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Brenda Bonnett

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Everything posted by Brenda Bonnett

  1. Thanks for the comment David. In general, we are in support of international data collection. Quite a few kennel clubs are building health and pedigree-linked databases, some of which are publicly available. The concept of OFA as a register is encouraging. As with all these efforts, many side issues arise, including data quality on identification of the dog and parents, quality and relevance of DNA test results and many more. IPFD with our collaborators and via the International Dog Health Workshops continues to support and promote these efforts, as well as international collaboration, sharing and transparency, In terms of an international breed database, again, great resource. If you have not yet seen it, please check out the Irish Wolfhound Database. They are doing an amazing job in all aspects. Maura Lyons and Per-Arne Flatberg presented on this resource at the 4th IDHW and you can see all posters here. And Per-Arne's presentation can be downloaded here. Also know that you can message them via DogWellNet.com. We also are built on the foundation of community engagement, so absolutely great to have people like you weighing in. Please share links, data and descriptions, any time, with our Content Manager Ann Milligan. Thanks!
  2. 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 information and support for the dog community on these issues. In addition to lectures, there were two panel discussions which allowed attendees to ask questions of the scientists. The first was on Saturday afternoon. I gave my talk on Sunday, and that session was also followed by a panel discussion. A pdf copy of my talk, with post-talk notes, is attached: BONNETT CHF Harmonization of Genetic Testing and Breed Specific Resources 11Aug2019_with notes.pdf As I note in this document, I heard a lot of frustration from those asking questions, and others who approached me over the weekend. As I said to all of them, "It is not surprising that you are confused and frustrated... the world of genetic testing IS confusing and frustrating!". Although many exciting developments in genetic research were presented over the weekend, and other talks focused on application of testing, there were few if any simple, yes/no, black and white answers. 'Genetics' underlies all life in our universe, is the basis of all evolution... it is not now, nor will it ever be, simple, uncomplicated and, perhaps, never really fully understood. Even while we are struggling to get a hold on the appropriate use of the many tests available for single-gene disorders, some researchers are moving ahead on diseases with a more complex inheritance. And even now the research world is moving more and more into whole-genome sequencing, which may be available at a reasonable price within a couple of years. And then what? We will know more and more about the genetic makeup of individuals and breeds. But will we have the detailed information needed on the meaning of all these results? The key information for properly integrating genetic testing into best breeding practices? Probably not. As is the current situation, the technology will likely advance faster that our ability to deal with it in a practical sense. And, for all the potential good, there are significant risks to applying tests in the face of insufficient clinical/population-based information. This same situation is also arising in human medicine; a topic I touched on in my recent talk at the American Veterinary Medical Association meeting. Leigh-Anne Clark from Clemson University gave a great talk on risk across the various combinations of a three genes associated with dermatomyositis - combinations which highlighted the added complexity of multi-gene disorders. (see abstract: pg. 68) Her work also showed the kind of explicit risk percentages that are needed to really understand the results from genetic testing. We recently posted on Facebook a link to a video of a previous talk Dr. Clark gave which is well worth viewing. Another recurring challenge brought up by attendees involved breed clubs' frustrations in communicating health strategies to their members and in achieving compliance with recommendations. I mention in my talks 'Decision making by Facebook'. Unfortunately, the latter drives a lot of the focus for many in kennel and breed clubs. Several clubs brought up instances where rare diseases, or diseases with unknown importance in their breed, were being pushed forward to have a genetic testing strategy, sometimes taking emphasis away from common, known, important conditions in the breed. Several of the experts recommended not basing testing strategies for such condition just because a test was available, but rather looking at the big picture of health in the breed. It became quite clear that many of breed club's frustrations stem not from a lack of research or information or having complex information, but on an inability to effect behaviour change in their members through traditional channels of education. This was a common theme at the IDHW as well and we brought in experts on Human Behaviour Change for Animals to educate us. I personally think that learning how to communicate more effectively is desperately needed. All these concerns and experiences underlie IPFD's work on improving and expanding the tools needed to deal with genetic testing and health strategies in breeds. See my talk from the CHF meeting for information on the latest work on the Harmonization of Genetic Testing for Dogs (HGTD), a coming development, the Health Strategies Database for Dogs that will catalog all conditions in breeds (not just those for which there are genetic tests based on identified health issues from breed clubs, kennel clubs, and others worldwide. We are starting a project in Golden Retrievers as a prototype of our Get a GRIHP! tool to pull all relevant information together for a breed. It is so wonderful to meet with those people so passionate about health in the breed. Thanks to AKC-CHF and all the attendees for a great experience.
