|Promoting the Health of the Field Spaniel
Monitoring, Testing, Education and Research
Health Testing Schemes
We aim to run a Heath Testing day every other year (open to all breeds)
For more information or details on our Testing Days or any of the items
below, please contact our Secretary :Shula Shipton
We use the Auscultation (examination with a stethoscope) method of heart testing. This is an essential part of examining the animals' heart and circulation. Any heart murmurs are identified, timed, localised and graded (grade 0 - 6).
David Fisher is a specialist in this area and has special multi-copy forms which he completes and gives one for the owner; one for the breed club and one for your veterinary surgeon. Heart testing is recommended to be carried out annually for Field Spaniels.
For a List of Veterinary Surgeons recommended for Auscultation, click
on the link below:-
HIP DYSPLASIA SCHEME
Developmental changes come first and being related mainly to growth are known as primary changes. Others come later; these are related to wear and tear from usage and are termed secondary changes. The end result is that one or a pair of joints becomes mechanically unsound and therefore does not function properly. An unsound joint is usually a painful one and lameness will result. In extreme cases the dog may find movement very difficult and much suffering will be involved.
It was in the light of these findings that the British Veterinary Association (BVA) and the Kennel Club (KC) developed a scheme some 30 years ago to assess the degree of hip malformation of dogs through radiography. Over this time almost 100,000 radiographs (X-rays) have been examined to provide a standardised pinion on HD status, principally for the use of breeders.
The BVA/KC HD Scheme
For the hip scoring scheme to be meaningful and successful in the attempt to control this serious disease it is important that all radiographs taken under the scheme are submitted for scoring, whatever the apparent state of the hips, in order that the information gathered is as relevant as possible. It is only by this means that proper conclusions may be drawn by the scheme's statisticians, geneticists and veterinary advisers. Currently some hips predicted to have a higher hip score are being held back from scoring. This and the fact that there have been few dogs scored since the scheme began means that the mean breed score may be distorted.
There are some specialist vets that do hip x-rays for the BVA / KC scheme that breeders like to go to. Some of these can do this with sedation rather than a full anaesthetic. If your vet is to use sedation, please remember to avoid Acepromazine (ACP) as this may have negative side effects.
The current mean hip score for Field Spaniels is 15 based on 110 dogs being scored.
The main purpose of the scheme is to ensure that there is no evidence of hereditary eye
disease in dogs used for breeding. Breeders are often advised to submit
dogs for annual eye tests, since some diseases have late onset of clinical
signs. However, it is also possible for litters to be tested for congenital
hereditary conditions such as Multifocal Retinal Dysplasia when they
are between six and twelve weeks of age. By screening breeding stock
for these diseases, breeders can use the information to eliminate or
reduce the frequency of eye disease being passed on to puppies.
Currently the Field Spaniel is on Schedule B (under Investigation)
for Heredity Cataract and Multifocal Retinal Dysplasia. All Fields tested
will be issued with a Clear Result but with annotations of any eye disease.
This also means that the results do not get published in the BRS. We
keep a register of all dogs who have been eye tested and their results.
Anyone who has had their dog’s eyes done can send a copy of the
form to the Acting Secretary to have it included in our register.
We hold Eye Testing sessions at our Testing Day. This is done by a BVA/KC panelist.
The three eye conditions that are under investigation in Field Spaniels are:-
Multifocal Retinal Dysplasia
Information to be uploaded
As with many breeds there have been incidences of Field Spaniels suffering from hypothyroidism.
What is hypothyroidism?
How does a dog get hypothyroidism?
What are the symptoms of hypothyroidism?
Are there certain breeds that are more susceptible
Hypothyroidism is rare in toy and miniature breeds of dogs.
Is age or gender a factor?
How is hypothyroidism diagnosed?
Free T4 by dialysis (FT4D) - This is the most common test. This procedure is considered to be the "gold standard" for assessment of thyroid's production and cellular availability of thyroxine. FT4D concentration is expected to be decreased in dogs with thyroid dysfunction due to autoimmune thyroiditis.
Canine Thyroid Simulating Hormone (cTSH) - This procedure helps determine the site of the lesion in cases of hypothyroidism. In autoimmune thyroiditis the lesion is at the level of the thyroid gland and the pituitary gland functions normally. The cTSH concentration is expected to be abnormally elevated in dogs with thyroid atrophy from autoimmune thyroiditis.
