My thoughts shared on Facebook 29.10.2015

 
 

I”ve been in the dogshowscene for almost twenty years now. I’ve had my share of lovely wins, owned dogs that were born champions, others I travelled a bit more and made up champions.I also walked out the ring more then once with a good dog that didn’t get a placing or with a dog that just wasn’t good enough to compete.

At one point we started breeding, we bred dogs that gained the championtitle and or became families best friend. Some can be called well within the breed standard and others a good try,..
Because I wanted to know more about dogs I started studying,.. and ended up being a FCI championshipshow judge,.. and the cherry of the cake was the approval of the Kennelclub to judge at championshipshowlevel in the UK.
To get to this point I had encouragement from my husband and some precious friends but most and for all from people/clubs who put their trust in me to invite me to judge at their shows and even more from the exhibitors who gave me the possibility to go over their dogs. I’ve been to places that I’ve never would have visited if I hadn’t been a judge. I’m sure that if I had to do some shows again I would give the highest honours to different dogs,.. because I’m not faultless and sometimes decisions are so close that the next time the stone would fall the other way around,…

I’ve met the most wonderfull people that I know that I only need to give one call and they are there for me/us and that I truly can call a friend.. Whether they live only a few miles away or on the other side of the world. I love to socialize at shows,… and talk about the breed,..My motto is you don’t have to go on holidays with eachother and there is a lot of grey between black and white,… so have respect for eachother and just like in normal life we don’t always like eachother for whatever reason but that doesn’t mean that you’ve to gossip or to make up stories,.. in the showring it’s the judge that makes the decisions,.. not you, not another person, the judge

The most important lesson that I learned is to be humble,.. it’s fine to celebrate your win, but realize the next time you can be out the ring
without a placing. Your whole litter can be champions and next time their looks aren’t the greatest but they make the best companions,….
Remember champions are always made up,..nothing wrong with that,.. Is a breeder who breeds the best specimens and doesn’t care about showing (any more) a less good breeder?
Judging is a honour, something that comes along and has given me some of the best memories in my life. But again, I feel humble about this
as it’s not about me, it’s about the exhibitors and committees.

I’m proud to share our lives with Staffordshire Bull Terriers, I’ve seen and witnessed great unity amongst the Stafford fraternity. I think about the worldwide activities to raise funds for Amanda Hart and about the pride I see at the International Stafford Match when teams walk into the ring to represent their countries.

Now the winter time is approaching rapidly on this side of the world,.. which means longer evenings, cold and wet outside, but also dogs that claim the whole couch for them, nice warm chocolate and time to read a good book (if I can’t find a place to sit,.. hahaha). At times like these, I know life is
good,.. and the dogs have made it so much richer,…

Just had to share my thoughts with you,…

                                                                                                        


 

 

Health Bulletin No 21, April 2014.

PHPV Updates

There has been much discussion recently about persistent hyperplastic primary vitreous (PHPV) regarding incidence and whether mildly affected cases may be used for breeding, although the standard advice from the geneticists and ophthalmologists has always been not to breed from affected dogs irrespective of how mild their condition may be. This bulletin will therefore try to give an update on its incidence and current trends.

Results of routine testing.

These are based on dogs tested under the KC/BVA eye testing scheme and were kindly supplied by both the KC and BVA, and reported in the KC’s Breed Records Supplement. Although eye testing was becoming routine after the issue of PHPV arose in the 1980’s, early figures are perhaps inconsistent so the data is presented below from the start of 1994 to the end of 2013 in two ten year periods.

 Years              Dogs tested         PHPV affected           % affected

1994-2003             1877                   20                             1.07%

2004-2013             3027                   17                              0.56%

Totals                    4904                    37                              0.75%

The apparent reduction between the two decades has to be treated with caution. Firstly we do not know how many re-tests are included either for dogs owned by Assured Breeders who are obliged to have a current eye certificate for their dogs or those owned by non-ABS breeders who nevertheless follow the guidelines as it is ‘the right thing to do’. Re-tests could account for 10% of tests in recent years with some dogs being tested three or four times. Secondly litter testing has increased and affected puppies are almost certainly never going to be bred. Hence, they are most unlikely to have an adult eye test, thus removing them from the system. Detecting even a very small number of affecteds as puppies instead of adults could have a considerable effect in reducing the percentage affected of dogs tested as adults. Unfortunately, unlike continental Europe where cases of PHPV are graded 1-6 according to severity, there is no such system in place routinely in the UK so we have no idea what proportion of the 37 affected cases were mild or severe.

To enable some comparison, data has been obtained from Norway and Finland. In Norway, 1657 Staffords were examined between 2006-2013. Of those 53 (3.2%) were affected with PHPV; 45 (2.7%) were grade 1 and thus mildly affected, three (0.2%) were probably grade 1 but unconfirmed, while five (0.3% of all dogs tested or 9.4% of those with PHPV) were grades 2-6 and thus more severely affected. In Finland, from 2009 to 2013, 651 dogs were examined; thirteen (2.0%) were affected with PHPV, twelve were grade 1 and only one was grade 2-6.

How important these differences between countries are, is difficult to say. As numbers are comparatively low, it would only take a couple of litters with, let’s say, four or five affected dogs out of seven or eight puppies, to skew the figures if all found their way into the testing system. A more likely answer is the use of grade 1 affected dogs for breeding as the current European advice suggests that grade1 dogs may be used but not grades 2-6, in contrast to the advice given to British breeders of not using even dogs only mildly affected in their breeding programmes. Gathering data on litters where one of the parents is affected with PHPV is under way but will take some time and beyond the scope of this report.

Parental history of affected cases

The eye test status of the parents of the affected dogs reported under the KC/BVA scheme from 1994-2013, plus a single case from 1993, were investigated using the KC’s test result finder service. However one of the later affected dogs was foreign bred so no parental tests are available and is thus omitted, although still leaving a total of 37 affected dogs the results for which are given below.

Both parents unaffected.                                           17 (45.9%)

Both parents untested under KC/BVA scheme.        11 (29.7%)

One parent unaffected and one parent untested.        8 (21.6%)

One parent AFFECTED and one parent untested.      1 (2.7%)

Total                                                                     37

Perhaps of greatest interest is the case with one affected parent. This is a bitch with an affected dam which is also included on the list of affected dogs. Interestingly the daughter was tested before the mother, suggesting the latter’s test was only undertaken on discovery of the affected offspring. This finding is consistent with inheritance of the condition but the fact that seventeen affected dogs had unaffected parents must also be considered, suggesting that the mode of inheritance may not be a simple one.

Litter testing

About eighteen months ago, the results of litter testing 2008-2011 was reported in a previous bulletin; 128 litters had been tested during these four years and six (4.7%) had been found to contain one or more affected puppies. Of the combined total of 31 puppies in these litters, eleven (35.5%) were affected. Following on from these, during 2012-2013 a further 131 litters have been tested; 50 in 2012 and 81 in 2013, showing an increasing uptake by breeders.

Of these 131 litters, six (4.6%) were found to contain one or more puppies affected with PHPV; five of the litters had two affected out of four to seven puppies while the remaining litter was one out of three. Thus of a combined total of 31 puppies in the six litters, eleven (35.5%) were affected. Apart from a couple of extra litters tested and minor differences in the numbers in those with affected puppies, the results for these litters from 2012-2013 are, co-incidentally, identical to the previous four years.

