Symmetrical Lupoid Onychodystrophy (SLO) is the issue BeaCon on which is focusing. To initiate research we need more samples and surveys. Have you joined the effort? If yes, thank you. If not, read the owners’ stories in this issue and understand that the disease is a painful and serious condition requiring veterinary intervention. You can help reduce the misery for the dogs and owners by entering samples and participating in the surveys. You will find information about how to do this is in the “SLO, current state of affairs article”.
We are excited about the new look of our website which has been modified at the suggestions from different users. Not only is there health information for everyone, but there is also a new section for breeders which will expand as the months go along.
The open registry is a source of health information for the breed but its value could be significantly improved by having more participants. Currently there are 2226 dogs registered, and to those of you who have entered one or more Beardie, thank you!
The registry has been in existence for 12 years now, and although it was conceived in the USA, the majority (58%) of entries are now from other countries. Of the 939 dogs from the US, over 65% of those are at least 10 years old. Thus, only about 300 Beardies of the available 4109 dogs or 5667 pups in litters registered with AKC in the last 10 years are in the open health registry. That indicates our US breeders are not entering new puppies nor are they encouraging their buyers to do so. It is estimated only 29% of US breeders are participants, which is of significant concern if we are to maintain the health of the breed through the sharing of information.
We understand that individual breeders have fears that range from loss of buyers to being accused of bad breeding practices. However there is no perfect dog genetically and it is only through this sharing of information that progress can be made. Breeders stand to benefit significantly from a comprehensive registry.
“The cornerstone of public health, epidemiology focuses on the distribution and causes of disease in human populations and on developing and testing ways to prevent and control disease. The discipline is critical to disease prevention because it sheds light on why a particular disease originates, how it spreads, and its effective control.” Source: Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. This definition of epidemiology applies equally to study of disease in canine populations.
There is a way to solve some breeder concerns about participation in the open health registry.
Enter your dogs in the non-public section of the database. That single step will protect you from all the feared negatives while also expanding the population of dogs whose health is reported anonymously in the yearly registry report.
How do you enter a dog in the non-public section of the registry?
Simply enter your name in both the owner and the co-owner fields of the dog’s home page. A name in the co-owner field automatically makes the record non-public. I contact every owner who does this to confirm that the record should remain private.