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It seems that every day - in the world of dogs and the world beyond - we see decisions made that may work for part of a problem, but because they do not take into account the complex reality of the bigger picture, they are unlikely to be fully effective. Every step we take at IPFD reminds me of this interconnectedness - and of the need for IPFD's international, mult
This blog is going to be a little different. Still about health and well-being... but this time about veterinarians and the veterinary community. Many of you may not realize that every veterinary conference now has a major stream on the well-being of veterinarians, themselves. On self-care, and caretaker fatigue, and mental health. And on suicide prevention.
You may not have seen this Time article: Veterinarians Face Unique Issues That Make Suicide One of the Profession's Big Worries, b
Once again our IPFD friend and collaborator Ian Seath has come out with a thought provoking but practical article.
In BREED HEALTH AT THE START OF A NEW DECADE – WHAT’S YOUR VISION FOR 2030? on the DOG-ED: SOCIAL ENTERPRISE site, Ian does several things:
Makes it personal - by sharing what he himself is doing - as a breeder, as chair of the Dachshund Breed Council in the UK, as the leader of the Breed-Specific Health Strategies theme at the IPFD International Dog Health Workshops (
Congratulations to our Partners and Collaborators at Société Centrale Canine (SCC)- The French Kennel Club. Having had the privilege to visit their offices and their amazing library, many times, I am happy today to share links to their wonderful online library of images. (Note: the images here are screen captures... the actual images online of even higher quality.)
See La Photothéque
Old and new.... dog shows, events, military history, cultural treasures
Another interesting post from our IPFD friend and collaborator and Dachshund Breed Health Council Coordinator Ian Seath.
Following his insightful discussion about puppy socialization that was prompted by reports of increased numbers of mini-dachs [(see here)] he has provided a classification of breeders to help define sources of puppies (see: Breeders, the good, the bad and the future). I think it is important emphasize his message and to add a few further comments.
As was discussed i
In our final installment of the Digest for 2019, we are putting the spotlight on 2019 milestones, and looking forward to 2020 – which promises to be a pivotal year for IPFD and DogWellNet.com.
In 2019, our fifth full year of operation, we focused our efforts on several key initiatives, including: the Harmonization of Genetic Testing for Dogs (HGTD); the 4th International Dog Health Workshop (IDHW); the continued growth of DogWellNet.com and our online community. We provided an independe
What a great weekend of education - with the Canadian Kennel Club and about 170 participants, including breeders with a range of experience from over 40 years to novices. Speakers Dr. Kari Ekenstedt, a geneticist from Purdue University in Indiana and IPFD CEO Dr. Brenda Bonnett covered 'everything you need to know to understand genetic testing' in a clear, concise and entertaining series of talks. Interactive discussions with the many knowledgeable, committed attendees were interesting and tho
Following discussions at the August 2019 AKC Canine Health Foundation National Parent Club Canine Health Conference, DogWellNet.com's collaborators at AKC-CHF hosted a webinar available for viewing at VetVine, Canine Degenerative Myelopathy: From Gene Mutation Discovery to Clinical Trials (free VetVine registration required).
Dr. Joan Coates' presentation (free VetVine registration required) gave a detailed overview of the disease and current research, including veterinary and human applica
I just listened to The role of client communication and euthanasia for the veterinarian | VETgirl Veterinary Continuing Education Podcasts with Professor Jane Shaw from Colorado State University.
What a great explanation of aspects of best practices in communication on sensitive issues like euthanasia and of the gaps there can be across pet owner and veterinarian perceptions.
This is worth listening to for both vets AND for anyone who has had, or will have, the experience of humanely l
An article in The Canine Chronicle October, 2019, by Caroline Coile, is entitled: When 23 and Me Has Gone to the Dogs.
It is a summary of some of the discussions and presentations at the 2019 AKC CHF National Parent Club Canine Health Conference. I have already written a blog on my experiences speaking and participating at that meeting: AKC-CHF SYMPOSIUM: Harmonization of Genetic Testing and Breed-Specific Resources, where I cover some of the same ground at Ms. Co
Our colleagues at Human Behaviour Change for Animals (HBC) posted an interesting article today. The original paper is:
The Responsible Dog Owner: The Construction of Responsibility from Carri Westgarth and others at the University of Liverpool, UK. The research article is published here.
Their key message is:
While “responsible dog ownership” has considerable appeal as a concept, how it is perceived and interpreted varies so extensively
that simply telling owners that they
The parallels between human and dog testing are many, especially in terms of the challenges (and potential) arising from the market move to Direct-to-Consumer testing in both species. I talked about these issues in my presentation to the AVMA conference.
In the slide here, I make the point that in recent years there have been rapid changes, not only in the fantastic and ongoing developments in science and technology, but also in terms of how and why genetic testing is a
I was honoured to again be invited to speak at the 2019 AKC Canine Health Foundation National Parent Club Canine Health Conference August 9-11 in St. Louis, Missouri.
This is a great event that brings together breed club health committee members, other interested breeders, stellar researchers, and others from the dog community.
