LATEST HEALTH NEWS 22/03/2021
THE KENNEL CLUB GENETICS CENTRE TO RE-OPEN AS PART OF THE
UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE
Following the announcement in July 2020 of the closure of the Animal Health Trust, The Kennel Club is delighted to confirm that The Kennel Club Canine Genetics Centre will officially re-open and be located at the University of Cambridge. Here, the centre’s vital research into dog genetics and inherited canine conditions can continue.
The Kennel Club Charitable Trust has funded the centre since its initial launch at the Animal Health Trust in 2009. The new centre will continue to be led by Dr Cathryn Mellersh, and will resume its mission to research genetic mutations and assist in developing breeding tools for some of the most common and debilitating inherited conditions in dogs. The Kennel Club and the canine genetics team will work together to ensure that the centre’s research targets conditions that have the greatest impact on the health of dogs. The Kennel Club’s breed health and conservation plans, a project that gathers all available health information and data about each breed, will play a vital role in guiding the centre’s objectives and areas of research.
During its time at the Animal Health Trust, The Kennel Club Canine Genetics Centre had a significant impact on the health of numerous breeds. Researchers at the centre developed 25 different DNA tests for canine inherited diseases that affect over 50 breeds. Research into the impact of some of these tests revealed that over a ten year period, thanks to uptake of these tests by responsible breeders, the frequency of disease-causing genetic variants in some breeds reduced by a staggering 90%. Close collaboration with breed clubs and breeders is essential to the success of the centre, as is the collection of over 40,000 DNA samples that has been developed over the last twenty years. These samples, along with valuable scientific and DNA sequence data have now been secured and transferred to the University of Cambridge for further analysis.
Bill King, Chairman of The Kennel Club Charitable Trust, said: “The Kennel Club Genetics Centre has made an enormous positive impact on the health of dogs whilst under the auspices of the Animal Health Trust, the closure of which we were saddened and concerned to learn of last year.
“We’re now thrilled that the centre has found a home in such a reputable and prestigious research institute, and we’re very much looking forward to collaborating with the centre once more.”
Dr Cathryn Mellersh, head of The Kennel Club Genetics Centre added: “The last ten years have been incredibly important to dog health and, thanks to the University of Cambridge, especially Professor James Wood, Head of the Department of Veterinary Medicine at Cambridge Vet School, for all his assistance in safeguarding our resources and The Kennel Club Charitable Trust, this work can now continue. Our work to support breeders in reducing health problems in dogs is essential and we are eager to continue this important work and are thankful to everyone for their support.”
Professor James Wood said: “We are delighted that the important work by Cathryn and her team, funded by The Kennel Club Charitable Trust can now continue through The Kennel Club’s Canine Genetics Centre at Cambridge Vet School. We look forward to working together for the health and welfare of our much loved dogs.”
MEMBERSHIP RENEWAL 2021
The Committee have also decided that because all those that paid their membership fee for 2020 have not received any benefits re Society Shows and Newsletters etc their membership subscription would be carried forward to 2021. Those members that normally pay by standing order will be refunded.
PLEASE BE AWARE!!!!
As Club Secretary I am still getting a lot of enquiries for people looking for puppies. Obviously the current situation is posing problems both for potential puppy owners and breeders alike. There is a directive from DEFRA and the Kennel Club about how breeders can get pups to new homes when they are old enough (8 weeks onwards). This applies equally to pups that are NOT Kennel Club registered. Please be aware because of travel and social distancing restrictions NO ONE can visit pups in their breeder’s homes, nor can new puppy owners travel to the breeder to collect a pup. Breeders can deliver a pup to the new owner (one pup on one journey - no dropping off one then carrying on to another property to deliver another). You may also find that breeders are unable at this time to get clinical litter screening done. That being the case I would expect reputable breeders to explain and offer to find somewhere for the new owner to get an individual pup screened at a later date after restrictions are lifted. Both sire and dam of the litter should have current (screened in the preceding year) unaffected eye certificates which you can view.
Sadly, the situation may mean that scammers take advantage of new puppy owners. Please be aware of the correct way to carry on in the present crisis.
You can read the full details here under the section for dog/cat breeders: https://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/…/advice-for-animal-rela…/…
The British Veterinary Association has now also agreed that inoculations for new pups can be carried out under strict protocol by your vet https://www.bva.co.uk/…/bva-guidance-for-veterinary-practic…
Ask yourself if a Staffordshire Bull Terrier is the right breed for you and your family. Do you understand the true nature of the breed? Staffords are not the right breed for everyone, they can be strong willed. You need to know, warts and all, what you are letting yourself in for. Speak to experienced owners before you decide.
Breed Club secretaries will know of forth coming shows where you can meet Staffords and their owners. They may know planned litters from reputable breeders. They have first-hand experience with the breed so are a good source to answer questions about the breed’s health, temperament or anything Stafford related. Breed Clubs are found nationwide so there should be one fairly local. They should be the ‘first port of call’ for anyone looking for a Stafford puppy.
Buying a pedigree Stafford should not be done ‘on the cheap’ nor should it come from a bad breeder no matter how sorry you feel for the pups. By buying there you’re condemning more pups to the same fate. If the breeders can’t sell they’ll think twice before breeding again. By going to a responsible Staffordshire Bull Terrier breeder you stand the best chance of getting a dog that will enjoy a happy and healthy life.
Beware of ads selling pups in local papers and on various dog selling sites on the internet, there are no background checks so any dodgy dealer can advertise there. Think carefully is you see any of this advertising:
Remember if something doesn’t seem right don’t be fooled to rush in and buy! Always give yourself time to think about making the right decision – a reputable breeder will not push you into having one of their pups. They will want to find out if you and their puppy will be well suited.
When you have found a litter consider these questions to ask the breeder before going to see them
Staffordshire Bull Terrier Health Information
L-2-HGA (L-2-hydroxyglutaric aciduria) in Staffordshire Bull Terriers affects the central nervous system, with clinical signs usually apparent between 6-12 months (although they can appear later). Symptoms include epileptic seizures, unsteady gait, tremors, muscle stiffness as a result of exercise or excitement and altered behaviour
HC (Hereditary Cataract) in Staffordshire Bull Terriers has been recognised as an inherited condition since the late 1970’s. Affected dogs develop cataracts in both eyes at an early age
PHPV (Persistent Hyperplastic Primary Vitreous) It is a congenital condition (present at birth). This means that if a puppy is born with PHPV it can be detected by ophthalmic screening from 6 weeks of age
PPSC (Posterior Polar Subcapsular Cataract) This type of cataract usually remains as a small, punctuate cataract and doesn’t usually lead to sight problems. It has been placed on schedule 3 of the BVA/KC/ISDS Eye Scheme because a number of Staffords that have been through the Scheme have been found to have this type of cataract. It cannot be detected through litter screening. The mode of inheritance is unknown and has a variable age of onset.
Eye Screening Clinics
Litters should ALWAYS be clinically eye screened prior to leaving home and it is imperative for new puppy buyers to be aware and make sure ALL DNA and clinical health tests are in place for ALL of the above conditions.
You can go to the Kennel Club’s website and check any KC registered dog’s health status although litter eye screening is not recorded there.
SBT Breed Standard