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Brenda Bonnett

Administrators
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About Brenda Bonnett

  • Rank
    Administrator

Profile Information

  • Region
    North America
  • Location
    Georgian Bluffs, Ontario, Canada
  • Country
    Canada
  • Current Affiliation
    International Partnership for Dogs, CEO
  • Position / Title
    CEO
  • Interests
    Dog Breeding
    Dog Health
    Education
    Research
    Legal/Regulatory Issues
    Kennel Clubs
    Human-Dog Interactions
  • Academic Credentials
    PhD
    Bachelors degree
    Veterinary degree (e.g. DVM)
  • Expertise/Proficiencies
    Dog Health/Veterinary Medicine
    Dog Breeding
    Welfare
    Education
    Research
    Human-Animal Interactions
    Statistics/Epidemiology
    Writing/Communication
  • Specific Breed(s) of Interest
    Rhodesian Ridgeback
  • Breed Club Rep; Board Member or Breeding/ Health Committee member
    No
  • Attended 3rd IDHW in Paris
    Yes
  • Theme attended at 3rd IDHW in Paris
    IPFD Harmonization of Genetic Testing for Dogs

Recent Profile Visitors

5,818 profile views
  1. Brenda Bonnett

    European Parliament event: Health Before Looks

    Health before looks -- Collaborative action is urgently needed to stop the practice of extreme breeding in dogs and cats This message was delivered to the European Parliament at an event organized by our Collaborating Partner the Federation of European Companion Animal Veterinary Associations (FECAVA) together with the EU Dog and Cat Alliance and the Federation of Veterinarians of Europe(FVE). (Download PDF below.) This event was "aimed at ending the unnecessary suffering of dogs and cats bred with exaggerated features such as flat faces, narrowed nostrils, skin folds and protruding eyes" and is part of the ongoing work, especially throughout Europe, to address health and welfare in brachycephalic breeds. The speakers represented the veterinary, welfare and breed organization perspectives on the issue. It was great to see this international, multi-stakeholder approach, similar to that we have promoted through the IPFD International Dog Health Workshops (IDHWs) and reflected in the many resources on the brachycephalic isssue on DogWellNet.com. Kristin Prestrud (a veterinarian from another of our Partners, the Norwegian Kennel Club) put into perspective that although there are wide variations across dog breeds in form and function, there should be defined limits for extremes, so that selective breeding does not compromise health or welfare. The challenge, raised at our IDHWs is that those limits are not clear nor consistent across regions and cultures; we need research and collaborative work to define those limits. As Prestrud, explained, for pedigree dogs breeding happens according to written breed standards - however those are often open to interpretation and may vary widely across countries. "“We love that dogs look cute, that they have some particular look that we love. And so, short legs have got shorter, heavy bodies got heavier, long coats got longer, loose skin got looser, long ears got longer and wrinkles more extended. Not in all cases, not in all breeds, but in several breeds.” And when breeders select really strongly for some traits and restrict genetic input from outside, there is always the risk of reducing genetic variation." The British Veterinary Association’s encouragement of data reporting of conformation altering surgery (and caesareans) - by veterinarians with the consent of owners - was described. Similar registers are underway in, e.g. Scandinavian countries. However, there are challenges to compliance with these programs and only time will tell whether they achieve the goal of determining the prevalence of dogs that need such surgery. Speakers also highlighted the role of veterinarians in this issue, saying, “we must be aware that there are a lot of vets who earn their money by doing this very expensive surgery." I was encouraged to see that the discussion by the politicians did not focus simply on legislation of breeding as being the best solution. They discussed the need to control the marketing of unregistered puppies and kittens, “the majority of which are on the internet and are totally without control” . It was estimated that over half of puppies In the Netherlands come from unsupervised sources and it may be as high as 90% for some breeds, e.g. the French Bulldog. One of the members of parliament suggested that "efforts would be better focused on reducing demand by making extreme breed animals unfashionable. “We have to make unhealthy bad conformation unfashionable, it has to stop.”" And, so, as has been discussed in much of our work, we come back to this fact: the challenges are about the people, more than the dogs, and successfully improving health and welfare of dogs needs an approach that addresses human-animal interactions, human attitudes and actions, and using techniques of education that are likely to result in human behaviour change. Addressing sourcing of dogs and communication for change will be two themes at the upcoming 4th IPFD IDHW in Old Windsor, UK, May 30-June 1 2019. Congratulations to FECAVA and their co-organizers for an important event and to the European Parliament for taking an interest in the health and welfare of dogs. Health before looks Collaborative action is urgently needed to stop the practice of extreme breeding in dogs and cats Download: European Parliament Event article by Parliament Magazine - 7-2018
  2. This work highlights both important areas of concern for individual dogs and breeds, as well as a need to engage a wider range of stakeholders to address health and welfare in all dogs. While continuing to engage and encourage best practices across kennel clubs, globally, we must also work with those who, in addition to cynological organizations, can work for sustainable wellness in all dogs.
  3. Brenda Bonnett

