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  3. 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, i.e. Globally Relevant Integrated Health Profiles.
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  5. HGTD This Week, 7 Aug 2020: Canine Crime Scene Investigators When we think about genetic testing, we often focus on how it can be a tool to improve health and welfare - generally centered around breeding for health or finding more about the health or potential health risks for an individual dog. Knowing about health risks that are especially relevant to specific breeds or dog types makes testing even more powerful in helping reduce risks of disease or undesirable traits (see Breed Relevancy Ratings). Most commonly, genetic screening and diagnostic testing focuses on: disease tests, breed estimation tests, diagnostics, parentage/paternity, inbreeding estimations, etc. (search for genetic tests and providers, here). This week, I received a very interesting question from a DogWellNet.com user, who wanted to know if genetic testing could help them with a dog attack incident. Their dog had been bitten, and they wanted to know if genetic testing could be used to identify the attacking dog, using saliva from the collar. The short answer is… probably not, but maybe not for the reasons you think. In principle, it should be possible to extract DNA from saliva from a surface like a dog collar. The challenge is that, even with a genetic profile: You won’t know if the profile is from the attacking dog, or some other dog your pet has met at a dog park, on a walk, at the vet’s… Without a profile of a known dog to compare it to, you won’t be able to identify the dog (and therefore owner) This is because dogs are generally not required to be registered with a genetic fingerprint. So, unless you know the dog and the dog's owners, it is impossible to confirm identification using DNA alone - much like the challenges in human criminal DNA identification. This brings us around to thinking about some of the more forensic things genetic testing can, and cannot do: Can do: Act as a permanent identification for an individual dog (genetic profiling) Determine parentage, when relatives’ profiles are known for comparison Comment on the risks of specific genetic mutations for specific diseases (disease/phene screening testing) Aid in the diagnosis of specific risks/diseases (only with diagnostic testing as opposed to screening testing) Cannot do: Identify a specific dog, without that dog’s genetic information/owner being on an accessible registration list “Prove” that a dog is responsible for an action, without other evidence Be used to make “permanent” decisions (e.g. euthanasia) on its own, without other veterinary health information, and welfare considerations While there are plenty of incredibly useful things genetic testing can do, beyond genetic screening tests, it is really important to consider why you are testing and how you are going to use any test results. As with any tool, genetic testing has its limitations. Photos: pixabay (cover photo): G. Fring (image) via Pexels
  6. Facial morphology of brachycephalic breeds: evolution since the end of the XIXth century and current perspectives Authors, Claude Guintard1 and Hélène Denis2 offer insights into today's increasing attention on brachycephalic conformation related to health 'issues'. The short article "aims, from archival images, to try to objectify the changes in cephalic profile that may have occurred in the main brachycephalic breeds since the late 19th century." A focus on selection and development of the Bulldog, Dogue de Bordeaux and Pug breeds from the 1800's through today is illuminating in terms of how cranio-facial characteristics existed from the breeds' formation and how different breed's conformation has evolved. The article is to be published in the Société Centrale Canine's Newsletter soon. Many thanks to Hélène Denis who has graciously provided an English translation of this article for posting on DogWellNet.
