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Reframing Discussions - What is needed for progress?
A webinar sponsored by the All-party Parliamentary Dog Advisory Welfare Group (APDAWG), the UK Centre for Animal Law (A-LAW) and Our Dogs Magazine.
December 1st, 2020 saw well over a hundred concerned and committed dog people joined virtually in discussions with IPFD CEO Dr. Brenda Bonnett. Organized and spearheaded by Marc Abraham, BVM&S MRCVS, and Lisa Cameron, MP.
In September, IPFD published an article entitled: Reframing Current Challenges Around Pedigree Dogs: A Call for Respectful Dialogue, Collaboration and Collective Actions. The goal is to bring together all those individuals and organizations who believe that our world is better because we share it with dogs; who believe that pedigree dogs and all dogs deserve good health and welfare; that people involved with dogs have a responsibility to ensure the well-being of dogs whether they are involved as owners, breeders, veterinarians, legislators, in the pet industry or other; that the diversity of ways in which people interact with dogs varies internationally, and traditions and cultures should be respected, but never at the expense of basic dog health and welfare.
Key UK canine publication Our Dogs published an opinion piece and a column by David Cavill on the IPFD Reframing article (content for subscribers only). | In a related blog post, IPFD CEO Dr. Brenda Bonnett reflects on Our Dogs' move to "wholeheartedly endorse" the IPFD Call to Action and publish our "Reframing" document - in addition to David Cavill's editorial.
Why and what?
From APDAWG: "There are many stakeholders in this often complicated world of dog health & welfare. However, we must all first & foremost start with our our personal responsibilities if we want to encourage change. Dr Bonnett will give a presentation about her incredible welfare work & impressive collaborative activity, including pandemic puppy buying behaviour, the need for respectful dialogue, brachycephalic update, as well as a look at effective legislation & regulation of dog welfare."
- Key participants/panellists: Chair Lisa Cameron MP, Marc Abraham, Tiffany Mitchell, Peter Egan, and others; as well as attendees representing many backgrounds and affiliations. Thanks to all for their contributions!
- The format included two talks by Brenda (see video below) that were presented separately and interspersed with polls, Q&As and panel discussions.
The Philippa Robinson Dog Welfare Award was presented to the individual or organisation that has made a huge positive impact on improving the lives of dogs & humans; the recipient for 2020 is Michelle Clark from Dogs on the Streets. Congrats for great work!
Goals and Highlights:
In addition to the description above, the webinar aimed to Identify benefits of inclusive and collaborative rather than unilateral efforts, and to be a call to action - for individuals, groups and organizations.
Key to the discussion was identification of the wide array of stakeholders that need to be engaged for effective solutions to the complex problems facing the dog world. The impact of both the supply and demand sides of the situation were stressed.
Also key is understanding that, just as health/disease and welfare exist not as yes/no entities, but exist rather along a spectrum - so do attitudes and beliefs about dogs. And it is that variability across countries, regions, cultures, and individuals that requires us to both identify where we are and what we need to do, as well as to be aware of (and if possible, accommodating of the issues facing other stakeholders) if we want effective, collective and collaborative actions.
Empathy was raised and discussed as an important part of communication and collaboration, even if human attitudes and feelings cannot be used as an excuse to ignore the needs of animals. Further tools are needed to help move from emotion to evidence in sensitive or contentious discussions.
Given the interests of APDAWG and many on the webinar, there was a focus on the important role legislation can play in improving dog health and welfare. However, Dr. Bonnett called for increased engagement of all stakeholders in decisions and enactment of solutions, and implementation of monitoring strategies when actions are taken.
IPFD and collaborators will be coming forward with a Roadmap, tools, and suggestions as to how individuals and groups can move forward to make real progress in important issues of health, well-being and welfare. Check into our evolving resources on IPFD's platform DogWellNet.com, especially Think Globally, Act Locally - Promoting Open Dialogue and Collective Actions.
The UK Centre for Animal Law (A-law) is a charity which brings together lawyers and other people interested in animal protection law to share experience and to harness that expertise for the benefit of animals, by securing more comprehensive and effective laws and better enforcement of existing animal protection laws.
APDAWG is an All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) set up in 2017 to explore, highlight, discuss and challenge dog-related activities, legislation, and trends with the overall aim of improving the health and welfare of the UK's dogs and dog owners, and society in general.
