cocker spaniel

New DNA Tests and IVF

New DNA testing scheme for Cocker Spaniels

The Kennel Club has approved a new official DNA testing scheme for Acral Mutilation Syndrome (AMS) in Cocker Spaniels, following consultation with the Health Coordinator on behalf of the breed clubs.
This test is offered by Antagene (www.antagene.com) and further details can be obtained directly from them. As the Kennel Club does not have an agreement in place for the direct receipt of results from this laboratory, results can only currently be recorded upon owner submission.
Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: “The Kennel Club is constantly reviewing DNA testing schemes in conjunction with breed clubs to ensure that breeders are able to continue breeding healthy dogs.
“We are pleased to be announcing this new DNA test for Cocker Spaniels, which will help breeders make informed decisions when it comes to breeding, enable potential puppy buyers to be aware of issues which could affect their chosen breed, and ultimately protect and maintain the health of the breed.
“The Kennel Club continues to work alongside breed clubs and breed health coordinators, in a collaborative effort to improve the health of pedigree dogs. We are happy to accommodate a club’s request to add a new DNA test to its lists and would normally need a formal request from the breed’s health coordinator or a majority request from the breed clubs.”
Test results will be added to the dog’s registration details which will trigger the publication of the result in the next available Breed Records Supplement. The result will appear on any new registration certificate issued for the dog and on the registration certificates of any future progeny of the dog, and also on the Health Test Results Finder on the Kennel Club website. Results for dogs already tested can also be recorded, but owners will need to submit copies of the DNA certificates themselves.
If the owner includes the original registration certificate for the dog (not a copy) then a new registration certificate will be issued, with the DNA result on it, free of charge.

Please send any DNA test certificates to Health & Breeder Services, The Kennel Club, Clarges Street, London, W1J 8AB or scan and email copies of the certificates to hbs@thekennelclub.org.uk.

New DNA testing scheme for Alaskan Malamutes

The Kennel Club has approved a new official DNA testing scheme for Cone Degeneration (CD) in Alaskan Malamutes, following consultation with the Health Coordinator on behalf of the breed club.
To find out which laboratories the Kennel Club is able to record results from, and which labs will send results direct to the Kennel Club, please refer to the worldwide DNA testing list.
Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: “The Kennel Club is constantly reviewing DNA testing schemes in conjunction with breed clubs to ensure that breeders are supported in breeding healthy dogs.
“We are pleased to be announcing this new DNA test for Alaskan Malamutes, which will help breeders make informed decisions when it comes to breeding, enable potential puppy buyers to be aware of issues which could affect their chosen breed, and ultimately protect and maintain the health of the breed.
“The Kennel Club continues to work alongside breed clubs and breed health coordinators, in a collaborative effort to improve the health of pedigree dogs. We are happy to accommodate a club’s request to add a new DNA test to our lists and would normally need a formal request from the breed’s health coordinator or a majority request from the breed clubs.”
Test results will be added to the dog’s registration details which will trigger the publication of the result in the next available Breed Records Supplement. The result will appear on any new registration certificate issued for the dog, on the registration certificates of any future progeny of the dog, and also on the Health Test Results Finder on the Kennel Club website. Results for dogs already tested can also be recorded, but owners will need to submit copies of the DNA certificates themselves.
If the owner includes the original registration certificate for the dog (not a copy) then a new registration certificate will be issued, with the DNA result on it, free of charge. Please send any DNA test certificates to Health & Breeder Services, The Kennel Club, Clarges Street, Piccadilly, London, W1J 8AB or scan and email copies of the certificates to hbs@thekennelclub.org.uk.

IVF Dogs

A team from Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, led by Professor Alexander J. Travis, has announced that a litter of seven puppies delivered by caesarean section on July 10 are the first to be born through IVF.
The story has been widely reported in the media, and the procedure is being hailed as having the potential to save endangered dog species and help prevent breed-related genetic disorders.
The paper entitled Live Births from Domestic Dog (Canis familiaris) Embryos Produced by In Vitro Fertilization concentrates on describing the techniques used to but does also indicate possible ways in which this technique may be used in future and concludes by saying; “Successful IVF makes possible a variety of applications, including opening new opportunities for gamete rescue of endangered species or targeted propagation of domestic dogs of high genetic value. Importantly, the dog is also a preferred model for studies in stem cell transplantation and gene therapy, and has well-characterized breed predispositions to hundreds of traits and pathologies that also plague humans. But the full potential of dog genetics has not been realized because of lack of IVF/ART. Methods shown here enable new gene-editing technologies such as CRISPR/Cas to be applied to the dog in an efficient manner. This approach will allow genes identified as candidates to cause or predispose an individual to a pathology or undesired trait to be tested empirically. This in turn will facilitate both development of targeted treatments and genetic screening tests to be used to remove those genes from affected breeds, with broad positive impacts on human and companion animal health and welfare.”
The ability to carry out IVF raises not only technical challenges but also a number of ethical issues which relate not only to fertility treatment but also the use of gametes and embryos in research. In humans the primary purpose of IVF is to enable people who have fertility problems to have a baby, and although IVF for this purpose is well established it is nonetheless acknowledged that there are ethical issues raised by the treatment, which is why the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority exists.
So, now that IVF is technically possible in the dog, the ethical issues raised will need to be considered. We are aware that the technique is already being used in other species and would appreciate your comments on whether you think that there are particular ethical issues in regard to the use of this technique in dogs.
Please send your comments to Dr Sally Everitt, Head of Scientific Policy for BSAVA – s.everitt@bsava.com

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