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Theme attended at 3rd IDHW in Paris

  1. In This Issue: News & Highlights 3rd International Dog Health Workshop - Resources for themes of breakout sessions to be covered later this week in Paris. Stay Informed
  2. In This Issue: News & Highlights Actions Around Brachycephalic Dogs: Reports, Research, and Legislative Developments in Several Countries Make a Donation Stay Informed!
  3. News & Highlights IPFD and DogWellNet 2019-2020: Looking Back and Moving Forward... Make a Donation Stay Informed!
  4. In This Issue: Welcome to the first edition of DogWellNet.com Digest. In this issue: News & Highlights Spotlight Helpful Hint Stay Informed
  5. In This Issue: News & Highlights IPFD CEO Dr. Brenda Bonnett at the AKC-CHF 2017 National Parent Club Canine Health Conference Helpful Hint Stay Informed!
  6. In This Issue: News & Highlights A Look Ahead: IPFD and DogWellNet.com in 2018 Helpful Hint Stay Informed!
  7. In This Issue: News & Highlights Check out our new look! We're excited to introduce our new IPFD/DogWellNet.com theme! Stay Informed!
  8. Table of Contents: News & Highlights Viewing DogWellNet.com in Other Languages Helpful Hint Stay Informed!
  9. Table of Contents: News & Highlights IPFD Contributors' YouTube Resources Helpful Hint Stay Informed!
  10. News & Highlights Article in Journal Nature Puts Canine Genetic Testing Industry Under the Magnifying Glass Helpful Hint Stay Informed!
  11. 19 Oct 2020 If you’re a dog owner, or looking for a puppy what does it REALLY mean when a dog is “genetically tested”? “My dog is genetically tested” is an increasingly common statement from dog owners. We see it on breeder’s webpages as part of advertising puppies, or as information on the dam/sire… it’s common on social media as a point of pride or a mark of care and responsibility by owners… but what does genetically tested (or DNA tested) actually mean? While using genetic testing as part of pre-breeding testing is a really valuable tool, a genetically tested dog is not, in itself, a "guarantee" of health. Understanding the different kinds of genetic testing available, and what information tests can (and cannot) provide is key for both dog breeders’ breeding plans and puppy buyers seeking responsible breeders. Make sure you understand why the genetic test was performed. The term “genetic test” can refer to a wide-variety of types of DNA testing – parentage confirmation, permanent identification, disease risk tests, breed* or type of dog, even the kind of coat a puppy might develop. Find out what tests might be important to your breed/type, ahead of testing or looking at test results. HGTD allows you to search by breed to see what tests are available for your breed (or cross, or mixed breed). You can also see which tests might be most relevant, and find more details on the disease or phene being tested for. As part of the continued improvements of HGTD, you'll soon be able to see tests and their relevance listed by 4 different categories: genetic disease/disorder, other genetic traits, diagnostic tool, parentage/kinship/identity/scan. You'll also find it easier to see tests available, including relevance, for all dogs (not just breed/type-specific). Look out for a blog expanding on this in the near future. Ask to see the test results, or have the owner explain the results to you. Just performing a genetic test isn’t enough. Saying a dog is "tested" isn't the same as saying a dog has a low-risk test result. When it comes to disease tests especially, you need to understand what the results mean for the dog, and how it may impact a dog’s health risks or breeding strategy. Asking the owner to explain the results is not only helpful in understanding why they are testing, but a good way to check they understand the results as well! Is there a “good dog” test? There is no such thing as a genetic test that can tell you if a dog is healthy or not, or at risk or not of all inherited diseases. Many breeds of dogs have a selection of breed-specific tests for specific inherited diseases that can be informative, but there is no comprehensive pass/fail when it comes to genetic testing. And, obviously, IPFD and HGTD thinks all dogs are good dogs. Read more about this in Brenda's blog, "Not all puppies from health-tested parents will be healthy!" here. *A dog’s breed, with reference to kennel clubs, is determined by the specific registration body/club. Most kennel clubs do not accept a breed genetic test as the sole or primary determination of breed. If you are wanting to register your dog as a specific breed, or “pure-bred” or “pedigree” dog, then you should contact your countries’ kennel club for information. photo: Markus Spiske via Pexels
