Health Group Report November 2018

 

Prepared by Sarah Helps, Julian Faircloth, Aly Richardson, Duncan Robertson, Sue Finnett and Elise Cartmell

Supporting Deerhound health is a priority for the Deerhound Club. The Health Group have therefore produced this report to summarise the activities currently underway by the club and to provide further information / resources for club members. Each health project has a short summary of the aims and benefits of the project together with a progress summary and an outline of future plans and how members can get involved. In addition lists of further resources, where available, are given. Please feel free to add further reference material you may have available as well. This can be done by emailing the article etc to the web-sub committee.

Key to success is continued support from the members to participate in the projects. We want to hear from you and get you involved as much as possible. This goes for owners / breeders of large kennels as well as owners of one pet deerhound. Hopefully, this report will be useful for you and help to get you more involved and/or keep you involved. If there’s any further information or clarification needed please don’t hesitate to contact the Health Group via Sarah Helps

NOTTINGHAM UNIVERSITY ATRIAL FIBRILLATION (AF) PROJECT  

AIM – To establish if there is a connection in dogs suffering with atrial fibrillation and death due to complications from blood clots.

BENEFITS - The development of blood clots poses a significant risk to the health of people with AF who therefore receive medication to reduce blood clots occurring. In contrast, giant breed dogs that develop AF do not routinely receive any anti-clotting drugs. There is no current evidence in the literature to understand if the absence of anti-clotting medication giant breeds causes a problem or not. Therefore, the Nottingham team are looking to review the progress and outcome of Deerhounds with AF (via a survey) to help them understand whether blood clots occur in Deerhounds and therefore whether any alterations in the medication plan are necessary.

PROGRESS – This project has now started and will be completed in conjunction with the Irish Wolfhound and Great Dane clubs. 

HOW CAN MEMBERS GET INVOLVED - Please complete the survey just as soon as possible. Survey link is https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/Canine_AF_survey

REFERENCE MATERIAL AND LINKS

Letter from the veterinary student leading this works is available here.

 

NECK PAIN

AIM – To more fully understand Deerhound neck pain.

BENEFITS – By examining in more depth cases of Deerhound neck pain we aim to help establish differences between "steroid responsive meningitis" and recurrent bouts of severe Neck pain with no associated fever. This improved understanding is intended to also help owners with treatment recommendations.

PROGRESS - We would like to collect as much information from Deerhound owners as possible regarding cases of Deerhound neck pain. This information would be kept strictly confidential and anonymous and will then be examined by the veterinary team at Nottingham University. A note has been placed in the newsletter initially promoting this study and information will be sent to Sarah Helps.

FUTURE PLANS - Intention is to collect data from August 2017 and if sufficient data is received to report findings towards the end of 2018.

HOW CAN MEMBERS GET INVOLVED - Please could all owners and breeders send as much information as possible to healthprojects@deerhound.co.uk that have been affected by neck pain. This information will be kept confidential and all reported information will be strictly anonymised.

 

OSTEOSARCOMA (OSA) TREATMENT ATTITUDE SURVEY

AIM – To examine owner/breeder attitudes to the treatment for OSA using a survey approach.

BENEFITS – This study will provide complementary information into the possible genetic underlying causes research into OSA which Nottingham University are completing and will help vets have a greater understanding as to treatment options which owners/breeders will consider.

PROGRESS – Three surveys have been developed by Nottingham University. One survey examines owners’ thoughts on the treatment that their Deerhound(s) received following the diagnosis of osteosarcoma and a further two surveys are specifically designed to understand the impact of amputation on the management of Deerhounds with osteosarcoma. These surveys are looking to owners of Deerhounds that have undergone amputation for reasons unconnected to osteosarcoma and also from owners of Deerhounds that have never had a dog with osteosarcoma or undergone amputation. With these 3 surveys, the Nottingham team hope to understand as much as we can about owners’ thoughts on treatment for this disease and use this information to help revise treatment plans and future research into novel treatment approaches.

FUTURE PLANS – Once the surveys have been completed the Nottingham team will analyse and disseminate the survey findings. The Deerhound surveys will also be linked to similar surveys which are currently also being completed by Irish Wolfhound owner/breeders.

