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Ann Milligan

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About Ann Milligan

  • Rank
    Administrator

Profile Information

  • Region
    North America
  • Location
    California
  • Country
    United States
  • Current Affiliation
    IPFD-DWN website
  • Position / Title
    DogWellNet Website Content Manager
  • Interests
    Dog Breeding
    Dog Health
    Training / Performance
    Dog Shows
    Event Planning
    Genetics
    Judging
    Education
    Research
    Dog Behavior
    Legal/Regulatory Issues
    Kennel Clubs
    Breed Club
    Human-Dog Interactions
  • Academic Credentials
    Bachelors degree
    Judging Certification
  • Expertise/Proficiencies
    Dog Training
    Dog Shows/Exhibitions
    Dog Breeding
    Writing/Communication
  • Specific Breed(s) of Interest
    all
  • Breed Club Rep; Board Member or Breeding/ Health Committee member
    No
  • Attended an International Dog Health Workshop
    No
  • Theme attended at 3rd IDHW in Paris
    Breed-Specific Health Strategies

Recent Profile Visitors

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  1. The Extremes of Conformation Theme has been discussed at the Dog Health Workshops held in 2012, 2015, 2017 and 2019. This document provides a timeline-based group of resources available on DogWellNet including articles, blogs and links to plenary presentations from the workshops. brachy - extremes theme - dwn - idhw - 1-4 - timeline.pdf During the past decade a great deal has been accomplished to address health and welfare issues that relate to conformation extremes across breeds. Particular focus has been paid to health challenges present in the short muzzled breeds, several of which have become exceedingly popular in recent years. Efforts have included scientific research, Kennel and Breed Club educational programs, involvements by veterinary associations located throughout the world and governmental approaches to regulating breeds provide an informed view of how extremes can impact health and welfare of dogs - views come from different stakeholder groups. We at DWN are pleased to be a part of sharing information from the Dog Health Workshops as well as other collected resources with the community.
  2. Packer RMA, O’Neill DG, Fletcher F, Farnworth MJ (2019) Great expectations, inconvenient truths, and the paradoxes of the dog-owner relationship for owners of brachycephalic dogs. PLoS ONE 14(7): e0219918. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0219918 Abstract Popularity of brachycephalic (flat-faced) dog breeds is increasing internationally despite well-documented intrinsic health and welfare problems associated with their conformation. Given this apparent paradox, greater understanding of the expectations and reality for brachycephalic dog owners and factors driving the dog-owner bond are needed. This study reports a large-scale online survey with valid responses from 2168 owners of brachycephalic dogs (Pugs: n = 789, median age of dogs 2.5 years; French Bulldog: n = 741, median age 2.0 years; Bulldogs: n = 638, median age 2.5 years). The most common owner-reported disorders in their dogs were allergies, corneal ulcers, skin fold infections and Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS). One-fifth (19.9%) of owners reported that their dog had undergone at least one conformation-related surgery, 36.5% of dogs were reported with a problem with heat regulation, and 17.9% with problems breathing. Despite awareness of their dog’s health issues, 70.9% owners considered their dog to be in very good health or the best health possible. Paradoxically, just 6.8% of owners considered their dog to be less healthy than average for their breed. Dog owner-relationships were extremely strong across all three breeds. Emotional closeness to their dog was highest for owners of Pugs, female owners, and owners with no children in the household. Ownership of brachycephalic dog breeds is a complex phenomenon, characterised by extremely strong dog-owner relationships and unrealistic perceptions of good health set against high levels of disease in relatively young dogs. Perceptual errors in owner beliefs appear to exist between brachycephalic owner perspectives of their own dog’s health versus the health of the rest of their breed, which may be fuelled by cognitive dissonance processes. These novel data improve our understanding of the cognitive processes and relationships that facilitate the rising popularity of breeds that paradoxically are affected by high levels of conformation-related morbidity. Comment: Breeder View This study may be of interest to clubs or breeders who are responsible for educating buyers regarding health concerns present in Pugs, Bulldogs and French Bulldogs. Value exists in educating potential owners of these breeds as to health concerns that may impact owner experiences with their dogs over a given dog's lifetime. The reality is, the dog's ages represented in this survey may have had a some influence on owner assessments of costs of veterinary care and of owner perceptions of time and resources dedicated to caring for their dog - costs and perceptions that may change as their dog ages. It was not entirely clear to me the source of dogs whose owners participated in this survey - in other words from whom were the dogs purchased - show breeders (health tested/conformation evaluated dogs) or other sources. The references listed in this research provide perspective. DogWellNet has collected a number of resources that address the Brachycephalic Issue. The IPFD's Dog Health Workshops have included plenary talks from the Extremes of Conformation theme in which stakeholder concerns over management of health and welfare in brachycephalic breeds and actions to improve matters are addressed. Related article: JAVMA: Owners of brachycephalic dogs are a complicated lot Posted Oct. 9, 2019 https://www.avma.org/News/JAVMANews/Pages/191101h.aspx This article is an easy read and summarizes the study.
  3. The severity of Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS) is assessed by means of walk tests. With the help of walk tests, individuals with the most severe symptoms can be eliminated from breeding.
