International breeding programs to improve health in pedigree dogs

Abstract : Dog health constitutes a major concern for breeders, owners, as well as the general public, all the more since several study and reports have recently underlined potential impacts of breeding practices on dog health and fitness (APGAW 2009, Nicholas 2011). According to Online Mendelian Inheritance in Animals (OMIA, omia.angis.org.au) more than 586 disorders/traits have been reported in dogs, with various prevalence and consequences for canine health (Collins et al. 2011, Nicholas et al. 2011). As an exemple, Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA 2011, http://www.offa.org) consider that Hip Dysplasia, a polygenetic trait affected by environmental factors, with variable impact on welfare, affects at least 163 dog breeds, with prevalence ranging from 1.2 to 72.1%. Implementation of breeding plans in order to reduce incidence of inherited disorders and their impact on welfare should be a priority for breeders and breeding organizations. Efficiency of such strategies is however highly dependant on several factors such as inheritance pattern, availability of efficient clinical/genetic test, and specific context conditions (prevalence, demography, existence of other disorders, cooperation of breeders…). For instance, it has been showed that for a monogenic recessive disorder with the same frequency, impact of a given strategy on genetic diversity will be completely different depending on the breed (Leroy and Rognon 2012). It is also important to underline that breeding context and breeding rules are very different according to countries. As an exemple, in Sweden the large proportion of pets insured (about 50%) allows the settlement of large surveys on dog health (Bonnett et al. 2005), leading to the identification of disorders critical to breed welfare. Depending on countries, the control of inherited disorders is implemented through various measures, from breeding recommandations to mating ban. In the case of hip dysplasia, a genetic evaluation system has been implemented in some countries (Germany, Sweden, UK) for a few breeds, while in some other countries, it is still under development. The fact that for many breeds there is an exchange of breeding animals between several countries with different breeding policies constitutes also a critical point to be taken into account, when settling a breeding strategy. Moreover it has been showed that efficiency of genetic evaluation for a polygenic trait such a hip dysplasia could be improved by joint evaluation between different countries (Fikse et al. 2012). For this purpose, a preliminary project, starting 2013 in Sweden, will investigate the interest of exchanging pedigree and health data within the framework of Nordic Kennel Union. The aim of this project is to provide operational tools to improve breed health in an international context, concerning both genetic evaluation and implementation of breeding policies.
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Shizhi Wang. International breeding programs to improve health in pedigree dogs. Animal production studies. Institut agronomique, vétérinaire et forestier de France; Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet, 2018. English. ⟨NNT : 2018IAVF0006⟩. ⟨tel-02175081⟩

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