Identifying workable strategies that can be utilized by breeders and breed clubs to address inherited disorders present in breeding populations of purebred dogs is critical to reducing frequency of genetic diseases which directly impact the length and quality of dog's lives.
1. ARTICLE: The challenges of pedigree dog health: approaches to combating inherited disease
AUTHORS: Lindsay L Farrell*, Jeffrey J Schoenebeck, Pamela Wiener, Dylan N Clements and Kim M Summers
excerpt... Lay summary
"Humans and dogs have co-existed for thousands of years. Increasingly, over the last few centuries, many pedigree breeds have been generated based on selection for particular physical and/or behavioral characteristics, which have been fixed and maintained by inbreeding within closed familial lines.
The development of such pedigree dog breeds can be both a blessing and a curse: desirable features are rigidly retained, but sometimes, undesirable disease-causing genes can be inadvertently fixed within the breed.
Such diseases can reveal themselves only when two copies of the faulty version of the gene are inherited (recessive). Furthermore, if a Champion Sire is carrying such a disease gene, it can quickly spread across the whole breed. Similarly, if a breed is expanded from a small number of founder dogs, and one or more of these carry disease genes, again the disease frequency is likely to increase in the growing population. Sadly, some extreme forms of breed characteristics with a genetic basis can also contribute to issues of health and welfare.
This review discusses, in an objective and dispassionate way, the background behind inherited genetic diseases in pedigree dogs and how breeding strategies and genetic testing can be helpful in combating and reducing disease frequency, whilst also maintaining genetic diversity within each breed. The strengths and weaknesses of such approaches are also discussed."
Article source: Canine Genetics and Epidemiology 2015, 2:3 doi:10.1186/s40575-015-0014-9