  3. 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 problems, but these are generally due to widespread prevalence of vetebral abnormalities and not DM. Testing - and then perhaps eliminating dogs from the breeding stock based on test results - is not a beneficial strategy for the population. Part of the problem of wrongly recommended tests may related to the unfortunate use of language for some genetic tests. Results of allele frequencies may be reported as 'clear', 'carrier', or 'affected'. In fact, 'affected' in this case means 'genetically affected' and may or may not relate to clinical disease, as in the case of DM in French Bulldogs, at least as far as we know. Discussions like these are crucially needed as part of better genetic counselling. See further discussion on this issue in my talk to the American Veterinary Medical Association. Here is the letter from Dr. Bell: Degenerative Myelopathy Does NOT Occur in French Bulldogs.pdf
  4. 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 evidence-based recommendations in the attached breeding strategy document. Thanks to veterinarian Laura Roest for sending us this communication. Dear reader, Enclosed you find the translated proposal the Dutch Kennel Club ‘Raad van Beheer’ has sent to the Dutch Government. This is not a certified translation, but gives us the opportunity to inform the international community. Please feel free to ask questions regarding the document. In March 2019, the report “BREEDING BRACHYCEPHALIC DOGS*" was published in The Netherlands (in Dutch) with enforcement criteria for the breeding of brachycephalic dogs. These criteria were active from that day onwards. The Raad van Beheer concurs with almost all criteria and wishes to adapt them in its own regulations, in close collaboration with the involved breed clubs. The Raad van Beheer does not agree with the Craniofacial Ratio (CFR) as a prohibiting criterion for breeding. 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 Raad van Beheer wants an exception for the regulated pedigree breeding, so these breeds can be bred in The Netherlands in a healthy form and with the effort to achieve a longer muzzle. We hope to receive soon a positive reaction on our proposal from our Government and we will keep the International Dog World posted! Kind regards, Laura Roest, DVM and Gabri Kolster Board Member Raad van Beheer Breeding Commission Dutch Kennel Club ‘Raad van Beheer’ Translated version: English... Breeding strategy brachycephalic dogs in the Netherlands.pdf Also see: background articles/resources: Stricter rules for breeding brachy dogs https://dogzine.eu/en/newsarticle/stricter-rules-breeding-brachy-dogs *FOKKEN MET KORTSNUITIGE HONDEN (Dutch) Fokken_met_kortsnuitige_honden_.pdf
  5. 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 that figured out a long time before, but as it was also put forward by Hippocrates, I don't suppose we will worry about who came first! For more info see this article by One Health Sweden... and their image. I specify how genetic testing fits under that umbrella. It actually is a bit of a no-brainer isn't it? Everything we do with dogs is tied up with people and so many conditions of concern are affected by where and how we live, in the broadest sense. When we talk about genetic testing, both from the science to the commercialization and application there are so many points of intersection between the human and pet world. As you will see in my talk, attached below, the impacts can't be ignored if we are to successfully navigate the world of genetic testing. For us and for our pets! Although many of the issues raised are a cause for concern and increase our awareness of significant challenges, we should always keep in mind that there are a host of potential and even remarkable benefits to be realized from genetic testing. However, with Direct-To-Consumer marketing, the popularization of genetic testing, and the many challenges raised on the spectrum from discovery to application we all need the information and tools to make the best decisions. These issues were also raised, discussed at the 4th IDHW and working groups are moving ahead to address them. IPFD has the Harmonization of Genetic Testing already available and we are working on further developments like the Expert Panel and the Health Strategies Database for Dogs, as well as breed specific tools to help owners, breeders, advisors, researchers, veterinarians - really all stakeholders in the crazy-wonderful world of genetic and genomic testing. [[link to Aimee's article]] Warning - the complexities of genetic testing are not going to go away in the near future! Let's continue to work together for the health, well-being and welfare of our animal companions and the humans who wouldn't want to live without them. One Health! BONNETT - Genetic Testing The Big Picture_AVMA talk August 2019.pdf
  6. 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 and IPFD CEO Brenda Bonnett, DVM, PhD who is talking about Genetic Testing to Improve Canine Health: The Big Picture and why this truly needs to be considered from the One Health approach. Hint: We care about the dogs, but it is people who complicate everything!! In addition, Theme Leader at the 3rd International Dog Health Workshop in Paris, Jason Stull VMD, MPVM, PhD, DACVPM, is giving a series of talks on infectious disease concerns in veterinary practices, including, e.g. The Dummies' Guide to Preventing Hospital-Associated Infections. Harmonization of Genetic Testing for Dogs (HGTD) collaborator, Kari Ekenstedt DVM, PhD, is delivering a whole afternoon of talks on clinical genetics, including Practical Applications of Genetic Testing in Dogs and Cats. Hope to see vets and vet techs that are keen to expand their practical knowledge about dogs and genetics...
  7. 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 tone for intense and productive breakout sessions in the various themes. The themes were: Genetics, Breed-Specific Breeding Strategies, The Concept of Breed and its Impact on Health, Supply and Demand, and Extremes of Conformation. Below you will find links to fantastic pre- and post-workshop materials. Be sure to check in to DogWellNet.com and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for important updates from the several working groups who are already moving ahead with needed actions. As seen in the word cloud from our participants, a key aspect of this meeting is collaboration and networking. Coming together with others who are dealing with similar challenges and who share a commitment to health dogs provides a boost of energy for both cooperative efforts as well as the day to day work by these committed dog people. Below you will also see reports and write ups about the 4th IDHW, and there will be more as the work continues. Thanks to all who attended, and we will keep you informed on developing plans for the 5th IDHW in 2021. 4th IDHW Pre- and Post-Meeting Resources From pre-meeting reading material to posters and slide presentations from the workshop, we've compiled materials from the 4th IDHW, so that participants can refer back to them - and so that those who were unable to attend can also benefit from this impressive collection of downloadable resources. Pre-Meeting Resources | Post Meeting Resources Articles on the 4th IDHW Vet Record News: 4th IDHW workshop - "Improving the health of pedigree dogs" Lance Novak, Executive Director, Canadian Kennel Club: From My Side of the Desk: Canine Health and Wellness Several articles by Ian J. Seath of the Dachshund Breed Council (DBC): My report on the 4th International Dog Health Workshop for Our Dogs My presentation to the 4th International Dog Health Workshop (IDHW4) Breed Health Strategies – Addressing the challenges: My July 2019 “Best of Health” article The why and how of Breed-specific Health Strategies – “Best of Health” June 2019 Aimee Llewellyn-Zaidi's Report from the Genetic Testing Theme, from the 4th International Dog Health Workshop Canine Genetics and Epidemiology Journal. As following the 3rd IDHW, we are compiling a report on the 4th that will be review and published by our collaborating partners at CGE. If you haven't seen the previous article, check it out here. Global Pet Obesity Initiative After an overwhelming show of support by attendees of the 4th IDHW, IPFD has confirmed its support of the Global Pet Obesity Initiative Position Statement (launched by The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP)) calling for the veterinary profession to adopt uniform nomenclature for canine and feline obesity. IPFD is currently in discussions with APOP to look at ways to collaborate on the important issue of canine obesity.
