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Found 68 results

  1. Consequences and Management of Canine Brachycephaly in Veterinary Practice: Perspectives from Australian Veterinarians and Veterinary Specialists Fawcett, et al., including Paul McGreevy, University of Sydney, Australia Animals 2019, 9, 3; doi:10.3390/ani9010003 https://www.mdpi.com/2076-2615/9/1/3 For: Veterinarians, health care professionals, all stakeholders Review: Brenda Bonnett, DVM, PhD This comprehensive review covers the health problems and welfare issues in brachycephalic dogs highlighting a veterinary perspective. The text of the paper comprises 19 pages and includes a wide-range of topics. This paper is an excellent resource for veterinary health care professionals and clinicians. However, topics in this paper are also important for all stakeholders involved with the brachycephalic issue in dogs. At the end of the paper, there is an important discussion of the ethical challenges for veterinarians, both as individuals and the profession as a whole. Concerned that readers, especially those who are not clinicians, may not persevere through the clinical information to reach this important section, I will highlight the importance of that discussion below. First, a general overview: “Simple Summary: Canine and human co-evolution have disclosed remarkable morphological plasticity in dogs. Brachycephalic dog breeds are increasing in popularity, despite them suffering from well-documented conformation-related health problems. This has implications for the veterinary caseloads of the future. Whether the recent selection of dogs with progressively shorter and wider skulls has reached physiological limits is controversial. The health problems and short life expectancies of dogs with extremely short skulls suggests that we may have even exceeded these limits. Veterinarians have a professional and moral obligation to prevent and minimise the negative health and welfare impacts of extreme morphology and inherited disorders, and they must address brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome (BOAS) not only at the level of the patient, but also as a systemic welfare problem.” The broad range of topics include: · Concern that “Despite well-documented conformation-related health problems, brachycephalic dog breeds are increasing in popularity.”; · Detailed enumeration and description of associated health problems; · Behavioural impacts of brachycephaly, as well as · “substantial evidence that brachycephaly compromises the welfare of affected dogs”, highlighting insurance data and research findings; · Problems for individual dogs and their owners as well as for breed populations; · Immediate concerns as well as future perspectives; · Clinical diagnosis and management of BOAS and other problems in brachys, and · A thought provoking discussion of “Ethical Challenges Associated with Brachycephalic Breeds” and the role of veterinarians. Understanding the Complexity – the veterinary perspective Past all the discussion of clinical findings and approaches, the section on ethical challenges has excellent coverage of the concerns and conflicting interests for veterinarians. For example, the best resolution for competing issues is not always clear, e.g.: · the best interests of an individual dog, in general, and in relation to a specific health event; · its owner’s attachment, attitudes, wishes, needs, and ability to provide care; and · concerns for the breed overall, as well as · the practical reality of the veterinarian as both a caregiver and a business person. Two of the authors have also provided this summary: “Vets can do more to reduce the suffering of flat-faced dog breeds”: February 12, 2019 2.16pm EST http://theconversation.com/vets-can-do-more-to-reduce-the-suffering-of-flat-faced-dog-breeds-110702 It is important for all stakeholders to be aware of the challenges facing others as the dog world moves toward doing is what is best for dogs. Also see: DWN's Extremes of Conformation Category Latest on brachycephalics from Sweden Approaches to Breed-specific Extremes
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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!
  5. 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/
  6. 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
  7. The Finnish Kennel Club (FKC) has finished the protocol and the instructions for fitness (walk) testing of breeding dogs in brachycephalic breeds. The test is similar to the one used by the Dutch Kennel Club. Finnish test instructions have been developed by veterinarians doing research on BOAS. Their results concerning the Bulldog have already been published. The researchers are still continuing their research and testing Pugs and French Bulldogs, whose results will be published later. According to the Finnish guidelines, a dog gets an approved walk test result if he/she walks 1000 meters in 12 minutes or less, and recovers sufficiently from the walk within the recovery time. In the future, it is also possible to have different time limits for different breeds. The test result is failed if The dog is, based on the veterinarian’s initial examination, showing signs of serious respiratory symptoms (including also severe hyperthermia). The supervising veterinarian interrupts the test due to the dog’s serious respiratory symptoms. The dog is not able to successfully complete the test and/or recover from it sufficiently within the required time. The FKC arranged the first pilot test in February, and the second pilot will be arranged in May. Also orientation for veterinarians will be held at that second pilot. After that, breed clubs are able to arrange the tests by their own. The tests have to be carried out in accordance with the FKC's Guideline for walk tests, in order to get the test result recorded in the FKC breeding database. The FKC is following the development and use of different tests in other countries. It is also having close collaboration with the other Nordic Kennel Clubs on this subject. The aim is, in the long run, and with the help of accumulated experience, to develop the test further, to be as appropriate as possible. UPDATED 7-15-2019 All the information on the Finnish walk test can be found here. "Walk test The walk test is meant for short-muzzled (brachycephalic) breeds that have symptoms caused by upper respiratory tract disorders. These breeds include Pug, English Bulldog and French Bulldog. The dog's exercise tolerance and the ability to breathe normally are evaluated in the walk test and the clinical examination included in it. In the walk test, the dog must walk a certain distance in a defined maximum time and recover from the exercise within a defined time frame."
