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  1. 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.

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    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.

     

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    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.

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    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.

     

      

    Reference:

    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

     

     

  2. Hello all!

     

    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 FullSizeRender 7.jpgHealth Workshop, was an opportunity to learn more about cutting edge research that is improving dog OFA Logo 2017.jpghealth. 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

     

     

    Veterinary Student Attendees at the AKC National Parent Club ConferenceAfter 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

     
     
  3. Health before looks -- Collaborative action is urgently needed to stop the practice of extreme breeding in dogs and cats


    This message was delivered to the European Parliament at an event organized by our Collaborating Partner the Federation of European Companion Animal Veterinary Associations (FECAVA) together with the EU Dog and Cat Alliance and the Federation of Veterinarians of Europe(FVE). (Download PDF below.)

    This event was "aimed at ending the unnecessary suffering of dogs and cats bred with exaggerated features such as flat faces, narrowed nostrils,
    skin folds and protruding eyes" and is part of the ongoing work, especially throughout Europe, to address health and welfare in brachycephalic breeds.  The speakers represented the veterinary, welfare and breed organization perspectives on the issue.  It was great to see this international, multi-stakeholder approach, similar to that we have promoted through the IPFD International Dog Health Workshops (IDHWs) and reflected in the many resources on the brachycephalic isssue on DogWellNet.com.

    Kristin Prestrud (a veterinarian from another of our Partners, the Norwegian Kennel Club) put into perspective that although there are wide variations across dog breeds in form and function, there should be defined limits for extremes, so that selective breeding does not compromise health or welfare. The challenge, raised at our IDHWs is that those limits are not clear nor consistent across regions and cultures; we need research and collaborative work to define those limits.  As Prestrud, explained, for pedigree dogs breeding happens according to written breed standards - however those are often open to interpretation and may vary widely across countries.  "“We love that dogs look cute, that they have some particular look that we love. And so, short legs have got shorter, heavy bodies got heavier, long coats got longer, loose skin got looser, long ears got longer and wrinkles more extended. Not in all cases, not in all breeds, but in several breeds.” And when breeders select really strongly for some traits and restrict genetic input from outside, there is always the risk of reducing genetic variation."

    The British Veterinary Association’s encouragement of data reporting of conformation altering surgery (and caesareans) - by veterinarians with the consent of owners - was described.  Similar registers are underway in, e.g. Scandinavian countries.  However, there are challenges to compliance with these programs and only time will tell whether they achieve the goal of determining the prevalence of dogs that need such surgery.  Speakers also highlighted the role of veterinarians in this issue, saying, “we must be aware that there are a lot of vets who earn their money by doing this very expensive surgery."

    I was encouraged to see that the discussion by the politicians did not focus simply on legislation of breeding as being the best solution.  They discussed the need to control the marketing of unregistered puppies and kittens, “the majority of which are on the internet and are totally without control” . It was estimated that over half of puppies In the Netherlands come from unsupervised sources and it may be as high as 90% for some breeds, e.g. the French Bulldog.  One  of the members of parliament suggested that "efforts would be better focused on reducing demand by making extreme breed animals unfashionable. “We have to make unhealthy bad conformation unfashionable, it has to stop.”" 

    And, so, as has been discussed in much of our work, we come back to this fact: the challenges are about the people, more than the dogs, and successfully improving health and welfare of dogs needs an approach that addresses human-animal interactions, human attitudes and actions, and using techniques of education that are likely to result in human behaviour change.  Addressing sourcing of dogs and communication for change will be two themes at the upcoming 4th IPFD IDHW in Old Windsor, UK, May 30-June 1 2019.

    Congratulations to FECAVA and their co-organizers for an important event and to the European Parliament for taking an interest in the health and welfare of dogs.

    Health before looks Collaborative action is urgently needed to stop the practice of extreme breeding in dogs and cats

    Download: European Parliament Event article by Parliament Magazine - 7-2018

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  4. 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!

     

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    Here is the downloadable PDF version:

    IPFD Poster.pdf

     

     

     

     

    Be sure to keep checking www.DogWellNet.com for more information on dog health and wellness!

     

     

     

  5. 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 dog is, based on the veterinarian’s initial examination, showing signs of serious respiratory symptoms (including also severe hyperthermia).
    • The supervising veterinarian interrupts the test due to the dog’s serious respiratory symptoms.
    • The dog is not able to successfully complete the test and/or recover from it sufficiently within the required time.

    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.

  6. IPFD People Out and About

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    patricianolson
    Latest Entry

    By patricianolson,

    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.

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    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.

     

     

     

     

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    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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    Harmonization of Genetic testing for Dogs (HGTD). Search out tests, diseases (phenes), and labs. Find resources for genetic counselling.

  • International Dog Health Workshops

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    Hold the Date for the 4th IDHW in the UK!
    Co-hosted by The Kennel Club and IPFD
    May 30th - June 1st, 2019
  • Our Partners

    • Suomen Kennelliitto (Finnish Kennel Club, in English) - Established in 1889, the Finnish Kennel Club is a nationwide expert organisation on canine matters. Its aim is to promote the breeding of ped…
    • The French Kennel Club - SOCIÉTÉ CENTRALE CANINE (SCC) - was founded in 1881 as a non-profit organization by dog fanciers aiming to replenish native dog breeds and to bring in and establish foreign…
    • The Kennel Club is the largest organization in the UK devoted to dog health, welfare and training. Its objective is to ensure that dogs live healthy, happy lives with responsible owners.   …
    • The OFA was a Founding Partner of the International Partnership for Dogs; As of January 1, 2018, the OFA is no longer an IPFD Partner.    Founded and originally incorporated as a private no…
    • The FCI was a Founding Partner of the International Partnership for Dogs; As of January 1, 2018, FCI is no longer an IPFD Partner.   The Fédération Cynologique Internationale is the World C…
    • The Irish Kennel Club promotes the responsible ownership and breeding of dogs throughout Ireland through education, registration, training and support schemes and events.   Website: http://…
    •   Mars Veterinary is a business unit of Mars Petcare, the world’s largest pet care provider. Their mission is to facilitate responsible pet care by enhancing the well-being and relationship bet…
    • Agria Djurförsäkring (Agria Animal Insurance) is one of the world's leading animal insurers specialising in small animal and equine insurance. The company dominates Scandinavian pet insurance and h…
    • The Norwegian Kennel Club (NKC) was founded in 1898, and is the largest organisation for dog owners in Norway.   Website: https://www.nkk.no/english/category1045.html Norwegian Kennel Club…
    • Agria is one of the world’s leading animal insurers, specialising in small animal and equine insurance. Founded in Sweden over 120 years ago, Agria came to the UK in 2009 and is now a prominent feat…
    • Royal Canin is a global leader in pet health nutrition. In an industry that continues to adapt to popular trends in cat and dog food, our mission will remain the same; to constantly bring, through H…
    • The SKK - Svenka Kennelklubben (Swedish Kennel Club, in English), is Sweden's largest organisation dedicated to dogs and dog owners. We represent the interests of our 300,000 members – first time d…
    • The VDH - Verband für das Deutsche Hundewesen (German Kennel Club in English) is the foremost organisation representing the interests of dog-owners throughout Germany – the first address to find ou…
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