With discussions over the past couple of weeks, would members find it valuable to have a “Health Database/Facts about our wonderful breed
I have asked Gene for his advice in respect of being able to put something on ES:
“Is it feasible for us to have a Health Section (not a discussion forum) but just a place to put information regarding health issues affecting the dogs?
Idea would be to have a database of health concerns. Information entered would perhaps contain the following:
Pedigree Name; Sex; DOB: (Sire/Dam);Country Bred; Details/Description of Health Problem.
This would be a valuable resource for us as we move forward towards seeking assistance and support for research for DNA testing on some of the terrible health problems looming over our breed at the moment. (May also need to have whether dog is alive or deceased) if follow-up wanted?
“You have a great idea and it would be very valuable for ES members. Unfortunately, such capabilities are beyond what Ning currently offers. The best way is to find someone who does web development for a living and has a passion for dogs, enough to do some pro bono work. Sorry that we couldn't do this for the Community. Maybe in the future Ning will offer this capability. “
This brings me to the question: Would members find this valuable to be able to access a site that would have the necessary information on it for us to make informed decisions on breed mate selection, etc. I see the above information as the minimum dataset, but happy to add other information if members wish to have it.
If we can get someone to set it up, I would be happy to maintain and update the database regularly. My thoughts, although we want to be open and up front about it, it may be more appealing if there was a “log in” to access the data, but happy to go completely open if the majority of members are keen for it?
Let me know your thoughts about this proposal and also if there are any webmasters on our membership and would be interested in assisting, would love to hear from you as well.
I think this is a wonderful idea, but I dont think it would ever work.
Mainly due to the fact that there are so many people involved. And people all have their own standards and moral codes. You may actually end up with a website pointing in the totally wrong direction.
The people wanting to "tell all" perhaps dont have anywhere near as big a problem as the ones not saying anything at all. Yet it will be the "tell-all-people" that will look as if they have all the problems.
The only way it can possibly work is by being forced to test before you can register your litter.
As in the case of the Swedish Kennel-club where the hip- and Clad-result is out in the open for everyone to see in their database.
I would prefer to see national kennel clubs having a publicly accessible data base which includes health and genetic information, as well as pedigrees, litters, show ,field trial andworking results.
The Finnish Kennel Club data base is probably the best one currently, but could be expanded to include even more health data . It is very easy to use and accessible.
Club and private data bases tend to become political - some breeders wont submit data because the database is run by somebody they dont like! At least a national kennel club data base is neutral and run by anonymous employees. And national kennel clubs can refuse to register litters from untested dogs, or dogs that dont meet requirements eg a good hip score
No amount of information is going to help unless breeders use it to change the way they breed. As somebody said, there is actually a lot of research and information around about bloat, enough to know that it has to be at least partly genetic, even if the genes involved havent yet been identified. yet breeders go on burying their heads in the sand , and producing more litters from lines of dogs, knowing that those lines have been producing bloat (and MO).
Maybe vets could be required to notify Kennel Clubs about cases of bloat and MO (and a few other things) that they have to deal with, so KCs could record it in their data bases?
I think this is an excellent idea, Cheryl. I also agree with the risks involved as outlined by Ursula. Maybe if we could join forces with Lynn Dale from the ISBC we could together assist in creating a full database with verified information and pedigrees.
There are various programmes available for breed data collection, I do not know which one the ISBC is working with if any. But it would be a pity to start a separate data collection (which is definitely needed if we want to find a genetic marker) rather than suporting one that may already exist.
Yes, I agree with you all that this is best driven by Kennel Clubs around the world. This is perhaps the path that we need to take to contact our regulatory authorities take on this role and provide the service to it's members in this regard. Like you have all said, members may not come forward with information for whatever reason - webmaster, not wanting to disclos,etc, so if it is set up through the Kennel Clubs and recorded on registrations, this would be most appropriate. Our State bodies in Australia do not even record the CLAD and PRA status of our dogs on their registration, so we are relying on breeders advising us that the dogs are genetically clear as the tests could have been done generations ago!
I also have been thinking about the mandatory reporting by Vets. Doctors have a mandatory reporting process for notifiable diseases so why can't there be mandatory reporting by Vets when dogs are treated for health problems which have a genetic link (or perceived genetic link) ATM ie: Dogs with entropian/ectropian are often corrected via surgery, but there is no onus on the breeder or the vet to report this genetic health problem to any authority at all.
At least in Sweden, any request to include testing prior to being able to register puppies has to go via the official breed-club.
There we have another difficulty (at least here).
The official breed-club is almost 100% dedicated to field-trial types and in many cases there are difficulties in communication between the two types of owners.
It would be good if we could all belong to one swedish breed-club only.
Surgery for cosmetic reasons is supposed to be reported to the KC in the UK, as it can exclude a dog from the show ring. No reason why vets should not also be required to notify certain serious health conditions, especially where it would be better not to breed from the dog.
Since DNA testing began in the mid 90's the Animal Health Trust (AHT) have stored blood from all those tested and also have blood & mouth swabs donated from affected dog of most conditions which threaten the breed. There are samples for around 2000 individual Irish Setters, a high proportion of the samples are from dead or very aged dogs and their health history complete.
The ISAE put forward a proposal to the AHT and the KC at the beginning of the year, and offered to facilitated a health questionnaire of these dogs, recognising the result would be very valuable. All agreed and a confidential questionnaire was drawn up, the first batch has already gone out and the remainder soon. Results would only be sent back and only seen by the AHT, but statistics would be fed back to the ISAE, they will share the data with the breed. If the questionnaire finds the required number of affected dogs for any given condition, research may be able to commence.
THIS IS THE WAY FORWARD, anyone, anywhere in the world can contribute to this research by sending blood (in EDTA tube) or mouth swabs if in Europe, or mouth swabs only for the rest of the world, from affected or healthy dogs, if your healthy dog subsequently develops or dies from a condition, the DNA is there and you can feed this back in a future questionnaire. All dogs will be monitored till death. I have attached the submission form and for requests for mouth swab kits please email the AHT
Bryan McLaughlin (Graduate research assistant)
+44 (0) 1638 750659
A donation to the AHT for the cost of the mouth swab and storage is appreciated, more if you can afford it, to a breed club health fund, research is very costly.
Rosie, thanks for posting this information. This is great.
I was hoping anyone all over the world could contribute to this data and sample collections. I would love to know how many samples they need before they can substantiate the research project commencing.
Can you give me an estimate of the costs (to ensure the donation at least covers the swab and storage). I will be encouraging IS owners throughout Australia to send their swabs and details over. cheers
Rosie, thank you for posting this!
It is excellent news and I am sure many owners of Irish Setters outside Britain will be willing to contribute, both in form of DNA storage and a donation to the breed club health fund.
Where should donations be sent to?