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Theme attended at 3rd IDHW in Paris

Found 88 results

  1. Index of International Dog Health Workshops. IPFD International Dog Health Workshops The 1st International Dog Health Workshop was organized by the Swedish Kennel Club and held in June 2012 in Stockholm. The 2nd International Dog Health Workshop was coordinated by IPFD and the German Kennel Club (VDH) and held in Dortmund, Germany in February 2015. The 3rd IDHW in Paris in April 2017 was coordinated by IPFD and the French Kennel Club. Moving forward, the IPFD is responsible for the International Dog Health Workshops and will partner with other organizations who will be the Host and responsible for logistics. The 4th IDHW hosted by The Kennel Club was held May 30 to 1 June, 2019 in Windsor, UK.
  2. 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
  3. Brenda Bonnett

    French Bulldog Health Seminar October 2018

    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.
  4. 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
  5. For many years, Agria Animal Insurance, Sweden (Agria Djurförsäkring, Stockholm, Sweden) has supported veterinary research and provided basic statistics on diagnoses for health and life claims to Swedish breed clubs. Since 1995, Agria has collaborated with and funded researchers, from universities in Sweden and other countries, to produce scientific publications on descriptive and analytical research from their database. Since 2002, continuing their devotion to the health and well-being of dogs and their ongoing cooperation with the Swedish Kennel Club, Agria has produced information on both health care and life insurance claims in a format requested by and developed in consultation with breed clubs. Initially, information from 1995-2002 was compiled on 80 breeds and Mixed Breeds on 11 CDs (see the Agria Dog Breed Profiles ). The CDs were given free to those breed clubs and remaining copies are available to the public. Subsequently, the material has been developed into an even more accessible form - the Updates. These are given to Swedish breed clubs, and the information is incorporated into various health programs. Updates (2006-2011) for 118 breeds are available in our Downloads or links through our Pedigreed Dogs database (access is restricted to Advanced Members and IPFD Partners) You can view a list of these breeds and available insurance data here: BREED LIST updates nov 2014.pdf Click the following link for an overview of the Agria Updated Dog Breed Statistics (Description; Background Information and Hints on Interpretation): Description and Background to the Agria Updated Dog Breed Statistics 2006-2011.pdf. This information is also included in the downloadable file for each breed. Download an FAQ document for the Agria Dog Breed Statistics here: Agria Dog Breed Statistics FAQs.pdf Quick Links - Breeds with Agria Insurance Data on DWN – 11-4-2017 • Afghan Hound • Airedale Terrier • American Cocker Spaniel • American Staffordshire Terrier • Australian Cattle Dog • Australian Kelpie • Australian Shepherd • Basset Hound • Beagle • Beauceron • Bernese Mountain Dog • Bichon Frise • Bichon Havanais • Border Collie • Border Terrier • Borzoi • Bouvier des Flandres • Boxer • Briard • Bull Terrier • Bullmastiff • Cairn Terrier • Cane Corso • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel • Chihuahua • Chinese Crested • Chow Chow • Collie, Rough • Collie, Smooth • Dachshund, Miniature • Dachshund, Standard • Dalmatian • Danish-Swedish Farmdog • Dobermann • Dogue De Bordeaux • Drever • East Siberian Laika • Elkhound, Norwegian Grey • Elkhound, Swedish • Elkhound, White • English Bulldog • English Cocker Spaniel • English Setter • English Springer Spaniel • Eurasier • Finnish Hound • Finnish Lapphund • Finnish Spitz • Flat Coated Retriever • Fox Terrier • French Bulldog • Geman Hunting Terrier • German Longhaired Pointer • German Shepherd • German Shorthaired Pointer • German Wirehaired Pointer • Golden Retriever • Great Pyrenees • Greyhound • Groenendael • Halleforshund • Hamilton Hound • Hovawart • Icelandic Sheepdog • Irish Red Setter • Irish Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier • Irish Wolfhound • Italian Greyhound • Jack Russell Terrier • Japanese Chin • Karelian Bear Dog • Labrador Retriever • Lagotto Romagnolo • Leonberger • Malinois • Newfoundland • Norfolk Terrier • Norrbottenspitz • Norwegian Buhund • Norwich Terrier • Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever • Papillon • Parson Russell Terrier • Pomeranian • Poodle, Miniature • Poodle, Standard • Poodle, Toy • Portuguese Water Dog • Pug • Rhodesian Ridgeback • Rottweiler • Saluki • Shiller Hound • Schnauzer Giant • Schnauzer Miniature • Schnauzer Standard • Scottish Deerhound • Scottish Terrier • Shetland Sheepdog • Shih Tzu • Spanish Water Dog • St. Bernhard • Stabyhoun • Staffordshire Bull Terrier • Swedish Lapphund • Swedish Vallhund • Tervueren • The Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen • Tibetan Spaniel • Tibetan Terrier • Wachtelhund • Welsh Springer Spaniel • West Highland White Terrier • West Siberian Laika • Whippet • White Swiss Shepherd Dog • Yorkshire Terrier
  6. 2019 - UK - February 4th from The Kennel Club And Cambridge We are thrilled to read news about a Scheme launched to improve health of French Bulldogs, Pugs and Bulldogs... "A new screening scheme aims to provide breeders of French Bulldogs, Pugs and Bulldogs with more information about the health of their dogs, helping them reduce the risk of breeding puppies with potentially serious breathing problems." See more on the scheme at The University of Cambridge and The Kennel Club's website...
  7. IKFB: French Bulldog Club (Germany) - Walking test for French Bulldog, Pugs and English Bulldogs Also see: DWN's article on the IKFB - Dr. Anne Posthoff, the president of the German International Club for French Bulldogs, explains why the rules for breeding French Bulldogs in Germany are amongst the strictest in the world. Hot Topics - Brachycephalics, archive - DWN and Extremes of Conformation - Brachycephalics
  8. Here we feature a text entitled The struggle against hypertypes: an old dog fancier’s point of view, by Raymond Triquet, France from the book, Standards, Health and Genetics in the Dog. (Read more about the book here.) "PREAMBLE... This text has been published in French in three journals (Ethnozootechnie, Revue de la Cynophilie Française, and the Bulletin de la SADB); the originality of its presentation in this book does not therefore lie in a new version of the text in French, but in its distribution to a wider international audience through its English translation." The English Version The struggle against hypertypes - an old dog fancier's point of view (full) Raymond Triquet (France) -PDF- For the French version see - Ethnozootechnie n° 93 – 2012. pp 89-92. LA LUTTE CONTRE LES HYPERTYPES, LE POINT DE VUE D'UN VIEUX CYNOPHILE -- Raymond TRIQUET (Internal link) _cle0fcd21-141.pdf
  9. Canine Genetics and Epidemiology (2018) O'Neill, D G and Baral, L and Church, D B and Brodbelt, D C and Packer, R M A (2018) Demography and disorders of the French Bulldog population under primary veterinary care in the UK in 2013. Canine Genetics and Epidemiology, 5 (3).
  10. Ann Milligan