  8. 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 show type Greyhounds by Dr. med. vet. Barbara Kessler, scientist at the Chair for Molecular Animal Breeding and Biotechnology Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich. Notwithstanding the title and the information on some Greyhound-specific diseases, much of this talk is about challenges of selection, inbreeding, and impact on diversity that applies to all breeds. Barbara Kessler has makes some strong statements based on her academic and personal experience. She lists, e.g. some autoimmune diseases associated with reduced genetic (sic) variability, including allergies, diabetes, and hypothyroidism - conditions seen, perhaps increasingly in some other breeds. There are great graphics provided by veterinarian Barbara Thiel highlighting the breeding separation of Greyhounds based on their activities. And Barbara Kessler contrasts the breeding approaches of 50 years ago to more recently. Some of the challenges they highlight exemplify discussions at the 4th International Dog Health Workshop on 'The Concept of Breeds and its Impact on Health'. This recalls to mind a discussion I observed at an international meeting of Springer Spaniel Clubs at the time of the World Dog Show in Sweden in 2008. There were passionate and conflicting claims that the breed was first and foremost a working/hunting breed or now a show breed; long time breeders and experts were adamant that it was a breed with strong working capabilities that was also beautiful - just as it was (i.e. without a long, silky coat or other adaptations to the show ring). I do not want to imply that any one approach is the only or right one. However, I can concur strongly with one of Kessler's messages, specifically that people who are applying strong selection, breeding rapidly and intensely for specific appearances, need to be very aware of the larger and longer-term consequences of that approach. These issues are fraught with emotion, attachment to certain ideals, and even well-established human behaviours. Many accuse anyone of providing this type of information as being anti-dog shows or anti-purebred dogs. However, in many cases those who are calling for awareness, change and addressing challenges head on are themselves passionate about these breeds and fully committed to their preservation, health and welfare. The talk goes on to an interesting and thought-provoking section on genetic diversity and I hope our working group on this topic from the 4th IDHW will find it useful. As stated in this box... we depend on breeders to 'keep their 'eye on the whole dog' ... but then it must be that - and not getting swayed into too much focus on appearance, extremes, the latest fashion. or what judges are awarding Let's keep the lines of communication open. It seems that many are taking increasingly extreme and opposing views on challenges in dog breeding and the world of pedigree dogs. Perhaps this stems from sincere and increasing concerns... whether it is veterinarians and researchers who are more worried about the health and welfare of the dogs ... or breeders and exhibitors and judges feeling that their pastimes, culture and even livelihoods are under attack. But regardless, confrontation is not likely to be best for the dogs or their humans. Thoughtful awareness of the impact of our actions; compassion more than judgement: and a willingness to listen are all good to consider. And let's keep sharing the wonderful material and resources from around the world. Original link: http://katrin-und-joachim.de/2019/07/24/actual-challenges-in-breeding-show-type-greyhounds/ "On occasion of the Finnish Greyhound Club Show, Dr Barbara Kessler was invited to talk about Greyhound health"... The Greyhound Show website: http://katrin-und-joachim.de Also see: DWN's Greyhound page
  9. 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 been developed collaboratively across various stakeholder groups including the VDH, academics, and veterinary organizations. The test is "available not only to dogs bred under VDH supervision, but to all pugs". The test is done under controlled, standardized and well-supervised conditions. And fantastically, it is being offered for free for two years courtesy of the German Society for the Support of Canine Research (GFK) . Congatulations to VDH and its partners for this excellent program and thanks for sharing the information with us. Great to see collaboration focused on dog well-being making a difference. Links at VDH (in German) Neuer Fitnesstest für Möpse GKF Flyer 2019 We have descriptions of fitness tests from other countries on DogWellNet.com, see for example: Sweden: Swedish Kennel Club: Making assessments of dogs' respiration - BSI (Video Link) https://dogwellnet.com/media/media/5-making-assessments-of-dogs-respiration-bsi/ Bullies, Pugs and Bulldogs – the current top runners Germany: IKFB: (Includes Video Link) https://dogwellnet.com/content/health-and-breeding/breed-specific-programs/breed-specific-breeding-strategies/breed-specific-programs-country/bullies-pugs-and-bulldogs-–-the-current-top-runners-r232/ Finnish walk test for brachycephalic breeds ready https://dogwellnet.com/blogs/entry/88-finnish-walk-test-for-brachycephalic-breeds-ready Scheme launched to improve health of French Bulldogs, Pugs and Bulldogs - The Kennel Club | Cambridge https://dogwellnet.com/content/hot-topics/brachycephalics/scheme-launched-to-improve-health-of-french-bulldogs-pugs-and-bulldogs-the-kennel-club-cambridge-r636/
  10. 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 quality of the genetic test provides GTPs). Wouldn't it be lovely if life were that simple! Raising awareness is a great first step, and this presentation, e.g. is simple and clear and worth watching, however, there is the need for further education of consumers. The message from the experts (Dr. Bell and another veterinarian) are also worth heeding. I will add my spin on their cautions, which include: Breed identification tests should be taken 'with a grain of salt' There is variation across companies. IPFD with our Harmonization of Genetic Testing for Dogs and associated resources is working to help provide transparency and improve best practices in the industry. Breed testing is only one type of DNA test. Others include testing for existing or potential diseases, use in clinical diagnosis or for breeding decisions and more... so consumers should know what they are testing for and why before selecting tests and keep this in mind in selecting the GTP and interpreting the results. IPFD is working to provide tools to help consumers. Veterinarians - although challenged like all of us to keep up with this burgeoning field of genetic testing, are important to consult... they are especially good at putting DNA testing into the perspective of the big picture of health and wellness for pets. Genetic Testing is a key theme are the upcoming 4th International Dog Health Workshop (IDHW) being held in Old Windsor, England at the end of May 2019. Many stakeholders in dog health - kennel and breed clubs, owners, breeders, researchers, veterinarians, welfare groups are all represented at the IDHWs and focused on address of these challenges. See below for links to other resources on DogWellNet.com. Getting Started with Genetic Testing Choosing a Genetic Test Provider