  4. For some time, pet obesity has been recognized as a crucial, widespread issue that impacts the health, welfare, and lifespan of dogs. Earlier in 2019, following the 4th IDHW, IPFD endorsed the Global Pet Obesity Initiative Position Statement, joining 24 International Veterinary Professional Organizations, including the American Veterinary Medical Association Board of Directors, British Small Animal Veterinary Association, Canadian Veterinary Medical Association, World Small Animal Veterinary Association, among others. Pet obesity is a studied health and welfare issue that is, presumably, quite straightforward... and under control of owners to fix. However, as for issues around human obesity, in reality the situation can be more complicated; and recent studies have examined some of the complexities, for people and their pets. An IPFD collaborator, Prof. Peter Sandoe (University of Copenhagen), and others published a paper in 2014 on Canine and feline obesity: A One Health perspective that offers a broad coverage of the problem, why it is important, how the Human-Animal Bond impacts challenges, and, importantly, "Why we should care". From the article: "Recent years have seen a drastic increase in the rates of overweight and obesity among people living in some developed nations. There has also been increased concern over obesity in companion animals. In the latest article in Veterinary Record's series on One Health, Peter Sandøe and colleagues argue that the relationship between obesity in people and in companion animals is closer and more complex than previously thought, and that obesity should be treated as a One Health problem." Below, under Recent Research you will find articles that address specific challenges, including perception of obesity and inaccurate assessment of body conditions score (as a measure of obesity). The evolution of obesity: from evolutionary advantage to a disease describes the historical perspectives and the current situation: "Obesity as a disease was first described by Hippocrates" ... and ... "in 1920’s the Insurance Companies, in 1948 World Health Organisation and in 2013 both American Medical Association and The American Heart Association, American College of Cardiology and The Obesity Society recognized obesity as a disease." As described above, this approach has also been taken in the veterinary world. These acknowledgements are made with the goal of facilitating treatment, promoting research, and with an aim to curb this growing health and public health problem. Obesity can cause or worsen many health conditions, and the risk is enhanced for certain breeds and types of pets. Brachycephalic (flat-faced pets), already challenged in terms of respiratory function and heat regulation, are further compromised if overweight. This can be viewed as not only a health problem, but also as a welfare problem - but many owners remain unaware. See, e.g. Owners' perception of 'responsible dog ownership in our Blogs section. Veterinarians can offer clients sound advice for management of their pet to optimize health. Here, we'll feature work done by IPFD's collaborators as well as provide links to industry reports, research and educational tool kits which have been developed to assist owners and veterinary practices. Check out articles, surveys and other important info at the Global Pet Obesity Initiative's website + see the 2019 Pet Owner Survey - An opportunity to contribute! US Residents: would you like to participate in ongoing research into obesity? The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention is conducting the 12th Annual National Pet Obesity Awareness Day Survey This survey was opened to US residents on October 9, 2019. To participate, sign up here. Veterinary practice/clinic participation in this organization's 2020 pet weight data collection survey next October is sought as well.
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    ON THE ORIGINS OF BREED TYPES BY MEANS OF HUMAN ACTION Slides from Peter Friedrich's plenary talk from the 4th IDHW, Windsor, 31 May 2019 Also see: Friedrich, Peter, 2018, Questionable Phenotypic Traits in the Rottweiler - which offers information on valuable breed traits, comments on the "Redesigned Rottweilers with extreme characteristics..." i.e. the impacts of trendiness supported by media and human motivations to possess special, extravagant and innovative dogs."
  6. Purdue University News - Press release - Your dog might be hiding its true colors From the Press release... " New research from Purdue University’s College of Veterinary Medicine shows that some breeds of dogs have hidden coat colors – and in some cases, other traits – that have been lurking all along. Example: There are around 18 recognized breeds of dogs that have the genetic potential to be born without a tail – such as the popular Australian Shepherd (shown in photo). But the data shows that up to 48 of the breeds analyzed possess the tailless gene variant, usually at a very low frequency." Wisdom Health - Press release - First-of-its-kind study reveals genetic traits determining coat colors and physical appearance in over 200 dog breeds November 2019 From the Press release... "As our study demonstrates, purebred dogs have so much more than meets the eye - literally. The information provided by a WISDOM PANEL dog DNA test can help us better understand the hidden elements of dog genetics," said Dr. Angela Hughes DVM PhD, veterinarian and canine genetics expert at Wisdom Health. "While our study focused primarily on purebred populations, these hidden traits can also have ramifications for mixed breed dogs. When unexpected or hidden traits are passed to mixed breed dogs from their purebred ancestors, it further complicates the already difficult task of visual breed identification making DNA tests the only reliable method of determining breed ancestry." Read the study... True Colors: Commercially-acquired morphological genotypes reveal hidden allele variation among dog breeds, informing both trait ancestry and breed potential Comment: Extracted content of interest to dog breeders & breed managers... See S3 Table. Unfavorable or “fault” phenotypes possible by breed and breed registry. "Breeds genotyped to have alleles that would produce phenotypes considered as a “fault” by either the American Kennel Club (AKC), Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI), United Kennel Club (UKC), or The Kennel Club of the UK (KC). The level of tolerance within each breed registry is designated as either not allowed (N), not preferred (n.p.), allowed (Y), or ambiguously worded (amb.). A