If we combine these results to cover the six year period from 2008 to 2013, 259 litters have been tested and twelve were found to contain one or more affected puppies with numbers ranging from 1:8 to 5:6. These litters had a combined total of 62 puppies with 22 (35.5%) affected. The number of puppies tested in those litters with none affected is unknown but if we assume the average number of puppies in all litters examined to be five (in previous bulletin it was taken as 4.7 based on other studies but further research suggests that it may be nearer five), this means that around 1300 puppies have been examined and 22 (1.7%) were affected. Despite being a bit greater than the percentage affected on routine testing over the past decade, for which there are several reasons as discussed previously, it is nevertheless compatible with routine findings both here and in Europe. A major problem is that the results of litter tests are not published in the BRS, their parentage is thus unknown and not only is one unable to ascertain the eye test status of the sire and dam but it is also unknown if there is any common factor, such as same sire, between any affected litters.

It is probably important that the PHPV cases found are concentrated in a comparatively small number of litters. This supports the belief that there is a genetic cause for PHPV and it is thus hereditary although the mode of inheritance is still unknown. If it were a random occurrence that ‘just happened’, a wider scatter through a larger number of litters would be expected.

It is hoped that litter test results will be reported routinely in the near future thus allowing them to be analysed in greater depth. It would also be beneficial if some grading system of severity was put into place, as it is in Europe; this might enable greater understanding of why severity varies and whether mild cases can indeed produce more severely affected ones if used for breeding. Currently information is being sought on litters being bred where sire or dam (or even both) are PHPV affected and it is hoped this may be presented in the near future.

Thanks are due to Catrine Arntzen and Cvetka Bogovcic for their invaluable assistance in supplying the European figures included.

 

Health Bulletin No 20, January 2014

Further observations on the impact of DNA testing.

In Bulletin 19A, the impact of DNA testing for HC-HSF4 and L-2-HGA was discussed. It was shown that over the nine year period from 2004-2012, the proportion of dogs being registered which were hereditarily clear for these conditions rose steadily, By 2012 approximately a third were clear for each. Previous studies have shown that virtually 100% of dogs produced by show breeders and those associated with the clubs are ‘clears’ but the impact of this on the overall figures is difficult, if not impossible, to assess.  Do ‘show’ breeders account for all the clear puppies being produced or is testing being adopted by ‘backyard’ breeders to any extent? It is impossible to assess this from registrations listed in the Breed Records supplement although analysis of DNA test results in the BRS suggested that some non-show breeders were ensuring either the sire or dam of a litter were clear to so that there would be no risk of affected puppies being born. However as we are not aware of any ‘show’ breeders deliberately breeding for blues, analysis of the status of blues being registered may serve as an indication of testing by non-show breeders. Of course blue puppies are occasionally produced by show breeders but their numbers are small and would not have a major impact on the figures especially as many all blue litters from two blues parents are registered currently. Registration figures, plus hereditarily clear status, for blues were thus obtained from the Kennel Club and compared with the data for all registrations and also ‘non-blues’.

The total number of registrations, divided into all other colours (i.e. non-blues) and blues of all variations from 2004 to 2013 are given in table 1.

Year         Total         ‘Non-blues’             Blues

2004         12053       11767 (97.6%)        286 (2.4%)

2005         13115       12520 (95.5%)        595 (4.5%)

2006         12746       11616 (91.1%)        1130 (8.9%)

2007         12197       10351 (84.9%)        1846 (15.1%)

2008         10782       8518 (79.0%)          2264 (21.0%)

2009         8803         6206 (70.5%)          2597 (29.5%)

2010         8714         5626 (64.6%)          3088 (35.4%)

2011         7180         3717 (51.8%)          3463 (48.2%)

2012         6339         2873 (45.3%)          3466 (54.7%)

2013         5601         2170 (38.7%)          3431 (61.3%)

Table 1 Numbers of blue and non-blue puppies registered from 2004-2013.

 

 

While incidental to the main objectives of this study, these figures do not make good reading showing that over three fifths of registrations in 2013 were some variant of blue such as blue, blue brindle, blue fawn, all with or without white. Although no figures were sought, a quick look at any edition of the BRS will show many all blue litters being produced by mating two blue variants together. Many mixed litters containing both blues and other colours are registered too but it is not known how many of these are the result of matings designed to produce some blues e.g. a blue being mated to a known carrier of the colour, or being produced by the chance mating of two non-blues that were carriers unknown to the breeder. Despite spread of the blue gene(s) into ‘show’ stock, where it has been previously low, would seem inevitable, we can assume that the majority of ‘show bred’ puppies are in the non-blue category. It is impossible, however, to say how many ‘non-blues’ are bred by active exhibitors and club members or by casual or ‘backyard’ breeders.  

 

The overall incidence of hereditarily clear puppies for both HC-HSF4 and L-2-HGA are presented in table 2 which is an updated version of that published in Bulletin 19A. Tables 3 and 4 present the numbers of ‘clears’ for ‘blues’ and ‘non-blues; respectively.

 

Year            Total          HC-HSF4 Clear     L-2-HGA Clear

2004            12053         342 (2.8%)           342 (2.8%)

2005            13115         640 (4.9%)           627 (4.8%)

2006            12746         1250 (9.8%)         1324 (10.4%)

2007            12197         2109 (17.3%)       2192 (18.0%)

2008            10782         2121 (19.7%)       2222 (20.6%)

2009            8803           2361 (26.8%)       2477 (28.1%)

2010            8714           2599 (29.8%)       2637 (30.3%)

2011            7180           2197 (30.6%)       2297 (32.0%)      

2012            6339           2123 (33.4%)       2164 (34.1%)

2013            5601           1788 (31.9%)       1871 (33.4%)

Table 2. Numbers and percentages of hereditarily clears registered 2004-2013

 

Year            Total          HC-HSF4 Clear     L-2-HGA Clear

2004            286             7 (2.4%)               7 (2.4%)

2005            595             20 (3.4%)             25 (4.2%)

2006            1130           57 (5.0%)             66 (5.8%)

2007            1846           223 (12.1%)         219 (11.9%)

2008            2264           314 (13.9%)         377 (16.7%)

2009            2597           563 (21.7%)         611 (23.5%)

2010            3088           759 (24.6%)         800 (25.9%)

2011            3463           860 (24.8%)         904 (26.1%)      

2012            3466           878 (24.3%)         920 (26.5%)

2013            3431           937 (27.3%)         987 (28.8%)

Table 3. Numbers and percentages of hereditarily clear ‘blues’ registered 2004-2013

 

Year            Total          HC-HSF4 Clear     L-2-HGA Clear

2004            11797         335 (2.8%)           335 (2.8%)

2005            12520         620 (5.0%)           602 (4.8%)

2006            11616         1193 (10.3%)       1258 (10.4%)

2007            10351         1796 (17.4%)       1973 (19.1%)

2008            8518           1897 (22.3%)       1845 (21.6%)

2009            6206           1798 (29.0%)       1866 (30.1%)

2010            5626           1840 (32.7%)       1837 (32.7%)

2011            3717           1337 (36.0%)       1393 (37.5%)      

2012            2873           1245 (43.3%)       1244 (43.3%)

2013            2170           851 (39.2%)         884 (40.7%)

Table 4 Numbers and percentages of hereditarily clear ‘non-blues’ registered 2004-2013

 

From table 2, we can see that there has been a slight drop in the incidence of hereditarily clear dogs being registered during 2013 for both conditions; this will be discussed further below. Of greater interest are the findings in the blue population (Table 3) which may reasonably be taken as representative of dogs bred by those not associated with the show scene or the clubs. Although they are lagging behind the overall average, approximately 28% as opposed to 33%, one can conclude that DNA testing has been adopted by a proportion of such breeders at least, with the proportion of clear puppies increasing from year to year. It would probably be reasonable to assume that some ‘non-show’ breeders of other colours are also embracing DNA testing. Even if some backyard breeders only ensure either the sire or dam of a litter is clear, this will, in time, lead to a reduction of the recessive genes in the population and thus an increase in hereditarily clear levels although more slowly than if a more vigorous testing policy was adopted.