  12. The parallels between human and dog testing are many, especially in terms of the challenges (and potential) arising from the market move to Direct-to-Consumer testing in both species. I talked about these issues in my presentation to the AVMA conference. In the slide here, I make the point that in recent years there have been rapid changes, not only in the fantastic and ongoing developments in science and technology, but also in terms of how and why genetic testing is accessed by consumers. And not just in the dog world. For humans as well, genetic testing is very much trending in social media and popular, not simply in medical applications. An article in Scientific American caught my eye, as it highlights some similar issues that were discussed September 7, 2019, when I addressed the Canadian Kennel Club Board. This article is about sperm banks and how they are admitting they cannot 'guarantee' donor anonymity in the face of services like 23 and Me and Ancestry.com. The basic point, similar in dogs and humans, is that once a sample is submitted for DNA testing, the lab has the material to compare and contrast to other samples they have tested, and to identify related individuals. The labs have the information, or the potential to have it, regardless whether the sample was originally submitted for ancestry testing or a panel of disease tests or one specific test. There is a degree of confidentiality, in that, presumably humans at least can elect not to accept identifying information if the company tells them a relative has been found. Perhaps you can opt out of receiving any information, but in reality many people either are looking for this information, and others do not fully realize what the options mean when they submit a sample. In the field of human testing, numerous initiatives are looking at ethical concerns in research and for application. One obvious example is where an individual agrees to participate in genetic disease testing, either in a research setting or by consumer choice. Depending on the condition and the results, the tested individual may now know or suspect information about their relatives - relatives who did not sign an informed consent or make the choice to 'know'. It is a complex and challenging situation. How does this relate to the world of dogs? We have had discussions recently at the 2nd International Meeting of Kennel Clubs in Stockholm, at the 4th International Dog Health Workshop and at the various talks I have given lately. 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. Registries have always recognized that dog identification by, e.g. tattoo, and even microchips, are subject to error - accidental or otherwise. When information is going to be part of the permanent record of the dog, accuracy is of extreme importance. However, even if almost all registries demand 'permanent' dog identification, this varies in type (e.g. tattoo, microchip, DNA), potential for errors and, let's face it, the ability of many registries to be absolutely sure that the results are from the specified dog. The Dutch Kennel Club has a phenomenal program for identification of all registered puppies, made possible partly by the limited size of the country. We will try to provide more information on this in another blog or article. The complexities of dog identification have additional ramifications and impacts on health strategies... A recent paper by Tom Lewis (The impact of incorrectly recorded parentage on inferred genotypes over multiple generations, attached below), geneticist at The KC in the UK, has shown the dangers of designation of 'clear by parentage' when there may be error in the identity of the dog and its ancestors. His work underpins the decision by The KC to limit the clear by parentage to two generations. Presumably, dogs beyond this limited time frame must then be re-tested. Of course, with DNA identification (of all tested dogs) theoretically a much lower error rate could be achieved. (Parentage verification is highly accurate, and there are standards and proficiency testing in place for this type of testing.) Tying this back to the concept of confidentiality, the KCs at the International meeting also discussed data privacy concerns around genetic testing and data banks. I won't go into the handling of owner data, de-identification of samples, and numerous other issues, but I will mention one point of discussion that relates to the sperm bank example above. The genetic testing laboratory or researcher or commercial test provider will have the ability - or potential - to detect related individuals by their genetic profiles, whether or not they have owner identification. Not that this means it will be used in a way that should cause concern, but as in the human example, it is perhaps something of which to be aware. Have we been paying enough attention? It seems there is great concern on the human side. This is all complex and confusing; stayed tuned for a coming blog explaining forensic, identification, parentage testing and more. All of this raises tough issues that will have to be considered by the dog world, as some registries and kennel clubs move towards mandatory DNA identification / parentage testing and others do not. This is another angle where the evolving technology of genetic testing is creating both benefits and challenges. Resources: Tom Lewis Impact of Incorrectly Recorded Parentage.pdf
