Our community blogs
HGTD This Week, 7 Aug 2020: Canine Crime Scene Investigators
When we think about genetic testing, we often focus on how it can be a tool to improve health and welfare - generally centered around breeding for health or finding more about the health or potential health risks for an individual dog. Knowing about health risks that are especially relevant to specific breeds or dog types makes testing even more powerful in helping reduce risks of disease or undesirable traits (see Breed Relevancy Ratings). Most commonly, genetic screening and diagnostic testing focuses on: disease tests, breed estimation tests, diagnostics, parentage/paternity, inbreeding estimations, etc. (search for genetic tests and providers, here).
This week, I received a very interesting question from a DogWellNet.com user, who wanted to know if genetic testing could help them with a dog attack incident. Their dog had been bitten, and they wanted to know if genetic testing could be used to identify the attacking dog, using saliva from the collar. The short answer is… probably not, but maybe not for the reasons you think. In principle, it should be possible to extract DNA from saliva from a surface like a dog collar. The challenge is that, even with a genetic profile:
- You won’t know if the profile is from the attacking dog, or some other dog your pet has met at a dog park, on a walk, at the vet’s…
- Without a profile of a known dog to compare it to, you won’t be able to identify the dog (and therefore owner)
This is because dogs are generally not required to be registered with a genetic fingerprint. So, unless you know the dog and the dog's owners, it is impossible to confirm identification using DNA alone - much like the challenges in human criminal DNA identification.
This brings us around to thinking about some of the more forensic things genetic testing can, and cannot do:
- Act as a permanent identification for an individual dog (genetic profiling)
- Determine parentage, when relatives’ profiles are known for comparison
- Comment on the risks of specific genetic mutations for specific diseases (disease/phene screening testing)
- Aid in the diagnosis of specific risks/diseases (only with diagnostic testing as opposed to screening testing)
- Identify a specific dog, without that dog’s genetic information/owner being on an accessible registration list
- “Prove” that a dog is responsible for an action, without other evidence
- Be used to make “permanent” decisions (e.g. euthanasia) on its own, without other veterinary health information, and welfare considerations
While there are plenty of incredibly useful things genetic testing can do, beyond genetic screening tests, it is really important to consider why you are testing and how you are going to use any test results. As with any tool, genetic testing has its limitations.
Photos: pixabay (cover photo): G. Fring (image) via Pexels
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Morris Animal Foundation answers questions about hemangiosarcoma
May 21, 2020
"This is a webinar which answers some questions about hemangiosarcoma, a cancer dreaded by all golden retriever owners and veterinarians. Dr. Kelly Diehl, Morris Animal Foundation Senior Director of Science and Communications, speaks with Dr. Rod Page, Director of the Flint Animal Cancer Center, and Principal Investigator for the Foundation's Golden Retriever Lifetime Study."
The presenter, Dr. Rodney Page, references insurance data from Scandinavia/other evidence that the incidence of this disease may be lower in EU/Nordic than in the US... brings up specifically potential for connection of spay neuter/ hormonal status of dogs as having a possible impact in that spaying and neutering of dogs is less in Nordic countries... further monitoring of the GR population in the Lifetime Study will lead to greater understanding.
Agria Insurance - Breed Profile for Golden Retrievers
Two Decades of Advances in Canine Hemangiosarcoma. The Light at the End of the Tunnel is getting Brighter, and it’s not a Train!
Jaime Modiano, VMD, PhD holds the Alvin and June Perlman Endowed Chair of Animal Oncology and is the Director of the Animal Cancer Care and Research Program of the College of Veterinary Medicine and the Masonic Cancer Center at the U of Minnesota.
It is now believed that Hemangiosarcoma (HSA) is a cancer that arises from cells related to bone marrow nurse cells that support the formation of blood cells and blood vessels. HSA can occur in any breed, but some breeds are more prone to it than others. The disease is indistinguishable between breeds. Treatments that block the signals that cause disorganized growth and invasion of cells is limited once the cells have organized into malignant tissue. Early identification of the disease is critical in developing possible treatments. Research he is doing at U of Minn has developed a blood test which is used for early identification of the disease, and they are now doing a clinical trial to receive the experimental drug, eBAT, to determine the drug's potential to prevent progression of disease. For more information see:
Propranolol and Hemangiosarcoma: Can We Use an Old Drug to Learn New Tricks?