  7. Dachshunds - Get a GRIHP! This article on Dachshunds is part of a series to highlight the Big Picture of health, welfare and breeding and to help develop Globally Relevant Integrated Health Profiles (GRIHPs) for many breeds. See IPFD's Get a GRIHP! on Breed Health Initiative
  8. In Windsor (UK) in June 2019, the IPFD 4th International Dog Health Workshop (IDHW) took place (Pegram et al., 2020) a key recommendation was to initiate a multi-stakeholder International working group on extreme conformation, with an initial focus on brachycephalics . Premise: The International Working Group on Extreme Conformation in Dogs (IWGECD) will be a platform in which national and international working groups, experts and stakeholders join forces to enhance the health, well-being and welfare of all dogs by limiting the negative welfare impacts from extreme conformations in dogs. Mission The IWGECD will: Identify different approaches Collect, when needed review, and share scientific papers and other material Identify different opinions – agree that sometimes we disagree but that we can all grow in knowledge from these disagreements Share experiences and/or data Share new ideas Build on successes See how we can move forward together The international working group is not intended to forcefully harmonize national working groups but, as we learn together, it is likely that successful strategies will be adopted more widely. Members will also contribute to shared international strategy. IWGECD will offer a forum of information sharing and support that aims to enhance the work of each of the national and international members. Members Multistakeholder national working groups involved in breed-associated health problems due to their extreme conformation. In countries where there is a need, but no such group has yet been established, the IWGECD will promote and/or facilitate setting up national working groups National and International stakeholder organizations with the same aim including veterinary and charity bodies Individual experts Industry is also considered to be a stakeholder Academia Breed clubs and kennel clubs Government and legislative bodies The IWGECD founding board includes: Monique Megens DVM (chairperson)1, Dr. Dan O'Neill2 and Dr. Åke Hedhammar3. 1 Monique Megens DVM, Chief Operating Officer IPFD; Member WSAVA Hereditary Disease Committee; past-president FECAVA; Member Health Committee Dutch Kennel Club; https://dogwellnet.com/ipfd/who-we-are/leadership/ 2 Dr. Dan O’Neill, Senior Lecturer - Companion Animal Epidemiology; VetCompass Animal Surveillance; Veterinary Epidemiology Economics and Public Health, Royal Veterinary College; Chairperson UK brachycephalic Working Group; https://www.rvc.ac.uk/about/our-people/dan-o-neill 3 Dr. Åke Hedhammar Dipl. ECVIM - Companion Animals, Senior Professor Internal Medicine Small Animals, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala Sweden; scientific advisor to the Swedish Kennel Club. Initiator of the First Dog Health Workshop held in Stockholm 2012, Member WSAVA Hereditary Disease Committee; https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7048-3851/print PEGRAM, C. L., BONNETT, B. N., SKARP, H., ARNOTT, G., JAMES, H., HEDHAMMAR, Å., LEROY, G., LLEWELLYN-ZAIDI, A., SEATH, I. J. & O'NEILL, D. G. 2020. Moving from information and collaboration to action: report from the 4th international dog health workshop, Windsor in May 2019. Canine Medicine and Genetics, 7, 4 https://cgejournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s40575-020-00083-x
  9. The Harmonization of Genetic Testing for Dogs (HGTD) project work includes harmonizing genetic test information across many different boundaries. That can be as simple as adding consistency to nomenclature from around the world, or as challenging as cataloging test information and research from dozens of different international sources. With so much variation in how tests are developed, and how they are released to the public, a big part of my work is ensuring that phene names we publish on HGTD are consistent, accurate, and representative of whatever genetic test a person is seeking out. In most cases, a test name refers to a recognized clinical disease. In essence, 1 phene + 1 breed = 1 test name. However, many tests are relevant to more than one breed, because many breeds share ancestors at some point. Even more often, test names (because remember, they’re based on the clinical disease) are very similar or even the same, within the same breed. Confused yet? A perfect example of this is the disease Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA). Progressive retinal atrophy refers to the clinical description (symptoms, essentially) of what is actually a group of inherited retinal diseases. During the progression of the disease, the retina of the eye atrophies (degenerates) over time, eventually leading to complete blindness. The main differences between the various PRAs being the age of disease onset, and how quickly the disease progresses. There are currently 20+ different forms of PRA on HGTD – which can be breed-specific, relevant for a few breeds, or more than one form of PRA applying to the same breed. 