HOW CAN MEMBERS GET INVOLVED –Please complete the surveys which are available here:

Survey link - https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/deerhound_osteosarcoma_treatment_survey

Survey link - https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/DH-amputation

Survey link - https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/canine_amputation1

REFERENCE MATERIAL AND LINKS

October 2017 update from Nottingham University here

 

FERTILITY STUDY

AIM – This is a large comparative survey completed by Nottingham University to examine fertility issues in a number of dog breeds.

BENEFITS - Current research suggests that factors in the environment negatively affect reproductive health and fertility in the male dog, particularly when the pup is developing in the mothers’ womb and for a short period after birth. This survey is designed to investigate how the environment might influence pups both before and after birth, with particular emphasis on the mother and male pup.

PROGRESS – Survey has been developed by Nottingham University and has been distributed to a number of dog breed clubs.

FUTURE PLANS – Once the survey has been completed the Nottingham team will analyse and disseminate the survey findings.

HOW CAN MEMBERS GET INVOLVED – Please complete the survey which is available here

 

HEART STUDY

AIM - This study aims to monitor deerhounds under controlled and reproducible conditions to determine accurate heart measurements for the breed.

BENEFITS – This will help the breed as vets will be able to make earlier and more accurate diagnosis of Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM) heart conditions using the data published from this study. In addition members receive heart testing services for their dogs at a subsidised rate.

PROGRESS –The first phase of the project has now been completed and the results are being examined. 

FUTURE PLANS - To enable study completion we now need to concentrate on repeat heart scans of all hounds who have been scanned so far and classed as "equivocal" or "normal". 

We also need a further new male dog (4 years old or older) to be scanned. 

To help enable repeat scans to be completed Bev Doyle has donated a further £2,000 which the Deerhound Club has again matched. Emily Dutton, will be screening hounds at the North Limited Show this Autumn. 

HOW CAN MEMBERS GET INVOLVED –If you have a dog(s) over 4 years old who has been tested in Phase 1 and classed as "normal" or "equivocal" please can you arrange for your dogs to be re-scanned for Phase 2. Also if you are also interested in getting a group of hounds together to be tested by Emily Dutton at an owner/breeders location please contact Sarah Helps to discuss further (Tel: 01494 727 584 or beardswoodhounds@btinternet.com). 

If you are able to donate money (however small) to help with this screening please send a cheque to Rachel Quinn or use the paypal button on the front page of the club web site. Rachel's address is Ty Bryn, Park Road, Plumtree Park, Keyworth, Notts NG12 5LX. We have set up a separate health fund account and all donations will go directly towards the Heart Study.

 

REFERENCE MATERIAL AND LINKS

Limited Show Heart Testing information here

Heart Screening shaving information here

Further information about the Vet leading the study is here -

The article published in the Summer 2013 Newsletter has been updated. See here for the updated report.

Reference article from Nottingham University regarding a modelling study to examine genetic links for DCM here. 

 

GENETIC HEART STUDY WITH THE SCOTTISH DEERHOUND CLUB OF AMERICA

AIM - This study, aims to examine any underlying genetic basis for Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM) heart conditions in Deerhounds.

BENEFITS – This will help the breed as if a genetic basis for DCM heart conditions can be identified treatment options can then be developed.

PROGRESS – This project is now underway and is being completed in partnership with the US Scottish Deerhound Club of America (SDCA). Kate Meurs DVM,PhD at the North Carolina State College of Veterinary Medicine, Center for Comparative Medicine and Translational Research is leading the research.

FUTURE PLANS - The research is examining if there is a DNA mutation linked to DCM and examining if that is present in the DNA collected from dogs affected with DCM.  Therefore, as many cheek swab samples need to be collected and analysed in order to produce a valid and robust data set.

