2nd Chance, Royal T Mi-Kis' very special future stud

Introducing 2nd Chance: Miracle Mi-Ki & Future Stud

We are thrilled to present the latest addition to the Royal T Mi-Kis pack – Estrellita’s 2nd Chance Royal T! Chance is the product of a pairing with Estrellita’s UKC Grand Champion Miss Laci Jackson and Flyer’s Mr. Universe “Gizmo.” Born in 2003, Gizmo was one of the first Mi-Kis acquired by Tamara Beebe, the American Mi-Ki Registry Association registrar. Tamara had the foresight to collect and bank frozen semen from several of the early Mi-Kis for the benefit of the breed.

The Sire: Flyer’s Mr. Universe “Gizmo”

According to Tamara, Tee Nee In Chan Ting Man and Tee Nee In-Chan-Ting Lady were kind of like the Adam and Eve of Mi-Kis. If you look at modern AMRA registration numbers, we’re sitting at numbers over 5,500 as of late 2022. Gizmo was number 18!

The Dam: Estrellita’s Ms. Laci Jackson

Unfortunately, there have been very few successful pregnancies and litters produced with several attempts at using frozen semen. In fact, there are only two incidents of puppies produced using our precious stores of Mi-Ki frozen semen. One was a litter of two with one surviving puppy that was facilitated by Barbara Teichner of Belle Amie Mi-Kis. Rebecca Thomason of Estrellita Mi-Kis was able to facilitate this second litter. We are grateful for the considerable time and expense these breeders have contributed towards the Mi-Ki gene pool with these endeavors.

Estrellita’s Time and Time Again litter – DOB 10/23/22 via C-section

A Trio of Mi-Ki Treasures

Chance was one of three healthy puppies produced in the Time and Time Again Litter. The litter was conceived via surgical insemination and delivered via C-section. No expense was spared to ensure the success of this endeavor.

We are honored to be selected as one of the caretakers of this valuable DNA to enhance the Mi-Ki breed and to remain true to the vision of what the Mi-Ki was bred to be. Chance’s littermates went to other Mi-Ki breeders. The black female, Phoenix, went to Littltoi Mi-Kis in Maryland. The black and white male, Legend, went to Jubilee Mi-Kis in North Carolina.

It is the hope of Becki Thomason and the AMRA registrar that Mi-Ki breeders will seek out the offspring of these littermates to infuse the Mi-Ki gene pool with this precious DNA.

In addition to his early Mi-Ki genetics, Gizmo was also able to give his offspring fun colors including chocolate and blue! We were also intrigued to learn that some of the puppies inherited the smooth-face gene from their sire, so this goes to show that smoothies were definitely part of the early genetic makeup of the breed.

Exciting DNA results

All three puppies were tested with the Embark for Breeders DNA test, and we are gratified to have learned that they all test as 100% Mi-Ki. Feel free to peruse Chance’s Embark results if you’re interested. Chance can only produce long-coat puppies. He also carries blue and clear red, and we’re excited to see what he produces for us once he’s old enough for his other health clearances aside from genetic testing.

DNA Health Results

Although Chance received a copy of the gene associated with IVDD (Intervertebral Disc Disease) from Gizmo, we have been told by Embark that the gene isn’t breed-specific, therefore, he is still a good candidate for breeding. A large percentage of Mi-Kis have this marker and so far breeders haven’t noticed a correlation in expression. Additionally, veterinarians who have consulted with Mi-Ki breeders on the topic say that IVDD isn’t generally a small-breed condition even though the genetic marker is widespread in toy breeds. Despite this, we still try not to put two IVDD genes together in our pairings just to be on the safe side.

Likewise, It’s a similar situation for the DCM (dilated cardiomyopathy) gene. DCM is not breed-specific and mainly seems to affect large breeds. Additionally, it’s important not to remove dogs that are carriers of recessive disease genes from the gene pool. Doing so would severely limit genetic diversity and would adversely impact the overall health of purebred dogs. Embark also admonishes its users that having a genetic marker is not a diagnosis.

How we use DNA testing to inform breeding decisions

We’ve genetically tested all of our breeding dogs to make the best-informed decisions possible with the currently available data. DNA testing is a relatively new technology, however, so it’s just one tool for making breeding decisions. Sometimes genetic testing makes it possible to help produce desired traits like colors or coat types. There are also diseases that can be avoided by not pairing two recessive gene carriers.