15 years ago, there was only one “PRA” test! As 20+ new mutations causing PRA where discovered over many years, the naming of the PRAs in a distinctive and unique way became more challenging. Researchers had a variety of ways of naming, as there is currently no international phene naming standard. Generally, they started falling into a few categories: Breed-focused, e.g. PRA “Italian Greyhound” Inheritance-focused, e.g. PRA “X-linked” Varietal, e.g. PRA “Type B” Mutation, e.g. PRA “rcd-4”. When you start getting more than a few similar test names it can be easy to lose confidence which test name represents a specific gene and mutation. There is a very real risk of selecting the wrong test for a specific mutation. HGTD tackles this confusion in a few ways, and it is one of the advantages in using a resource that catalogues all phenes. Using HGTD, you can see the genetic tests that are breed-specific when searching by breed, but you can also double-check yourself using a number of different referencing points: - The OMIA number - Gene and mutation(s) associated with the test name - Synonyms/related terms - Clinical descriptions - Breed-specific publications - Researched breeds references For most dog owners and veterinary clinicians, the clinical descriptions, breed-specific publications and researched breeds references are particularly useful. This is an ideal way to ensure that the breed or breeds you’re interested in not only have this test available to them, but that there is some research and relevance associated with that specific test and specific breed. Researchers, genetic advisors, and clinicians will find benefit in cross-referencing with the OMIA number, and/or double-checking that the specific mutation in the specific gene is associated with the phene/disease test that they are interested in. HGTD tries to provide a bit of a confidence short-cut through our development of Breed Relevance Ratings (BRR). Still a work in progress, BRRs are a good way of indicating the relevance of a specific test for a specific breed/type. These can help take some of the guess-work out of what tests might be important for your dog, and/or how the results should be considered as part of breeding strategies. When in doubt about which phene you are trying to find a test for, using the generic phenes search provides you with centralized information to guide you, and help you to make accurate and informed choices. photo with thanks to Lum3n via Pexels.com
  10. Hi, I would encourage you to list the Canadian Association of Professional Dog Trainer's press release on how to deal with separation anxiety in dogs as people return to work from COVID-19 - if you don't prefer to click the direct link (http://www.capdt.ca/resources/News%20Release%20May%2022-20.pdf), just go to the Association's website - www.capdt.ca and click the "News" tab, the first article currently listed is the press release. Hope that helps!
  11. The Black Russian Terrier Club of America (BRTCA) is the AKC Parent Club for the Black Russian Terrier. BRTCA's mission is to do all in its power to protect and advance the interests of the breed and to encourage sportsmanlike competition at conformation shows, companion events and performance trials.
  12. Welsh Corgis - Get a GRIHP! This article on Welsh Corgis is part of a series to highlight the Big Picture of health, welfare and breeding and to help develop Globally Relevant Integrated Health Profiles (GRIHPs) for many breeds. See IPFD's Get a GRIHP! on Breed Health Initiative.
  13. Illegal pet trade in the EU, report released In Europe the large majority of dog from illegal sources are sold online. These dogs often do not comply with the health requirements established in the EU Regulation, are too young to have been vaccinated, and are accompanied by fraudulent passports which provide false information on their origin. The illegal Europe-wide trade in dogs threatens not just the welfare of the animals involved, but also animal health, public health and consumers. Therefore, it is urgent to improve the current situation to ensure this trade can happen in a sustainable, humane way. On 21 April 2020, the Croatian Presidency of the Council of the European Union and Eurogroup for Animals (https://www.eurogroupforanimals.org/who-we-are) held an expert workshop on the illegal pet trade. Around 100 participants from European institutions, Member States, academia and the animal welfare sector debated the issue focusing on four areas: Pets and Traceability; Pets and Consumers; Pets and Online Platforms; and Organised Crime and Tax Evasion. FECAVA, IPFD’s collaborating member, also joined and will keep addressing the topic.
