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Concept: Conformation show


Objective-To determine the characteristics of, prevalence of, and risk factors for corneal pigmentation (CP) in Pugs. Design-Prospective cross-sectional study. Animals-295 Pugs > 16 weeks old. Procedures-Ophthalmic examination of the anterior segment of each eye was performed, including determination of tear film characteristics (Schirmer tear test and tear film breakup time) and corneal sensitivity. Digital photographs of the head and each eye were obtained. Corneal pigmentation of eyes was graded as absent, very mild, mild, moderate, or severe. Signalment and medical history information and American Kennel Club registration status were recorded. Results-CP was detected in at least 1 eye of 243 of the 295 (82.4%) Pugs; CP was typically very mild or mild. Detection of CP was not significantly associated with coat color, age, eyelid conformation, or tear film characteristics but was significantly associated with sex of dogs. The severity of CP was not significantly associated with American Kennel Club registration status or age, but was significantly associated with sex, tear film characteristics, and coat color. Iris hypoplasia was detected in 72.1% of the Pugs. Iris-to-iris persistent pupillary membranes were detected in 85.3% of the Pugs. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance-Prevalence of CP in Pugs in this study was high. Unexpectedly high prevalences of iris hypoplasia and persistent pupillary membranes were also identified. The condition identified in these Pugs was a pigmentary keratopathy, rather than pigmentary keratitis or corneal melanosis. This condition may have a genetic basis, and further studies are warranted to determine etiology.

Concepts: Conformation show, Kennel club, Schirmer's test, Tears, Pupil, Iris, Cornea, Eye


Inbreeding is inevitable in closed populations with a finite number of ancestors and where there is selection. Therefore, management of the rate of inbreeding at sustainable levels is required to avoid the associated detrimental effects of inbreeding. Studies have shown some pedigree dog breeds to have high levels of inbreeding and a high burden of inherited disease unrelated to selection objectives, implying loss of genetic diversity may be a particular problem for pedigree dogs. Pedigree analysis of all 215 breeds currently recognised by the UK Kennel Club over the period 1980-2014 was undertaken to ascertain parameters describing the rate of loss of genetic diversity due to inbreeding, and the presence of any general trend across all breeds.

Concepts: Conformation show, Dog health, Selective breeding, Population genetics, Pedigree Dogs Exposed, Dog, Kennel club, Dog breed


Every year, thousands of purebred domestic dogs are bred by registered dog breeders. Yet, little is known about the rearing environment of these dogs, or the attitudes and priorities surrounding breeding practices of these dog breeders. The objective of this study was to explore some of the factors that dog breeders consider important for stock selection, with a particular emphasis on issues relating to the dam. Two-hundred and seventy-four Australian purebred dog breeders, covering 91 breeds across all Australian National Kennel Club breed groups, completed an online survey relating to breeding practices. Most breeders surveyed (76%) reported specialising in one breed of dog, the median number of dogs and bitches per breeder was two and three respectively, and most breeders bred two litters or less a year. We identified four components, relating to the dam, that were considered important to breeders. These were defined as Maternal Care, Offspring Potential, Dam Temperament, and Dam Genetics and Health. Overall, differences were observed in attitudes and beliefs across these components, showing that there is variation according to breed/breed groups. In particular, the importance of Maternal Care varied according to dog breed group. Breeders of brachycephalic breeds tended to differ the most in relation to Offspring Potential and Dam Genetics and Health. The number of breeding dogs/bitches influenced breeding priority, especially in relation to Dam Temperament, however no effect was found relating to the number of puppies bred each year. Only 24% of breeders used their own sire for breeding. The finding that some breeders did not test for diseases relevant to their breed, such as hip dysplasia in Labrador Retrievers and German Shepherds, provides important information on the need to educate some breeders, and also buyers of purebred puppies, that screening for significant diseases should occur. Further research into the selection of breeding dams and sires will inform future strategies to improve the health and behaviour of our best friend.

Concepts: Labrador Retriever, Breed, Purebred, Selective breeding, Dog type, Conformation show, Dog, Dog breed


Working dog owners in Scotland were invited to take part in an internet survey regarding the 2010/2011 shooting season, which was designed to estimate the prevalence of tail injuries; assess the risk of tail injuries in docked and undocked working dogs; and identify risk factors for owner-reported tail injuries. Of 2860 working dogs, 13.5 per cent sustained at least one tail injury during the 2010/2011 shooting season. Undocked spaniels and hunt point retrievers (HPRs) were at greatest risk of tail injury with 56.6 per cent of undocked spaniels and 38.5 per cent of undocked HPRs sustaining at least one tail injury during the season. There was no statistically significant difference in the risk of tail injury in dogs with tails docked by one-third, half or shorter. To prevent one tail injury in one shooting season, between two and 18 spaniels or HPRs would need to be docked as puppies. The authors believe that this work provides the best available evidence on which to base a consultation for changes to the legislation on tail docking in working dogs in Scotland. Docking the tails of HPRs and spaniels by one-third would significantly decrease the risk of tail injury sustained while working in these breeds.