Some of the genetic findings are not as clear-cut. We’ve found that some of the genetic findings don’t necessarily match the phenotypes (what the dog actually looks like.) For instance, several of the dogs who supposedly have genetically long muzzles are the ones with the shortest noses. Another example is that some of our dogs that Embark says will have short legs and long bodies are actually more proportional than our dogs that are built more like Corgis. And yet these short-legged long-torso dogs don’t get flagged as having those genes.

Since genetics is constantly evolving with new discoveries, we have to look at the whole dog including its conformation, physical health examinations, and pedigrees. We also consult with experienced breeders about their history with these lines. Our own experience also informs our breeding decisions. It’s complicated and fun to sort out the possibilities!

It will be fun to see what this new/old infusion of genetic material does with our program and Mi-Kis in general. We cannot thank the folks who made this opportunity possible enough – particularly Tamara Beebe, Becki Thomason of Estrellita Mi-Kis, and her talented repro vet in Dallas.

2nd Chance, our handsome miracle Mi-Ki

  • Estrellita's 2nd Chance

Chance is everything we like to see in a young Mi-Ki puppy – great conformation, a sweet temperament, and an endearing expression that will make you do anything for him! His ears are still figuring out what they are going to do, thanks to teething. Chance has settled in nicely as a member of our pack. We’re very blessed to have him. He was the first one I’d hoped for when I saw that newborn photo!

We plan to start showing Chance at every “chance” we get. We hope to see great things from him in the future, including puppies in late 2023 or early 2024. Stay tuned for updates!

Chance has made an appearance in some of our newer puppy videos if you’d like to check them out on YouTube.

2 thoughts on “Introducing 2nd Chance: Miracle Mi-Ki & Future Stud

  1. royaltmikis says:

    I would like to leave information here that was anonymously emailed to me in the hopes that we can start a discussion regarding IVDD in the Mi-Ki breed.

    Your blog post regarding your approach to genetic diseases for Mi-kis is very concerning!!! My precious girl was diagnosed with IVDD by a neurologist and required spinal surgery to regain movement in her back legs and give her back quality of life. She was just running in the yard like always and suddenly started screaming and she couldn’t walk. Thankfully I had insurance to help cover these costs, about seven thousand dollars with testing and surgery. I have since tested her with Embark and she is an IVDD carrier. I have networked with several other owners who have experienced similar disc/spine issues and diagnosis. IVDD carriers should not be in the gene pool, it is a devastating condition that has been heartbreaking to deal with. I don’t know which breeders or owners you’ve been discussing these issues with, but there IS a correlation of it in the breed as well as ancestor breeds such as the shih Tzu & Maltese. – a Concerned Mi-Ki Family

    • royaltmikis says:

      Mary Parker
      2:15 PM (7 minutes ago)
      to Concerned Mi-Ki family

      Hello, Concerned Mi-Ki family,

      Thank you very much for your feedback regarding this information. I am very sorry you have had to go through this. Your story will be heard.

      As hard as it is to hear, this is exactly the feedback we are hoping to get as there is much discussion in the breeder community from folks who may think I’m being too cautious. We hope that more Mi-Ki breeders will soon begin genetic testing on every breeding dog to help inform breeding decisions for the health of the breed.

      Embark says what they consider to be the IVDD gene is fixed in the Mi-Ki due to the foundation breeds. We are trying to survey the different genetic testing companies to see if they are all testing for the same thing as results seem to differ somewhat.

      It would be wonderful to get a university veterinarian school to help us test dogs with the genes associated with IVDD on a regular basis to see if any of the presumed genes do apply to our breed. I’ve discussed this extensively with Embark, other breeders, the AMC board, the AMC health director Geri Wojeck, and the AMRA registrar Tamara Beebe.

      If you wouldn’t mind making your Embark results and veterinary records available to Tamara Beebe at amra06@msn.com and Geri Wojeck, the health director at gerismikis@gmail.com we would greatly appreciate it. You may tell them what prompted you to write.

      Did your dog by chance also have the marker for DM (degenerative myelopathy?) During my discussions with Embark, they said DM is breed-specific to the Mi-Ki and a quarter of Mi-Kis they’ve tested have the gene. Two copies of DM will affect a Mi-Ki with similar or even more debilitating symptoms. I’m sure your vet would have told you if that were the case.

      Thanks for taking the time to share this important information. I will leave the blog as is and hope that it prompts more honest discussion. The future of the breed depends on it.

      Warm regards,

      Mary Parker
      Royal T Mi-Kis

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