    AKC National Parent Club Conference

    And it is so important to have young, vets of the future involved with us! Thanks, Kelly.
  4. Brenda Bonnett

    French Bulldog

    Thanks, Laura! Is your club collaborating with other work, e.g. with NKU on brachys? This is such an important issue right now. The site looks great! Using Google translator works fairly well... but I will send you some questions via email. Thanks again.
  5. Last weekend I was honored to participate in the 2017 National Parent Club Canine Health Conference presented by the AKC Canine Health Foundation and Nestlé Purina PetCare, in St. Louis, Missouri. It is always great to interact with breeders and club reps that are so committed to the health and welfare of their dogs and their breeds. This meeting is a mix of breeders (106 parent clubs represented!), vets, and researchers and includes Board members from some of the collaborating organizations who sponsor research, including IPFD Partners and Sponsors: the AKC, the AKC-CHF and the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA). The OFA sponsored 32 veterinary students to attend the meeting. Our IPFD 2016 Student Kelly Arthur was among the participants! The research covered a wide array of key topics - from ticks and infectious disease - epilepsy - latest developments in cancer - to issues of reproduction (see list of speakers and topics, below). What an impressive panel of speakers and internationally renowned researchers. It was great to see two of our speakers from the 3rd International Dog Health Workshop, Jason Stull and Rowena Packer, as well as numerous others who participated in that meeting. It certainly feels like the international community of those committed to dog health, well-being and welfare is going strong! Thanks to the many people who stopped by the IPFD table to talk to us about our organization, DogWellNet.com and especially the Harmonization of Genetic Testing for Dogs initiative (and to grab some chocolate to keep their energy up!). Special thanks to CA Sharpe, from our IPFD Collaborating Partner Australian Shepherd Health & Genetics Institute (ASHGI) for helping me out at the table. It was very gratifying for me to hear someone else talking so enthusiastically about our efforts. Congrats to AKC-CHF for their continued strength and leadership; for promoting multi-disciplinary interaction; and for an exciting conference. Attached is the PDF of the slides of my talk (slightly altered, of course) and the abstract. BONNETT - AKC-CHF Presentation - Harmonization of Genetic Testing for Dogs BONNETT Abstract - CHF June 2017 The 2017 AKC-CHF Conference Program included presentations on the following topics... Lymphoma & Epigenetics - Jeffrey Bryan, DVM, PhD, DACVIM-Oncology Lymphoma & Flow Cytometry - Anne Avery, VMD, PhD Chemotherapy & FortiFlora® - Korinn Saker DVM, PhD, DACVN Genetics of Cancer/Lymphoma - Matthew Breen, PhD Diet & Rehabilitation - Wendy Baltzer DVM, PhD, DACVS Genetic Predisposition to Infections - Urs Giger, DVM, PhD, DACVIM, DECVCP Lyme Disease - Jason Stull, VMD, PhD, DACVPM Tick-Borne Disease - Ed Breitschwerdt, DVM, DACVIM (*Keynote) Ehrlichia & Lymphocytosis - Anne Avery, VMD, PhD Canine Cognition - Bill Milgram, PhD Genetics of Epilepsy - Gary Johnson, DVM, PhD Epilepsy & the Microbiome - Karen Munana, DVM, PhD, DACVIM-Neurology Epilepsy & Nutrition - Rowena Packer, PhD IPFD: Harmonization of Laboratory Genetic Testing for Dogs - Brenda Bonnett, DVM, PhD Semen Evaluation, Quality, and Effects of Aging - Stuart Meyers, DVM, PhD, DACT Brucella Update - Angela Arenas, DVM, PhD, DACVP Pyometra - Marco Coutinho da Silva, DVM, PhD, DACT New for 2017! Panel discussions with our speakers on: Canine Lymphoma Tick-Borne Diseases Epilepsy Reproductive Diseases AKC-CHF Facebook
  6. Thanks for the post, Noam... and great topic. Our summer student, working on antimicrobial resistance, is working on a couple of modules incorporating issues of communication. Every topic in veterinary medicine and outreach to breeders hinges on communication, so any work in this direction is important.
  7. Thanks, Ariel. As companion animals share our environment so closely, and many of our lifestyles exposures, they are an important part of any comprehensive One Health initiative. However, getting the human and animal docs and researchers to work well together is an ongoing challenge. The key point is - we need behavioural change across the board to develop prudent attitudes and actions in regard to antibiotic use, regardless of the species on which they are being used. Your compendium of existing guidelines and different approaches internationally will be an important resource.
  8. This section will serve as a table of contents and compile resources available elsewhere on DogWellNet.com. These have been mainly compiled as part of the IPFD Student Project of Ariel Minardi and supported by the Skippy Frank Fund. For a list of Ariel's work see, also, IPFD Student Project 'B.A.R.K. | Bacterial Antimicrobial Resistance Knowledge' - Chronological Overview.
  9. Version 1.0.0