 

As might be expected the levels of hereditarily clears were greater, around the 40% mark in ‘non-blues’ (Table 4). This is almost certainly due to the inclusion of show stock which is nearly 100% clear of both recessive genes and thus boosting the overall figures. There was a slight drop in the percentages of hereditarily clears for all colours combined and this is clearly due to the similar drop in those of the ‘non-blues’. Why this has occurred is difficult to say, principally because we do not know what proportions of ‘non-blues’ are produced by show/club and ‘backyard’ breeders respectively. A significant drop in puppies produced by show breeders, and thus clear stock, is a possible explanation. Alternatively a surge, even a comparatively small one, in litters from untested backgrounds being registered might account for this drop. This slight drop might just be a ‘blip’ of no significance but continual monitoring is essential.

 

Despite the inherent difficulties in identifying which breeders or groups of breeders may or may not be testing for HC-HSF4 and L-2-HGA, it would appear that some breeders not associated with the clubs are DNA testing. Whether this shows real concern about such health issues or whether it is down to commercial concerns is irrelevant, the desired result is being achieved. Naturally it is hope that, despite the small downturn in 2013, the proportions of hereditarily clear puppies being produced annually will increase in future years. This will be comparative easy to monitor, but nevertheless the promotion of appropriate DNA testing must remain a priority for all involved.

 

Our thanks is due to Bonnie-Marie Abhayaratne of the Kennel Club Health Department for supplying the relevant data.



Bron: Raadar Nieuwsbrief Raad van Beheer - december 2013 >

Voorstel tot wijziging artikel IV 80 KR aanwezigheid tentoonstelling tot

15.00 uur.

 

In het KR was vastgelegd dat exposanten niet vóór 15.00 uur de expositie

mochten verlaten.

Zowel bestuur als de TGVN (Tentoonstelling Gevende Verenigingen) vonden

dit niet meer wenselijk. In de ons omringende landen is het vertrek na de

keuringen ook gebruikelijk. Voor veel beginnende exposanten is deze oude

regelgeving dan ook moeilijk uit te leggen en geeft dit regelmatig veel

discussie en agressie bij uitgang. In de wijziging is vastgelegd dat men na de

keuring het terrein mag verlaten. De organisatie zal twee

aanwezigheidstijden vermelden in het programma waarop exposanten

aanwezig dienen te zijn voor de keuring. Het voorstel tot wijziging is

aangenomen. De wijziging treedt in werking vanaf 1 januari 2014.

Bron: Raadar Nieuwsbrief Raad van Beheer - december 2013 >

Voorstel Benelux Winner en Benelux Champion

 

In goed overleg met onze collega’s uit België en Luxemburg is het voorstel

ontwikkeld om gezamenlijk te komen tot de titels Benelux Winner en - bij

het behalen van deze titel in alle 3 de landen - de titel Benelux Champion.

Eveneens zal de titel Benelux Junior Champion en de titel Benelux Junior

Winner en de titel Benelux

Veteran Champion en Benelux Veteran Winner vergeven gaan worden. Om

dit alles mogelijk te

maken zijn artikelen IV.46A, IV.47A en IV.47A aan het KR toegevoegd. Het

voorstel is aangenomen. Voor 2014 zal één show worden aangewezen waar

de titels vergeven mogen worden.

De wijziging treedt in werking vanaf 1 januari 2014.

 
Bron: Raadar Nieuwsbrief Raad van Beheer - december 2013 >

Kynologisch Reglement (KR)

 

De afspraken tussen de georganiseerde kynologie in Nederland en de Raad

van Beheer zijn vastgelegd in een aantal regels: het Kynologisch Reglement.

Dit reglement is niet statisch: Nieuwe aanvullingen en/of verwijderingen

worden na goedkeuring door de Algemene Vergadering aangebracht. Op de

Algemene Vergaderingen kunnen zowel door de Raad van Beheer als door

de aangesloten verenigingen voorstellen tot wijzigingen worden gedaan.
SpoorboekjeDe meest recente versie van het KR kan op de website van de Raad van

 

Beheer worden geraadpleegd of gedownload via de pagina http://www.

raadvanbeheer.nl/raad-van-beheer/regelgeving/kynologisch-reglement/

Per 1 januari 2014 wordt een aangepast reglement van kracht. Daarin is de

regelgeving met betrekking tot de besluiten van de laatstgehouden

Algemene Vergadering opgenomen.

Het 180 bladzijden tellende Reglement bevat onder andere de Statuten van

de Vereniging Raad van Beheer op Kynologisch Gebied in Nederland alsmede

het Huishoudelijk Reglement.

De belangrijkste regelgeving is die met betrekking tot de organisatie van de

kynologie, de registratie, fokkerij en gezondheid en tentoonstellingen en

wedstrijden. Vanzelfsprekend voorziet het KR ook in de juridische aspecten

in de kynologie. Kortom, het Kynologisch Reglement en de overige

reglementen fungeren als een spoorboekje voor kynologen.


 

Health Bulletin No 19, December 2013

Impact of DNA testing for HC-HSF4 and L-2-HGA

DNA testing for hereditary cataracts (HC-HSF4) and L-2-Hydroxyglutaric Aciduria (L-2-HGA) has been routinely available for eight years or so at the Animal Health Trust with results being published quarterly in the Breed Records Supplement. Results for individual dogs may be obtained on the Kennel Club’s web site by using the ‘test result finder’ for dogs bred in the UK. In previous bulletins it was shown that about 90% of British dogs in the show ring were hereditarily clear, as both parents were themselves clear, for both conditions. The percentage hereditarily clear for each condition separately was higher as some dogs may have been hereditarily clear for either HC-HSF4 or L-2-HGA but had had to be tested, or were awaiting testing, for the other one for various bona fide reasons. With the passage of time it was obvious that the numbers of hereditarily clear dogs should be ever increasing in the population but we had no idea of the numbers.

To provide answers, data on the numbers of ‘hereditarily clear’ dogs being registered from the start of 2012 to the start of December 2013 were obtained from the Kennel Club. The figures of those hereditarily clear only covered till mid November so will give a falsely low proportion for 2013 but only slightly so.

The data supplied was as follows:

Year             Registrations            HC-HSF4 clear        L-2-HGA clear

2012             6339                         2123 (33.4%)           2164 (34.1%)

2013             5378                         1755 (32.0%)           1838 (33.5%)

2012-13        11826                       3878 (32.8%)           4002 (33.8%)

Assuming the proportions of hereditarily clears were similar for the part of November where they had not yet been included, adjusting the figures to compensate would increase the percentages of clears for 2013 by about 1.6% for both HC-HSF4 and L-2-HGA to around 33.6% and 35.1% respectively.