  8. Key DWN resources related to issues involved with understanding and management of extreme phenotype are provided here. The Brachycephalic Issue IDHW Plenary talks and suggested reading Country-Kennel Club specific programs DWN articles relevant DWN Blog posts Also see articles in this category.
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    Action plans for management of extremes in dog breeds... BOAS, brachycephalics, genetic testing, breed standards, involving stakeholders, and obesity topics are discussed.
  10. This summary report posted in June 2019 highlights key activities and progress on relevant action items. http://www.ukbwg.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/BWG-Annual-Summary-2018-190602.pdf More information on BWG is available at www.ukbwg.org.uk.
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    Åke Hedhammar's presentation from the 4th International Dog Health Workshop addresses management concerns of brachycephalic breeds... efforts to improve health / welfare... How to change the perception of a desired dog in these breeds How to implement changes in / interpretations of breed standards
  12. THEME 5: Exaggerations And Extremes In Dog Conformation: Brief Description: a) Health, welfare and breeding considerations; review of national and international efforts, on all fronts (consumers, show world, breeders, judges, vets, etc) since 2012 – what has been achieved?; brachycephalics; other existing and emerging issues; overcoming polarization and conflict, resolving science and emotion. b) Education and Communication – Past practices may not have achieved desired outcomes. What are tools and techniques to promote human behaviour change? What can we learn from other fields?
  13. 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.
  14. February 2019 We'd like to call your attention to two posts in DWN's New Research Blog. Consequences and Management of Canine Brachycephaly in Veterinary Practice: Perspectives from Australian Veterinarians and Veterinary Specialists See Brenda Bonnet's review of this research coming from Austalia that "covers the health problems and welfare issues in brachycephalic dogs highlighting a veterinary perspective."
  15. This is a translation of an article by Åsa Linholm which will appear in the Swedish Kennel Club magazine: Hundsport Special nr 2:2016. Introduction: The hottest topic in the Swedish dog world in summer of 2015 has been brachycephalic (flat-faced) dogs and their health. In February 2016 the Swedish Kennel Club arranged a conference on the subject, an arrangement that was right in time, but in fact was planned since 2014.
  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. Here we feature a text entitled Standards, health and hypertypes in dogs, by Pr. José Luis Payró Dueñas (Mexico) from the book, Standards, Health and Genetics in the Dog. ( Read more about the book here. ) Veterinarian, Professor and President of the Americas and Caribbean Section of Fédération Cynologique Internationale, Pr. José Luis Payró Dueñas discusses brachycephalic traits, and other morphologies that impact function of purebred dog breeds. Brachycephalic breed traits and management are covered in some depth. In the writing Pr. José Luis Payró Dueñas outlines steps breeders adopt to achieve effective selective breeding. Dog breeder's evaluations of breeding dogs based on their and breed judge's interpretations of the Breed Standard, breeder evaluations of dogs' pedigrees and their knowledge of the heritability of observable traits that contribute to disease or health are explored. ..."poor interpretation of the standards can cause a breeder to produce specimens with hypertypes or with deformations that will remain concentrated in the breed, producing hereditary diseases. When evaluating a dog, the judge values the effort and the production of every exhibitor whose aim must not just be the pride of winning, but the goal of fixing the type by not selecting those specimens with the hypertypes that are not desired in the breed." Seeing to health and welfare of dogs is judges' and breeders' responsibility - correct construction and interpretation of breed standards is essential.
  18. 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...
  19. "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
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