    79 downloads

    This guideline is intended to be used by breed clubs for breeds in which at least 250 dogs have been registered over the last five years. ' The template outlines the content and structure for the Breeding-specific Breeding Strategy Document (JTO). The recommended total length of a breeding strategy for these breeds is 25-30 pages. Received from Katariin Mäki, Kennelliitto
  10. The stellar group of participants at the IPFD 3rd International Dog Health Workshop (3rd IDHW) came to collaborate and we really put them to work. The attendees, who certainly engaged and challenged and stimulated each other, accomplished a lot and it seems they are going home extremely satisfied with the experience. More importantly, the majority have committed to participate in specific actions, with clear objectives, goals, timelines and deliverables. There is a clear potential for real momentum to carry us forward towards the 4th IDHW in the UK. Our diligent efforts were assisted by candy bars courtesy Mars Veterinary ... between those and lots of strong French coffee, we pulled it off! A huge shout out to the French Kennel Club (SCC) for putting on a well-organized event at a great venue. The food was fantastic - thanks to Agria for sponsoring the breaks and lunches. The boat cruise on the Seine was extraordinary - thanks to Royal Canin ... more good food and wine with a panoramic view of the sites of Paris, including the amazing icon of the Eiffel Tour, complete with its delightful, hourly light-show. More information soon on the topics, challenges and future plans in the days to come. We will be posting material from speakers, posters, and break out sessions, and photographs as well as the detailed plans addressing breed-specific health strategies, behaviour and welfare implications of early socialization, exaggerations of conformation, the harmonization of genetic testing, education/ communication on appropriate use of antibiotics, and the need for numbers/ quantitative information. There will be lots of outreach to stakeholders who weren't at the meeting; hopefully to further engage the wider dog community in this important work. Thanks to all those who contributed... from individual dog owners, breeders, breed club reps, kennel club advisors and executives, many veterinarians, researchers, corporate and industry people, welfare organisations ... I feel like I am at the Academy Awards and will surely miss someone! This was a diverse community united by a commitment to enhance the health, well-being and welfare of dogs and to promote the best in human-dog interactions. It is an honour and privilege to be part of this devoted and passionate community. The future looks bright for innovative and sustained international collaboration.
  11. People are starting to arrive in Paris for the 3rd IDHW ! Paris in the spring is living up to its reputation with sunshine and flowering trees. Too bad we will keep our delegate inside working hard for the dogs for 2 days! We are expecting about 135 delegates from 24 countries. We have vets and breeders, researchers and judges, experts in welfare and behaviour, genetic advisors, various non-profits, industry representatives, dog owners... and more... so a wide array of stakeholders. As is common in the dog world, many people wear more than one hat. We have representatives from 18 National kennel clubs and the FCI; including the current or former Presidents of at least 4 KCs. There are scientists from at least 13 Universities and research institutes, from at least 6 different countries. There are over 15 companies from the pet industry attending, including many genetic testing labs. There are numerous veterinary organizations and welfare organizations represented. As well as, breed clubs, breeders and dog owners. This is a real working meeting... we hope to engage all present in discussions with the result being definite action plans to be underway immediately following the workshop; leading to results ready to present at the 4th International Dog Health Workshop to be held in the UK in 2019, hosted by The KC. Exciting times! Stay tuned for more information. Check us out on Facebook and our new Twitter feed @IPFDogs and #IDHWParis ...