Thyroglobulin Auto Antibodies (TgAA) - This procedure is an indication for the presence of the autoimmune process in the dog's thyroid.
How is hypothyroidism treated?
What should I expect from the treatment?
BREED SPECIFIC - DNA ARCHIVES
The actual process of DNA profiling only uses around 1% of the DNA that is generated from each swab. The Kennel Club will store the remaining 99% of the DNA, free of charge. As the scheme grows and the number of DNA profiled dogs in successive generations increases, this stored material will generate a breed-specific DNA archive. The ideal scenario within a breed is to ensure that all parents are DNA profiled. Obviously, this will not be practical for all breeds, but the closer a breed can approach this situation, the more valuable the archive will be for that breed.
So, why will these DNA archives be valuable?
Identifying the genes usually involves analysing DNA samples from affected and unaffected dogs. At the moment, the most appropriate approach is to analyse DNA samples from families where one or more of the members are clinically affected; the ideal family structure being offspring, parents and grand parents. The availability of breed DNA archives will remove the laborious, and often difficult, process of assembling these family samples every time they are needed for research. The DNA archives will therefore be an extremely important research tool for breeds which might, in the future, want to undertake research into breed-specific inherited conditions.
We offer DNA profiling at our Health Testing days
Facts about DNA Profiling
· A DNA profile is an indisputable form of
identification for life.
What is a DNA Profile?
A DNA profile is a unique DNA signature that is present in each and every one of our dogs’ DNA. It serves to uniquely identify each dog, but more than that it can serve to verify a dog’s parentage. This is because half of a dog’s DNA profile is inherited from its dam and half from its sire. So, a comparison of a dog’s DNA profile with that of its Sire’s and Dam’s DNA profile will confirm that they are indeed its biological parents; if either has been incorrectly registered as a parent this comparison will certainly reveal the anomaly.
These days DNA profiling is very straightforward and involves taking a small amount of DNA from a dog that can be processed by a specialist laboratory to reveal the embedded DNA signature, its "DNA profile". All that is needed to get this DNA is a small amount of tissue from a dog. Increasingly, this is achieved by gently removing cells from the inside of a dog’s cheek using a small brush. This will remove enough cells to provide sufficient DNA for DNA profiling, it is non-invasive and causes no problem to the dog, other than a slight tickling sensation. Blood samples can also be taken and the white cells therein used to make DNA. Obviously if blood samples are to be taken, this will require a person qualified to take such samples.
The Kennel Club and DNA Profiling
The Kennel Club started a DNA Profiling Scheme some years ago in collaboration with the Southern Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club and this has been made available to other breeds in the intervening years. During this time there has been steady progress in improving the technological aspects of profiling. Perhaps the most significant advance in this area has been the recent adoption of an international standard procedure for DNA profiling in the dog. This has been overseen by the International Society for Animal Genetics (ISAG), the same organisation that produced similar international schemes for DNA profiling in the Horse, Cattle, Sheep and Pigs. This standard procedure means that we will be able to recognise and accept DNA profiles of dogs that have been profiled in other countries, provided they have used this standard procedure. This has been the impetus for us to create a new DNA profiling system here at the Kennel Club. The main improvement is the creation of a new fulfilment centre that now coordinates the profiling process and accurately tracks each sample as it goes through the process. The whole process from start to finish will become more streamlined and take no more than a couple of weeks.
So how does this new system work?
Owners wishing to have their dog DNA profiled should first approach the Kennel Club for a DNA Profiling Request Form, which requires details of the dog to be profiled and the owner’s contact details. The form also contains details of costs and a facility to pay by credit card or cheque. Upon receipt of the completed form(s) and the appropriate payment the information is then passed to the fulfilment centre, which will send out the profiling kit and instructions directly to the owner. Once the samples have been taken, the owner returns the sampling brushes directly to the fulfilment centre in a reply envelope. The fulfilment centre then sends the sample directly to the testing laboratory where the DNA profiling is undertaken. Once the profiling has been successfully completed, the fulfilment centre notifies the Kennel Club directly and a DNA Profile certificate is issued to the owner of the dog. This new system aims to turn around profiling requests within three weeks of the receipt of the DNA Profiling Request Form at the Kennel Club.
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