    Cambridge Puppy Nostril Study

    Cambridge University is carrying out an important research project into the development of the nostrils in brachycephalic (short-faced) dog breeds. The breeds in this study are French Bulldogs, English Bulldogs and Pugs.
  11. With the 5-generation pedigree, we have reached the limits of printed genealogical documents. The future of purebred dog selection will be digital! The Société Centrale Canine has followed the good example of other Kennel clubs (The Kennel Club with Mate Select, Swedish Kennel Club with Avelsdata and Finnish Kennel Club with Koiranet) and developed a new decision support tool for breeders: LOF Select.
  12. Brenda Bonnett

    "We do this for the dogs' sake"

    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'.
  13. Vincent Mayousse1,3,5*, Loïc Desquilbet2, Aurélien Jeandel1,4 and Stéphane Blot1,3,5 Mayousse et al. BMC Veterinary Research (2017) 13:212 DOI 10.1186/s12917-017-1132-2 Available online at Biomed Central: https://bmcvetres.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12917-017-1132-2 Prevalence of neurological disorders in French bulldog: a retrospective study of 343 cases (2002–2016) Abstract Background: French Bulldog (FB) has significantly gained in popularity over the last few years, and seems to be frequently affected by various neurological conditions. The purpose of this retrospective study was to report the prevalences of neurological diseases in a large population of FB, presented with neurological signs between 2002 and 2016, and for which a definitive diagnosis was established. A secondary objective was to identify epidemiological characteristics regarding specific diseases in this singular breed.
  14. Club du Bouledogue Français CBF ACTION FOR THE HEALTH AND WELL-BEING OF THE FRENCH BULLDOG CURRENT SITUATION AND PROSPECTS See the article prepared for DogWellNet on the work of the French Bulldog Club for maintaining the health and well-being of the breed. This article was validated by the committee of the association at its meeting of November 27, 2016.
  15. Ann Milligan

    Bulldog Coat Color

    Exploration of coat color in the English Bulldog. The discussion includes an exploration of coat colors that are deemed acceptable under the breed standards for this breed and other breeds. Many thanks to our content partner Hélène Denis -- Club du Bulldog Anglais for sharing this content with the DWN community. Please find below links to two versions of the article - the original French version and and English translation. The article is written by Professor Bernard Denis – a well-known specialist of colors in dogs - who offers his opinion on the matter of coat color and the exotic colors. This is the article will be published in the “CLUB DU BULLDOG France” magazine.
  16. There is a steady stream of articles / work / initiatives coming in relative to those brachy breeds identified as highest risk for health and welfare issues. Coming from KCs - e.g. SKK... (See the background of and supportive documentation for this NKU project below...) the Mops Club, Netherlands... See the recent discussion of main features of the BALV (outcross, approval and stricter breeding rules) and communication with government and other KC's... and from the veterinary sector ... e.g. FECAVA... ‘Extreme breeding’ of companion animals: Raising public awareness is key In general, the work is based on scientific evidence. Of course, some of the initiatives (measurements etc) are 'new' and not yet fully proven in efficacy for what is proposed. Regardless of the basis, these proposal evoke extreme emotional and even personal responses (e.g. FB, confrontations and disagreements, etc.). Because... at heart these issues relate to a seemingly widespread human attraction to 'extremes'. We are happy to also present excellent articles on avoidance of extremes in other breeds - e.g. Dachshunds and Rottweilers. Clearly, we need not only an evidence-based approach to deal with these issues, but also innovative communication strategies to effect change in human behaviours and attitudes. Background information Brachycephalic projects by the Nordic Kennel Union's affiliated Kennel Clubs is available at: 2018 - SKK's work for brachycephalic health Of particular interest are project planning documents put together by the NKU's Working group and SKK. These documents outline health and welfare issues and offer proposed actions, definitions, parameters and procedures for evaluation of dogs. 1. STATEMENTS AND PROPOSALS REGARDING RESPIRATORY HEALTH IN BRACHYCEPHALIC DOGS Internal link: NKU STATEMENTS AND PROPOSALS REGARDING RESPIRATORY HEALTH IN BRACHYCEPHALIC DOGS.pdf ADDITIONAL INFO... 2. REVEALING THE PHENOTYPIC AND GENOTYPIC VARIATION IN FOUR BRACHYCEPHALIC BREEDS (SKK) As part of the work to combat breathing problems in brakycephalics, the Swedish Kennel Club has started a project to inventory the health status in four dog breeds: Boston Terrier, English Bulldog, French Bulldog and Pug. excerpts... ♦ All these topics - extremes, breed and communication will be a focus in the 4th IDHW.... ♦
  17. IPFD DWN Editor1