There was a broad coverage of CHF sponsored research topics, as well as a definite focus on genetics and genetic testing, reflecting the continued need for info
IPFD friend and collaborator Dr. Jerold Bell, Adjunct Professor Tufts University, and Chair of the Hereditary Disease Committee of the World Small Animal Veterinary Association, has recently circulated a letter about DM testing in French Bulldogs (attached below). According to his research and communication with international neurologists there has never been a confirmed case of DM in this breed, and yet the test is recommended in several countries.
French Bulldogs do have spinal problem
As many of you may know, there has been a lot of focus of health and welfare issues in brachycephalics and in the spring information about Pugs in the Netherlands. The situation of government regulations on dog breeding is a complex one, and without appropriate inclusion of all relevant stakeholders, we cannot be sure that the best interests of dogs will be served. Our partners the Dutch Kennel Club have been working intensely with various groups and have come out with their thoughtful and evi
I had the honour to be invited to give a talk at the annual American Veterinary Medical Association conference in Washington, DC on 04 August 2019.
I was asked to speak on the One Health aspects of genetic testing. Many of you will have heard of One Health. The human medical establishment started to coin this phrase in the early 2000's to indicate an approach to health that considered humans, animals an the environment. As a veterinarian and an epidemiologist I can tell you that we had t
Several IPFD collaborators are speaking at the AVMA conference this weekend!
Thanks to IPFD collaborator, Dr. Jason Stull, there are sessions focusing on Canine Genetics in the Dr. James H. Steele One Health stream, including:
Angela Hughes DVM, PhD from Wisdom Health is presenting
Utilizing Genetic Panel Testing in Dogs for Breed and Disease
IPFD CEO Brenda Bonnett, DVM, PhD who is talking about Genetic Testing to Improve Canine Health: The Big Picture and why t
Thanks to our co-hosts, The Kennel Club, the 4th International Dog Health Workshop was a great success. The consensus seems to be that the IDHWs just keep getting better and better. This is due in great part to the efforts of the attendees - decision leaders from 18 countries, representing all stakeholders in dog health and welfare - including representatives from research, the veterinary world, welfare organizations, kennel and breed organizations, and more. Stellar plenary speakers set the
Many of our colleagues, collaborators, members and readers have a special interest in their own breed(s) and on DogWellNet.com we try to provide extensive breed-specific content. However, a key underlying tenet of IPFD and our platforms is that there is great deal of information and experience that is relevant across breeds, across activities and across regions. Therefore our emphasis on sharing.
Thanks to Barbara Thiel who recently shared a presentation on Actual challenges in breeding s
Thanks to VDH (the German Kennel Club) and our friend and collaborator, veterinarian Barbara Thiel, please see attached press release about their latest efforts to support brachycephalic health and welfare. They state that their goal is to identify "the most resilient dogs among the pug population in order to establish the healthiest possible pool of dogs for breeding".
Pug fitness test Germany 2019.pdf
The new effort in German exemplifies several important approaches:
It has b
Thanks to our friend and collaborator Dr. Jerold Bell, veterinary practitioner, Adjunct Professor of Clinical Genetics at Tufts University, and Chair of the World Small Animal Veterinary Medical Association Hereditary Disease Committee, for sharing this link and video:
I-Team: Are doggy DNA tests reliable, worth your money?
Several journalists are taking this approach of testing one or a few dogs by sending material to several companies and on the basis of that determining relative q
Our colleagues at Human Behaviour Change for Animals posted this on their Facebook page:
"Fantastic work exploring the demand for rhino horn with the aim of creating campaigns with messaging that is more likely to work than current messaging. At HBCA we believe that it is vital that we don't make assumptions about why people do or don't do things and that we find out for ourselves so we enjoyed reading this article and the papers it links to."
And directed us to: We asked people in V
Love is Blind is a joint initiative of the Australian Veterinary Association and the RSPCA:
"We’re raising public awareness about the animal welfare problems caused by exaggerated physical features such as brachycephaly, short limbs and excessive skin wrinkling, and how these problems can be prevented."
This campaign stresses many of the issues in international work being presented on DogWellNet.com and the work - building on previous Workshops - that will happen at the imminent 4th In
Thanks to Kevin Colwill for his thoughtful piece entitled "Breeding: Is it a moral choice" in the Our Dogs Newspaper and thanks to both for permission to reproduce here.
In this concise yet thought-provoking article Kevin discusses his thoughts on the question:
When it comes to breeding pedigree dogs, how much is too much and how far is going too far?
Some points worth considering:
Issues in extreme breeds reflect on all breeders. Certainly, negative attention in the me
Why do people choose the dogs they do and how does that influence the health and welfare of dogs?
How can what we know – and don’t know – about these complexities inform our efforts to educate people and safeguard the well-being of our canine companions?
A new open access article is an excellent, comprehensive review of published evidence about factors influence dog acquisition:
Acquiring a Pet Dog: A Review of Factors Affecting the Decision-Making of Prospective Dog Owners