These current figures indicate that a third of puppies being registered are hereditarily clear for each condition. The numbers that were hereditarily clear for both HC-HSF4 and L-2- HGA were not obtained, but as there was only a difference of 1% (32.8% v 33.8%) over the study period, it may be reasonably postulated that over 30% of puppies being registered are hereditarily clear for both conditions.

 It was of course expected that the numbers of such clear dogs would increase as time passed since the introduction of the DNA tests, but this is the first time that an attempt has been made to measure the success of the testing programme. It may be possible sometime to look at earlier years to see there had been a continual improvement over the years. Much more important will be to repeat this in a couple of years to see if there has been an increase in the number of hereditarily clears being registered.

As we know, the vast majority of puppies produced by ‘show’ breeders are already hereditarily clear, but we do not know what proportion of all puppies being registered are bred by them. It would be disappointing if nearly all the hereditarily clears were being produced by them and few by breeders with no breed club contact; this would mean the message about the need for testing was not getting across to the non-show fraternity. On the other hand, if it were shown that, let’s say, half the clears were bred by non-show folk then it would show we are getting the message across to some at least. Interestingly, just under 30% of SBT Accredited Breeders (there are only about 120, of which a number of known ones seldom if ever breed) are not members of any breed club which suggests that a few at least see the benefits of testing, and being members of the scheme, even if perhaps only to boost their sales. Whether we should be pleased or disappointed to find that only a third of puppies being registered currently are hereditarily clear, and two thirds are not, is difficult to say. However, irrespective of how many of the so-called back street breeders test their stock, praise must be given to the show fraternity, including newcomers, for the way testing has been adopted assiduously to the benefit of our breed. To reach the desired point of having only hereditarily clear Staffords being registered may take many years, but the figures given above will at least provide a basis for monitoring future progress.

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                    Health Bulletin No 4 November 2010 
 

I did not realise a year had elapsed since my last bulletin but the last twelve months have been rather hectic one way or another, to say the least. 

Considerable time was spent organising the health seminar in May. It seems to have been a great success according to feedback (I am not in a good position to judge) and this is largely down to ‘the girls’ who rallied round to get it organised. There has been a full report in the Stafford so I will not go into detail here. However a DVD is available and anyone interested should contact Lesley McFadyen. I must confess I have not seen it yet – looking at myself in the mirror in the morning is more than enough without watching myself on screen! While we were delighted with the speakers, the greatest contributors were those who supported the seminar by coming on the day and deserve a big ‘thank you’. The question for all to consider is ‘should we think about holding another’? Certainly not in 2011 but perhaps 2012 and if you think this would be worthwhile, you may wish to let us have ideas on topics you would like covered. I should add that we may have three speakers willing to contribute already. Over to you folks. 

At the end of October, I attended a seminar held at Stoneleigh for health co-ordinators organised by the KC, sadly only one per breed was allowed. A full report is being done by a lady from another breed, who offered to share it with us, and this will be circulated when available. It was a useful day and my overall impression was it was good and not so good in parts, but a step in the right direction. One or two contacts were made and I think it likely the KC will supply a list of the co-ordinators for all breeds pretty soon. This is long overdue and will allow discussion between breeds with common problems. 

Estimated Breeding Values (EBV) were discussed at the meeting and those interested should read the article in May’s Kennel Gazette. It seems that these may be useful for those conditions that have a polygenic mode of inheritance in part and an environmental component as well, rather than single gene disorders. However we shall just have to see how beneficial they may be for Stafford breeders.

One small but important point from the seminar concerns the collection of mouth swabs for DNA studies. In the past it was customary to collect a couple but to give the greatest chance of success it is now recommended that four swabs should be collected in the usual manner and sent for examination. 

It was interesting to see what work is being done in other breeds, but what may be feasible in one may not be in another. It is much easier to conduct studies in breeds that are numerically small, generally speaking, as most breeders are usually known to each other and can be persuaded to co-operate. Compare this with Staffords where we have so many breeding and registering with the KC but are totally unknown to those in the Clubs, in Britain at least. 

Because of all that had been going on the cause of death survey in Staffords, which is the sort of thing the KC would like breeds to undertake, has been lagging somewhat but after New Year is something we need to be giving a push, unless this reminder is sufficient on its own. While on such matters, may I point out that the Dutch club have an ongoing study which allows owners to update their dogs’ health information as time passes. Anyone wordwide may participate and those interested in contributing should contact Martin Van Aken martinvanaken@planet.nl or Bianca Janssen h.janssen40@upcmail.nl for more information. Anything of this nature can only be for the good of the breed. 

Lastly I come to PHPV. As you know we would like to get the genetics of the condition investigated but this cannot be considered until we have specimens from sufficient affected animals. Currently we need samples from about six more affected dogs so if you hear of any, please try to get swabs from them plus close relatives (the same goes for PPSC too). As you know PHPV may be diagnosed at six to seven weeks old onwards, and at the recent Breed Council meeting a resolution was passed to request the KC that ‘litter testing’ be included as a recommendation in the Accredited Breeder Scheme but not mandatory as with DNA testing. Naturally one hopes that all responsible breeders would get their puppies’ eyes tested at this stage to get a definitive diagnosis once and for all, but we have to accept that some breeders may have genuine logistic problems that may prevent this. All we can ask is that everyone does their best in this respect.

 Archie  Bryden
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


 

 

Brussels Dogshow 12.12.2009
Keurmeester: Bianca Janssen-van Londen "Staffjoy's"

Reuen
Babyklas:
1B Everybody Love Me de la Vauxoise
Jeugdklasse:
1U McPerformance Extasy Coco's Son
3ZG Natisto's Diabolik Dragon Red
2ZG Powerfull Desire's Charm Lord
Tussenklasse:
1U Shades of Blues Down to Funky Town
2ZG Chivas des Bouilles D"Amour
3ZG Domen du Logeo de L'Laxaro
4ZG Small-Comics Harry
Openklasse:
2U Old Cross Guns Daigh as an Diabhal
3U Old Cross Guns Aibhlinn Diabhal
ZG Cliff du Royal Mirage
4U Spidon Staff's Always Your Friend
ZG Sanguineus Seed of Maks Doggies
1U I've Got the Power - res CAC/CACIB
Kampioensklasse:
1U Ch. Stormbull Solo - CAC/CACIB
Teven
Babyklas:
1VB Cadbury Angels I love her
2VB Small Comic's Isterik
3B Pro-Streets Iroc
Puppyklasse:
1VB Silver Cross Epsilon
2B Hannah Eilatan
Jeugdklasse:
G Deejay
ZG D'Chaina
ZG Diam's
3U Bronxton Hitchhiker
4ZG Ebony Bones du Tingshire
ZG Elixer D'Amour du Grand Molosse
1U Old Cross Guns So What
2U Shades of Blues Easy Evidence Extravagancy
Tussenklas
1UHadiseyeni of Sepiroth
ZG Chucky
G Dacota de Bouilles d"Amour
4U Small Comics Hisis
G Dragonfly du Grand Molosse
3U Danae du Grand Molosse
2UShades of Blues Devilicous Djinn
Open
3U Old Cross Guns Better Than Sex
ZG Glamourgal of Sephiroth
2U Ringerike Femme Fatale - res CAC/res. CACIB
4UCrazy Love de La Vauxoise
G Corolla des Bouilles d"Amour
1U Ramblix Revisionist at Khanspride - CAC/CACIB B.O.B.
ZG Devil's Own Girka
Kampioenklas
1U Kampioen Ringerike Yenthe You

 

  

I did not realise a year had elapsed since my last bulletin but the last twelve months have been rather hectic one way or another, to say the least. 

