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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.

    Fig1.jpg 

    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.

     

    Fig2.jpg

    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.

    Fig3.jpg

     

    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. I have frequently heard people say that what they are doing is 'for the dogs''  when it might seem it is mainly for their own goals.- but the Swedish Kennel Club has posted an informative video about the Breed Specific Instructions that makes it clear that the only goal with this program is to promote the health and welfare of dogs.   Renowned judges explain why they think their role in promoting health and welfare is so important.  We have lots of information on the BSI and the Swedish Breed-Specific Breeding Strategies, in general (as well as, lists of breeds with breed specific strategies from several countries on DogWellNet.com and this video really puts it all in perspective.

    from bsi vid.pngWe all know that health and welfare of dogs is the responsibility of all stakeholders in the dog world and judges are no exception.  The impact of dog shows and the awarding of wins to specific dogs has a big impact on the public perception of pedigree dogs, in general, and also of specific breeds.  It is crucial that dogs that achieve success in these increasingly 'prime time', public displays epitomize the best of the best - not just in looks, but also in health.  All organizations licensing dog judges insist on 'judges education' but the BSI program takes it a step further, insisting that judges take responsibility in only promoting dogs without physical manifestations of conditions/ conformations that may limit health and welfare.  The BSI process is followed in all Scandinavian countries, as well as several other European countries. A key part of the BSI process is the completion of reports by the judges (discussed in the video); and here is a link to an example of a report required for German Shepherd Dogs by Rad van Beheer in The Netherlands.  The Canadian Kennel Club instituted an observer program in 2017, but I haven't found full details on the goals of the program.  The AKC has a Field Rep program and, although at the moment I do not think these North American programs have breed-specific requirements similar to the BSI, clearly there are structures in place that could facilitate such an approach.

    A striking comment in the video was that judges must be on the lookout for negative trends and help ensure that these do not progress.  I am not a judge; I briefly showed dogs in the distant past; and I am often concerned by what I see at show events. 

    bulldogs spines.png I was recently at the National Specialty of the French Bulldog Club of America in Louisville, KY, USA, at the end of October 2018.  It was an honor to talk to the club members who are concerned about health issues in this breed.  However, I was confused by seeing many dogs being shown that clearly had no  actual tails (maybe 2 coccyx vertebrae),  clearly so in the eyes of this veterinarian, and described as such by the competitors as a recent trend.  And yet, I was repeatedly assured that 'the standard specifies that a French Bulldog must have a tail'. 

    Such a contradiction, such an extreme, would presumably not be allowed, under the BSI, especially when this is not a cosmetic change, but a structural one. It is particularly concerning given that we know that French Bulldogs have an increased risk for spinal abnormalities and a new paper suggests that selection for screw tails may have led to a syndrome of abnormalities in both English and French Bulldogs.  Every one who has bred dogs knows that focus on one characteristic, especially going for extremes, can lead to occurrence of unforeseen consequences.  Nothing happens in isolation with breeding and selection.

    Congrats to the Swedes for this video and I hope it will encourage more judges to take an approach like this - regardless of whether or not they are under a requirement to do so.  Because our activities really should be 'for the dogs' sake'.

     

     

  3. 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

     
     
  4. blog-0240470001433429240.png

    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.

    blogentry-58-0-98774400-1433429215.png

     

     

     

     

     

    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.

     

     

     

     

    blogentry-58-0-62127900-1433429227.png

     

    Every other year, in April, this education is held specifically directed to hunting dog breed clubs.

     

     

  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. blogentry-68-0-75520200-1425905164_thumb

     

    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

  7. IPFD People Out and About

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    Recent Entries

    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: 

     

     

     


     

  8. 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!

     

    Slide1.thumb.PNG.2c6575c76e1d828f2cfd208703927bf8.PNG

     

     

    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!

     

     

     

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

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