Erin Dickerson, PhD
Associate Professor at the College of Veterinary Medicine and the Masonic Cancer Center
Beta blockers are commonly used to treat hypertension, heart failure, arrhythmias, and anxiety. A correlation has been found between reduced cancer progression, metastasis and mortality and the use of beta blockers in cancer patients: breast, colon, prostate, pancreas, and ovarian cancers. Increased progression free survival and overall survival has been seen in melanoma and angiosarcoma patients.
Infantile hemangioma is a common benign tumor of infancy in humans. It can grow quickly during the first year of life, but in most cases the masses slowly regress from a benign angiogenic mass to fibrofatty tissue. It is potentially disfiguring or life-threatening in about 10% to 15% of all cases. In 2008 systemic administration of propranolol was found to improve the treatment of infantile hemangioma. The treatment consists of topical timolol or oral propranolol (2mg/kg/day, TID). Children are often treated for 6-10 months, and the treatment is well-tolerated.
There are about 300 cases of angiosarcoma each year. It is associated with toxins that damage DNA, such as vinyl chloride, thorium dioxide, and radiation. The primary sites are usually the liver, skin, and subcutaneous soft tissue. The progression free survival for advanced cases is about 4-6 months, and the 5 year survival is about 30-35%. Propranolol has been found to kill angiosarcoma cells, and to inhibit its growth. Using propranolol, the progression free survival moved from about 6 months to 11 months, and overall survival went from about 10-11 months to about 16-18 months. A prospective analysis of metastatic angiosarcoma patients lead to a median progression free survival of 9 months and an overall survival of 36 months. Regression of primary cardiac angiosarcoma and metastatic nodules were seen following propranolol as a single agent treatment. Based on the clinical effectiveness of propranolol against angiosarcomas, the EU gave propranolol an Orphan Drug Designation.
Canine hemangiosarcoma is similar to that of human angiosarcoma. It’s a common cancer in dogs, and is typically found in the spleen, heart, or skin. Response to conventional treatments is poor with a median survival of about 4-6 months. Using a targeted bispecific toxin (eBAT) 6 month survival went from under 40% to about 70%.
Propranolol acts as a cytostatic agent, it stops the growth of the cells without killing them. It prevents cancers from growing and spreading. When doxorubicin is used to treat hemangiosarcoma, a population of those cells are resistant to the doxorubicin. Propranolol alters the intracellular distribution of doxorubicin and increases the sensitivity of hemangiosarcoma cells to chemotherapy. Propranolol also blocks the ability of the tumor cells to take up nutrients from the tumor microenvironment, further limiting access to vital metabolites needed for tumor growth. When combined with the chemotherapy drug, doxorubicin, propranolol enhances the effects of the chemotherapy agent by increasing drug concentrations within tumor cells. The results from these studies are guiding the translation of propranolol into clinical practice and informing future studies with other beta blocker and chemotherapy combinations.
A clinical trial opened July 1, 2019 to determine the tolerability and clinical benefit of propranolol combined with doxorubicin, the estimated 6 month disease free survival, and to determine if there is a correlation between propranolol concentration and treatment effect. Twenty dogs are being enrolled, with recruitment at U of Minnesota, U of Pennsylvania, and Purdue.
CURRENT AKC Canine Health Foundation GRANTS
- 02534: Clinical Trial for Evaluation of Propranolol and Doxorubicin in the Treatment of Canine Hemangiosarcoma
Study information & Enrollment...PRO-DOX Propranolol and doxorubicin for dogs with splenic hemangiosarcoma
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Ian Seath has again stimulated our 'little grey cells' and maybe even touched on some emotions, attitudes, and even deep-seated beliefs in his DOG-ED: SOCIAL ENTERPRISE post (23 June 2020):
Catchy title - firstly - where does that come from, and what does it mean?
"Management Guru Peter Drucker famously stated that culture eats strategy for breakfast.
So, What does "culture eats strategy" mean for you and your organization?
