In the attempt to compress a five-hour interview/group discussion into an article of reasonable length and form, the transcript has been rearranged by topic and edited. Dale also had some follow-up discussion with Dr. Padgett in order to help ensure that we understood what he intended to communicate. The unedited transcript is available upon request.
Much progress has been made towards educating and involving a large number of breeders and lovers of White Shepherds in this project, but many questions have also risen through this learning process. In an effort to bring clarification to these issues, Judy arranged for a group interview with Dr. Padgett and gave open opportunity for anyone to send questions to be addressed. Dr. Padgett granted 5 hours of his time the evening of Saturday, March 16, 2002 for a lively question and answer session. In attendance were Debbie Martin (interviewer), Joanne Chanyi, Lynda Proulx, Judy Huston, Dale Malony, and Maurice Seeger.
Diagnostic accuracy presents a difficulty to breeders since it requires them to maintain a greater level of contact with puppy buyers – at least enough that they can get involved if needed when a dog is affected with a disease, and possibly even to pay for the diagnosis themselves. Without an accurate diagnosis, a disease may spread undetected much longer than necessary. The expense, both monetary and emotional, to both the kennel operator and the puppy buyers in treating these diseases is substantial and deserves attention.
Diagnostic accuracy is a valid chief criticism of this project with respect to its importance to success in reducing the incidence of genetic disease in our dogs. Firstly, we need information on as many of the dogs we’ve produced as possible. Secondly we need the data to be accurate. Accuracy requires proper diagnosis of diseases to ensure proper tracking.
Debbie Martin: An argument has been used that only diseases that have confirmed diagnosis, preferably from a university hospital, should be included in the study. Will a mistaken diagnosis cause serious harm to breeding decisions in the future?
Dr. Padgett: It would be nice if you always had a confirmed diagnosis for every disease, but you have a couple problems. One problem is all veterinarians are not equal - they can’t all make an accurate diagnosis for all diseases. So if you have a requirement like that, then you’re going to have registrations (surveys) that aren’t complete. Also, you can be in a position where it’s very difficult to get to a university for a diagnosis. I think if the world was perfect and we had a university in every community, then the answer to that question would be "yes". But the world isn’t like that. So if you have a reasonable approach to what you’re going to register (track), then you have to go with what you have.
Others’ Remarks: Just a side question, but on our database do we keep track of who made the diagnosis?
Debbie Martin: No, we don’t and we probably should.
Dr. Padgett: It would also be nice to know who made the diagnosis. Over a period of time you will find people who can’t make them. It would be nice to know that. I’m not trying to insult anybody.