HOW CAN MEMBERS GET INVOLVED – If you have: (1) a deerhound (of any age or sex) which has been diagnosed with a heart condition; and/or (2) a deerhound  (of any sex) over 10 years of age which has NOT been diagnosed with a heart condition the US vets need to examine their DNA. The DNA needs to be collected using cheek swabs (instructions on how to collect the DNA are given below). Please email elisecartmell@outlook.com to receive your free DNA cheek swab kit by post. The samples then need posted directly to

Kate M. Meurs, DVM,PhD

Assoc Dean of Research and Graduate Studies

NCSU - College of Veterinary Medicine

ATTN: Veterinary Cardiac

Genetics Laboratory

Research Bldg. 228

1060 William Moore Dr.

Raleigh, NC 27607

It is important that DNA samples from dogs affected with a heart condition are accompanied with diagnostic test results whether that be cardiac ultrasound/echocardiogram, ECG, holter monitor results or autopsy results, etc. Please note absolutely all information will be held in complete confidence. Please email or post these results direct to Kate using the above contact information.

REFERENCE MATERIAL AND LINKS

Sample form to download here

Instructions on how to collect and prepare the DNA samples here

 

NOTTINGHAM UNIVERSITY BLOAT SURVEY

AIM – To complete a survey to characterise factors influencing gastric dilation (GD) and gastric dilatation volvulus (GDV) in order to develop owner management guidance which could help reduce the onset of GD and/or GDV. 

BENEFITS - It is currently unknown which factors significantly influence the onset and outcome of GD and GDV in Deerhounds. Therefore, by gathering as much information about the dogs that suffer one or both of these conditions these factors can be characterised. To date a significant number of Deerhounds die from these conditions each year so the development of guidance for owners we hope will help to reduce these deaths

PROGRESS –  As of August 2017, 145 survey responses have been received to date and this initial data have been analysed. Preliminary summary results are reported below in the Reference Section. Guidance to date for owners is for increased vigilance around times that would be considered stressful for the development of a GDV. The relationship between stress and GDV events reported from the survey results is corroborated by previous research and indicates that further investigation is warranted to identify risk factors (particularly perceived stress) affecting GDV incidence and associated mortalities in UK Deerhounds.

FUTURE PLANS - We would very much like more Deerhound owners and breeders to complete the survey (survey link is below). The Nottingham team's analytical work of the survey data will be on-going and further updates are planned.

HOW CAN MEMBERS GET INVOLVED - Please could all owners and breeders complete the survey for as many dogs as possible which have been affected by bloat and also who have not been affected.

REFERENCE MATERIAL AND LINKS

October 2017 update from Nottingham University here

Nottingham University Bloat Survey Form

Survey Monkey Bloat Survey Form

GDV Report

 

NOTTINGHAM UNIVERSITY OSTEOSARCOMA STUDY

AIM – To examine the genetic development or progression of osteosarcoma using DNA cheek swaps and tumour samples in Deerhounds.

BENEFITS – Investigating the genetics of osteosarcoma in Deerhounds in the UK should be of value to the breed and help dogs affected by this disease in the future.  Regular updates and engagement will be provided by Nottingham University staff. 

PROGRESS –A seminar was held on 8th February 2014, attended by Deerhound and Irish Wolfhound breeders and owners and Nottingham University staff, to identify the most pressing health concerns for these breeds. The topics that were considered most important were osteosarcoma, bronchopneumonia/respiratory tract disease, bloat and Fibrocartilagenous emboli  (FCE). The first phase of collecting DNA swabs for the osteosarcoma study has taken place at the annual Breed Show in April this year.

FUTURE PLANS - The Nottingham team will be extracting the DNA over the next few months.  They need to complement the DNA samples with tumour samples (please see section below). Please note though that this is a long term study with results coming through in periods of years not months.

HOW CAN MEMBERS GET INVOLVED –Nottingham University would really appreciate receiving samples from a dog’s tumour which has either been suspected or confirmed with osteosarcoma. This sample would be collected at the same time as your dog is having biopsies for diagnostic purposes or surgical treatment.  Could members please contact Nottingham University by email NottinghamCanineHealthGenomics@gmail.com to let them know when your dog is about to undergo investigations to diagnose or treat a possible osteosarcoma.  At this point Nottingham can discuss sending the special preservation liquid to your vet so that the samples can be preserved and then analysed appropriately.

