very special Manchester Terrier Am/Can/Int'l CH Wilane's Undeniable, ROM, HOF
(Gunyon)

Sire: Am CH Invermood's Gunpowder CD, HOF x Dam: Am/Can/Int'l CH Wilane's Millennia. 

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vWD Type 1 hereditarily clear, Eyes CERF clear, Thyroid normal, Heart normal. No inter-variety Toy Manchester Terrier x Standard Manchester Terrier matings in his pedigree. Gunyon is from the 6th generation of Wilane breeding…..and importantly has an excellent temperament!!!!

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Gunyons semen was collected 11 years ago in his prime when he was two years old and the semen evaluation is 'some of the best ever seen by Fit & Fertile' !!!

Sadly Gunyon passed away earlier this year aged 14 years and we greatfully thank our dearest friend Jo Ann Emrick for allowing the amazing opportunity of introducing her very highly regarded Manchester Terrier breeding into The UK gene pool.

We will be mating Gunyon by Artificial Insemination to our Rattustrap girls in the not to distant future. 

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