News & Highlights
IPFD In The News
Highlights of News Coverage from 2020:
★ This Month We Feature Breed-Specific Heart Conditions★
Cardiac disease, in many variations and forms, is frequently cited as being a condition of concern across different purebred dog breeds – and it is also a common clinical problem in dogs in general, including mixed breeds. Concern should not be surprising, given the likelihood for life-altering or fatal consequences of cardiac conditions. Clinical exams by primary care veterinary practitioners to detect the presence or absence of a heart condition are essential in management of dogs. Just as in the case of human heart defects/diseases, depending on the specific type, treatment protocols that can extend length and quality of life exist for management of some heart conditions in canines.
A new article on DogWellNet.com for owners, breeders, breed club health managers, and veterinarians covers some highlights of breed-specific heart conditions. Cardiac Disease - Breeds, Screening and Genetic Testing – It’s complicated! covers Breed risks of general and specific conditions; Health programs, pre-purchase and pre-breeding highlights/reminders; and Breed specific examples by country.
Key points addressed in the article include:
Heart Disease Overview
What do Caretakers Need to Know?
What does the 'data' say about risk and prevalence in purebred breeds?
Heart Testing Statistics
Breeding Strategies – selected breed examples
Example – A Kennel Club Heart Evaluation Health Program – Purebred Dog Breeds
Cardiac Disease and Genetic Testing – It’s complicated!
Breed-specific genetic tests currently available
Our 2020 Breeds of the Month features included links to breed profiles in our Pedigreed Breeds Database and links to other content on DogWellNet.com:
Australian Shepherd | Saluki | Dachshund (Miniature, Standard) | Cardigan Welsh Corgi | Field Spaniel
Follow the links to previous Digest issues from 2020 (listed later in this issue) to view the Breed of the Month features.
Globally Relevant Integrated Health Profiles (GRIHPs)
IPFD is creating a series of articles on the 'Big Picture' of health and welfare within breeds as resources for veterinarians, owners, caretakers, breeders and others who want to understand the key issues for individual dogs and breed populations, internationally, under the 'Get a GRIHP!' initiative. Creating the GRIHP profiles involves not only working with our existing resources (Agria data files and RAS/JTO) but also included consultation with breed specialist collaborators as well as collection of data available via IPFD Partners' tools and resources. Use of KC tools from several countries allowed us to create a more 'global' view of breed-specific health profiles.
IPFD Partners in Action
You can also view previous editions of Dog Breeds: What You Need to Know in
our archive article here on DogWellNet.com.
Be sure to check out our Partners in Action features from all 2020 issues of DogWellNet Digest (links provided to previous issues in the Spotlight below).
Harmonization of Genetic Testing for Dogs (HGTD)
2020 brought a number of new resources, tools, and developments in HGTD. A development to our breed-specific information, the new Breed Relevance Ratings (BRR) support evidence-based usage and application of genetic tests. BRRs are a way to capture current research, and expert opinion on breed-specific tests, as well as many crossbreeds. Canine health specialists, as well as dog owners, can use BRR to more easily identify tests that may be important to consider in health and breeding decisions.
Complimentary to BRR, the information gathered in producing BRRs has added significantly to our phene database, providing more breed-specific research links, contributions from Breed Clubs, researcher commentary, and test application recommendations.
Despite only launching this year, we are thrilled that more than half of the almost 2000 breed-specific phenes have been assessed for a Breed Relevance Rating. This represents hundreds of hours searching and reviewing research papers, liaising with international researchers and experts, and cross-referencing with external research groups and databases. Significant contributions for review and inclusion have come from breed experts representing years of experience as breed health liaisons, health advocates, and breed clubs and councils.
A new blog, HGTD and Genetic Testing (see below) highlights features of the HGTD database, and discusses many practical and interesting aspects of genetic testing in dogs.