This Autumn the Nottingham team as part of this study will be telephoning all those members currently on their database to go through a questionnaire to further support the research. We do hope members will be happy to give up their time and assist the Nottingham team to benefit Deerhound health. 

REFERENCE MATERIAL AND LINKS

Article from Nottingham University describing the osteosarcoma study

 

NOTTINGHAM UNIVERSITY GENETIC STUDY

AIM - This study aims to collect DNA from Deerhounds to help identify disease causing genes.

BENEFITS – Once the DNA is collected and analysed this information can help researchers towards identifying ‘at risk’ animals and it can also help towards clinical and drug development decisions.  This is a long term project which will take a number of years to realise its ambitions. Regular updates and engagement will be provided by Nottingham University staff.  

PROGRESS –A seminar was held on 8th February 2014, attended by Deerhound and Irish Wolfhound breeders and owners and Nottingham University staff, to identify the most pressing health concerns for these breeds. The topics that were considered most important were osteosarcoma, bronchopneumonia/respiratory tract disease, bloat and Fibrocartilagenous emboli  (FCE). DNA from 117 dogs has been collected in order to produce a valid and robust data set.

FUTURE PLANS - The Nottingham team will be extracting the DNA over the next few months.  In the first instance, the totally anonymous data, will be written up for journal publication which will be externally validated.  The team will also write up the research in an update for the Club website and newsletter and give any updates at future Nottingham owner/breeder forums.  It is important that information from this study is appropriately disseminated with well thought through recommendations and the club will work with Nottingham University to help achieve this.  Please note though that this is a long term study with results coming through in periods of years not months. Finally, to further support this research, in particular into DCM into heart conditions, Nottingham University have requested heart tissue from both affected and unaffected dogs for analyses. These analyses have the potential to lead to more targeted treatments which would improve the quality of life for affected individuals. It appreciated that this is a difficult request but if you are having a post mortem examination and you would be comfortable in getting samples sent to Nottingham for analysis please contact them initially via email NottinghamCanineHealthGenomics@gmail.com  to discuss further. 

HOW CAN MEMBERS GET INVOLVED –If you are able to collect a DNA swab from your dog at home please email the Nottingham team using  NottinghamCanineHealthGenomics@gmail.com. They will then send out the kit required. Please also complete the consent and sample forms below to accompany your sample(s). If you have had your dog sampled and it subsequently develops a health related condition the Nottingham would like to be contacted. A health update form is also provided below. 

This Autumn the Nottingham team as part of this study will be telephoning all those members currently on their database to go through a questionnaire to further support the research. We do hope members will be happy to give up their time and assist the Nottingham team to benefit Deerhound health. 

REFERENCE MATERIAL AND LINKS

Sept 2015 update from Nottingham University here

Article from Nottingham University describing their work and what will happen at the Breed Show here.

Update article from Nottingham University following the Breed Show here.

Summary of the second breeder day seminar here.

Nottingham University DNA swab owner consent form here

Nottingham University Sample Form here

Nottingham University Health Update Form here.

 

ROYAL VETERINARY COLLEGE (RVC) EPILEPSY STUDY

AIM – The Royal Veterinary College is working to establish the effectiveness and safety of a novel diet in the management of dogs with idiopathic epilepsy who are currently being treated with phenobarbitone and/or potassium bromide. This is a general study for all dogs breeds and Deerhounds are invited to participate.

BENEFITS – Potentially this study may help improve the management of epileptic dogs in general. Epilepsy is not common in the Deerhound breed but the limited number affected could potentially be helped by reducing seizure frequency, but also by decreasing the level of side-effects seen with standard antiepileptic drugs.

PROGRESS – To confirm the efficacy of this new diet the RVC are currently recruiting  dogs which are suspected of having idiopathic epilepsy.

FUTURE PLANS -  Dogs selected to take part in the study will receive an investigation by RVC neurologists and undergo diagnostic tests.