Breed Relevance Ratings (BRR) are a way to assess the relevance of a specific test for a specific breed, based on the currently best-known information on the research and development of a test - but genetic tests are not limited to pedigree breeds. Genetic tests are used for a variety of reasons on all dogs, and understanding the relevance is important for any purpose-bred dog or breeding program, as well as individual dogs. BRR’s are estimated for all dogs, and where the research is not available for a specific breed or type, we have processes to provide transparent information about test relevance.
How are BRRs estimated for cross-breeds?
Where a test is available to a crossbreed, but there isn't crossbreed-specific research:
If you are not yet familiar with the BRR color-code system, you can find information here. BRRs available for named crosses on the HGTD database do not assume the level of cross that has occurred – e.g. they do not assume that it is a Goldendoodle X Goldendoodle VS Golden Retriever X Standard Poodle. This is important, because research and anecdotal evidence from cross-breeders indicate that crossbreeds can vary in their crosses origin, and a 50:50 split between 2 breeds should not be assumed. This also acknowledges that some breed crosses are between similar breeds who may already share genes from before a division into distinct breeds - for example, Irish Setter and Irish Red and White Setters certainly share some historical origins. The table below gives a summary of the normal estimation of BRR where there is no cross-specific research known.
Breed A Breed B Cross A x B Comments BRR is red or orange BRR is red or orange BRR may be orange, or yellow, with details in the phene/test breed-specific information Using test may risk results that are unhelpful or detrimental in decision-making BRR is green BRR is red or orange BRR is yellow, and may have information in the phene/test breed-specific information Impact of test results is unknown – may or may not be informative. This test should be considered with caution. BRR is yellow BRR is yellow, or test is not available BRR is yellow
Impact of test results is unknown – may or may not be informative
BRR is green BRR is yellow, or test is not available BRR is normally green, with details in the phene/test breed-specific information Test results are, on balance, likely to be informative and the test is relevant to the crossbreed BRR is green BRR is green BRR is green, but may be at a lower-level, unless additional evidence is available. Test results are likely to be informative and the test is relevant to the crossbreed
For any BRR that are not able to be cross-breed specific, it is strongly recommended that you review the phene information to learn more about the disease/trait that is being tested for. The information there will be valuable to you when making a decision about the risk or importance of the test. Understanding the type of cross you have is also important. For example, if your dog is a Golden Retriever X Standard Poodle vs. Goldendoodle X Goldendoodle. If you're using a genetic test for breeding plans, this will impact the risk of inheritance in subsequent generations. The phenes database holds information on breed-specific research, and can include comments from researchers or pre-publication information that could be helpful for crossbreeds.
For example, in PRA GR PRA2, there was specific feedback from the research team that developed the test to recommend it to Goldendoodles, based on the testing already performed across Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, and Goldendoodles, as well as the original published research. Few researchers have the funding to do fully published and peer-reviewed cross-specific research for genetic tests, so the recommendation for tests with simple inheritance (e.g. Autosomal Recessive) is usually to test for any breed-specific tests in the composing breeds.
Where there is crossbreed-specific research:
The BRR is estimated in the same way as any breed. You can find information here.
A good example of this is the genetic test for the disease “Ichthyosis, PNPLA1-related”. This is a relatively rare skin condition, that causes serious discomfort and welfare issues for a dog. The mutation was first discovered in the Golden Retriever in 2012, but was further investigated and described in golden-retriever-poodle crosses. When looking at the phene data, you can see publications for both breeds/types, in addition to the usual general description of the phene, GTPs offering the test, and other related information.
What should I do if I don't see my crossbreed listed?
New purposely bred crosses, or less common crosses, should ideally look at the breed-specific information for the breeds they are crossing when prioritizing testing information to use as part of a breeding plan, or to inform on an individual dog's risks. If considering genetic testing as part of breeding plans, it would be reasonable to be conservative, and use the breed-specific tests on the male and female being crossed to identify any genetic risks to the dogs themselves, and any genes they may pass on. In many cases, there can be genetic tests in common between breeds. These tests in common would likely be more informative on the risks for an individual dog, as well as any breeding considerations. For example, Progressive Retinal Atrophy - PRA prcd has 22 different breeds where the test is relevant (as of Dec 2020), and many more where the test is available. So, in principle any cross between those 22 different breeds should be one where the test results of PRA-prcd are considered. Where tests are not in common between two breeds being crossed, it becomes more complicated. If used in breeding plans, best practice would still recommended testing parents, and then off-spring, for all breed-specific tests for both parents. For an individual dog's risks, contacting your test provider for genetic advice or counselling may be valuable. You may find the table above useful in considering prioritizations.