We were pleased to see that, despite the many challenges of the global pandemic in 2020 the vast majority of our Genetic Test Providers (GTPs) renewed or extended their participation in HGTD. We now offer three levels of participation: Sponsor, Supporter, and Participant (and Academic Participant). Each level is provided with a digital emblem to indicate their continued participation in HGTD.
This year also saw a major change in our HGTD page display, showing not only all breed-specific tests, but also tests available to all dogs, in one easy search. For those breeds who do not currently have any breed-specific tests available, they are linked to closely associated breed options. Four major database reviews were undertaken to improve and update gene and mutation information, links to our research collaborators and peer-reviewed publications, and accommodate the expanding breed-specific information.
HGTD & Genetic Testing Blog
We published 12 entries in the HGTD & Genetic Testing blog this year, providing regular updates on our rapidly expanding genetic testing resources. It currently features regular input from Brenda Bonnett and Aimee Llewellyn-Zaidi, but be sure to look out for future posts from special guests!
Our HGTD Project Manager, Aimee Llewellyn-Zaidi, provides answers to your questions on canine genetic testing in Ask Aimee. If you’d like to submit a question to Aimee, please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Get Involved in HGTD!
We welcome additional participant GTPs, more collaborators from any stakeholders concerned with dog health and welfare, the advice of experts, the participation of breed clubs and other consumer groups. We stand ready to provide more information to ongoing discussions.
Please feel free to contact us as we work together for healthy dogs and to support those who breed and own them: IPFD CEO, Dr. Brenda Bonnett and/or HGTD Project Manager, Aimee Llewellyn-Zaidi.
DogWellNet Digest: Keeping You Informed
We published seven issues of DogWellNet Digest in 2020:
DogWellNet Digest is available free to all, but IPFD Members receive an email notification for each new issue. If you haven't already done so, register now to join our community and get the most out of DogWellNet.com.
View all past issues of DogWellNet Digest here
2020: A Year
Like No Other
Collaboration and Progress in the Midst of Unprecedented Challenges
This year has been challenging for all of us personally, and for dog organizations globally. Fortunately, IPFD has fared well - as we have always been a ‘virtual’-based operation, with all consultants working from home (and remaining healthy). We are happy to see that the vast majority of our Partners, Sponsors, and Collaborators have weathered the storm as well.
Although the pandemic has slowed our growth to some extent, we have continued to foster collaboration and implemented a number of new initiatives, such as our Get a GRIHP! on Breed Health profiles and our article and subsequent conversations on Reframing Current Challenges Around Pedigree Dogs: A Call for Respectful Dialogue, Collaboration and Collective Actions.
2020 IPFD Milestones
Building on our 2019 Annual Report: A Growing Voice , the article IPFD: Milestones December 2020 summarizes our activities in 2020. Watch for our 2020 Annual Report early in the new year.
Looking Ahead to 2021: A Renewed Sense of Optimism
We're nearly through 2020. Though the coming weeks may be among the toughest yet for many of us, the emergence of several vaccines gives us real hope that the end of the pandemic may finally be in sight. But with the end of COVID-19 comes brand new challenges, such as the effect that many of us returning to the workplace will have on the millions of pandemic puppies brought into homes in 2020.
During an extended transition back to "normal" we expect to host more online events and continue planning for our next International Dog Health Workshop (IDHW).
Controversies and challenges to dogs internationally continue to underline the need for broad-based collaboration and the impartial voice of IPFD. Initially we were concerned about impact on our Partners due to COVID-19 and associated challenges; however, it seems that with increased dog registrations in 2020, our funding base from most of our existing kennel club partners will be stable. And yet, our big ideas need further support. In 2021, we will step up our outreach to enlist new supporters and secure additional revenue through enhanced fundraising efforts.
We wish everyone the best of health over the holidays and into a new (and better) year.
Learn more about the important work being done by IPFD and our contributors as we lead the dog world from information to action…for the love of dogs...
...and for the people who love them.
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