  13. Click on a link below or scroll down to view each section: HGTD In The News HGTD News From IPFD Initiative Background Key Partners and Leadership Sponsors Executive Summary Timeline HGTD In The News September 14, 2020 IPFD Mentioned in Articles on Australian Labradoodle DNA Study (The Guardian, The Conversation) September 13, 2019: HGTD Interview in Story from ABC 10 (Sacramento, CA) May 16, 2019: HGTD Gets Mention in Story from WGME CBS 13 (Portland, ME) March 8, 2019: USA Today article: DNA testing kits for dogs are super popular. But the testing has some veterinarians pushing standards February 11, 2019: The Associated Press (and various media) article: Dog DNA Testing Takes Off, and Generates Debate November 12, 2018: HGTD featured in The Atlantic: What Vets Think of ‘23andMe for Dogs’ October 3, 2018: IPFD submission responding to “Pet genomics medicine runs wild” published in Nature Visit our IPFD in the Media section for more published articles, commentaries, etc. from outside organizations that reference the HGTD or IPFD. Items in this section related to the HGTD specifically are also presented together in the article In the News: Harmonization of Genetic Testing for Dogs. HGTD News from IPFD December 19, 2018: Update on the Harmonization of Genetic Testing for Dogs (HGTD) Visit our IPFD News section for more news related to the HGTD and other IPFD news. HGTD Initiative Description The IPFD Harmonization of Dogs (HGTD) is a multi-stakeholder, collaborative effort to create an open access, sustainable online resource that: Catalogs information provided voluntarily from genetic test providers (GTPs) including information on their company and services, quality measures and expertise, tests offered and more. We are continually engaging more GTP participants. Has collated and assembled existing and new resources for genetic counselling and education; and provided the foundation for further developments. Will host expert panel reviews of genetic tests and their application. Plans to include a program for standardized proficiency testing and potentially peer review and audit. A related development, the Health Strategy Database for Dogs, will include a comprehensive list of conditions (potentially inherited) by breed, country and organization or group who has developed recommendations (i.e. Health Strategy Providers). This resource will support counseling that considers not only those conditions for which there is a genetic test, but also all those breed disorders/ characteristics that impact health and well-being in breeds. Our Steering Committee includes: Brenda Bonnett, CEO, IPFD; Aimee Llewellyn-Zaidi, HGTD Project Director, IPFD; Diane Brown, AKC Canine Health Foundation; Matthew Breen, North Carolina State University; Cathryn Mellersh, Animal Health Trust; Sofia Malm, Swedish Kennel Club; Wim van Haeringen, VHL Genetics, Netherlands; Sue Pearce-Kelling, Optigen; and Eddie Dzuik; Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA). IPFD, our Partners and other stakeholders in this initiative recognize the input and work of many other experts and organizations in addressing the use of DNA tests in dogs. The Harmonization initiative is working to further engage numerous experts to participate in panels to develop the resource, provide evaluation of tests and work to advance genetic counseling. IPFD actively engaged Leadership Sponsors (see below) to help develop the HGTD Quality Database. These collaborators include international genetic test providers (GTPs), academic institutions, the Hereditary Disease Committee of the World Small Animal Veterinary Association and other important dog health organizations. A prototype was presented at the 3rd International Dog Health Workshop and at the 9th Canine and Feline Genetics and Genomics meeting in Minnesota, May 2017. Beta testing of the Quality Database was completed in early 2018, and it was launched on 7 May 2018. Since the launch, there has been a surge of interest from both the public, and potential new collaborators. The HGTD database was the culmination of months of hard work, building of new collaborations, fundraising, and data management. One of the major IPFD projects, it arose from discussions at the International Dog Health Workshops (IDHWs); the HGTD is a proud achievement, exemplifying the IDHW tagline: Information – Collaboration – Action! We have been pleased to find that people are already using the HGTD Database to help find the right international genetic test provider, and testing information, for their dogs. By publishing details on a test provider’s measure of quality, business and research information, and tests provided – as well as information on hundreds of breed-specific DNA tests – dog owners and health professionals are able to make the most of this project. The growth and development over 2018, and the positive interest from diverse professional and public media - from JAVMA to The Atlantic - has been reassuring that this project is both timely and needed in the world of genetic testing. It has also become apparent that IPFD has an important role to play as an independent voice in discussions on the complex world of genetic testing. See, for example, our response to an article in Nature, where we are able to provide a balanced view of issues. See also, a Improving Canine Genetic Testing, a discussion on standards for GTP labs and broader challenges. This is a field with a diverse array of stakeholders, and encouraging discussions will continue to be part of our role. As of December 2018, Harmonization of Genetic Testing for Dogs database currently holds basic information for 59 genetic test providers across 17 countries, with information on quality measures and accreditation for 26 active and participating test providers - including