  14. In addition to the recurring IPFD feature, WSAVA profiled IPFD CEO Dr. Brenda Bonnett in their Meet a Member section of the WSAVA Bulletin. WSAVA Bulletin July 8, 2020: Meet a Member Direct link to article: Meet a WSAVA Partner - Dr. Brenda Bonnett PDF: Meet a WSAVA Partner.pdf July 2020 - Meet the Welsh Corgis WSAVA Bulletin July 22, 2020 Direct link to IPFD article: Meet the Welsh Corgis PDF: Dog Breeds_ What you need to know – WSAVA July 22.pdf June 2020 - Meet the Irish Wolfhound WSAVA Bulletin June 24, 2020 Direct link to IPFD article: 22 June 2020 - Meet the Irish Wolfhound PDF: Dog Breeds_ What you need to know – WSAVA.pdf
  15. Morris Animal Foundation answers questions about hemangiosarcoma May 21, 2020 "This is a webinar which answers some questions about hemangiosarcoma, a cancer dreaded by all golden retriever owners and veterinarians. Dr. Kelly Diehl, Morris Animal Foundation Senior Director of Science and Communications, speaks with Dr. Rod Page, Director of the Flint Animal Cancer Center, and Principal Investigator for the Foundation's Golden Retriever Lifetime Study." The presenter, Dr. Rodney Page, references insurance data from Scandinavia/other evidence that the incidence of this disease may be lower in EU/Nordic than in the US... brings up specifically potential for connection of spay neuter/ hormonal status of dogs as having a possible impact in that spaying and neutering of dogs is less in Nordic countries... further monitoring of the GR population in the Lifetime Study will lead to greater understanding. Agria Insurance - Breed Profile for Golden Retrievers Golden Retriever: 2006-2011 2011-2016 Additional Information... Two Decades of Advances in Canine Hemangiosarcoma. The Light at the End of the Tunnel is getting Brighter, and it’s not a Train! Jaime Modiano, VMD, PhD holds the Alvin and June Perlman Endowed Chair of Animal Oncology and is the Director of the Animal Cancer Care and Research Program of the College of Veterinary Medicine and the Masonic Cancer Center at the U of Minnesota. It is now believed that Hemangiosarcoma (HSA) is a cancer that arises from cells related to bone marrow nurse cells that support the formation of blood cells and blood vessels. HSA can occur in any breed, but some breeds are more prone to it than others. The disease is indistinguishable between breeds. Treatments that block the signals that cause disorganized growth and invasion of cells is limited once the cells have organized into malignant tissue. Early identification of the disease is critical in developing possible treatments. Research he is doing at U of Minn has developed a blood test which is used for early identification of the disease, and they are now doing a clinical trial to receive the experimental drug, eBAT, to determine the drug's potential to prevent progression of disease. For more information see: https://vetmed.umn.edu/centers-programs/clinical-investigation-center/current-clinical-trials/early-detection-target-hemangiosarcoma-cells-dogs-shine-project Propranolol and Hemangiosarcoma: Can We Use an Old Drug to Learn New Tricks? Erin Dickerson, PhD Associate Professor at the College of Veterinary Medicine and the Masonic Cancer Center Beta blockers are commonly used to treat hypertension, heart failure, arrhythmias, and anxiety. A correlation has been found between reduced cancer progression, metastasis and mortality and the use of beta blockers in cancer patients: breast, colon, prostate, pancreas, and ovarian cancers. Increased progression free survival and overall survival has been seen in melanoma and angiosarcoma patients. Infantile hemangioma is a common benign tumor of infancy in humans. It can grow quickly during the first year of life, but in most cases the masses slowly regress from a benign angiogenic mass to fibrofatty tissue. It is potentially disfiguring or life-threatening in about 10% to 15% of all cases. In 2008 systemic administration of propranolol was found to improve the treatment of infantile hemangioma. The treatment consists of topical timolol or oral propranolol (2mg/kg/day, TID). Children are often treated for 6-10 months, and the treatment is well-tolerated. There are about 300 cases of angiosarcoma each year. It is associated with toxins that damage DNA, such as vinyl chloride, thorium dioxide, and radiation. The primary sites are usually the liver, skin, and subcutaneous soft tissue. The progression free survival for advanced cases is about 4-6 months, and the 5 year survival is about 30-35%. Propranolol has been found to kill angiosarcoma cells, and to inhibit its growth. Using propranolol, the progression free survival moved from about 6 months to 11 months, and overall survival went from about 10-11 months to about 16-18 months. A prospective analysis of metastatic angiosarcoma patients lead to a median progression free survival of 9 months and an overall survival of 36 months. Regression of primary cardiac angiosarcoma and metastatic nodules were seen following propranolol as a single agent