What about for “ALL” dogs?
There are some tests that are available and relevant to all dogs. Examples include genetic tests that are:
- Diagnostic for a dog-wide condition (e.g. some cancer-risk tests)
- It relates to genes common to all dogs (e.g. coat colours)
- It is a genetic tool specific to an individual dog such as DNA profiling, or parentage
As inheritance in cross and mixed breeds is generally less predictable than breeds using breed-specific tests, it is important to be aware of risks, take your time to research or get advice on genetic testing. Any permanent decisions (e.g. neutering, healthcare) should be approached with especial caution and with robust veterinary and genetic counselling, with the dog’s welfare always in mind.
Any questions? As we are developing more advice and support for cross and mixed breed dogs, please feel free to contact us with any questions about genetic testing until more resources become available, at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Title image with thanks to Helena Lopes via Pexels.
Come for the looks, stay for the personality? A mixed methods investigation of reacquisition and owner recommendation of Bulldogs, French Bulldogs, and Pugs
...is the latest analysis of data collected and reported on in a 2019 study - see - Great expectations, inconvenient truths, and the paradoxes of the dog-owner relationship for owners of brachycephalic dogs. As we said in that blog: "Popularity of brachycephalic (flat-faced) dog breeds is increasing internationally despite well-documented intrinsic health and welfare problems associated with their conformation." The previous study looked at aspects of the dogs and people that lead to such an intense bond.
This 2020 article, based on the need for further understanding of the complexity of health and welfare of these flat-faced breeds, uses excellent scientific methods to explore data that explores emotions, beliefs, and feelings - i.e. human factors. They say: "Physical appearance is as a dominant factor attracting owners to brachycephalic breeds; however, whether these owners will choose their current breed for future ownership and develop ‘breed-loyalty’ in the face of health problems is not yet known." It is well-known that these breeds suffer with numerous conditions that result in ongoing, costly veterinary interventions. They may die young, and the whole situation is often heart-breaking for owners. And yet... do they want to get another one? Do they recommend the breed to friends and family members? Investigating these questions was the aim of this study.
Study in a nutshell:
- included 2168 owners: (Pugs: n = 789; French Bulldog: n = 741; Bulldogs: n = 638)
- 93% of owners were highly likely to own their breed again in the future
- and 65.5% would recommend their breed to others
there analysis showed that there was a tendency for
increased attachment in first time owners, and that increased the likelihood of re-acquisition
however, those actions were decrease when the dog experienced an increased number of health problems, and dog behaviour
being worse than expected
- people who thought their dog had better health than the average for the breed were less likely to get another or recommend
- increased attachment in first time owners, and that increased the likelihood of re-acquisition
- so, when people have a dog with a lot of health issues, AND they perceive that this could be even worse in other dogs of the breed... they are less likely to reacquire or recommend
- of great concern was that owners say a great benefit of these breeds is their low requirement for exercise... that they have a sedentary nature
Unfortunately, previous work by Dr. Packer, from years ago, and other studies since, show us that owners of flat-faced dogs tend not to recognize or admit that breed-typical characteristics like snorting, snoring, poor exercise and heat tolerance are truly indications of ill health, or of suffering. And as evidenced in the results of this study, they do not understand that reluctance to move and exercise might stem from clinical problems, e.g. inability to breath, rather than having a 'lazy' personality. Allowing dogs to become obese and not keeping them fit will only aggravate underlying problems. Do owners accidentally love them to death?
The point of research like this it to learn about the people behind the breeds, so that we can develop educational resources and programs to help people understand the issues in the these incredibly population breeds. Their incredible surge in popularity, combined with the welfare challenges in individual dogs, are leading to heightened legislative regulations in Europe that may impact entire breeds, and, of course owners.
Other relevant material:
For more information on the Big Picture in French Bulldogs, see our Get a GRIHP! article.
Owners' perception of 'responsible dog ownership' - blog by Dr. Brenda Bonnett
- DogWellNet section on Extremes of Conformation/Brachycephalics
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a blog by Aimee Llewellyn-Zaidi, MSc; Project Director of the IPFD Harmonization of Genetic Testing for Dogs (HGTD) initiative.