breed not recognized by a given organization is indicated with a dash (-). Inheritance of the fault-causing allele is designated as dominant (D), recessive (R), or compound heterozygote (CH). Breed name abbreviations are as listed in S1 Table. Probabilities for producing the non-standard phenotype were calculated assuming random mating within the breed, and account for multi-gene inheritance, expression, and epistatic effects." https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0223995.s005 " Much recent emphasis has been placed on the importance of genetic diversity within breeds [69–76]. With the conservation of diversity in mind, breeders and breed organizations must weigh the relative value of breed standard conformity with preservation of genetic diversity. The existence of unfavorable, though arguably benign pigmentation or morphological variations, has here been quantified and can be addressed by applied genetic screening to reduce the carrier frequency of breeding stock, or by reassessing breed standards to broaden the acceptance of preexisting variation. Likewise, though our analyses have indicated that production of disallowed phenotypes is generally quite low, the occurrence of an undesirable pigmentation trait should not necessarily exclude a dog from purebred status if that variant has been detected in the appropriate population. As a recent example, effective 1 January 2019, the Great Dane Club of America revised their breed standard to allow merle coloring on a black base. Canine genetic research has clarified that the presence of the merle allele is required for the Harlequin phenotype [14]; since this relationship was previously unclear, the breed had not allowed merle (without the Harlequin modifier) until this change. These revisions demonstrate the purebred dog community recognizing and willingly implementing the findings from canine genetic research. The present work will guide similar decision-making by breed clubs regarding definition of acceptable breed colors. "
  7. From - Standards, Health and Genetics in Dogs - Chapter II - Genetic testing in dogs - Marie Abitbol (France) "The first part of this chapter presents the genetic characteristics of the canine species and the basics of canine genetics. The second part addresses the use of screening and diagnostic tests for inherited diseases, with a focus on genetic counselling and the parameters that determine the interpretation of test results. The third part concentrates on the search for informations on canine inherited diseases and the tests available. The final part presents tests for aesthetic characteristics such as coat colour."
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    Jerold Bell outlines concerns involved with use of genetic tests - 2012 IDHW
  9. Jerold S Bell DVM (jerold.bell@tufts.edu) Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University presented this article at the 2019 AKC Canine Health Foundation National Parent Club Canine Health Conference. The article has been reprinted here with the written permission of the author.
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    Establishing Science-Based Standards for the Care and Welfare of Dogs in US Commercial Breeding Facilities 4th IDHW presenter, Candace Croney's, talk covers Purdue's Center for Animal Welfare Science (CAWS) project which "aims to help the US pet industries address the socio-ethical and scientific (well-being) concerns embedded in commercial dog breeding. With the support of dog breeders, pet industry representatives, animal health and welfare experts, and other key stakeholders, the researchers are developing and testing voluntary standards for the care and well-being of dogs in commercial breeding facilities." More resources are available at: Purdue's Center for Animal Welfare Science (CAWS).
  11. Thought provoking - thanks Brenda! The parentage testing tangle... my questions Is there now a standardized and validated canine forensics panel & does that, if it exists, go across borders? My understanding is that uniform standards do not exist for permanent identification of dogs across registries... Cross borders... cross dbs For example: Identification Guidelines - Orthopedic Foundation for Animals/AKC Pedigree info Currently, the OFA will accept applications regardless of whether the dog has been permanently identified via tattoo or microchip. Dogs without permanent identification are assigned a NOPI suffix to the end of their OFA numbers, dogs with acceptable permanent ID are assigned a PI suffix, and dogs with VERIFIED permanent identification are assigned a VPI suffix. <https://www.ofa.org/breeder/identification-guidelines> "only those dogs with VERIFIED PERMANENT IDENTIFICATION VIA MICROCHIP OR TATTOO will have their OFA hip and elbow information transmitted to the AKC for inclusion on AKC pedigrees and registration materials. DNA profiles DO NOT count a permanent identification for health testing purposes." Is that interesting or what. I do not know how other KC based registries deal with permanent identification of dogs. I'd like to know more about that. Brenda's IDEA - nice to have: Catalog of identification strategies for registries around the world. After reading Brenda's blog a second time I did a little research on the question of 'linked' parentage and health testing dbs (a confidentiality point brought up in Brenda's blog in # 5 "Some kennel clubs, who are expanding or developing health and pedigree linked databases, are suggesting that 'all' registered dogs should have forensic identification and parental verification. ") So more questions... I do not know how parentage and heritable disease testing relate in terms of privacy concerns or crossovers between the 2 - if a dog tests positive for a deleterious genetic mutation (registration of litters denied) & that dog has relatives in a parentage db - can those relatives be subjected to further testing?
  12. In September 2019 the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) posted several videos on YouTube... below we highlight several. These presentations are substantive in their coverage of the topics with a focus on improving health and welfare of dogs. The audience for these presentations is veterinarians, although dog breeders and breed club health managers can certainly benefit from viewing/sharing this content as well.
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