The Story So Far - AKC Canine Health Foundation

2007 Canine Health Foundation
National Parent Club
Canine Health Conference
St. Louis, Missouri
October 19-21, 2007
Proceedings and Summary
The Story So Far
The Canine Health Foundation
Founded in 1995
Seventh biennial Parent Club Conference
More than $20 million in research grants
More than 2,000 researchers from Netherlands
to California
The Story So Far
Alliances Make It Happen
American Kennel Club
Nestlé Purina PetCare Company
Canine Health Information Center (CHIC)
Orthopedic Foundation for Animals
The Story So Far
The Canine Health Foundation
Mission: To develop significant resources for
basic and applied health programs with
emphasis on canine genetics to improve the
quality of life for dogs and their owners.
The Story So Far
Two funding categories
OAK grants
$12,000 to $250,000 in value + 8% overhead
Assessed annually and peer reviewed
$1.8 million in annual funding
ACORN grants
Maximum $12,000 + 8% overhead
More than 100 approved
$400,000 annual budget
The Story So Far
Three areas of research
78% of major grant money
Includes genomics research
13% of grant money
Stem cell treatments to reverse the effects
of disease
The Story So Far
Basic prevention principle
“…Don’t eradicate good dogs from your breeding
programs because they’re carriers…But that
means knowing who is and who isn’t a carrier.”
The Story So Far
The human/canine connection
Genetically, dogs and humans are 85-100%
Breeding practices are responsible for many
canine diseases
Research on Dobermans with narcolepsy has led
to tests of a therapy that, if effective in dogs,
could help 250,000 Americans
The Story So Far
Genetics primer
Phenotype is an animal’s appearance
Genotype is its genetic characteristics
The genotype is determined by animal’s DNA
Genes are regions on a DNA strand that govern
the specifics of the genotype, like hair length
DNA strands are made of nucleotide bases that
combine to form the template of a gene
The Story So Far
Genetics primer cont’d
Canines have more than two billion nucleotide
bases, and 20,000 unique genes, packaged in
76 DNA regions called chromosomes
Chromosomes come in pairs
Within the chromosomes, the two copies of each
gene are called alleles
Each pair of genes is called a diploid, and each
is responsible for a specific trait, like hair color
The Story So Far
Dogs have two alleles in each chromosomal pair
Alleles can be identical or different, dominant or
In meiosis, a puppy receives one randomly
selected allele from the pair of each of its
parents, forming a new combination
Breeds and genetic study
There are about 400 domestic dog breeds, from
100-1,000 years old
Comparison of distantly related breeds that
share a disease but little genetic information can
reveal the most likely genetic source of the
Population studies allow researchers to learn a
great deal from just one generation
Recommendations for
healthy breeds
Breed away from harmful alleles, before breeding
for diversity
Overuse of one sire spreads harmful genes and
eliminates positive ones from other good dogs
Genetic disease is controlled by reducing the
frequency of dogs with defective genes
Genetic diversity is breeder diversity; we need
a healthy range of opinions on the ideal dog
Approaches to breeding
Strategies to encourage or discourage particular
traits in dogs:
Line breeding
Phenotypic breeding
Outcross breeding
Compensatory breeding
Canine Oncology and Genomics
Samples are the key to research
A central tissue sample repository will advance
research rapidly
Collection sites are already established at:
Ohio State University
Colorado State University
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Canine reproduction
Spaying and neutering prevent overpopulation
56% of litters are unplanned
Neutering males reduces the risk of some
diseases, increases the incidence of cruciate
ligament injury
Spaying females reduces common, frequently
fatal diseases, but increases the frequency of
urinary incontinence
Canine vaccination
Immunity is part innate, part acquired
The acquired immune system remembers every
antigen or organism it encounters
Vaccines stimulate the acquired immune system
Canine vaccination cont’d
Infectious vaccines:
Modified live vaccine
Vector vaccine
Non-infectious vaccines:
Inactivated or killed vaccine
Recombinant subunit vaccine
Infectious disease
Intestinal Parasites
Canine Influenza Virus
West Nile Virus
Canine ophthalmology
CHF is helping to fund research projects for two
eye diseases:
Ocular melanosis in Cairn Terriers
Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA)
Cruciate rupture and arthritis
Signs that arthritis may cause canine cruciate
Roughening at edges of bone
Excess fluid within joint
Inflammatory cells in joint fluid
Bacteria present in many affected dogs
Hyperparathyroidism in
A genetic test for PHPT was successfully
developed thanks to:
Samples from a variety of owners
Funding from CHF
Availability of technology
Nutritional Treatment
Nutrition and the
immune system
Four stages of intervention:
Basic feeding of a complete, balanced diet
Adding nutrients like vitamin D, copper,
Adding probiotics and whey protein
Tailoring the diet to the dog’s individual
Nutritional Treatment
Nutrition for the active dog
Positive components in an active dog’s diet:
High fat
High protein
Omega-3 fatty acids
Nutritional Treatment
Benefits of a balanced GI tract
Good bacteria help the body by:
Improving overall nutrition
Promoting a healthy immune system
Helping to treat diarrhea
Closing in on a Cure
Stem cell research is being conducted for such
diverse conditions as
Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM)
Spinal cord injuries
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF)
Lipoprotein lipase (LPL) deficiency
Closing in on a Cure
Cardiology and stem cells
Adult stem cells exist in bone marrow, the liver,
and the heart
Bone marrow stem cells have the potential to
become nervous tissue, bone, or heart muscle
Tests show that stem cells injected into the heart
remain there
Closing in on a Cure
Canine cancer and
stem cells
Existence of cancer stem cells has been
Cancer stem cells can self-renew, reproduce
Mutated stem cells may resist therapy, then
Better knowledge may lead to treatment
Closing in on a Cure
Cancer at the breed level
Golden Retrievers have…
A high rate of cancer
Predominance of specific cancers
A high rate of immune-mediated diseases
… indicating an inherited disposition for cancer.
Closing in on a Cure
Responding to canine cancer
FACT: Even incurable cancers can be treated or
FACT: A “wait and see” attitude leads to tumors
that are larger and likely to spread
FACT: Chemotherapy has few side effects and
FACT: Age is not a factor in treatment
FACT: Radiation rarely has side effects
Closing in on a Cure
Are we ready for
Much to learn about the effect of stem cells on
Research funding is weighted toward prevention
Support of dog owners is needed
What’s Next?
Canine Health Information Center
Open Health Database and DNA repository
Uses test protocols set by Parent Clubs
Allows breeders to take advantage of future DNA
Enjoys enormous participation in sample
What’s Next?
Orthopedic Foundation for Animals
Online survey
Current pilots: Labrador Retriever and
Australian Cattle Dog
Gives Parent Clubs access to technological
First come, first served
What’s Next?
American Kennel Club Update
AKC Veterinary Outreach
College seminars
Internship program
AKC Veterinary Network
Bridges clubs and veterinary community
Public education
Provides resources to individuals, clubs
What’s Next?
Canine Legislation
Dangerous dog laws
Cruelty to animals
Breeding restrictions
AKC Legislative Affairs can help!
What’s Next?
AKC-CHF Fundraising
We need your support
Volunteers to tell the story
Jeff Sossamon
(888) 682-9696
[email protected]

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