Breeder Updates Newsletter

Breed Update Newsletter

The Purina® Pro Plan® Breed Update newsletters cover the latest research advances in canine health and genetics for specific dog breeds, plus there is a general dog newsletter. Explore our archive of articles or use the filters to access specific information.

Dog Articles

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Tick populations are at an all-time high this year, experts say. Dogs are particularly susceptible to ticks — and thus tick-borne diseases — because they spend a lot of time outdoors and are low to the ground where ticks live. Since ticks do not usually transmit disease until 24 to 48 hours after attachment, owners can help prevent illness by promptly removing ticks. 

When a breakthrough in the discovery of the gene mutation that causes arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC) in Boxers was announced in April 2009, breeders were ecstatic. Finally, Boxers could be tested for the heart disease that oftentimes causes sudden death with no warning signs.

Co-owners Dave Berrey of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and Jay Serion of Seattle, who handled Decker in shows, consider it important to continue the health testing begun by the breeders. The winningest male Bulldog in the past 20 years, Decker, who earned 18 Bests in Show, is passing on his handsome phenotype and healthy genotype as a stud dog, having currently sired 15 litters.

Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in Doberman Pinschers is a challenging disease in which to identify dogs that will develop a severe case and die, and those that will be mildly affected despite testing positive in genetic screening.

Advances in research of hemangio­sarcoma in Golden Retrievers are helping to identify risk factors for the extremely aggressive and highly malignant canine cancer. The findings may one day be used to identify risk factors in other breeds. Additionally, studies looking at the biochemical pathways that control the cancer may shed light on ways to genetically alter these pathways and eliminate the risk of death from the cancer.

When it comes to keeping canine athletes healthy, happy and injury-free, professional retriever trainer Mike Lardy of Handjem Kennels in Montello, Wisconsin, believes prevention is the best medicine.

Well-conditioned dogs capture our attention with their intensity and the ease with which they perform their sport. As they run alongside their owners training for marathons or compete in the final round of an agility championship, our canine partners amaze us with their athleticism. 

Canine brucellosis can wipe out a kennel. The highly contagious reproductive disease can cause infertility, abortions and stillbirths in dogs. Many states require kennels infected with brucellosis to quarantine, sterilize or euthanize affected dogs — all causing an enormous emotional and economic toll.

"This disease brought total ruin to one breeder we worked with to the point she had to depopulate her entire kennel," says Lin Kauffman, D.V.M., a faculty clinician at the Lloyd Veterinary Medical Center at Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine in Ames, Iowa.

Long before fall arrives, serious sporting dog enthusiasts have been working to get their dogs ready. In reality, they never let up from conditioning/training mode, though the intensity of their day-to-day routine may relent a bit in the off-season.