  11. 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 Vietnam why they use rhino horn. Here’s what they said. (Image: Malaysia’s wildlife department seized 50 African rhino horns destined for Vietnam last year. EPA-EFE/FAZRY ISMAIL) As I read it I noticed parallels to challenges with human behaviour change in dogs. Words like: deeply held beliefs... status... and focus on personal wants and needs and not what consumers consider 'remote' issues. From the article: "Our findings shed light on why current campaigns against rhino horn purchases aren’t working. For example, they tend to highlight the plight of rhinos, suggest that rhino horn doesn’t have medicinal properties or emphasize the legal consequences of purchasing it. ... From our research it’s clear that people who buy rhino horn won’t be won over by any of these arguments." As the authors suggest... in order for education efforts to make a difference - actually change outcomes - "[campaigns] must be "better informed about the values associated with the use of rhino horn and that target the most prevalent types of uses." I would suggest that we can cross out rhino horn and write in any number of current controversial issues in the dog world and take this as good advice. To become 'better informed' we must listen to each other and not impose our perception of the important issues or compelling arguments onto others if we want to be effective. Many of us are thinking about these issues as we approach the 4th IDHW in Windsor, UK, later this month. See, e.g. Ian Seath's latest blog: We need to stop trying to change people’s minds!
  12. 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 International Dog Health Workshop (IDHW), in Windsor, UK, 30 May - 01 June, 2019. Including: The challenges of the brachycephalic breeds need to be understood by current AND future owners, breeders, veterinarians, kennel and breed clubs and other stakeholders, All these groups need to work together for the benefit of individual dogs and the breeds. The material suggests actions needed to be taken by each of these groups, including attention to sourcing of dogs, breeding, showing and more. Resources: See the Australian Love is Blind homepage for links to material, including several videos explaining the increased susceptibility of these dogs to heat and providing practical advice for owners. We have recently posted on Facebook a video entitled 'The Purebred Crisis' that describes this campaign, interviews veterinarians, owners and a breeder-judge. This video highlights the very different attitudes and perceptions for various individuals. It is this variation in opinion and approach to these dogs that complicates efforts to improve health and welfare in these breeds. I have discussed this in previous blogs. There is no question that people are attracted and deeply attached to these dogs that have, as the Aussies say, "squishy faces", and that they have delightful personalities. However, it is also clear that some owners do not realize the health and welfare challenges in these breeds. One of the themes at the 4th IDHW is effective communication, and we need to use all available tools and knowledge from experts in order to change human behaviour - to not only educate people but also to encourage collaboration. See more in Brenda's blogs, including: French Bulldog Health Seminar October 2018 Breeding: A Moral Choice? and: 4th International Dog Health Workshop Pre-Meeting Resources, for example: 4th IDHW Theme #5: Exaggerations and Extremes in Dog Conformation And this previous post on DogWellnet.com: Love is Blind - Dr Philip Moses
  13. 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 media moves quickly from one particular issue or breed and soon expands to include all pedigreed dogs; Beyond that, legislation meant to address specific problems/breeds may result in broad restrictions on breeding - and often undesirable and unfortunate (even for the dogs) consequences. Although he says "Each breed is its own unique little, or not so little, community" and implies that trying to make blanket decisions for the massive diversity of breeds presents challenges. However, he is also saying that many issues, especially ethical ones, should apply across all breeds and breeding and cannot be left to e.g. individual breed clubs. The International Partnership for Dogs (IPFD) is founded on the principal that although individuals may operate within a limited community - local or national - dogs and dog breeding are a global phenomenon and many challenges must be considered and addressed with an international - and multi-disciplinary - perspective. "Breed clubs aren’t defending the time-honoured look of the breed. They’re defending a relatively modem interpretation of how their breed should look." Here he is debunking the claims of some that extreme dogs must look the way they do to preserve the history and traditional of the breed, when, in fact, many/most breeds were originally both more moderate and more diverse in appearance. His suggestion that "the KC must be much more hard¬nosed in confronting breed clubs and insisting on change." Many KCs and breed clubs, especially throughout Europe are confronting the issues head-on. However, there seems to be resistance from breeders, judges and others. Support from the broader community of breeders to implement change is needed. For many years, lecturing about breed-specific issues in dogs, even before the existence of IPFD, in discussions with the breeding community, veterinarians and others, it was becoming self-evident that if concerns were not addressed by the dog community, society would likely impose 'solutions' on them. This is coming to fruition in many areas, and society and the media wants to move at a much faster pace than many in the pedigreed dog world. I think Kevin Colwill's call to action by KCs, and all ethical breeders - not limited to those in specifically affected breeds - is timely and important to consider. PDF version - Breeding-is it a moral choice - PDF.pdf