“People around the world have been drawn to this philosophy not only due to its effectiveness, but also because it places great importance on being mindful, introspective and forward-looking.” -Marie Kondo, Founder of the Kon Mari method.
If you’ve already, like so many of us, used the Kon Mari de-cluttering method of “sparking joy” and being “mindful, introspective, and forward-looking” in cleaning out your garage, re-organizing your closets, and finally hanging those shelves, then it is no surprise you might be feeling like your breeding plans could do with a little refresh and reorganize. Sometimes in life, it is really valuable to assess our habits and old ways to see if they still “spark joy” or in this case, are still working effectively to achieve breeding goals. With many breeder organizations encouraging caution when planning litters, or recommending delaying mating plans, (click here) this could be the perfect time to reflect on dog breeding, and be mindful, introspective, and forward-looking with genetic testing!
Identifying what you want to achieve with genetic testing is critical in ensuring that the tests you use are fit for your purpose, and that you are making informed breeding decisions. There are a number of potential goals: confirming a litter’s parentage, using disease/trait test results to guide breeding plans to reduce risks or promote desirable characteristics, or providing a genetic permanent identification for your breeding dogs or puppies.
Genetic tests fall into a few different types. For breeders, you might mainly be interested in parentage testing (providing confirmation of a puppy’s parents), permanent identification (a panel of markers that provide a unique genetic “fingerprint” that cannot be removed), and disease/trait tests (individual tests, or packages of tests that give risk or inheritance information on a wide-variety of inherited diseases and traits, such as coat type or color.) There are also genetic tests that are diagnostic or used to assess clinical risks, and increasingly, tests that investigate breed diversity or breed determination. What types of tests you use is determined by what your goals are – it is easy to confuse testing options, and you don’t want to order a parentage test thinking you’re getting a permanent ID, or health information. If you have a number of goals, many genetic test providers offer packages of tests, or reduced costs when purchasing multiple tests and test-types.
When choosing disease or trait tests for your breed, you can start by searching the breed-specific tests listed on HGTD. The HGTD project has recently launched Breed Relevance Ratings (BRR) as a guide to what research and evidence (or not) supports available breed-specific tests. BRR uses a “traffic light” system to indicate what we currently know about a specific test for a specific breed. You can use this information in a number of ways, but it is useful when assessing how well-understood a specific disease test might be in your breed. These ratings are dynamic, and will change over time as more information becomes available. As HGTD also provides information on each disease/trait test, you can see the original research for many tests, and use this in conjunction with any information from your test providers to better interpret and understand test results. This is especially valuable when balancing a number of different test results in your dogs, with other breeding considerations. As more breed-specific tests become available, more dogs will of course have a variety low/medium and high-risk results. There is no such thing as a genetically “perfect” dog!
We have recently heard from a number of kennel clubs who are either already starting to incorporate parentage testing and genetic permanent identification into their databases, or making plans for this in the future. It can be really reassuring to both breeders and pet homes to have genetic confirmation of parentage – and if you have a genetic permanent identification, it can’t get “lost”, be removed, or be changed. When choosing a parentage or ID test, look for ISAG accreditation to ensure that your test results are interpretable internationally. The ISAG panel used by many GTPs is considered a “gold standard.” They have recently released a new ISAG 2020 panel for SNP (single-nucleotide polymorphism) testing, in addition to the 2004, and 2006 STR (short-tandem repeat/microsatellite) panels. Once you’ve decided on your goals, and what test(s) you might want to achieve them, who is your best test provider? The Search by GTP/Lab option lets you review test providers, including what tests they offer, any accreditation, and special expertise they have. Many genetic test providers are able to perform and provide test results completely remotely and only require you to use a home kit to test your dogs.