In a very practical sense: No matter what business strategy or strategic plan you try to implement with your team,
its success and efficacy are going to be held back by the people implementing the plan if the culture does not support it. "
Ian's article draws on his extensive knowledge and background in business, strategy, and change management - as well as his fantastic dog expertise - to examine topical international information on COVID-19 and to draw comparisons with challenges in the dog world. He wants to encourage us to think about various aspects of health and welfare in dogs. Further moving his title discussion into the dog world: it means that if those needed to implement and drive change (in attitudes or practices) aren't passionate about the change or at least willing to embrace change or - even worse - if they deny the need for change at all (i.e. deny the existence of 'a problem') or are apathetic to the issues, then you stand no chance implementing a plan. Ultimately it is all about the people.
Denial or apathy or resistance to change may occur if there is great passion for and attachment to an existing culture.
In terms of the complex problems of the dog world, IPFD exists because it is clear that these issues have many stakeholders who bear responsibilities for the challenges and the solutions. And each of the stakeholder communities has their own culture - and that influences their views and actions and even willingness to collaborate.
Ian goes on to describe bench-marking, i.e., ways to define, measure and characterize issues and actions on 3 levels.
Let's further describe this relative to the dog world, and with a few possible examples:
Metrics (statistics, measures) - tell you “what the performance is” or define and quantify aspects of the issue.
- E.g., prevalence and increased breed-specific risks of disease in various populations based on quantitative analysis vs. anecdote from personal experience (e.g. MY dogs are healthy!)
Challenges: differences across regions, types of dogs, etc.; lack of consensus on how much is too much; perspectives of those who see dogs from different populations - e.g. veterinarians in practice vs. show judges. Lack of comprehensive, clear evidence fosters a reliance on culture-based interpretations...spin!
Process (how the situation came to be, or what has influenced those levels):
E.g. the influences of breeding practices (how diligently have breeders prioritized health and longevity). It must be noted that these processes have certainly been driven by culture.
- E.g., breeding for performance vs. for the conformation show ring vs. for companion dogs vs. for the trendy puppy trade
- E.g. health programs implemented by breed and kennel clubs (Ian gives some good examples)
Challenges - the perception of the need for and time frame of change; and the amount of change; the acceptance of any authority over practices and processes from within or outside a community or culture. There is a tendency to look for simple solutions to complex problems - and then to be surprised that the outcome wasn't ideal.
Culture tells you the story behind the processes...and that includes attitudes, tradition, beliefs, and habits...of the people involved. Those within a community (e.g. show world, veterinarians, the wider public) may share one culture...or there may be various cultures within a wider community. Culture can change.
- There are many cultures and communities in the dog world! From those who believe pedigreed dogs are the most important and breed standards are essentially inviolable; to those who feel there is room for evolution and flexibility, even within existing registries; to those who feel pedigreed dogs are not necessary. From those whose culture defines dogs as commodities or chattels; to those who accept dogs as sentient beings with some rights; to those who think they should be essentially be accorded human-level treatment.
- Challenges - all those attitudes impact what that community, culture, or group accepts as reasonable levels of welfare or disease or longevity. In fact, when cultural influences are strong, they may impact the willingness of those inside the culture to objectively view metrics, or to embrace processes and programs.
- And let's face it - a group or individual's attachment to their culture may be so strong, that they tend to view it not as one view, but the only acceptable view. 'Cultural norms' may be very different across communities. Rigidity is a major barrier to collaboration.
Keys to moving forward
- Firstly, reflecting sincerely on how YOUR culture influences you, and then, if you want others to respect your culture
Being aware of the differences across stakeholders - in their culture (attitudes, attachments, basic beliefs, approaches, etc.)
- wouldn't if be great if we could respect all views?
- but at least we must be aware of whether our disagreements are arising from different interpretation of the metrics and evidence OR from a different approach and process OR from the cultural sphere
- Taking the brave step outside cultural influences - embrace collaboration and collective actions while never assuming there is a one-size-fits-all solution.
- Leadership from various cultures and communities is needed.
The ultimate question is - do we have common ground on which to advance? For IPFD, that would mean that even if we have slightly different definitions on the specifics, everyone comes to the table with a desire to enhance the health and welfare of dogs. Human aspects are critical as well - but there must be a balance.
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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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Recent EntriesLatest Entry
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.