  14. 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 By Katrina E. Holland, Dogs Trust. Animals 2019, 9(4), 124 See Attached (internal): Acquiring a Pet Dog - A Review of Factors Affecting the Decision-Making of Prospective Dog Owners The ‘Simple Summary’: “Each year, many people around the world get a pet dog. With so many different types and breeds of dogs available, and a variety of sources from which to obtain a dog, the process of getting a dog can be complex. The decisions involved in this process are likely influenced by a variety of human- and dog-related factors and this review explores the factors that appear to be the most important.” The paper contains a wealth of information and extensive review of research on the topic. Key points: “Across the stages of dog acquisition there is potential for practices that may promote or compromise canine welfare.” “those working in the canine welfare sector, [must] refine their ability to identify and respond to trends in the behavior of potential dog owners.” “The most widely reported factors associated with acquisition behavior include: the dog’s physical appearance, behavior and health; social influences, such as trends in the popularity of certain breeds; demographic and socioeconomic factors; and the owner’s previous ownership experience.” “Overall, the research discussed in this paper highlights that complex interactions likely underpin the various factors that might influence prospective owners’ motivators and behaviors.” COMPLEX! That is the real take home message. Many in the dog world have been trying to get the message out to people about the risks for poor health and compromised welfare for certain breeds and similar concerns based on the sources of dogs. However, for those from welfare and veterinary backgrounds especially, it seems obvious that getting a healthy pet should be the number one priority. Much of the cited research makes it clear that – although the motivations are complex – health is not at the top of the list for many who are making the decision to get a dog. Even if people do ‘research’ or seek advice, it may not sway them from a deep-seated preference for a specific breed. This may be most marked for those with an affinity for brachycephalic breeds which may be based on their ‘infantile” appearance, the dogs’ strong human attachment. I have said in presentations and articles that if a consumer's strongest desire is for, e.g. a dog with a specific appearance, with specific behavior traits, maybe even related to the need for intense care-giving ... then stressing the importance of health may not be effective. I liken it to, e.g, telling a young person who is intent on acquiring a fast, loud, trendy car that they should, first and foremost, be looking for a vehicle that has low fuel consumption. The information being provided may be about a factor not even on their radar. These challenges and issues all underlie our focus at the 4th International Dog Health Workshop (IDHW) we are combining attention to addressing issues related to Extremes and Exaggerations (of conformation) with identifying communication strategies to promote human behavior change. At the 4th IDHW we also have a theme on Supply and Demand, which is integrally involved with/influenced by these same issues. Even if people do adequate research on ideal sources of acquisition for dogs (e.g. approved breeders) they may not actually access the better sources due to, if not impulse buying, at least a desire for a timely purchase. An additional concern is that consumers may be oblivious as to the actual source of their dog. Is the ‘breeder’ - selling online or kindly offering to meet you somewhere to save you trouble finding their kennel - a good, health-conscious breeder or a representative of a puppy mill? Have the dogs at shelters/rescues been purchased from auctions or puppy farms – with good intention, perhaps – but with what ramifications.? How do you determine a community-based, good quality rescue from what is essentially a commercial re-homing business? And again, source might not be high on that decision-making list for many consumers, perhaps more a matter of convenience. We know that the best-qualified and highest quality breeders cannot come close to supplying demand. In some countries, e.g. Sweden, rules and societal pressure for responsible dog ownership exist and are enforced, and welfare is very high. In general, people do not acquire pets if they cannot fulfill the criteria. Elsewhere? As there has been an increased acknowledgement of dogs being a ‘member of the family’ and ‘good for human health and welfare’, in many countries the pet industry, veterinarians, and even welfare groups have pushed for increased dog ownership. This may have been with good intentions, but an increase in demand, without a consideration of supply, has supported the increase in commercial breeding, questionable online marketing, illegal or uncontrolled trade/importation and even proliferation of sources which are seemingly impossible to regulate. COMPLEX! The author of the attached paper has done a good job covering all the possible stages of decision-making involved with acquiring a dog, but admits that even the extensive literature has limitations. There are so many factors – attitudes, social, physical – about the people – about the dogs, etc. – that no studies have been able to truly address the complete picture. Given the complexity, it seems clear that effective education and communication will never be easy, straightforward or ‘one-size fits all’. To effect human behavior change the messages must be targeted based on specific breeds (e.g. brachycephalic breed acquisition seems different than for other breeds), consumer characteristics (e.g. age, attitudes and other factors), and perhaps region, country and more. It is obvious that this will need collective and collaborative actions across many stakeholder groups and there will no doubt be specific actions identified at the 4th IDHW as we work together to enhance the health and welfare of dogs. Thanks to Katarina Holland and Dogs Trust for this contribution to the literature on this complex topic. Other resources: Article | Video Don't know or don't care? Presentation at Human Behaviour Change for Animals Conference 2016. PDF Don’t Know or Don’t Care_Bonnett_Sandoe_2016 HumanBehaviourChangeConference Blog Disclaimer The contents of this blog are for informational purposes only and represent the opinion of the author(s), and not that of the International Partnership for Dogs (IPFD). This is not intended to be a substitute for professional, expert or veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. We do not recommend or endorse any specific tests, providers, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on, or linked to from this blog.
