American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation

2013 Parent Club Health Conference Report - and More

Complied by Erin Mayfield

Health Conference Articles

The Genius of Dogs
Canine Epilepsy: Where We Are and Where We are Going
Inherited Cardiomyopathies - Understanding Unique Clinical and Genetics Aspects for Your Breed
New Strategies to Prevent Canine Posterior Capsule Opacification
Investigation of Cranial Cruciate Ligament Deficiency and Associated Surgical Interventions Using Computer Simulation
Application of Physical Therapy Techniques to our Canine Patients:  The Current Science and Research Opportunities
Regenerative Medicine for Soft Tissue Injuries in the Canine
Bloat: What We Know and Where We Are Going 
High-Risk High-Reward Focus Areas for Research in Canine Gastroenterology: A Clinician-Scientists Perspective 
Genetics 101 for Dog Breeders 
Canine Hemangiosarcoma: How Much Do We Really Know and When Will We Find a Cure?  
The Cytogenomic Landscape of Canine Cancer  

The Ninth AKC Canine Health Foundation Parent Club Conference was held in St. Louis, MO on August 9-11, 2013, and was once again a spectacular conference. Sponsored by AKC Canine Health Foundation (CHF) and Nestle Purina, the conference featured presentations from renowned researchers and scientists. The presentations represented a variety of medical specialties that included veterinary oncology, gastroenterology, emergency medicine, endocrinology, rehabilitation, ophthalmology, neurology, and genetics.

The Vision of the Foundation is “to address the heath needs of all dogs across their entire lifetime by focusing on all aspects of their physical, mental, and social well-being.” The Mission, according to the website, is “…to advance the health of all dogs and their owners by funding sound scientific research and supporting the dissemination of health information to prevent, treat, and cure canine disease.” The AKC CHF has established a series of goals, as well as a strategy for achieving those goals.

Additional facts from the website include:

  • The AKC CHF rigorously tracks the tangible outcomes of its funded research. To date, it has contributed to more than 100 peer-reviewed publications in veterinary journals and journals with broad biomedical community readership
  • In 2014, the Foundation was proud to announce approval of 17 research grants to 14 research institutions. These grants, totaling nearly $1.5 million, will provide better treatments, more accurate diagnosis, and a deeper understanding of the causes of disease.

The AKC CHF maintains a robust canine health information website with all types of dynamite resources: articles, newsletters, and podcasts. The Health E-Barks Podcast Series had its beginnings in 2008, and a podcast has been released every 2 weeks since that time. There are more than 140 interesting topics for viewing. 

In 2014, the American Kennel Club announced a new program in support for the CHF with the 2014 Matching Challenge. The AKC will provide a 1-to-1 match of any cash contribution received from a new or lapsed donor (from December 31, 2011) in 2014 up to $500,000. For example, if the CHF receives new donor contributions of $385,000, then the AKC’s contribution will be $385,000. If the CHF receives $500,000 or more in new donor contributions, then the AKC contribution will be the full $500,000.

The Bloat Initiative started in 2013. These grants will explore in-depth the mechanism of bloat, investigating the role of glucose levels and gastric emptying, the gastrointestinal "microbiome" [bacteria within the intestines], and irregular gastric motility in digestion.

The Canine Athlete Initiative exists because sports-related injuries in dogs are an emerging field of study, and CHF is providing grants for cutting-edge research in orthopedic concerns, proper nutrition and conditioning to achieve maximum performance while preventing injury, and innovative rehabilitation techniques. The initiative will also educate the public on the joys of participating in canine athletic events, as well as the value of preventive examinations and optimal nutrition for maximum canine performance.

The Epilepsy Initiative and the Gastrointestinal Initiative are described in the health conference articles.

The Cancer Podcast Series contains these cancer topics as well as others for review:

The Portuguese Water Dog Donor Advised Fund (DAF)

The purpose of the DAF is to have an account of donated monies specifically for use in research that would benefit the PWD. It is a helpful option for an individual who desires to give, who is uncertain of the research or grant needs at the time. When a donation is made to the PWD DAF, the funds are retained by the CHF and can only be used as directed by the PWDCA, Inc. for CHF sponsored grants.

Additional Canine Health Resources

About the Health Conference Article Series: The information presented in the series of health articles is a compilation of the presenters’ literature and Microsoft PowerPoint presentations, my lecture notes and information from the Canine Health Foundation. The lectures from the 2013 Parent Club Health Conference Report will all be posted on the CHF website by the end of this year. The lectures that are already available for viewing are referenced with links in the various articles.



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