non-profits, academic institutions, and for-profits. Our searchable genetic phenes database currently holds information on 300+ phenes across all breeds/types, and provides a plethora of information on each phene: links to OMIA, gene + mutations, a simple and advanced disease description, inheritance details, links to original publications, patents/licenses, comments from the original researchers/experts on application, and breed specific information (such as research/validation) - where possible. Our projects moving forward in 2019 are to continue to engage with researchers, veterinary experts, and test providers, and also to focus on the development of an expert panel for reviewing genetic testing resources, as well as interactive educational tools for consumers. In addition, we are looking for collaboration to address some common problems across genetic testing, such as nomenclature of genetic tests - which has been a significant challenge in harmonizing across international researchers and test developers. We are pleased that we continue to have sponsorship and support from many of our key Leadership Sponsors to develop our work for 2019. We would welcome anyone with an interest in contributing to, or participating in, the HGTD project to contact us. We are particularly keen to engage with academic and research institutions providing testing, who are concerned about ensuring genetic testing is a beneficial and responsible resource. Key Partners and Leadership Sponsors Read more about IPFD Partners and Sponsors Other potential sponsors and collaborators are welcome to contact us to explore opportunities. Contact: IPFD CEO Brenda.Bonnett@ipfdogs.com or Project Director Aimee.Llewellyn-Zaidi@ipfdogs.com “Wisdom Health and the Wisdom Health logo are trademarks of Mars, Incorporated and its affiliates. Used with permission.”
  14. HGTD This Week, 7 Aug 2020: Canine Crime Scene Investigators When we think about genetic testing, we often focus on how it can be a tool to improve health and welfare - generally centered around breeding for health or finding more about the health or potential health risks for an individual dog. Knowing about health risks that are especially relevant to specific breeds or dog types makes testing even more powerful in helping reduce risks of disease or undesirable traits (see Breed Relevancy Ratings). Most commonly, genetic screening and diagnostic testing focuses on: disease tests, breed estimation tests, diagnostics, parentage/paternity, inbreeding estimations, etc. (search for genetic tests and providers, here). This week, I received a very interesting question from a DogWellNet.com user, who wanted to know if genetic testing could help them with a dog attack incident. Their dog had been bitten, and they wanted to know if genetic testing could be used to identify the attacking dog, using saliva from the collar. The short answer is… probably not, but maybe not for the reasons you think. In principle, it should be possible to extract DNA from saliva from a surface like a dog collar. The challenge is that, even with a genetic profile: You won’t know if the profile is from the attacking dog, or some other dog your pet has met at a dog park, on a walk, at the vet’s… Without a profile of a known dog to compare it to, you won’t be able to identify the dog (and therefore owner) This is because dogs are generally not required to be registered with a genetic fingerprint. So, unless you know the dog and the dog's owners, it is impossible to confirm identification using DNA alone - much like the challenges in human criminal DNA identification. This brings us around to thinking about some of the more forensic things genetic testing can, and cannot do: Can do: Act as a permanent identification for an individual dog (genetic profiling) Determine parentage, when relatives’ profiles are known for comparison Comment on the risks of specific genetic mutations for specific diseases (disease/phene screening testing) Aid in the diagnosis of specific risks/diseases (only with diagnostic testing as opposed to screening testing) Cannot do: Identify a specific dog, without that dog’s genetic information/owner being on an accessible registration list “Prove” that a dog is responsible for an action, without other evidence Be used to make “permanent” decisions (e.g. euthanasia) on its own, without other veterinary health information, and welfare considerations While there are plenty of incredibly useful things genetic testing can do, beyond genetic screening tests, it is really important to consider why you are testing and how you are going to use any test results. As with any tool, genetic testing has its limitations. Want to go further? Check out this blog - Confidentiality and Genetic Testing: more benefits and risks - by IPFD CEO Dr. Brenda Bonnett, looking a other parallels and challenges with the human situation. Relevant to the discussion above - confidentiality and availability of identifying information is an important issue to consider. Or explore the whole new world of 'poop forensics' : Dog Poop DNA Tracking Introduces Spy Tech to Our Backyards. (IPFD disclaims any responsibility for the information presented there!) Photos: pixabay (cover photo): G. Fring (image) via Pexels
  15. 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.