  15. We invite all participants of the 4th International Dog Health Workshop (IDHW) to present a poster to facilitate information transfer and foster networking opportunities. Posters will be displayed from the Thursday reception until Saturday lunch in the reception/coffee/public areas at the workshop venue.
  16. Following on from my blog on the Seminar for the FBDCA we are thrilled to find that the French Bulldog Club of England has shared their Breed Health and Conservation Plan (BHCP). Link here; PDF attached, below. These plans are being assembled by the health team at The Kennel Club, until recently spearheaded by Katy Evans (now the Jane H. Booker Chair in Canine Genetics at The Seeing Eye in the USA). Similar to coverage in my talk (video link here), the focus is very broad in the BHCP and makes clear the challenges ahead for this breed, internationally. The BHCP incorporates statistics from Sweden and Britain, from our IPFD Partners Agria Pet Insurance/Agria Djurförsäkring and VetCompass. Work like the BHCPs in the UK, Breed-specific Breeding Strategies from Sweden (RAS) and Finland (JTO) and others will be incorporated into our new development, the IPFD Health Strategy Database for Dogs (HSDD) coming soon. Then we will be able to provide an interactive resource where 'all' health information can be accessed to inform the great efforts being made by groups throughout the world. Congrats and thanks to The KC and the French Bulldog Club of England. breed_health_and_conservation_plan_-_french_bulldog_final__1_.pdf Blog Disclaimer The contents of this blog are for informational purposes only and represent the opinion of the author(s), and not that of the International Partnership for Dogs (IPFD). This is not intended to be a substitute for professional, expert or veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. We do not recommend or endorse any specific tests, providers, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on, or linked to from this blog.
  17. Ian Seath, a great friend and collaborator of IPFD has provided a clearly and thoughtfully profiled an article from our Partners at The Kennel Club in the UK in his post: NEARLY 20 YEARS OF DNA TESTING – WHAT CAN WE LEARN? Ian does a great job of summarizing and highlighting the material in this important paper and I will let you read his coverage, and, as he suggests, the original paper: "I don’t want to dwell on the detail of the research; you can read that for yourself, here: https://goo.gl/PiQmMF – I want to discuss how and why this paper might be important. The study covers the results of 8 DNA tests in 8 breeds for the period 2000 to 2017. 2 of the DNA tests applied to 2 breeds, resulting in 10 test+breed combinations. The key metric used to measure progress was the Mutation Frequency ...". In essence, for these tests in these breeds, the authors, Tom Lewis and Cathryn Mellersh, respected geneticists, go beyond the findings in specific dogs to calculate a broader impact on inheritance. The paper shows the tremendous potential for validated tests, used appropriately to positively impact the health of breeds. Ian's suggestions on how The KC could take these findings further by considering how to incorporate in registration and breeding strategies are on point. In his section on "Wider Implications?" Ian also highlights some of the cautions that must also be taken into consideration, and further, says: "There are over 700 inherited disorders and traits in dogs, of which around 300 have a genetically simple mode of inheritance and around 150 available DNA tests. This tells us that we should not rely on DNA testing to solve the “problem” of diseases in pedigree dogs." Building on this, and without detracting in any way from the research, its impact or Ian's excellent discussion, I want to stress further caution. Accepting that this is strong evidence that "DNA testing works!" we must be clear that this has been shown for these tests in these breeds and our enthusiasm must not expand to include all genetic testing, across the board, as being proven as impactful by this study. These are primarily simply inherited, very specific, well-characterized, but relatively rare conditions with well-validated tests. Certainly we are optimistic that there are now, and will be more, test-by-breed-by-condition combinations that will also support health strategies and breeding decisions. But it is extremely important to remember that only a small proportion of the conditions affecting dogs will fall into this category, even a small proportion of those for which genetic tests are or will be available. In terms of perspective, the IPFD Harmonization of Genetic Testing in Dogs (HGTD) database lists over 250 genetic tests marketed to over 400 breeds/varieties. So I echo Ian's recommendations that even as we take this as good news, we: look to researchers and breed advisors to continue their work to not only identify potentially useful tests but also to monitor them as they are used to determine their impact we continue to educate consumers and breeders on the complexities of genetic testing, as well as, the realistic benefits and limitations of genetic tests and testing and we promote and support balanced, 'Big Picture' development of breed-health strategies that consider not only genetic testing but all other available tools to help define the health and disease picture within breeds as well. The IPFD HGTD is in place to support genetic counselling; and the Expert Panel development to provide informed advice and the Health Strategies Database for Dogs including an interactive resource supporting that Big Picture view are coming soon to help all stakeholders do their best for dogs and their owners as we navigate the complexities of dog health and welfare. Kudos again to Drs. Lewis and Mellersh, and The KC for stellar work and to Ian Seath for his insightful commentary. This is progress – over 20 years. One can be optimistic that there will be many more advances in the next 20 years if we focus on both the details and the broad perspective. See also: New Research blog on the same article. Blog Disclaimer The contents of this blog are for informational purposes only and represent the opinion of the author(s), and not that of the International Partnership for Dogs (IPFD). This is not intended to be a substitute for professional, expert or veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. We do not recommend or endorse any specific tests, providers, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on, or linked to from this blog.