Keep in mind that during the COVID-19 pandemic that any tests that require a blood sample, or being sampled by a veterinary professional may not be recommended at this time. Other considerations for choosing a test provider might be which GTPs are “accepted” by your kennel club, what reports look like and any after-care, and what types of tests are offered. (click here) Genetic test providers are increasingly offering breed-specific “panel” tests, which can be really cost effective. It is worth checking to ensure the panel they are offering includes all the tests you’re interested in, or be ready to buy additional tests. In addition, it is recommended that if you are using a panel test, you take your time when reading breed-specific reports. Some panel test providers like to provide all results, irrespective if the test is yet known to be breed-relevant, and others prefer to report only results that are known or suspected to be relevant. Responsible genetic test providers have clear risk information in their reports, whichever style they use. There is a risk that making breeding decisions based on results from irrelevant tests (e.g. where the mutation in your breed has no known correlation with disease risk) could lead to an unnecessary reduction in genetic diversity, false-confidence in disease risk reduction, or welfare issues if a dog’s results are mis-interpreted as a diagnosis for a disease they will never have symptoms of.
Introspective/Self-reflective: what to do when you get your test results?
Unless you are only interested in parentage or permanent ID, you will almost certainly have more than one genetic disease/trait result to consider in your breeding plans. You will also have other aims outside of genetic testing such as conformation, behavior, and clinical test results, as well as, perhaps the health and longevity of dogs related to the breeding pair. There are many resources that can provide a wide-variety of breeding advice for your breed. (click here) It can be helpful to divide the genetic test information on the dam and sire into a number of categories – what test results do I have? Which are high, medium or low risk? Any that are no risk at all? And, with what I know about the disease test results, how important are they to the health and welfare of my dogs when balanced against other concerns in my breed? Part of what makes genetic tests such a valuable tool, is that you are able to make fairly confident decisions when it comes to paring dogs to reduce or eliminate disease risk, i.e. it may be strongest for rejecting certain pairings. In other words, after eliminating certain potential mates due to genetic incompatibility, you can go on to look at the pros/cons, benefits and risks of the options remaining. Even if genetic testing offers some solid information, do not get lulled into making false assumptions about the over-all suitability of mating pairs or the health of a dog or its progeny (see: Health tested does not mean healthy). Genetic testing is a core breeding tool, but breeders must not get complacent or allow the popularity, simplicity and ‘high science’ of using ‘DNA’ results to distract them from tackling the greater challenges of informed breeding decisions, e.g. prioritizing health, conformation or behavioral traits that don’t come with genetic tests. No one analytic tool or test can replace the broad knowledge and experience that is needed in order to adequately consider the big picture for breeding decisions. Take time to reflect back to your original goals, with your gained insight into the tests and results…“I want to eliminate this mutation from my breeding plans, but doing it slowly will be better for my breed as a whole” vs “this is a really rare disease with high welfare-impact, so trying to get it out of the breeding population quickly is important” vs “I have 20 important considerations, and this genetic test is only one of them.” This is a really useful way to keep your eye on the end-goals, use genetic tests to help hone your breeding plans, and focus your energy.
Genetic testing technology, including what tests are available and advances in interpretation and advice (as well as confusion!) are only going to increase over time. Most kennel and breed clubs are already including genetic test results in breed records to some extent , and as the genetic technology advances and becomes more accessible, the future is likely to include genetic testing as standard practice, especially when it comes to registration – with parentage testing, and/or health testing regulations. Being informed now will help you to be prepared for the future, and improve your breeding plans moving forward. As a final note, a key part of the Kon Mari method of organizing includes the concept of “thank you, and good bye.” This philosophy allows you to reflect on what worked in the past, be okay with it, and also say good bye to move onto better things for your future. This is the same in dog breeding – you might have tried something in the past that doesn’t work now, or you might have had something that worked okay but could be better. Or you may have old habits and attitudes that could be dropped. Say goodbye, and move on. Learn the lessons from the past experiences, but only take with you when moving into the future, what is right for you and your breeding strategies now and moving forward.
Kondo, Marie. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing
National Kennel Clubs are major stakeholders in the governance and regulation of dog breeding. As such, they have been the targets of major criticism related to dog health issues. It is therefore interesting to investigate to what extent health and welfare is a priority for kennel clubs (KCs), and what are the capacities and actions implemented to deal with those issues.
A survey was sent in 2017 to 40 KCs with 15 answers received from 11 European (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Latvia, The Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the UK) and 4 non-European countries (Australia, Mexico, Uruguay, and the USA) aimed at describing and comparing information across countries in dog breed health management (Wang et al. 2018).