  12. Carlotta - when you say, "They seem to work closely with UKC in the United States." to whom are your referring. Certainly not FCI or the Swedish KC...??
  13. This paper combined data from the Agria Insurance database and the health database of the Swedish Kennel Club. Disease patterns in 32,486 insured German shepherd dogs in Sweden: 1995–2006 Å. Vilson, DVM1, B. Bonnett, BSc, DVM, PhD2, H. Hansson-Hamlin, DVM, PhD, Ass.Prof1 and Å. Hedhammar, DVM, PhD, Prof, Dipl.Internal medicine (active) & clinical nutrition (passive)1 Abstract The aims of this retrospective study were to describe the morbidity and mortality in German shepherd dogs (GSD) in Sweden, based on insurance data, and to test the hypothesis that GSDs are predisposed to immune-related diseases. Morbidity was defined as incidence rates and based on veterinary care events. Mortality was defined as mortality rates and based on life insurance data. The study included 445,336 dogs, 7.3 per cent GSDs, covered by both veterinary care and life insurance between 1995 and 2006 in the Swedish insurance company Agria (Agria Insurance Company, Stockholm, Sweden). For veterinary care events (morbidity) GSDs were most over-represented for immunological disease, with a relative risk (RR) of 2.7, compared with the risk in all other breeds combined. The most common disease category (morbidity) in GSDs was skin disorders with an incidence rate of 346.8 cases per 10,000 dog years at risk. The highest RR for cause of death in GSDs compared with all other breeds was for skin conditions (RR=7.8). Locomotor disorders were the most common cause of death in GSDs. The GSD is predisposed to immune-related disorders, such as allergies, circumanal fistulae and exocrine pancreatic atrophy, with significantly increased risk compared with all other breeds. Disese patterns_Åsa Vilson_vet rec.pdf
  14. This exciting research paper is from a PhD project involving several of our IPFD Partners and collaborators. It is the first step towards being able to access the vast data sources of various kennel clubs and to combine data across countries. Published in the J Anim Breed Genet. 2017 Apr;134(2):152-161. doi: 10.1111/jbg.12242. Epub 2016 Nov 10. Merging pedigree databases to describe and compare mating practices and gene flow between pedigree dogs in France, Sweden and the UK S. Wang1,2,3, G. Leroy2,3, S. Malm4, T. Lewis5,6, E. Strandberg1 & W.F. Fikse1 1 Department of Animal Breeding and Genetics, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden 2 Genetique Animale et Biologie Integrative, AgroParisTech, Paris, France 3 Genetique Animale et Biologie Integrative, Paris, INRA, Paris, France 4 Swedish Kennel Club, Spanga, Sweden 5 The Kennel Club, London, UK 6 School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, The University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK Summary Merging pedigree databases across countries may improve the ability of kennel organizations to monitor genetic variability and health-related issues of pedigree dogs. We used data provided by the Societe Centrale Canine (France), Svenska Kennelklubben (Sweden) and the Kennel Club (UK) to study the feasibility of merging pedigree databases across countries and describe breeding practices and international gene flow within the following four breeds: Bullmastiff (BMA), English setter (ESE), Bernese mountain dog (BMD) and Labrador retriever (LBR). After merging the databases, genealogical parameters and founder contributions were calculated according to the birth period, breed and registration country of the dogs. Throughout the investigated period, mating between close relatives, measured as the proportion of inbred individuals (considering only two generations of pedigree), decreased or remained stable, with the exception of LBR in France. Gene flow between countries became more frequent, and the origins of populations within countries became more diverse over time. In conclusion, the potential to reduce inbreeding within purebred dog populations through exchanging breeding animals across countries was confirmed by an improved effective population size when merging populations from different countries. Wang_et_al-2016-Journal_of_Animal_Breeding_and_Genetics.pdf