  18. IPFD has an ongoing role to report on international activities for health and welfare for dogs and to serve as an information hub. Issues with brachycephalic dogs continue to be at the forefront of health efforts by many stakeholders. Our partners at the Swedish Kennel Club have recently posted information on two initiatives involving 'Trubbnosar' (short nosed) breeds. 1. We previously posted information on the activities of the SKK in brachycephalic health , as well as, a new, collaborative research study on an inventory of dogs of several brachycephalic breeds and their health status. "The purpose of the inventory is to create a better picture of the respective breed's situation, genetic width and exterior variation. The hope is to find sufficient variation both exterior and genetic to ensure a healthy development of these breeds with the reduction of BOAS-related health problems." There is a notice on the SKK site of events where individuals are being invited to bring their dogs to participate. Great to see that this effort involves research, grass-root support, gives individual owners an evaluation of their dog and brings awareness to health and welfare issues in these breeds. 2. As of next year, the Swedish Kennel Club is expanding the rules concerning show dogs with health issues, especially breathing problems. "Dogs have been disqualified due to ill health since 1998 but now SKK will tighten up the penalties." In an effort to make sure affected dogs are not used in breeding programs, dogs disqualified from the show ring because of ill health may be excluded from "all forms of exhibition, exams, competitions and breeding". It seems the program will incorporates 'due process' that may involve additional review, veterinary examinations and the possibility of appeals. The hope is surely that breeders/owners will (eventually) be discouraged from bringing affected dogs into the ring and that, therefore, the dogs seen by the public and used in breeding will tend towards less extreme, healthy individuals. See: https://www.skk.se/sv/nyheter/2019/2/osunda-hundar-kan-stangas-av/ Note: my translator unfortunately gives me "Unhealthy dogs can be turned off" as the (literal) title of this article... but clearly meaning they can be 'eliminated' in some sense. We are working on an inventory of all of our brachycephalic resources... and we will continue to highlight efforts by all of our Partners.
  19. I was honored to address the French Bulldog Club of America at their National Specialty in Louisville, KY on October 31st, 2018. The invitation came from the Health & Genetics Committee of the French Bull Dog Club of America (FBDCA). This invitation was prompted by my presentation on the IPFD Harmonization of Genetic Testing initiative at the AKC-CHF Health Conference in St. Louis in August 2017. Jan Grebe, Calvin Dykes and the others on the Committee stressed that the "club is dedicated to Frenchie health, and the harmonization project will be an invaluable resource for breeders". The final presentation, following discussions with the committee, reflected various issues impacting the breed - and I complement the FBDCA on their interest in health and welfare of their breed and in both a national and international perspective. French Bulldogs are challenged by issues including alarming increase in numbers, health concerns related to the brachycephalic condition and scrutiny by veterinary and regulatory groups throughout the world. The FBDCA video-taped the presentation and we have made this available here. It was quite an experience to be in a hotel with about 300 French Bulldogs. The incredible commitment and attachment that Frenchie owners have for these dogs was very evident. I was excited to see information and videos on the increased interest in performance activities for this breed. What a great way to identify and highlight those dogs who are healthy and active. See other relevant resources on brachycephalic issues internationally and coverage of these issues from the 3rd International Dog Health Workshop (IDHW) in our discussion paper. More international actions for health and welfare will undoubtedly be forthcoming following the 4th IDHW in May, in the UK.
  20. I have frequently heard people say that what they are doing is 'for the dogs'' when it might seem it is mainly for their own goals.- but the Swedish Kennel Club has posted an informative video about the Breed Specific Instructions that makes it clear that the only goal with this program is to promote the health and welfare of dogs. Renowned judges explain why they think their role in promoting health and welfare is so important. We have lots of information on the BSI and the Swedish Breed-Specific Breeding Strategies, in general (as well as, lists of breeds with breed specific strategies from several countries on DogWellNet.com and this video really puts it all in perspective. We all know that health and welfare of dogs is the responsibility of all stakeholders in the dog world and judges are no exception. The impact of dog shows and the awarding of wins to specific dogs has a big impact on the public perception of pedigree dogs, in general, and also of specific breeds. It is crucial that dogs that achieve success in these increasingly 'prime time', public displays epitomize the best of the best - not just in looks, but also in health. All organizations licensing dog judges insist on 'judges education' but the BSI program takes it a step further, insisting that judges take responsibility in only promoting dogs without physical manifestations of conditions/ conformations that may limit health and welfare. The BSI process is followed in all Scandinavian countries, as well as several other European countries. A key part of the BSI process is the completion of reports by the judges (discussed in the video); and here is a link to an example of a report required for German Shepherd Dogs by Rad van Beheer in The Netherlands. The Canadian Kennel Club instituted an observer program in 2017, but I haven't found full details on the goals of the program. The AKC has a Field Rep program and, although at the moment I do not think these North American programs have breed-specific requirements similar to the BSI, clearly there are structures in place that could facilitate such an approach. A striking comment in the video was that judges must be on the lookout for negative trends and help ensure that these do not progress. I am not a judge; I briefly showed dogs in the distant past; and I am often concerned by what I see at show events. I was recently at the National Specialty of the French Bulldog Club of America in Louisville, KY, USA, at the end of October 2018. It was an honor to talk to the club members who are concerned about health issues in this breed. However, I was confused by seeing many dogs being shown that clearly had no actual tails (maybe 2 coccyx vertebrae), clearly so in the eyes of this veterinarian, and described as such by the competitors as a recent trend. And yet, I was repeatedly assured that 'the standard specifies that a French Bulldog must have a tail'. Such a contradiction, such an extreme, would presumably not be allowed, under the BSI, especially when this is not a cosmetic change, but a structural one. It is particularly concerning given that we know that French Bulldogs have an increased risk for spinal abnormalities and a new paper suggests that selection for screw tails may have led to a syndrome of abnormalities in both English and French Bulldogs. Every one who has bred dogs knows that focus on one characteristic, especially going for extremes, can lead to occurrence of unforeseen consequences. Nothing happens in isolation with breeding and selection. Congrats to the Swedes for this video and I hope it will encourage more judges to take an approach like this - regardless of whether or not they are under a requirement to do so. Because our activities really should be 'for the dogs' sake'.