First, in order to determine the population of dogs under the responsibility of KC, the percentages of all dogs being registered as ‘pedigree’ dogs were estimated considering the 15 surveyed KCs, as well 35 other countries, using sources such as the FCI online statistics. Across countries, the average and median percentage of the entire dog population that were registered pedigree dogs, respectively was 20% and 14%. However, there was a large variation across countries, with European Nordic countries showing, in general, a larger proportion of pedigree dogs (see Figure 1). This aspect is of importance, since it is expected that the responsibility toward general dog health, as well as the capacity to improve the situation, relates to the proportion of dogs that are at least to some extent under the influence of the KCs.
When asked about the current challenges, KCs ranked exaggerated morphological features and inherited disorders as the most important issues, showing those two problems are now clearly identified as priorities (Figure 2). By contrast, issues such as economic constraints to breeding were rarely viewed as problematic for dog breeding. Kennel clubs also commented on challenges related to the difficulty to find balance between increased regulation and the risk of losing members; to achieve consensus and compliance of breeders and clubs toward breed health strategies; as well as lack of capacity regarding information provision and education.
Surveyed countries showed great diversity in terms of information management, implementation of breeding strategies, recommendations, requirement, restriction and tools. Most KCs indicated that information on genealogies, breed standards and dog shows were recorded in their data base for most, if not all breeds; however, health information (e.g. screening examinations, genetic tests) was more sparsely recorded and provided to the public, both for breeds within countries and across countries (Figure 3). For instance, KCs from Austria, Australia, Denmark, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Norway, the UK and the USA provided health information status on pedigrees and in online data bases, but in general, not all breeds were covered. When considering implementation of breeding strategies, six countries indicated that there were no breeding strategies implemented by any breed clubs, while in three countries (Austria, Sweden and the Netherlands) it was reported that each breed club had its breeding strategy.
Several countries indicated that they were planning to develop breeding tools and provide health information to users, and for instance, France and Belgium reported having ongoing work to develop tools to provide online pedigree with health information or estimate breeding values for complex disorders such as hip dysplasia.
Although limited by the relatively low number of countries considered, this survey showed that despite large differences in their approach to breeding policies and management, the awareness to improve breeding and health of pedigree dogs was strong among the surveyed Kennel Clubs. The dog breeding world is increasingly global in scope. The understanding of both the diversity of health initiatives and the potential for coordinated actions internationally is key to further efforts to promote dog health and welfare.
There is probably still a lot of progress to be made in term of information provision and collection, as well as planning breeding strategies considering dog health. In particular, finding a consensus in terms of constraints and priorities for breeding, is expected to be particularly challenging for Kennel Clubs and breed clubs in order to implement those strategies. Although the situations differ across countries, exchanges of experiences may surely help to find the most adequate solutions toward improvement of health and welfare.
Wang, S., Laloë, D., Missant, F. M., Malm, S., Lewis, T., Verrier, E., ... & Leroy, G. (2018). Breeding policies and management of pedigree dogs in 15 national kennel clubs. The Veterinary Journal. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tvjl.2018.02.018
Brenda’s blog gave a great overview of the American Kennel Club National Parent Club Canine Health Conference we attended earlier this month in St. Louis, Missouri. I am grateful for the sponsorship from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals provided to myself and the 31 other veterinary students in attendance.
This conference, like the 3rd International Dog Health Workshop, was an opportunity to learn more about cutting edge research that is improving dog health. Topics were varied and included tick borne disease, epilepsy, lymphoma, and reproductive health. It was exciting to see my Colorado State University (CSU) Immunology professor, Dr. Anne Avery, present on her lymphoma research.
Right: View from the top of the St. Louis Gateway Arch
After completing a CSU clinical orthopedics rotation a few weeks prior to the conference, it was especially interesting to hear what I had learned about Omega-3 fatty acids in my rotation be reiterated by presenter Dr. Wendy Baltzer from Massey University. Her Purina funded study described that a diet high in Omega-3 fatty acids post-surgical correction of cranial cruciate ligament disease is helpful and results in less progression of arthritis and lameness.
I’m am looking forward to graduation in 9 months and continued involvement in dog health. The opportunities I have received since first starting my IPFD project have been endless and I am very thankful for the DogWellNet.com community!
Left: Veterinary Student Attendees at the AKC National Parent Club Health Conference
Well, it's been 10 weeks... and I've learned quite a lot. I hope you have, too! As my project comes to an end, Nina and I wanted to give our viewers a big thank you. I hope you enjoyed this blog series and feel more confident about what your role is in solving antimicrobial resistance (AMR). We would also like to extend a huge thank you to the Skippy Frank Fund who sponsored this entire project, and a thank you to Dr. Jason Stull and Dr. Brenda Bonnett for being wonderful mentors every step of the way.