treatment. Based on the clinical effectiveness of propranolol against angiosarcomas, the EU gave propranolol an Orphan Drug Designation. Canine hemangiosarcoma is similar to that of human angiosarcoma. It’s a common cancer in dogs, and is typically found in the spleen, heart, or skin. Response to conventional treatments is poor with a median survival of about 4-6 months. Using a targeted bispecific toxin (eBAT) 6 month survival went from under 40% to about 70%. Propranolol acts as a cytostatic agent, it stops the growth of the cells without killing them. It prevents cancers from growing and spreading. When doxorubicin is used to treat hemangiosarcoma, a population of those cells are resistant to the doxorubicin. Propranolol alters the intracellular distribution of doxorubicin and increases the sensitivity of hemangiosarcoma cells to chemotherapy. Propranolol also blocks the ability of the tumor cells to take up nutrients from the tumor microenvironment, further limiting access to vital metabolites needed for tumor growth. When combined with the chemotherapy drug, doxorubicin, propranolol enhances the effects of the chemotherapy agent by increasing drug concentrations within tumor cells. The results from these studies are guiding the translation of propranolol into clinical practice and informing future studies with other beta blocker and chemotherapy combinations. A clinical trial opened July 1, 2019 to determine the tolerability and clinical benefit of propranolol combined with doxorubicin, the estimated 6 month disease free survival, and to determine if there is a correlation between propranolol concentration and treatment effect. Twenty dogs are being enrolled, with recruitment at U of Minnesota, U of Pennsylvania, and Purdue. CURRENT AKC Canine Health Foundation GRANTS 02534: Clinical Trial for Evaluation of Propranolol and Doxorubicin in the Treatment of Canine Hemangiosarcoma Study information & Enrollment...PRO-DOX Propranolol and doxorubicin for dogs with splenic hemangiosarcoma https://vetmed.umn.edu/centers-programs/clinical-investigation-center/current-clinical-trials/pro-dox-propranolol-and-doxorubicin-dogs-splenic-hemangiosarcoma 02234-MOU (Co-investigator): A Novel Approach for Prevention of Canine Hemangiosarcoma
  16. The situation in Ireland has developed to an extent where all breed clubs have been inundated with enquiries for puppies of all breeds (400 enquiries for mini schnauzers within 2 weeks of lockdown) .Enquiries are still happening but the pedigree breeding plans are way behind demand as most breeders were intent on showing until the "season" was cancelled. Travel restrictions put paid to planned matings as such travel was deemed non essential and publicised fines and one imprisonment ( for 3 weeks) for breaking the restrictions to collect pups also saw commercial establishments affected. Meanwhile the number of pups available through online general trading sites has diminished, though the few pups available have grossly inflated prices attached. What is disturbing is the increase in theft of pups , sometimes entire litters, and older dogs as evidenced by newspaper reports, social media posts etc. I wonder if the same is happening in other countries? On the glass half full side there has been some research on the increase in adoptions from Israel which makes happier reading https://osf.io/preprints/socarxiv/s9k4y/?fbclid=IwAR0jroBPyQm-cQGdSyeypsGyxMwsgCp69Fi83OJN5g5o6FjKXI189qWB8AI
  17. Ian Seath has again stimulated our 'little grey cells' and maybe even touched on some emotions, attitudes, and even deep-seated beliefs in his DOG-ED: SOCIAL ENTERPRISE post (23 June 2020): CULTURE EATS STRATEGY FOR BREAKFAST! Catchy title - firstly - where does that come from, and what does it mean? "Management Guru Peter Drucker famously stated that culture eats strategy for breakfast. So, What does "culture eats strategy" mean for you and your organization? In a very practical sense: No matter what business strategy or strategic plan you try to implement with your team, its success and efficacy are going to be held back by the people implementing the plan if the culture does not support it. " from: SME Strategy Management Consulting Ian's article draws on his extensive knowledge and background in business, strategy, and change management - as well as his fantastic dog expertise - to examine topical international information on COVID-19 and to draw comparisons with challenges in the dog world. He wants to encourage us to think about various aspects of health and welfare in dogs. Further moving his title discussion into the dog world: it means that if those needed to implement and drive change (in attitudes or practices) aren't passionate about the change or at least willing to embrace change or - even worse - if they deny the need for change at all (i.e. deny the existence of 'a problem') or are apathetic to the issues, then you stand no chance implementing a plan. Ultimately it is all about the people. Denial or apathy or resistance to change may occur