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Another interesting and easy to understand article posted by Helen Davenport Willis re Elbows.

Copied from the BCX Facebook page by kind permission of Mo Seeley-Sewell.

Excellent post from Mike Tempest,

" I came across a post asking how puppies from 0/0 parents develop ED. There is a similar misunderstanding to the above." (He refers to a previous post on the subject on the same FB page). "With all due respect, they unfortunately illustrate, there is no understanding of the difference between phenotype and genotype, nor the mode of inheritance - nor the impact of environmental influences.

A score is an assessment of the phenotype of the elbows, which means it is what they look like, ie the clinical condition. A score does not give any indication of the genotype, in other words, an x-ray image does not tell you what genes the dogs has. In terms of inheritance, Elbow Dysplasia is inherited in a multifactorial/polygenic way, ie it is under the influence of many genes, how many we do not know - and is under the influence of environmental factors and is partly affected by overweight and over exercise in puppyhood.

0/0 mated to 0/0 will produce many dogs with good elbows (not necessarily all) but some bad elbows will occasionally result. Mating 3/3 to 3/3 will produce many dogs with bad elbows, but also a few with good elbows. Mating 0/0 to 3/3 is likely to produce a lot of dogs in the middle scores but a few good ones and few bad ones will also occur occasionally. This is because the inheritance follows an "additive genetic effect".

A "normal" dog has a few of the gene variants that can cause ED. A dog with subclinical ED will have more of the problem gene variants. It is the unique combination that each puppy receives from its two parents that will determine its genotype for ED and this is what causes the variation from good to bad, which can happen in one litter. So, the genetic status of relatives plays an important part of this. Now, if all the scores of relatives are number crunched together with the heritability value for ED into a computer program, it is possible to arrive at an Estimated Breed Value (EBV) for ED which is loads more accurate than a score when breeding considerations are made. The KC (London) do this and the EBVs are available online.

Now to heritabilities, they vary for different breeds and for each different scoring scheme. A very good scientific paper (Lawson et al, 2012) reported on phenotypic and genetic evaluation of ED in four breed involving thousands of dogs in The Netherlands. All scored under the IEWG Scheme. The heritabilities were calculated as 0.13 for Labradors, 0.12 for Golden Retrievers, 0.16 for Bernese Mt Dogs, and 0.33 for Newfoundlands. This means that for BMD, ED is only 16 % genetic (strictly speaking additive genetic effects which the breeder can control) and therefore 84% environmental (strictly speaking environmental plus some no additive genetic effects which the breeder cannot control). I hope this helps you all get a better understanding."

24 January 2019

New treatment for Addison’s


“People who are looking after a dog with Addison’s disease should be aware that the treatment in the UK is changing. 

A product called Zycortal is to replace Florinef. It is an injectable mineralocorticoid and it is usually given about once a month. The UK vets will have to get used to this form of replacement mineralocorticoid, so they will be learning too. 

This is not a new treatment for Addison’s because it has been used under the name of Percorten-V in the USA for a long time but it has not available in the UK unless shipped over by special licence.  Clearly, they now have a licence to use this in the UK.  It does seem to control Addison’s well once the optimum dose is established for the individual dog.

As far as I know Addisonian humans still use Florinef so it will be produced.  The problem is when a new drug comes on the market licenced for veterinary use the vet is obliged to use it,  and not the human equivalent drug without good reason and permission from the VMD (Veterinary Medicines Directorate).

Percorten-V is sometimes known as DOCP.  This is only a mineralocorticoid, unlike Florinef which has mineralocorticoid and a small amount of glucocorticoid (prednisolone).  This means that a glucocorticoid supplementation still has to be given and this might be on a daily basis or an every other day basis, depending on the requirements of the dog.  Also, additional pred will still have to be given in stressful situations.

This isn’t anything to become alarmed over but it will mean a new learning curve for you and your vet”.

20 April 2016

JBLC Statement regarding members concerns over the incidence of Auto-immune disease in Beardies

The JBLC recognise members concerns regarding the incidence of Auto-immune disease in Beardies and the apparent rise in reported cases in our recent health study.

Auto-immune diseases are complex polygenic diseases i.e. many genes are required to make a dog susceptible, and there is undoubtedly environmental factors that trigger them. This makes it very difficult to predict which dogs will be affected or to produce breeding strategies to avoid them.

The current best advice is not to breed from any dog affected with chronic (ongoing) Auto-immune disease. Dogs maintained on medication are not ‘cured’ and should not be bred from and any semen stored from dogs that have gone on to develop Auto-immune disease should be destroyed.

Matings that have produced offspring with auto-immune disease should not be repeated.

If an individual dog has produced multiple cases of auto-immune disease, especially in different and relatively unrelated mates, serious consideration should be given to withholding it from further breeding.

What are the JBLC doing?

• We are working with Jo Tucker to organise a seminar on Auto-immune disease to discuss current knowledge and provide breeders with a forum for their questions and concerns.

• We are currently considering the best ways of co-ordinating health information and considering some ideas as to the way forward, looking at the long term health and welfare of the breed and taking the professional advice available via the KC and AHT.

• In the meantime we would urge members to use BeaCon an open health registry set up in the USA, to submit health information for their Beardies

• We have set up the DNA databank for Beardies with the AHT. We know that many of you have contributed DNA in the form of swabs or blood to various research projects over the years. Unfortunately research projects are dependent on their funding, and sometimes on the personnel not leaving to take up other posts! Occasionally samples may be destroyed or difficult to trace once the work ceases. The AHT, however, works in partnership with the Kennel Club and have undertaken to store DNA in perpetuity. This makes it a valuable resource for any future research, or for examination should any new genetically inherited diseases crop up. We urge all members to submit samples from all their Beardies - and remember to update the AHT on their dogs ongoing health - especially should any health condition occur AND just as importantly, if the dog lives a long healthy life!

• We continue to look at the best ways of addressing Auto Immune conditions in the breed, utilizing the current available knowledge and scientific advice. We hope that owners and breeders will join with us by being open and provide information about dogs affected by these conditions. Any such information can be sent to our Breed Health Co-ordinator Elizabeth Ayrton - .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) - and will be treated with the utmost sensitivity.

• The JBLC welcomes your views/opinions on the way forward and these can be sent to Yvonne Fox, Secretary JBLC - .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

30 June 2015

Unregistered Beardies not included in the Health Survey

This is the reason given by Anne McBride as to why the
unregistered Beardies were not included in the health survey results.

“In answer to your question about the unregistered Beardies.

There were only 88 which was not sufficient to do a clear analysis to see if they could be amalgamated into the Registered group, or to do any clear analysis on them, as a separate group given the number of variables in the questionnaire.  Hence we decided to only consider registered dogs, which in themselves was a reasonable sized sample and removed any confounding variables, such as e.g. someone not knowing their unregistered beardie was pure bred or not

I regret if people are upset by their data not having been included, but to have done so would have clouded any conclusions from the data.  Their submission of data was very much appreciated, and had there been more, then we may well have been able to do something with it.”

15 June 2015

Animal Genetics on CEA

A very interesting short article on CEA worth reading.

30 May 2015