Considerable time was spent organising the health seminar in May. It seems to have been a great success according to feedback (I am not in a good position to judge) and this is largely down to ‘the girls’ who rallied round to get it organised. There has been a full report in the Stafford so I will not go into detail here. However a DVD is available and anyone interested should contact Lesley McFadyen. I must confess I have not seen it yet – looking at myself in the mirror in the morning is more than enough without watching myself on screen! While we were delighted with the speakers, the greatest contributors were those who supported the seminar by coming on the day and deserve a big ‘thank you’. The question for all to consider is ‘should we think about holding another’? Certainly not in 2011 but perhaps 2012 and if you think this would be worthwhile, you may wish to let us have ideas on topics you would like covered. I should add that we may have three speakers willing to contribute already. Over to you folks. 

At the end of October, I attended a seminar held at Stoneleigh for health co-ordinators organised by the KC, sadly only one per breed was allowed. A full report is being done by a lady from another breed, who offered to share it with us, and this will be circulated when available. It was a useful day and my overall impression was it was good and not so good in parts, but a step in the right direction. One or two contacts were made and I think it likely the KC will supply a list of the co-ordinators for all breeds pretty soon. This is long overdue and will allow discussion between breeds with common problems. 

Estimated Breeding Values (EBV) were discussed at the meeting and those interested should read the article in May’s Kennel Gazette. It seems that these may be useful for those conditions that have a polygenic mode of inheritance in part and an environmental component as well, rather than single gene disorders. However we shall just have to see how beneficial they may be for Stafford breeders.

One small but important point from the seminar concerns the collection of mouth swabs for DNA studies. In the past it was customary to collect a couple but to give the greatest chance of success it is now recommended that four swabs should be collected in the usual manner and sent for examination.

It was interesting to see what work is being done in other breeds, but what may be feasible in one may not be in another. It is much easier to conduct studies in breeds that are numerically small, generally speaking, as most breeders are usually known to each other and can be persuaded to co-operate. Compare this with Staffords where we have so many breeding and registering with the KC but are totally unknown to those in the Clubs, in Britain at least. 

Because of all that had been going on the cause of death survey in Staffords, which is the sort of thing the KC would like breeds to undertake, has been lagging somewhat but after New Year is something we need to be giving a push, unless this reminder is sufficient on its own. While on such matters, may I point out that the Dutch club have an ongoing study which allows owners to update their dogs’ health information as time passes. Anyone wordwide may participate and those interested in contributing should contact Martin Van Aken martinvanaken@planet.nl or Bianca Janssen h.janssen40@upcmail.nl for more information. Anything of this nature can only be for the good of the breed. 

Lastly I come to PHPV. As you know we would like to get the genetics of the condition investigated but this cannot be considered until we have specimens from sufficient affected animals. Currently we need samples from about six more affected dogs so if you hear of any, please try to get swabs from them plus close relatives (the same goes for PPSC too). As you know PHPV may be diagnosed at six to seven weeks old onwards, and at the recent Breed Council meeting a resolution was passed to request the KC that ‘litter testing’ be included as a recommendation in the Accredited Breeder Scheme but not mandatory as with DNA testing. Naturally one hopes that all responsible breeders would get their puppies’ eyes tested at this stage to get a definitive diagnosis once and for all, but we have to accept that some breeders may have genuine logistic problems that may prevent this. All we can ask is that everyone does their best in this respect.

Archie Bryden

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   

 


 

 

Health Bulletin No5 October 2011

 

Since my last bulletin eleven months ago things have moved on a bit. Firstly, thanks to the efforts of Catrine in Norway, Lesley and Diane, Cathryn Mellersh of the Animal Health Trust Canine Genetics Unit now has sufficient specimens to commence research into PHPV and its transmission, with the eventual hope of getting a test that may lead to its elimination from the breed. While we do not consciously think about it, we are reaping the success of getting tests for HC and L-2-HGA. The numbers of dogs that are genetically clear are steadily mounting thus reducing the need for expensive testing, for bona fide show breeders/exhibitors at least.

This research will cost £10,000 sterling or more and the Breed Council at the October meeting authorised the release of up to £5,000, from monies ‘ring fenced’ from the former genetics fund, as and when required. Cathryn has offered to make the application on our behalf to the KC Charitable Trust for a grant to make up the shortfall. Of course, like all research, this is a journey into the unknown. It was suggested in early scientific papers that a dominant gene with variable expression may be the cause of PHPV, but, as I have discussed with Cathryn, a recessive could equally be the cause, so ‘we simply do not know’! And these were the words of the late Keith Barnett, the eminent ophthalmologist, at a consultation I had with him many years ago! What must be borne in mind is that all this may take some time, but hopefully success will be achieved at the end.

Many know of course that PHPV not only affects Staffords but notably Dobermanns as well, and the condition is considered to be hereditary in both breeds plus the Bouvier. I also was sent an article published by the Swedish King Charles Spaniel Club ten years ago on PHPV in their breed. From their comments it would seem they consider a recessive gene to be to blame. I do not know to what extent the KCS may be affected in Britain but, from whispers, I am not sure it is clear. Can those outside the UK supply any information in their own countries? PHPV has also been recorded in several other breeds but in a non-inheritable form. Don’t ask me how they differentiate this from the inherited, I do not know, but it does cloud the issue!

If, or let’s be optimistic and say when, success is achieved with PHPV, then we are left with the enigma of PPSC which has been found in a wide range of breeds. Initially this was thought to be late onset and caused little, if any, impairment of sight but with time it has been found to develop any time from six months old and while many progress little or not at all, some have been found to develop to the point that sight is affected. The problem is that we have no data to work on and it is thus impossible to make an evidence-based decision on what recommendations should be made. While it is anathema to me to test ‘just in case’, I reluctantly find myself having to go along with the requirements of the KC’s Assured (Accredited) Breeder Scheme which requires a valid eye certificate prior to mating; basically this means that stud dogs should be tested annually and bitches tested within a year prior to having a litter. Not unnaturally, breeders will not get their dogs retested after they have finished breeding so never know if any develop PPSC subsequently, an important issue should genetic inheritance be proved. Ideally we need to get a sufficiently large cohort of ‘oldies’ aged eight or more tested to give us an idea of its prevalence. However few will happily get their dogs retested at such an age if having to pay even a reduced fee. On the other hand it would be good if the vets offered free testing of older dogs in the interest making progress and were this to happen (don’t hold your breath), I am sure many would co-operate by bringing their dogs to the surgery or to eye testing sessions at shows for the sake of the breed.

Nevertheless we have to do what we can. As you may be aware, Diane Taylor is looking after PPSC issues but so far all that has been asked is to let her or me know about any dogs diagnosed with it and assist in the collection of mouth swabs for DNA storage at the AHT in case research studies are undertaken in the future. It would be good to know how many, if any, dogs are tested when they are aged eight or more. I will ask the KC if totals and results for such dogs are available but something tells me not to hold my breath (again) although it would be nice to be proved wrong on this occasion. The alternative would be to ask owners to let us know the results of any ‘oldies’ being tested and this will be considered if there is no easier way of getting them. Perhaps some of our overseas friends could help if clubs collate test data routinely, which may be easier for them especially if dealing with smaller numbers. Such information would be most welcome.