if there is great passion for and attachment to an existing culture. In terms of the complex problems of the dog world, IPFD exists because it is clear that these issues have many stakeholders who bear responsibilities for the challenges and the solutions. And each of the stakeholder communities has their own culture - and that influences their views and actions and even willingness to collaborate. Ian goes on to describe bench-marking, i.e., ways to define, measure and characterize issues and actions on 3 levels. Let's further describe this relative to the dog world, and with a few possible examples: Metrics (statistics, measures) - tell you “what the performance is” or define and quantify aspects of the issue. E.g., prevalence and increased breed-specific risks of disease in various populations based on quantitative analysis vs. anecdote from personal experience (e.g. MY dogs are healthy!) Challenges: differences across regions, types of dogs, etc.; lack of consensus on how much is too much; perspectives of those who see dogs from different populations - e.g. veterinarians in practice vs. show judges. Lack of comprehensive, clear evidence fosters a reliance on culture-based interpretations...spin! Process (how the situation came to be, or what has influenced those levels): E.g. the influences of breeding practices (how diligently have breeders prioritized health and longevity). It must be noted that these processes have certainly been driven by culture. E.g., breeding for performance vs. for the conformation show ring vs. for companion dogs vs. for the trendy puppy trade E.g. health programs implemented by breed and kennel clubs (Ian gives some good examples) Challenges - the perception of the need for and time frame of change; and the amount of change; the acceptance of any authority over practices and processes from within or outside a community or culture. There is a tendency to look for simple solutions to complex problems - and then to be surprised that the outcome wasn't ideal. Culture tells you the story behind the processes...and that includes attitudes, tradition, beliefs, and habits...of the people involved. Those within a community (e.g. show world, veterinarians, the wider public) may share one culture...or there may be various cultures within a wider community. Culture can change. There are many cultures and communities in the dog world! From those who believe pedigreed dogs are the most important and breed standards are essentially inviolable; to those who feel there is room for evolution and flexibility, even within existing registries; to those who feel pedigreed dogs are not necessary. From those whose culture defines dogs as commodities or chattels; to those who accept dogs as sentient beings with some rights; to those who think they should be essentially be accorded human-level treatment. Challenges - all those attitudes impact what that community, culture, or group accepts as reasonable levels of welfare or disease or longevity. In fact, when cultural influences are strong, they may impact the willingness of those inside the culture to objectively view metrics, or to embrace processes and programs. And let's face it - a group or individual's attachment to their culture may be so strong, that they tend to view it not as one view, but the only acceptable view. 'Cultural norms' may be very different across communities. Rigidity is a major barrier to collaboration. Keys to moving forward Firstly, reflecting sincerely on how YOUR culture influences you, and then, if you want others to respect your culture Being aware of the differences across stakeholders - in their culture (attitudes, attachments, basic beliefs, approaches, etc.) wouldn't if be great if we could respect all views? but at least we must be aware of whether our disagreements are arising from different interpretation of the metrics and evidence OR from a different approach and process OR from the cultural sphere Taking the brave step outside cultural influences - embrace collaboration and collective actions while never assuming there is a one-size-fits-all solution. Leadership from various cultures and communities is needed. The ultimate question is - do we have common ground on which to advance? For IPFD, that would mean that even if we have slightly different definitions on the specifics, everyone comes to the table with a desire to enhance the health and welfare of dogs. Human aspects are critical as well - but there must be a balance.
  18. Dogs offer great emotional support and benefit to humans. In times of stress, urgency, and uncertainty - such as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic - there is also an increased tendency for impulsive vs. well-considered decisions about many things, including the acquisition of dogs. The prospect of bringing a cute, fluffy puppy (or adult dog) home now may seem like a win-win situation for both the human and the dog alike. However, we have already begun to see many troubling consequences of the 'Pandemic Puppy' phenomenon.