  15. Health and welfare issues continue to be in media, with a comment in the latest issue of The Veterinary Record entitled "Brachycephalic tipping point: time to push the button?" and a report: "It's now time to curb advertising using flat-faced dogs, say vets". The latter has comments from industry representatives, researchers, vets and others. Many in the UK are alarmed at the burgeoning popularity of these dogs. As Caroline Kisko, of The Kennel Club states, for all breeds, less than a third of these dogs are registered/ come under the umbrella of The KC. Which means the vast majority are bred by those who do not participate in health programs of the registering body; the same is true in many countries. And although most attention (and blame) is directed towards breeders of pedigree dogs, it may be that, globally, the major source of these dogs is commercial breeders. Regardless, it seems that unless we can influence those acquiring these dogs (consumers) it is unlikely that the numbers can be markedly reduced. Why do so many people want these dogs in spite of many attempts over numerous years to educate them to the potential problems? We have focused on health and welfare issues for brachycephalic breeds in various articles on DogWellNet.com. And as discussed in a recent research article, acquisition of dogs may not be driven as much by prospective health or welfare, as by owner preferences. I have highlighted the factors influencing choice of breeds in many talks over the years and other blogs, and it is obvious that consumers are heavily influenced by the popularity of breeds in the media, movies, popular culture, etc. It seems there is, in general, an underlying need for many people to 'stand out' by owning the most popular, most extreme, biggest, fastest - whatever - and those attitudes may lead to them wanting extreme dogs. Can it be that consumers still don't know these dogs are at risk? Might it even be, in some cases, that people want to take on a potentially compromised dog and see themselves in the role of "extreme" care-giver? As for the Veterinary Record decision, most of us are, in general, not fond of across-the-board breed bans that tend to impact all dogs or owners, not just the 'worst'. However, The Vet Record comment makes a good case for their decision. Although not specifically mentioned, this decision moves on from recommendations about the use of compromised dogs/ breeds in the media brought to the forefront by CRUFFA (The Campaign for the Responsible Use of Flat-Faced Animals, on Facebook) over the past several years. Jemima Harrison (Pedigree Dogs Exposed - The Blog) has been a tireless, if controversial campaigner on this issue and is the creator of the CRUFFA page. And there are some pretty scary images out there online... obviously chosen because they are thought to be particularly cute or funny, but which may actually represent anatomical issues of great concern. Like this one (left) on a pet business website. And one (right) I found years ago on a site called FunnyDogSite.com. Not funny, actually ... the dog is in that position so that it can sleep without passing out. This dog on the right is also challenged by its obesity. What perhaps needs to be done, beyond restricting advertising, is to try to address the considerable influence of celebrities on consumer choice of breeds. It is likely that concerted, evidence-based education programs warning consumers about problems in certain breeds, go unnoticed or at least pale in the face of, e.g. one instagram post of a desirable celeb with a French Bulldog. As we try to move from simply informing the public to actually changing behaviours around health and welfare of dogs, we must all search for creative and effective ways to communicate. To do so, we must know what are the most important influencers of human behaviour and how to 'tip' the situation to the better. At the IPFD 3rd International Dog Health Workshop to be held in Paris, 21-23 April 2017 we have a Theme devoted to Health and Welfare Issues of Extreme Conformation. Experts, breeders, veterinarians ... decision-makers from various stakeholder groups will come together to discuss the work being done nationally and internationally to address these problems and to identify collaborative international actions that will help advance the health and welfare of these beloved dog breeds.
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