When I became the Lead Health Co-ordinator here in the UK, I adopted the policy of sending relevant communications by email to each club’s co-ordinator plus a copy to the secretary as back-up in case delivery problems occurred. I hope this has worked satisfactorily and I do try to keep abreast of any changes in personnel, which is easy where secretaries are concerned. However I need to be informed if there are any changes of club co-ordinators so may I ask all to check that communications are going to the right people please. And don’t forget changes in email addresses!

 With overseas clubs I have tried to get a point of contact, usually the secretary, for each. However I do not think coverage is complete. I believe all Australian and New Zealand clubs are ‘on board’ but possibly not all South African, American and European ones. So please spread the word to ensure that links to all Stafford clubs, even those which may serve several bull breeds in countries where numbers are small, are established. This is so important as many have much to contribute but remaining in isolation benefits no one. Working together is the way forward and I, and I’m certainly not alone, would like to receive information on what those abroad are doing on health issues.  

 Archie

 

 

 

 

Health Bulletin No15, February 2013

 

The Assured Breeder Scheme and Staffords

Some breeders and owners seem to be uncertain about the requirements for Staffords under the Assured Breeder Scheme, so perhaps these should be specified to avoid further confusion:

 

  • Hereditary catatact (HC-HSF4). It is a requirement that all dogs, being bred undergo the DNA test for this recessive gene prior to mating, unless hereditarily clear, to prevent two carriers being mated together.
  • L-2-Hydroxuglutaric Aciduria (L-2-HGA). As with HC-HSF4, it is a requirement that all dogs, being bred undergo the DNA test for this recessive gene prior to mating, unless hereditarily clear, to prevent two carriers being mated together.
  • Eye testing. It is a requirement that all sires and dams possess a current eye examination certificate i.e. tested within eighteen months prior to the birth of the litter. This will detect conditions like Persistent Hyperplastic Primary Vitreous (PHPV), Posterior Polar Subcapsular Cataract (PPSC) or any other eye condition that may be of a hereditary nature.
  • Litter Testing. It is a recommendation, not a requirement, that litters are eye tested at six to seven weeks old. This will permit any cases of PHPV, which is congenital, to be detected at the earliest opportunity to the benefit of breeders, who will not unknowingly sell an affected puppy.

 

From a practical point of view, with show breeders/exhibitors co-operating since testing began and getting their stock DNA tested for HC-HSF4 and L-2-HGA, virtually all their stock, with only a few exceptions which are being adequately dealt with by responsible breeders, is now ‘hereditarily clear’ for these conditions rendering further testing unnecessary.

The frequency of eye testing is a bone of contention for some but again one must be sensible. Although the vets glibly say dogs should be tested annually, as far as the ABS is concerned a valid certificate is one issued within eighteen months prior to the birth of a litter. Thus if a dog is going to be used at stud, testing should be delayed until shortly before his first mating and, provided he is continuing to be used, about every seventeen or eighteen months thereafter. For bitches there is no point, under normal circumstances, to test until shortly before the first mating is due to take place, irrespective of age. In theory, one eye test could cover a bitch for two litters and, as the KC will only register a maximum of four litters from a bitch, two tests might be all that is required in her breeding years. Many show breeders only take one or two litters from a bitch so a couple of tests at most will be required depending on the time between litters.

As previously stated, litter testing enables breeders to determine the PHPV status prior to selling of puppies which gives protection against any potential acrimony or even litigation, should a dog be found to have the condition on a full eye test later. However as getting appointments for testing litters may be at a premium, breeders should book them as soon as possible, perhaps when the litter is about one to two weeks old. It is also advisable not to delay registering puppies with the KC and application should be made when a litter is about two weeks old to allow for any losses in the early post-natal period.

A major complaint from breeders has been the inability to get the results from litter tests recorded on the registration forms. The explanation from the vets is that they cannot specifically identify individual puppies, despite microchipping being a feasible option for many years now. However the KC is aware of this problem, which is not their fault, and steps that will hopefully rectify this unsatisfactory situation, are being taken. Any progress will be reported in due course. 

Obviously the ABS requirements may change in the light of new developments but breeders will, of course, be kept fully informed.

 

Microchipping

As most will now be aware, microchipping of all dogs will become compulsory in 2016. Many do microchip their dogs routinely already so this will not affect them, and many may have been obliged to do so for health testing in some instances. It makes sense to get your dogs done sooner rather than later. Your vet will usually microchip and there are some independent trained ‘chippers’ who can do it for you. However it may be worth your while investigating what your local council offers. Many dog wardens will microchip the dogs of local residents free or at a reduced cost. Similarly, charities, such as the Dogs Trust, may offer free microchipping as part of campaigns promoting responsible ownership. It is just common sense to take advantage of such opportunities when they are available to save hassle at a later date.

As stated above, positive identification of puppies by microchipping would be advantageous if litters are being tested for a variety of conditions.

 

PHPV Research

I am pleased to report that Cathryn Mellersh and her team at the Animal Health Trust have commenced their laboratory studies to hopefully identify the genetics of PHPV and develop a DNA test for the condition. Being a journey into the unknown, we do not know how long the work will take although we hope for a successful outcome. However you will be kept informed of how the research is progressing as necessary. As ever we are grateful to all the owners who have done their bit for the breed by submitting specimens from affected dogs and their relatives. (Please note, the incidence of PHPV in litters was discussed in Bulletin No13.)

 

 

 

 

 

Health Bulletin No16, May 2013

Since the last Bulletin in February, there are a few points to draw your attention to.

Mortality Survey

All should have received the completed full report which makes rather pleasant reading for those interested in the breed. In a nutshell, owners may reasonably expect their Staffords to live for 12-14years, eventually succumbing to old age or an age related condition. Inevitably some in the study died prematurely at under ten years of age as may happen with any species or breed but the good thing is that no peak of deaths at a young age was found. This occurs with some breeds when a greater than expected number die when, for example, six or seven years old, with those surviving past this age going on to a normal lifespan. This suggests some genetic condition is involved but fortunately Staffords do not seem to have anything of such a nature. The only conditions that we may need to watch are brain tumours and mast cell tumours. The latter was discussed in the skin lump survey published previously but more information is required on the former. Consequently a survey of dogs diagnosed with brain tumours is being undertaken and this is discussed below.

 

Skin Survey

This has been undertaken and a preliminary report has been published to give some feedback to interested parties. A full analysis will take some time unfortunately but it would seem that demodex or allergies may each affect about ten per cent of Staffords at some stage in their lives. However, most cases usually appear to be well controlled by their owners. One specific aim was to assess any relationship of skin conditions with coat colour. Unfortunately it would seem initially that there are insufficient responses on blue and white dogs to allow meaningful comparison and once the full analysis is done, steps may be needed to look at these colours specifically as it is suggested that dogs of both colours may be at increased risk.

In conducting this survey, special thanks is due to the efforts of the folk from the SBTC who manned the Discover Dogs stall at Crufts and did a great job promoting the survey by a paper questionnaire which got many responses from pet owners, often with dogs that were not KC registered. Such thanks is due also to Ivor Keyes who conducted the survey on-line using ‘Surveymonkey’ and whose efforts have been invaluable in extracting the necessary data.

 

PHPV

As you may know the AHT has started examining the specimens collected from affected Staffords and related dogs to see if the genetics of PHPV could be determined, possibly leading to a DNA test. At the last count, the specimens had been tested but the results had still to be analysed. Again this may take time and further information will be supplied when available.