  19. The continued review of breed-specific tests for assigning relevancy ratings, and ongoing discussions with genetic experts has led to a refinement of the breed relevancy ratings (please see: BRR) . To better accommodate the spectrum of genetic test validation, we’ve added a new orange BRR. The orange BRR indicates where all current available evidence has been reviewed, but the relevancy is inconclusive. It could be that a mutation is detectable in a specific breed, but that there is no evidence that this correlates with clinical development of the disease/phene. It could also be that there is evidence that testing for the mutation does not correlate with the clinical development of the disease. One example is the wire-fox terrier and degenerative myelopathy. Despite research indicating a 94% mutation frequency (Zeng et. al, 2014) - meaning that practically every dog the researchers tested for SOD 1 mutation for degenerative myelopathy had 2 copies of the mutation - the development of the clinical signs of DM for the breed hasn't yet been reported. In practical terms, this means that while you may still wish to test for the mutation in your breed, or it may be included on any testing panels, there isn’t currently a good reason to prioritize test results in any breeding or other health decisions. Unnecessarily excluding a dog from breeding based on irrelevant or inconclusive test results can be, on balance, very damaging to the genetic diversity of the breed. Thinking back to DM and the wire-fox terrier, this would mean that if breeding decisions were made on DM test results alone, you'd be excluding the vast majority of the dog population where the test does not for this breed seem to predict clinical disease. For any orange BRR, it would be worth looking at the test’s breed-specific information in more detail (search for test information HERE) to help put any potential test results into perspective. Wherever possible, the phenes database includes comments directly from the researchers and original test developers. As always, talk to your genetic test provider and/or veterinary scientist if you are concerned about genetic test results. And, if you missed it the first time around, you may want to check out the previous blog including updated breed relevancy ratings, and breed-specific publications, HERE. References: Zeng R., Coates J.R., Johnson G.C., Hansen L., Awano T., Kolicheski A., Ivansson E., Perloski M., Lindblad-Toh K., O'Brien D.P., Guo J., Katz M.L., Johnson G.S. (2014) Breed Distribution of SOD1 Alleles Previously Associated with Canine Degenerative Myelopathy. J Vet Intern Med 28: 515-521 Photo thanks to: Engin Akyurt, via Pexels
  20. Ian Seath hosted a webinar on Breed Health Improvement Strategies for the Danish Kennel Club on June 11th 2020. An important subject that is more current than ever, where some breeds are faced with a difficult time in relation to health and considerations for the future of the breed. Many thanks to Ian for sharing the video and accompanying slideshow with the DogWellNet community! Thanks goes to Katrine Jeppesen, from the Danish Kennel Club for permission to share this DKK webinar!
  21. 2020... Hélène Denis from the Club du Bulldog Anglais shared the French Kennel Club's BREATH Protocol (BRachycephalic Exercise Aptitude Test for Health) - SCC Service Santé et Gestion des ressources génétiques
  22. This article is a summary we (IPFD) have created describing the issues, the dialogue and challenges around regulatory actions in the Netherlands as of June 2020. The issue is having a polarizing effect across stakeholder groups, and it is our belief that the best results for all dogs are to be achieved by collaborative efforts. IPFD also promotes the considerations of impacts on dogs, breeds, and people when programs are put in place, given the complex nature of issues of health and welfare. This article is a compilation of resources for those who are exploring the situation. Table Of Contents Key points of the situation and background from 2019 Dutch Kennel Club - Breeding Criteria Documentation (English) Stakeholder Responses DogWellNet Coverage and Dog Health Workshops Resources Kennel Club Programs Questions & Moving Forward... (also a good summary of major issues) Some key points: The government of the Netherlands has created a set of criteria about the conformation of short-muzzled dogs and regulations that prohibit breeding of any dog when one is of these is exceeded, regardless of the other criteria. Although the regulations apply to all breeders, as for other issues, pedigree dog breeders who register puppies with the national kennel club (Raad van Beheer, Dutch Kennel Club, DKC) are the most visible and traceable and there is an emphasis on the DKC to enact and enforce these guidelines. And it does not restrict ownership of these dogs or purchase and importation of dogs. Controversies and challenges include: In the 12 designated breeds, pedigreed dog breeders account for a very small proportion of puppies of these