|Rescued Briards From the Past - page 3
Holly was rescued from what was considered to be a
Puppy Mill in northern Pennsylvania.
| Eight 11 week old black Briard
puppies were rescued from
this location in PA. during
the first week of March 1996.
Holly was placed with a single
woman living in Michigan when
she was 13 weeks old. This
lady took good care of Holly,
until she lost her job. She told
us that Holly had some health
problems and allergies, and
that she could not afford to take care of these problems with any
medications that may be needed or vet bills. So. At the age of 10
months, Holly was returned to us. Upon her arrival, we took her
to our vet. The vet said that one of her allergies is from the many
flea bites on her body. (The lady had 15 cats.) After noticing her
limp, we also had her x-rayed. The x-rays showed very bad hips.
There was hardly a ball and not much of a socket to each of her
hips. That is what is causing her to limp.
At this point, we took Holly home with us to decide what to do. I
had never seen a puppy whose hips were so bad, that it made
them limp, prior to this. And it would be very hard to place a dog
with extrememly bad hips and allergies.
Once home, I took Holly outside to play. She wanted to play but
would stop after one minute to rest. This sight was heart break-
ing for me to watch. Holly was is extreme pain. Now, we had to
make a decision on what to do with this pretty little girl. We can
not place a puppy in her condition. So what do we do ?
After another week of watching Holly, we were sure that she was
also night blind. We tested her the best that we could at that time.
At this point I came up with an idea. I made several phone calls to
make arrangements and to get certain items in writing.
Holly could not bring happiness to an adoptive family, but she could
provide others with a possible future without night blind-
ness. So. At 10-1/2 months of age, Holly was taken and donated
to Cornell University and Dr. Aguirre for CSNB research. And from
the papers that were printed about this research, Holly DID play
an important part in Cornell finding the gene for CSNB. Excerpts
from these papers are included below.
WE ARE VERY PROUD THAT HOLLY WAS ABLE TO HELP
FIND THIS GENE, THAT WILL MAKE FOR A BETTER FUTURE
IN THE BRIARD BREED, AS WELL AS OTHER BREEDS AND
Published - 30Oct1998
The eyes from two dogs, 4.3 and 10.7 months of age, were removed following euthanasia by
barbiturate overdose, and processed for microscopic examination using methods we have
previously described for embedding either in plastic (4.3 months, both eyes)  or in the
synthetic wax diethylene glycol distearate (DGD; 10.7 months, one eye) ; the tissues
were sectioned at 1 µm and stained with azure II/methylene blue. The retina of the fellow eye
of the 10.7-month-old dog was isolated under sterile conditions, and kept frozen at -70 °C
until used for these studies. All procedures involving animals were undertaken in strict
compliance with the guidelines of the US Public Health Service's policy on the Humane Care
and Use of Laboratory Animals, and the ARVO Resolution on the Use of Animals in
Ophthalmic and Vision Research.
Retina from the enucleated fellow eye of the 10.7-month-old affected dog was utilized for
RNA extraction; total RNA was isolated from retina using the guanidinium-phenol procedure
previously described .
The RPE inclusions appeared to coalesce and were much larger in the 10.7-month-old dog.
The RPE appeared somewhat reactive in that the cells were slightly hypertrophied, and their
apical surfaces were irregular. At the two ages examined, there were no other pathologic
changes in the retina, and no evidence of photoreceptor degeneration or cell death as
indicated by the presence of an outer nuclear layer of normal thickness.
Supported in part by the Briard Club of America, American Kennel Club-Canine Health
Foundation, The Morris Animal Foundation/The Seeing Eye, Inc., The Foundation Fighting
Blindness, NEI/NIH Grant EY 06855, and Swedish Medical Research Council grant 19X-09938.
Three of the authors (Gustavo D. Aguirre, Gregory M. Acland, Kunal Ray) have a proprietary
interest in a company (Optigen) that will perform the molecular test for csnb. The authors
are grateful to the many owners and breeders who willingly participated in this study by
making their dogs available, and to Julie Alling and Jill Czarnecki for excellent technical