Concepts: Conformation show, Dog breed, Dog types, Statistics, Working dog, Statistical significance, Dog type, Dog


Heparin is a highly-sulfated glycosaminoglycan (GAG) of natural origin used as anticoagulant and antithrombotic drug. These properties are principally based on the binding and activation of antithrombin (AT) through the pentasaccharide sequence: GlcNAc/NS,6S-GlcA-GlcNS,3,6S-IdoA2S-GlcNS,6S (AGA*IA). Literature data shows that the population of 2S0 ring conformation of the 2-O-sulfo-α-L-Iduronic acid (IdoA2S) correlates with the affinity and activation of AT. It was recently demonstrated that two synthetic AGA*IA containing hexasaccharides (one G unit added at the reducing end), differing in the sulfation of the IdoA unit, show comparable affinity and ability to activate AT, despite the different conformation of the IdoA residue. In this paper, the binding to AT of these two glycans was studied by Isothermal Titration micro Calorimetry (ITC), transferred-NOESY (tr-NOESY), Saturation transfer difference (STD) NMR spectroscopy and Molecular Dynamic (MD) simulations. Results indicated that both IdoA2S and IdoA assume a 2S0 conformation when bound with AT, and a common binding epitope for the two glycans, centred on the AGA*IA sequence.

Concepts: Conformation show, Chemical bond, G-Unit, Ring, Pulmonary embolism, Glycosaminoglycan, Heparan sulfate, Heparin


Elbow joint incongruity is recognized as an important factor in the development, treatment, and prognosis of canine elbow dysplasia. Elbow incongruity has been measured based on radiographic joint space widths, however these values can be affected by the degree of elbow joint flexion. Recent studies have reported radiographic curvature radii as more precise measures of humeroulnar congruity in dogs. The aim of this prospective observational study was to describe radiographic curvature radii measured from flexed and extended elbow radiographs for a sample of dogs representing a medium breed (Portuguese Pointing Dog) and a large breed (Estrela Mountain Dog). The curvature radii from the ulnar trochlear notch and humeral trochlea were measured in 114 mediolateral elbow extended radiographic views (30 Portuguese Pointing Dog and 27 Estrela Mountain Dog), and 84 mediolateral flexed views (22 Portuguese Pointing Dog and 20 Estrela Mountain Dog). The sampled animals' ages ranged from 12 to 84 months (34.6 ± 17.8 months). Good agreement was observed between curvature radii measurements for flexed vs. extended views in both breed groups. Ulnar trochlear notch curvature radii measurements were greater than humeral trochlea curvature radii measurements in both breed groups. Both curvature radii were greater in the large-breed dog group vs. the medium-breed dog group. Both breed groups had ulnar and humeral curves with similar typology. However, the large breed group had greater intermediate differences between the humeroulnar surface curvature radii. Results from this study supported the use of curvature radii as measures of humeroulnar congruity in mediolateral flexed elbow radiographs of medium and large breed dogs.

Concepts: Terrier Group, Humerus, Conformation show, Breed Groups, Dog type, Dog breed


Controversies at Crufts in recent years have indicated there is still more to do to improve the health of pedigree dogs. Is the Kennel Club doing enough and can the UK learn from international experiences to help take matters forward? These questions were discussed during a session on pedigree dog health at the BVA Congress last month. Georgina Mills reports.

Concepts: Dogs, Pedigree Dogs Exposed, Conformation show, Dog health, The Kennel Club, Kennel club, Dog breed, Dog


This year, the Eye Scheme, which is run by BVA in conjunction with the Kennel Club and the International Sheep Dog Society, celebrates 50 years of screening dogs for hereditary eye conditions. Shirley Dent, media manager, reveals how the milestone is being marked.

Concepts: Animals, Dog breed, Dogs, Conformation show, Kennel club, Dog


BVA recently held a press conference to encourage vets and practice teams to submit data on conformation altering surgeries and caesarean sections to the Kennel Club to improve the health and welfare of future generations of dogs.

Concepts: Scruffts, Anesthesia, Crufts, Breed Groups, Dog breed, The Kennel Club, Conformation show, Kennel club


The Canine Health Schemes, run by BVA in partnership with the Kennel Club, were promoted at this year’s Crufts, which was held at the NEC, Birmingham, last month. Tim Keen, BVA marketing manager, reports.

Concepts: Scruffts, Crufts, Conformation show, The Kennel Club, Kennel club