    The French Kennel Club

    The French Kennel Club - SOCIÉTÉ CENTRALE CANINE (SCC) - was founded in 1881 as a non-profit organization by dog fanciers aiming to replenish native dog breeds and to bring in and establish foreign ones as well. The Société Centrale Canine became soon the reference canine organization, being recognized as a public interest organization by decree of the Council of State in April 1914. The SCC is proud to be one of the founders of the FCI in 1911, together with the Kennel Clubs from Germany, Austria, Belgium and the Netherlands. Website: https://www.centrale-canine.fr/ Follow this link for the French Kennel Club Blog at DogWellNet
  18. "More information: https://www.vet.cam.ac.uk/boas/about-... The French bulldog, bulldog, pug, pekingese, shih tzu, Japanese chin, boxer and Boston terrier are all examples of brachycephalic breeds. The most distinctive feature of these breeds is their short muzzle. Brachycephalic dogs have been bred for centuries to possess a normal-sized lower jaw, and a disproportionately shorter upper jaw. In recent decades, breeding selection for extreme brachycephalic features has resulted in dogs that are predisposed to upper airway tract obstruction and subsequent respiratory distress, among several other health issues. Although not all brachycephalic dogs suffer clinical signs, the incidence and severity of the respiratory disorders has increased. The respiratory disease related to brachycephalic confirmation is called brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome (BOAS)." Also see: U of Cambridge's BOAS NEWS page for a timeline. Extremes of Conformation: DWN Resources
  19. The book, Standards, Santé et Génétique chez le Chien / Standards, Health and Genetics in the Dog was created by the Société Centrale Canine (SCC) in collaboration with the Fédération Cynophile Internationale (F.C.I.) and the Swedish Kennel Club (SKK). Under the direction of Claude Guintard and Grégoire Leroy, the publication was presented as a tribute to Mrs. René Sporre-Willes and Mr. Raymond Triquet, longstanding chairs of the F.C.I.'s the Standards Commission, at the Third IPFD Dog Health Workshop held in Paris from April 21 to 23, 2017. Standards, Santé et Génétique chez le Chien / Standards, Health and Genetics in the Dog presents information from the world of dogs which can be applied in service to canine and human health and well-being. This work includes contributions by veterinarians, researchers, and dog-theorists who offer insights into the development of breed standards as well as the incredible advances in molecular genetics. We at DogWellNet are delighted to be able to present the content from this book's 396 pages which includes 20 texts in English and in French distributed in two large chapters. The book's Table of Contents (TOC-Standards, Santé et Génétique chez le Chien-Standards, Health and Genetics in Dogs) is available to DWN guests as well as DWN members. DWN members will have access to all of the book's texts available in DWN's Downloads section. Over the coming year we will feature texts from the book in DWN articles which will be accessible to DWN's members as well as guests. We would like to thank the book's producers and authors for their exceptional knowledge, extraordinary insights and for their willingness to share their expertise with people who are a part of the international dog community.
  20. Authors: Nai-Chieh Liu 1, Eileen L. Troconis 1, Lajos Kalmar 1, David J. Price 1, Hattie E. Wright 1, Vicki J. Adams 2, David R. Sargan 1, Jane F. Ladlow 1 *1 Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom, 2 Vet Epi, Mildenhall, Suffolk, United Kingdom Read the paper at: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0181928 PDF: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article/file?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0181928&type=printable
  21. 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
  22. On July 14th, 2016, I had the privilege of speaking with Dr. Paul McGreevy, BVSc, PhD, University of Sydney professor, researcher, veterinary specialist in behavioral medicine and expert in companion animal welfare. The complex issues affecting the welfare and behavior of purebred dogs is one area in which Dr. McGreevy focuses his research. Below are some of the topics that we discussed and an example is provided to illustrate each point. 1. The benefits of health practices differ among species. So, in one setting a health practice may be acceptable as the standard of care and in another banned. The procedure of tail docking illustrates this point well. In the book, Dilemmas in Animal Welfare, the authors discuss tail docking in general and state, "as the acute pain can be controlled…and the absence of a tail has seldom been shown to disadvantage the animals greatly, a utilitarian analysis focusing on direct effects might conclude tail docking to be an acceptable procedure where demonstrable and significant benefits are obtained." (p. 21) The modern pork operation docks tails to protect the pigs from cannibalism, a behavior that occurs in intensive rearing systems. In this case, the acute pain of tail docking benefits the herd as a whole by reducing biting injuries and infection. Of course, there is growing evidence that tail-biting can be reduced with environmental enrichment and optimal management, so the surgical approach in pig production may eventually come to an end. The American Veterinary Medical Association opposes tail docking in dogs performed for cosmetic purposes. Canine tail docking in the UK has been banned since 2006, with certain exceptions for working dogs, and additional restrictions relative to dog shows. However, the situation is not consistent across countries and in the UK further changes are being sought by The Kennel Club. More information on tail docking in the UK can be found on the British Veterinary Association's Policy position: tail docking of dogs. In the end, tail docking may be appropriate for certain species in specific situations while not appropriate in others. Overall, the inconsistencies in species' welfare-related recommendations may call into question the profession's integrity, as mentioned in the article "How might veterinarians do more for animal welfare?" 