  16. Sources of accurate and relevant COVID-19 information for your dog, your puppies and you. In the face of the great uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 and its impact on pets and pet owners, many veterinary and regulatory organizations have been providing excellent information and advice, as have kennel and breed organizations. It is important to remember that recommendations and restrictions vary depending on location and owners need to access and follow local recommendations, especially as to issues around accessing veterinary care. An additional challenge is that the advice and situation continue to change rapidly and what was known, thought or suggested last week may not hold next week. There are some aspects that apply regardless of location... including what we know (a little) and don't know (a lot) about possible transmission to or from animals and humans. As with all information about this novel corona virus there is a lot of uncertainty about COVID-19 and pets; basically we simply are leaning as we go. Be very cautious about discussions and dire predictions on Facebook and social media from those who likely do not have the appropriate level of expertise. Putting your trust in the types of sources described below is your best bet. At a local level, dog owners can look for information from their regional veterinary association and even your own veterinarian maybe providing updates. For an example from the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association, you can see a short video and article here. Prof. Scott Weese of the Ontario Veterinary College is referenced in that article and he has a recent blog post where he suggests that, in the face of the uncertainty and with an abundance of caution, "Social distancing and dog walking are compatible… with some common sense". Dr. Weese says, "To me, social distancing is a whole household activity, not just a human activity. If I wouldn’t go and shake someone’s hand, why would I let the same person pet my dog, and then touch the same spot on my dog myself right away? " It is all about doing everything we can to reduce risk. Be sure to keep up to date on recommendations and restrictions in your area. For breeders, there are all the issues as for owners in addition to some major concerns about breeding, and rehoming litters. Many of our partner national kennel clubs have been providing information and updates. We have been sharing these on our channels, as again, some issues are the same globally; others are defined regionally. See, e.g. Breeders and coronavirus (COVID-19) FAQs from The Kennel Club in the UK, or Placing Puppies in the Age of COVID-19: Safety Advice for Breeders from the American Kennel Club. There are many broader impacts for dog welfare and human-dog interactions that are developing with the COVID-19 situation. Please check out Brenda's Blog: "DOGS ARE FOR LIFE, not just for Coronavirus." Within that blog you are also directed to an excellent discussion of unintended consequences from IPFD collaborator Ian Seath. Our IPFD Board member and President of the German Kennel Club, Prof. Dr. Peter Friedrich, has posted a heartfelt statement that discusses many of the current challenges and those that we have left to face, even when we think things are starting to return to normal. (In German, but perfectly understandable with google translator.) Below are some links to sites and organizations that are doing a great job with information at an international level pulled together by our IPFD COO, Monique Megens, a Dutch veterinarian, living in Spain, and former president of FECAVA, one of the organizations on the front lines in Europe. Mid-April 2020: What do we know about dogs and COVID-19 virus? Although several dogs have tested positive to COVID-19 virus following close contact with infected humans, to date, there is no evidence that dogs play a significant role in spreading the disease. Therefore, the OIE (World Organisation for Animal Health) states there is no justification in taking measures against companion animals, which may compromise their welfare. When people are sick with COVID-19, when possible, close contact with dogs should be avoided; the dogs should preferably be taken care of by another member of the household, taking appropriate hygiene measures into account. Studies are underway to better understand the susceptibility of and risks for other dogs. To stay up-to-date and for more information regarding dogs and COVID-19, go to the OIE website. Can I still visit my veterinary surgeon In many countries, veterinarians are considered to be an essential profession by their national authorities; therefore in most countries you can still visit your vet. However, some vets only see urgent cases; you should always call beforehand. For more information: IPFD’s collaborating partner the Federation of European Companion Animal Practitioners (FECAVA) together with the Federation of Veterinarians of Europe (FVE) have published advice for pet owners for visiting the vet. Information for veterinary teams can be found locally and regionally at, for example from American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and at IPFD’s collaborating partner the World Small Animal Veterinary Association's (WSAVA) website. In all the craziness and concerns of this pandemic, dogs are a great support to their families. Let's remember them in all the changes, planning and considerations we have for ourselves. We are all in this together. Stay safe . OTHER RESOURCES: En Francais - La Newsletter de la Centrale Canine - beaucoup d'excellentes ressources auf Deutsch - und weiser Rat von unserem IPFD-Vorstandsmitglied und Präsidenten des Deutschen Kennel Clubs, Prof. Dr. Peter Friedrich, Präsident des VDH. Corona virus
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