HOW CAN MEMBERS GET INVOLVED – Epilepsy is not common in the Deerhound breed, but anyone who has encountered this, may like to join this RVC research programme. If your Deerhound does have epilepsy please contact The Clinical Investigation Centre, Royal Veterinary College, Hawkshead Lane, North Mymms, Hertfordshire AL9 7TA. Tel: +44 (0) 1707 666605, Email: cic@rvc.ac.uk to get involved.  

REFERENCE MATERIAL AND LINKS

Information article from the Royal Veterinary College here

 

MORTALITY SURVEY

AIM – To report on the causes of death in UK deerhounds and possible trends over the period 2004 – 2014 and 2014 - 2024.

BENEFITS – Will generate greater understanding of health problems and will direct where the club should be focussing health studies/funding to help the breed.

PROGRESS – Sarah Helps is collecting the data and with Duncan Robertson has reported current results for the period 2004 - 2014.

FUTURE PLANS – Sarah is now collecting the data for the next 10 year period with further reporting planned into the future.

HOW CAN MEMBERS GET INVOLVED – Please get in touch with Sarah directly with any information concerning the death of a hound from 2004 onwards. The following information is required KC Registered name of Deerhound, Sex of hound, Date of Birth, Date of Death, Cause of death: - Illness/disease/trauma/accident. Evidence if available e.g..post mortem/autopsy/veterinary report.

Sarah’s contact details are, PORCH HOUSE, VILLAGE ROAD, COLESHILL, AMERSHAM, BUCKS. HP7 0LG

Email: Sarah Helps

 

PORTOSYSTEMIC SHUNT TESTING

AIM – To assess the incidence of portosystemic shunt (PSS) in Deerhounds and effectiveness of puppy screening.

BENEFITS – Knowledge of the incidence rates of PSS in Deerhounds will help direct future research efforts. In addition this study will help understand if the current methods of screening at 8 -12 weeks is the most appropriate or if improvements can be made.

PROGRESS –Over 600 puppies have been tested to date. Initial data analysis has been completed and is available in the report below. The tests are provided by Capital Diagnostics at a subsidised cost.

FUTURE PLANS – This study is on-going.

HOW CAN MEMBERS GET INVOLVED – Get your litters of puppies tested for PSS by your local vet following the procedures outlined in this article . Then submit a single serum sample taken 2 hours after feeding your pup to Capital Diagnostics for bile acid analysis. The contact information is Bryn TENNANT on 01315353145, via e-mail: VCEdinburgh@sac.co.uk or by post - Capital Diagnostics, SAC Veterinary Services, Allan Watt Building, Bush Estate, Penicuik, Midlothian, EH26 0QE

REFERENCE MATERIAL

The article published in the Newsletter is given here

PSS May 2017 results update is here

 

ARCHIVING DNA

AIM – This project is run by the Animal Health Trust and is a general DNA archive open to any breed with a view to using it for future research purposes, as and when it is needed.

BENEFITS – Storing DNA now will benefit Deerhounds in the future by helping, for example, to identify disease mutations responsible for inherited diseases; these diseases can be ones that are known about today or ones that might arise in the future.

PROGRESS – Very limited numbers of Deerhound owners have sent DNA for archiving to date. It is hoped that sample submission rates will increase in the future.

FUTURE PLANS – Unless more members submit DNA samples there will be insufficient DNA material to progress any future studies. Therefore, current focus is to get the submission rates up if at all possible.

HOW CAN MEMBERS GET INVOLVED – Please submit DNA samples to the Animal Health Trust directly using this contact email address canine.genetics@aht.org.uk. The samples can be either blood samples (~5mls) preserved in EDTA which are collected when the animal is being tested for a veterinary procedure or buccal (cheek) swabs. A useful time to collect these blood samples for archiving is when puppies are being screened for Portosystemic Shunt (PSS). Please also provide the following associated information: dog’s name; breed; KC registration number; D.O.B., 5-generation pedigree; and any information about the health of your dog. All data is kept in strict confidence.

REFERENCE MATERIAL

Archiving DNA

Animal Health Trust web site

Finally, there are also a number of projects currently in development and we hope to update members with progress over the coming months. These projects include linking to a study in the US examining a possible genetic basis for Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM) and publication of historic heart data by Angela Bodey.

 

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