2. Studying animal welfare is challenging because it is at the intersection of the sciences and social sciences. As animal welfare scientists, it is our charge to focus on animal well-being and health, while at the same time adopting optimal practices that are feasible within the constraints of the management system. Most standardized approaches to animal welfare focus on the animal specifically, but not necessarily how obtainable the goals are for veterinarians, breeders, and producers. For example, The Five Freedoms, originally written in 1965, emphasize "avoidance of unnecessary suffering and the provision of needs", including protecting animals from disease/pain, thirst/hunger, discomfort, fear, and allowing them to express natural behaviors. Although never intended to provide a checklist or to be equally weighted, they have attracted some criticism for being too ambitious or simplistic. David Fraser's adapted model of animal welfare focuses on the intersection of an animal's health, affective states, and natural living. While both of the above models have been influential in the development of animal welfare science, their implementation is challenged by other factors — such as productivity and profitability, the animal caretaker's well being, and management feasibility. By adopting a more integrative approach, we can develop ways to improve animal welfare — making it more accessible to the public, veterinarians, breeders, and producers and at the same time enhancing business outcomes. 3. Veterinarians can improve the welfare of breeding dogs. A case example is the critical role veterinarians play when performing cesarean sections on dog breeds that cannot deliver naturally. For these breeds, their biological fitness is reliant on a veterinarian's ability to surgically deliver the puppies. This highlights the need for continued work between breeders and veterinarians because, in the case of cesareans, the fate of the breed is dependent on us. Our training allows us to help the individual dog but are we perpetuating genetic problems? One article used breed club data to determine the "Proportion of litters of purebred dogs born by caesarean section". For the Boston terrier, Bulldog, and French bulldog, the rates of cesarean section were greater than 80%. Cesarean sections give veterinarians the opportunity to work directly with breeder clients, but in doing so are we providing adequate breeding advice in the form of genetic counselling? Do veterinarians receive proper training to educate clients? Are we even involved in these discussions with clients? 4. There can be unintended consequences in advancing animal welfare. An article on the challenges associated with pedigree dog health, explains that although the incidence of inherited disease can be decreased through the use of genetic tests and screening, if fewer animals are then in the breeding population, this can lead to the unintended consequence of reduced genetic diversity. Reducing the breeding pool, could result in the inadvertent outcome of enhancing inherited disease. It raises the probable need for outcrossing to other breeds. In addition, some breeds may not have enough genetic diversity in their population to correct some of the challenges with inherited disease. This is described in "A genetic assessment of the English bulldog". The study cites the small founder population and artificial bottleneck as causes for the lack of diversity. Additionally, selection for certain traits can have unintended consequences. One study describes the causative mutation for short-tailed dogs as heterozygous in a variety of breeds. The genetic basis of bobtails is of interest to breeders because of the perceived need for tail docking in certain breeds. However, this defect was shown in the study to decrease litter size, likely due to early embryonic death of homozygous animals. As a result of this conversation, I saw additional angles to the breeding dog debate and Dr. McGreevy provided insightful challenges related to purebred dogs that sparked my interest about further perspectives on animal welfare. By looking at these, and other animal welfare-related complexities from multiple angles, veterinarians can be more proactive in leading animal welfare discussions. Reference: Appleby, M.C., Weary, D.M., Sandoe, P. (2014). Dilemmas in Animal Welfare. Oxfordshire, UK: CAB International. For more information about Dr. McGreevy's educational platform developed for veterinary students, see: One Welfare Brachycephalic Dog Scenario Overview article on the One Welfare Platform Additionally, see the article published on welfare educational opportunities in the U.S. for additional ideas on how to get more involved in thinking about animal welfare. Photo source: http://www.hillspet.com/HillsPetUS/v1/portal/en/us/locale/img/about_us/HP_about_animalwelfare_section1_md.jpg
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