 

Brain Tumour Survey

As mentioned above, the Mortality survey suggested that brain tumours in Staffords may need to be monitored as half of those reported as dying with a brain tumour were less than ten years old. This clearly requires further investigation of clinical signs, diagnosis, treatment and outcome. Consequently I would like owners, world-wide and not just British Isles, who have a Stafford currently diagnosed with a brain tumour or had a Stafford that died from a brain tumour after January 1st 2010 to contact me please, initially by email on archie.bryden@yahoo.co.uk or by Facebook. A questionnaire has been prepared and can be sent out as required or completed over the telephone as getting all the necessary details is imperative. Good advice on the questions to include, was received from Dan O’Neill, the vet who is conducting the Royal Veterinary College’s VetCompass project which involves many veterinary practices on-line. Depending on the number of responses received and the information obtained, Dan can also put us in contact with his neurologist colleagues if further help and advice is required; such collaboration is imperative in improving the health of our dogs.

From the Mortality survey, I am not expecting to be overwhelmed by reports of dogs with brain tumours – I would be very alarmed if I were! However even if about thirty or so responses were received, it should give some idea of how brain tumours are dealt with and most importantly the ages at which they occur, to allow the way forward to be discussed with our veterinary colleagues. 

 

Archie

 

SBT Breed Council of GB&NI, and SBTC Skin Survey.

 Preliminary Report.

 

This report is a brief overview of the skin survey conducted by the SBTBC of GB&NI and SBTC during March and April 2013. The objective was to assess the prevalence of skin conditions affecting Staffords and if there was any relationship with coat colour. There was also the need to obtain basic data for comparison with other breeds and to allow monitoring of future trends. A full analysis will be reported in due course.

 

The survey was conducted by questionnaire posted via an on-line link on the Facebook pages of several SBT breed clubs and a SBT Debates and Topics Group, or by paper version distributed at the SBT Discover Dogs stall at Crufts 2013. Owners were asked specifically for information on whether their dogs had, at some stage, demodectic mange, atopy (allergy), hair loss, or other skin condition, in addition to current age, age at onset, if applicable, and coat colour. A separate question asked if the dog ever had any skin lumps and their nature.

 

Responses on 556 dogs were received; 396 were via the Facebook link, 152 were by the paper questionnaire while a further eight were by email or telephone conversation.

 

Facebook Responses

 

Of the 396 reports received on-line, 356 were from Kennel Club (all official KCs) registered dogs; of these 54.0% were black or black brindle, 13.0% brindle, 17% red or fawn, 6.5% blue, 7.5% pied (brindle or red), and 3.0% white. No reports were received from livers or black and tans.

 

Overall, 9.6% of the 356 were reported as having demodectic mange as some stage but mostly when young, and 10.7% with allergies to various causes. Baldness or hair loss was reported in 10.3% but many of those also had demodex or allergies so the hair loss may be secondary in such cases. Because of the low numbers of reports received on blue, white and pied dogs, compared with black brindles for example, demonstrating any significant differences by coat colour is impossible. For example reports were received on only twelve white dogs so to confirm or refute suggestions that dogs of this colour may have a greater incidence of skin conditions a much larger number would have to be reported on. A slightly higher percentage of both blue and white dogs were reported as having demodex or an allergy but as stated, no conclusion is possible because of the numbers involved. Although further in-depth analysis has yet to be done, it would appear that the incidence of skin conditions is similar for all colours.

 

Of the blues reported, only one had colour dilution alopecia (CDA) which is associated specifically with this colour. Unfortunately this dog is very severely affected, requiring considerable long term medication.

 

The causes of the allergies reported in 10.7% of dogs were diverse. House mites, dust mites, storage mites, flea and insect bites, pollen, grass seed, E numbers  in one case, household chemicals, even changes in diet by brand of food, were all cited

 

Of dogs reported on-line, 10.2% had cysts, 3.5% warts and 1.5% skin cancers or mast cell tumours. Apart from white dogs being possibly more susceptible to cysts, there was no significant variation by colour for all skin lumps but numbers are small making meaningful comparison difficult.

 

Discover Dogs Responses

 

Of 152 dogs from which responses were received to the questionnaire distributed at Discover Dogs, 59% were from dogs that were not KC registered; 28% were black or black brindle, 26% brindle, 20% red or fawn, blue 12%, pied 6%, white 8.0% and one was black and tan. Stating whether as dog is black brindle or brindle, may depend on how knowlegable an owner is, but it is interesting to note that the combined ‘brindle’ numbers for dogs reported via discover dogs is 54% whereas that from the on-line Facebook link is 67%. However the percentage of blues and whites in these dogs were greater than in the KC registered dogs reported on-line; blues were 12% as opposed to 6.5% and whites 8.0% against 3.0%. Whether this is significant or not remains to be seen.

 

 Many of this group were ‘rescue’ dogs and owners often reported that they were in poor skin condition when picked up from the rescue kennels. The incidence of demodex was lower than in the KC registered dogs reported above, but that of allergies was higher. With both these conditions, affected dogs responded well when in their new surroundings suggesting that stress could be a contributory factor. A higher incidence of cancerous skin lumps was also reported.

 

A single case of CDA was found in a blue fawn dog that was not KC registered in this group. This only came to light when the owner was contacted for clarification of another point as the dog’s condition was not considered to be sufficiently serious. This will be discussed fully in the final report.

 

This preliminary report has concentrated mainly on the KC registered dogs submitted via the Facebook link, as it was considered they would comprise the best sample group of the breed to provide the basic data with which other sub-groups may be compared, It is also essential that information on skin conditions in other breeds and dogs in general is obtained before discussing the relevance of the incidence of demodectic mange and allergies in Staffords. However these conditions in the dogs reported here, were apparently well managed and usually not persistent. A full report will be presented in due course.

 
 

 

 

 


   

 

 

 

 

Archie

 

Health Bulletin No 21, April 2014.

PHPV Updates

There has been much discussion recently about persistent hyperplastic primary vitreous (PHPV) regarding incidence and whether mildly affected cases may be used for breeding, although the standard advice from the geneticists and ophthalmologists has always been not to breed from affected dogs irrespective of how mild their condition may be. This bulletin will therefore try to give an update on its incidence and current trends.

Results of routine testing.

These are based on dogs tested under the KC/BVA eye testing scheme and were kindly supplied by both the KC and BVA, and reported in the KC’s Breed Records Supplement. Although eye testing was becoming routine after the issue of PHPV arose in the 1980’s, early figures are perhaps inconsistent so the data is presented below from the start of 1994 to the end of 2013 in two ten year periods.

 Years              Dogs tested         PHPV affected           % affected

1994-2003             1877                   20                             1.07%

2004-2013             3027                   17                              0.56%

Totals                   4904                    37                              0.75%

The apparent reduction between the two decades has to be treated with caution. Firstly we do not know how many re-tests are included either for dogs owned by Assured Breeders who are obliged to have a current eye certificate for their dogs or those owned by non-ABS breeders who nevertheless follow the guidelines as it is ‘the right thing to do’. Re-tests could account for 10% of tests in recent years with some dogs being tested three or four times. Secondly litter testing has increased and affected puppies are almost certainly never going to be bred. Hence, they are most unlikely to have an adult eye test, thus removing them from the system. Detecting even a very small number of affecteds as puppies instead of adults could have a considerable effect in reducing the percentage affected of dogs tested as adults. Unfortunately, unlike continental Europe where cases of PHPV are graded 1-6 according to severity, there is no such system in place routinely in the UK so we have no idea what proportion of the 37 affected cases were mild or severe.