  21. Posted originally 26 July 2018; UPDATED 30 July 2018 Congratulations to the authors (Lisa Moses, Steve Niemi and Elinor Karlsson) for their commentary in Nature (and pdf, below). In “Pet genomics medicine runs wild” these authors have done a great job describing the myriad challenges related to genetic testing in pets. In fact, their concerns reflect those underpinning the International Partnership for Dogs (IPFD) initiative - the Harmonization of Genetic Testing for Dogs (HGTD). The IPFD, together with an impressive team of Partners and Collaborators (national kennel clubs, animal industries, veterinary, academic, welfare and other organizations) and our Leadership Sponsor Genetic Test Providers (GTPs), is providing a practical and effective tool to support consumers, veterinarians and researchers. However, as we face these challenges, it is important to not lose sight of the phenomenal potential for genetic testing to support health, well-being and welfare in dogs, as well as aspects of human-dog interactions. Although the authors of the commentary justifiably call for this segment to have some controls, at the moment, there is no regulatory body that has the authority to impose standards on this burgeoning and unregulated industry - especially not on an international basis or in a timely fashion. Rather than waiting for consensus on controls, the IPFD (an independent, non-profit, registered in Sweden), together with our Partners, Collaborators and experts, as well as concerned GTPs, has created a platform that will provide the foundation to address many of the concerns raised in the Nature article.
  22. 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
  23. 1. will there be more than one interactive tool (like one for subject a, another for subject b, and so on)? Well, and reading below, this could be just one large flowchart with multiple branches. However, if people liked it, I could imagine other topics for which a similar walk-through educational process would be good. 2. did you want it to have its own page or be a widget (i can do both, but was curious if it needed either/or)? I am not fully committed either way...I suppose with a page it allows you to give them more details and link to it from other articles, etc. But I could also see it as a widget as a box or sidebar within the appropriate section... or multiple sections. I guess as a widget you could have it on multiple pages. So how is that for a non-answer? Did you have suggestions? 3. are the answers gonna be yes/no or will there be multiple options to choose from? There will be multiple choices... or at least that is our plan, e.g.: Why are you thinking about doing DNA testing? a) too determine what breed my dog is; b) to determine if my dog has disease X; c) to determine my dog's risk for disease X or other diseases before breeding. etc etc. And like in the flowchart I sent you, the options could be linear or even spread out in the middle and then come back to various options at the end. Also... within questions there would be options to click for more information or definitions before they answer the question. 4. will they be able to go back to change a previous answer or will the need to start over? It might be nice for them to go back, if for example, on going onward they realize they specified the wrong thing. Or because they want to see what happens if they change an answer. One thing I didn't say before, but it would be lovely if they could generate a summary of the questions, their responses, and the simple explanations (not all the details of links, etc.). ... say print / PDF that they might be able to take with them to discuss with a vet or other advisor. If that is not a massive complication. And, it would be nice to be able to produce a similar flowchart that gives people and overview of the resource, But maybe we would generate a flowchart in the planning process. Another question: Would it be possible for people to, say, get halfway through, save their answers, and come back to it later? i think that is all the questions i have, i had more, but they really rely on the answers to these questions I installed the LMS software i was talking about the other day (moodle) even tho its very expansive, it doesn't have anything like this on it, or even in third party plugins. the closest i could find was a "flowchart" generator, which its interface was horribly inefficient and very confusing. if it is gonna be a one off thing, like you are only going to have it for one specific thing, it might be easier and far cheaper to just finish up the flow chart and have me turn into a interactive page without making it an app. as making it an app would require extensive work in the interface for the acp, as tit would require a custom one, and could easily take 20 to 30 hours to develop to do it "properly" (unless i can find code i can cannibalize, which i haven't been able to just yet). So, as I said above, I think if we had this as an App that could be easily adapted to new topics. And, if we can get this funded adequately, maybe that wouldn't be a problem. However, if we can generate a flowchart very quickly and easily and cheaply, then perhaps funding wouldn't be an issue. And we could then do that multiple times as needed. If you do it as an app, I guess it might allow us to create new tools without needing a lot of support? But maybe we could do that with the flowchart thingee? Could you develop two proposals... one just flowchart and one for a full on App? And I guess I am interested in a time frame. I.e. if it is 20 to 30 hours, would that likely be spread over several months?? Would you/ we be able to sell either of these or only the App?
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