breeds being sold in the Netherlands; most are from non-pedigreed breeders and imports. How will the legislation help the majority of dogs? The 12 breeds: i.e., • Affenpinscher • Boston Terrier • English Bulldog • French Bulldog • Griffon Belge • Griffon Bruxellois • Petit Brabançon • Japanese Spaniel • King Charles Spaniel • Pug • Pekingese • Shih Tzu - although sharing some similarities in facial conformation do not have similar risks for Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome, based on available statistics. As stated by the DKC in their response to the proposed legislation: The government's criteria restricting breeding describe exaggerated conformations, which DKC agrees are not desirable and the DKC has concurred with almost all criteria and is supportive in monitoring the breeding stock of pedigree dogs. (See table in Breeding strategy proposal Dutch KC, below). However, the DKC does not agree with the breeding-prohibiting criterion of the Craniofacial Ratio (CFR), stating that, “This criterion would make it impossible to breed certain breeds while the prognostic value and the reproducibility of the CFR are being questioned among scientists.” The scientific evidence for the use of the CFR in the way proposed by the government and their experts is not robust for the breeds studied or should at least be subjected to further review. The government criteria may overemphasize only one aspect of the problems in some of these breeds. Most of the 12 breeds were not part of the key cited study. The DKC is now under pressure from the government and welfare critics and members of the show world for meeting government demands. The situation is being hotly debated through much of the pedigreed dog world and beyond, with some expressing the concern that this regulatory approach is defined in a way to eventually eliminate these breeds and may lead to further restrictions for other breeds. Unfortunately, there are some voices dismissing compelling evidence that there are health problems in certain breeds. It may be that groups who support, in general, attention to the health and welfare of brachychephalics, and have spoken in support of the legislation, may not have carefully considered the evidence or wider impacts. Some are worried that other counties may follow the lead of the Netherlands, without careful consideration. Background: Health and welfare management of brachycephalic dogs is the issue; there are implications are for all dogs and owners. The health and welfare of brachycephalic dogs is a highly complex situation - and yet current reactions and efforts tend to be rather narrow. Positions on various sides seem to becoming entrenched. When narrow or unilateral solutions are enacted without adequate participation of all stakeholders, conflict rather than collaboration or collective actions is often the result. The intensity in published statements and discussions online these days, sometimes extending to hostility, will not lead to an improvement in relations and certainly not to an improvement for the health and welfare of dogs. Responsibility lies with all stakeholders. Simple solutions to complex problems are unlikely to be effective and generally produce unintended consequences. For background and commentary on the recent situation in the Netherlands, please see Dr. Brenda Bonnett's Blog from August 2019, where concerns are expressed that the proposed legislation in the Netherlands was not likely to achieve its goals and the balanced report of the Dutch Kennel Club was presented: Brachycephalic dogs in the Netherlands Since then, the government of the Netherlands has enacted its regulations, to address what they consider to be a pressing need to protect the health and welfare of brachycephalic dogs. Unfortunately, the proposed solutions do not seem to have taken into account the full scientific evidence about the problems nor possible solutions; they may not tackle the full range of concerns; and the focus/enforcement on pedigree breeders may not achieve population-wide benefits for the majority of dogs. While these regulations are under the mandate of one country's government, there is the potential for more harm than good to come from these efforts, with broad implications for owners, dogs, and breeders, both within and beyond the Netherlands. Raad van Beheer (The Dutch Kennel Club, DKC) has translated information on the background and particulars of government regulations regarding breeding brachycephalic dogs - effective in the Netherlands as of May 18, 2020. Links to extensive coverage of the issues are located on the Fokken met kortsnuitige honden page on Raad van Beheer's website. Links to the eight documents that are are available in English (accessed June 2020) are listed below. Below are compiled resources on the 'discussions' and issues as well as resources, including those calling for inclusive and collaborative discussions. This resource page will be updated as the situation evolves. ...
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