To enable some comparison, data has been obtained from Norway and Finland. In Norway, 1657 Staffords were examined between 2006-2013. Of those 53 (3.2%) were affected with PHPV; 45 (2.7%) were grade 1 and thus mildly affected, three (0.2%) were probably grade 1 but unconfirmed, while five (0.3% of all dogs tested or 9.4% of those with PHPV) were grades 2-6 and thus more severely affected. In Finland, from 2009 to 2013, 651 dogs were examined; thirteen (2.0%) were affected with PHPV, twelve were grade 1 and only one was grade 2-6.

How important these differences between countries are, is difficult to say. As numbers are comparatively low, it would only take a couple of litters with, let’s say, four or five affected dogs out of seven or eight puppies, to skew the figures if all found their way into the testing system. A more likely answer is the use of grade 1 affected dogs for breeding as the current European advice suggests that grade1 dogs may be used but not grades 2-6, in contrast to the advice given to British breeders of not using even dogs only mildly affected in their breeding programmes. Gathering data on litters where one of the parents is affected with PHPV is under way but will take some time and beyond the scope of this report.

Parental history of affected cases

The eye test status of the parents of the affected dogs reported under the KC/BVA scheme from 1994-2013, plus a single case from 1993, were investigated using the KC’s test result finder service. However one of the later affected dogs was foreign bred so no parental tests are available and is thus omitted, although still leaving a total of 37 affected dogs the results for which are given below.

Both parents unaffected.                                        17 (45.9%)

Both parents untested under KC/BVA scheme.       11 (29.7%)

One parent unaffected and one parent untested.        8 (21.6%)

One parent AFFECTED and one parent untested.      1 (2.7%)

Total                                                                     37

Perhaps of greatest interest is the case with one affected parent. This is a bitch with an affected dam which is also included on the list of affected dogs. Interestingly the daughter was tested before the mother, suggesting the latter’s test was only undertaken on discovery of the affected offspring. This finding is consistent with inheritance of the condition but the fact that seventeen affected dogs had unaffected parents must also be considered, suggesting that the mode of inheritance may not be a simple one.

Litter testing

About eighteen months ago, the results of litter testing 2008-2011 was reported in a previous bulletin; 128 litters had been tested during these four years and six (4.7%) had been found to contain one or more affected puppies. Of the combined total of 31 puppies in these litters, eleven (35.5%) were affected. Following on from these, during 2012-2013 a further 131 litters have been tested; 50 in 2012 and 81 in 2013, showing an increasing uptake by breeders.

Of these 131 litters, six (4.6%) were found to contain one or more puppies affected with PHPV; five of the litters had two affected out of four to seven puppies while the remaining litter was one out of three. Thus of a combined total of 31 puppies in the six litters, eleven (35.5%) were affected. Apart from a couple of extra litters tested and minor differences in the numbers in those with affected puppies, the results for these litters from 2012-2013 are, co-incidentally, identical to the previous four years.

If we combine these results to cover the six year period from 2008 to 2013, 259 litters have been tested and twelve were found to contain one or more affected puppies with numbers ranging from 1:8 to 5:6. These litters had a combined total of 62 puppies with 22 (35.5%) affected. The number of puppies tested in those litters with none affected is unknown but if we assume the average number of puppies in all litters examined to be five (in previous bulletin it was taken as 4.7 based on other studies but further research suggests that it may be nearer five), this means that around 1300 puppies have been examined and 22 (1.7%) were affected. Despite being a bit greater than the percentage affected on routine testing over the past decade, for which there are several reasons as discussed previously, it is nevertheless compatible with routine findings both here and in Europe. A major problem is that the results of litter tests are not published in the BRS, their parentage is thus unknown and not only is one unable to ascertain the eye test status of the sire and dam but it is also unknown if there is any common factor, such as same sire, between any affected litters.

It is probably important that the PHPV cases found are concentrated in a comparatively small number of litters. This supports the belief that there is a genetic cause for PHPV and it is thus hereditary although the mode of inheritance is still unknown. If it were a random occurrence that ‘just happened’, a wider scatter through a larger number of litters would be expected.

It is hoped that litter test results will be reported routinely in the near future thus allowing them to be analysed in greater depth. It would also be beneficial if some grading system of severity was put into place, as it is in Europe; this might enable greater understanding of why severity varies and whether mild cases can indeed produce more severely affected ones if used for breeding. Currently information is being sought on litters being bred where sire or dam (or even both) are PHPV affected and it is hoped this may be presented in the near future.

Thanks are due to Catrine Arntzen and Cvetka Bogovcic for their invaluable assistance in supplying the European figures included.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

Health Bulletin No 22, May 2014.

PPSC

Previously in Bulletin No13, the number of cases of posterior polar sub-capsular cataract (PPSC) diagnosed from 2009 to 2011 was reported. Initially only six cases were reported by the BVA at that time but this has now been amended to seven. Over 2012-2013 a further two cases have been reported so these will be combined with previous figures.

Thus from 2009 to 2013, nine cases of PPSC have been reported from a total of 1262 adult eye tests giving an incidence of 0.7%; we do not know exactly how many of the total dogs are retests, nor if any cases were detected in dogs being retested, but as retests have been estimated to be perhaps about 10% of the total, we can be confident that the incidence among dogs being tested is less that 1.0%. Data from Finland indicates that six cases were found among 651 dogs tested between the same years, 2009-2013, giving a similar incidence of 0.9%.

Of the nine UK cases, six were one year olds when diagnosed, and the remaining three were 3yo, 5yo and 8yo respectively. The one year old dogs would almost certainly be diagnosed at their first adult eye examination. The same may be true for the dog aged three if testing was delayed until being bred for the first time, and even the five year old. As for the eight year old dog, one would have expected it to have had its eyes tested on a previous occasion especially if its owner was a show breeder, although it is possible that the dog was undergoing a full eye examination for another reason and finding PPSC was co-incidental.

Initial thoughts were that PPSC tended to develop mainly in older dogs but this is clearly refuted by finding two thirds of these cases in dogs aged less than two years. PPSC has been found in numerous breeds and may be there from six months of age upwards although it is considered it may develop at any age. It was always considered that dogs with PPSC suffer little, if any, visual impairment but there have been a few reports of it progressing to affect sight although we do not know in what breeds nor how often this has actually occurred.

Labrador Retrievers are one of the main breeds associated with PPSC. On one relevant site, no information is given on its incidence although considered to be the most common type of cataract in that breed and may usually be diagnosed from about 12m old. It would also appear that PPSC may progress in less than 5% of affected Labradors. Extrapolating data from one breed to another requires the greatest caution, but if the risk of progression was the same it would mean that the chance of a Stafford having sight problems with PPSC is approximately only 1:2000    We are aware, anecdotally, of one case being found in a 5yo SBT which had had a couple of previous clear eye tests, but there would appear to be no reports of any PPSC affected Stafford developing visual impairment as a consequence.

These figures suggest PPSC is not common in SBTs although determining its incidence accurately would require the examination of a large number of older dogs perhaps aged ten or more to see how many have actually developed it and if it had caused any sight problems. Clearly they have implications for future eye testing policies but this is a matter to be discussed by the Clubs.

Archie

Staffjoy's | Staffordshire Bull Terriers | h.janssen40@upcmail.nl