It is important to keep in mind that science is an ever-changing field that is constantly updated with new material. For example there's a new study that just came out suggesting that not finishing a course of antibiotics may not cause resistance, which is contrary to the current belief. Here is the link to this article if you would like to read more about it. Even though this blog is over, I hope that you continue your AMR education as new scientific data arises.
To complete my summer project, I have constructed a poster that I will be presenting at The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine's Research Day.
Take a look!
Here is the downloadable PDF version:
Be sure to keep checking www.DogWellNet.com for more information on dog health and wellness!
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The Finnish Kennel Club (FKC) has finished the protocol and the instructions for fitness (walk) testing of breeding dogs in brachycephalic breeds. The test is similar to the one used by the Dutch Kennel Club.
Finnish test instructions have been developed by veterinarians doing research on BOAS. Their results concerning the Bulldog have already been published. The researchers are still continuing their research and testing Pugs and French Bulldogs, whose results will be published later.
According to the Finnish guidelines, a dog gets an approved walk test result if he/she walks 1000 meters in 12 minutes or less, and recovers sufficiently from the walk within the recovery time. In the future, it is also possible to have different time limits for different breeds. The test result is failed if
The FKC arranged the first pilot test in February, and the second pilot will be arranged in May. Also orientation for veterinarians will be held at that second pilot. After that, breed clubs are able to arrange the tests by their own. The tests have to be carried out in accordance with the FKC's Guideline for walk tests, in order to get the test result recorded in the FKC breeding database.
The FKC is following the development and use of different tests in other countries. It is also having close collaboration with the other Nordic Kennel Clubs on this subject. The aim is, in the long run, and with the help of accumulated experience, to develop the test further, to be as appropriate as possible.
All the information on the Finnish walk test can be found here.
The walk test is meant for short-muzzled (brachycephalic) breeds that have symptoms caused by upper respiratory tract disorders. These breeds include Pug, English Bulldog and French Bulldog. The dog's exercise tolerance and the ability to breathe normally are evaluated in the walk test and the clinical examination included in it. In the walk test, the dog must walk a certain distance in a defined maximum time and recover from the exercise within a defined time frame."
IPFD Board Member Dr. Patricia Olson was the keynote speaker at the Inaugural One Health Program at Midwestern University on October 8, 2015 (Downer’s Grove, Illinois).
Midwestern University also has one of the newest veterinary schools in the U.S. (Phoenix, Arizona). Physicians were paired with veterinarians to deliver lectures on obesity, pneumonia, osteochondritis dissecans and epilepsy. Dr. Olson’s lecture was on collaborative research, using the clues from animals to help advance both human and animal health/welfare.
See the pdf of her thought-provoking talk here:
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Once a year, in October, the SKK Breeding Committee organizes a weekend course for
breeding officials based on the book Dog breeding in theory and practice by Sofia Malm (SKK genetic expert) and Åsa Lindholm.
The Genetic Expert and The Breeding Consultant of the SKK Department for Breeding and Health are in charge of the course.
The aim is to give breed clubs education and tools they need to work with breeding plans and breed-specific strategies.
The contents of the course include basic genetics and guidance in how to conduct work at club level.
There’s also a certain amount of self-directed studies.
Every other year, in April, this education is held specifically directed to hunting dog breed clubs.
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On the podium:
1st : Meisterhaus Signet Higher'N Higer ; Breed: Basenji ; Owner: Lise DURLOT and Dimitri HEBERT ; Breeder: Brenda CASSELL and Tad BOOKS
2nd : Fall In Love Forest Ohara Of Bloom White ; Breed : Samoyede ; Owner: Mira MITKOVA ; Breeder: Elisabeth FAUCON
3rd : Eternal Drago Of Nordic Forest ; Breed : Siberian Husky ; Owner and breeder: Valérie CHARNEAU
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The contents of these blogs are for informational purposes only and represent the opinion of the author(s), and not that of the International Partnership for Dogs (IPFD). This is not intended to be a substitute for professional, expert or veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. We do not recommend or endorse any specific tests, providers, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on, or linked to from these blogs.