Showsight Presents The Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen

PBGV HEALTH & RESCUE FOUNDATION

Holland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Fin- land, Germany, and Australia. Th e objec- tive is to get all countries working together to share best practice and information regarding health status of both Petit and Grand Basset Gri ff on Vendéens. Th e first priorities are developing a worldwide health survey and focusing on glaucoma and epilepsy. Coordination of these e ff orts is a big step in the right direction. GLAUCOMA—A PBGV HEALTH SUCCESS STORY Finally, I want to end with an incred- ible success story. Glaucoma is a word that was rarely spoken by PBGV breeders a decade ago. Th en we started to hear of a few cases of primary open angle glauco- ma (POAG); then we heard of more. In the UK, the BGV Club teamed up with Dr. Cathryn Mellersh, head of the Ken- nel Club Genetics Centre at the Animal Health Trust, who began a search for the gene leading to POAG in our breed. In the US, Dr. András Komáromy, a vet- erinary ophthalmologist from Michi- gan State University, gave the health seminar at the 2013 PBGVCA National Specialty, conducted eye examinations, and collected DNA samples for Dr. Mel- lersh’s project. Dr. Komáromy returned in 2014 to collect additional samples and give an update on the POAG gene hunt. In late 2014, Dr. Mellersh announced that the POAG gene in PBGVs had been found! In March 2015, the Animal Health Trust launched the first DNA health test for canine glaucoma, which tests for the PBGV mutation. It is so exciting to realize that this disease can be eliminated from our breed before it becomes prevalent.

were collected by a club member who is not a breeder but who had years of experi- ence in collating and presenting de-iden- tified health data. For future surveys, we hope to turn to the Orthopedic Founda- tion of America, which o ff ers breed sur- veys for a number of breed parent clubs. We will also participate in surveys orga- nized by the World Health Committee (discussed below). Health Seminars. Each National Spe- cialty features a seminar by a nationally recognized veterinary clinician/researcher. Th e seminars serve two purposes. First, they educate the Club membership on an aspect of canine health or behavior rele- vant to the PBGV. Second, they introduce veterinary clinician scientists to the PBGV community and announce our willingness to participate in research studies. Health Clinics. Central to the mis- sion of the Health Committee is the col- lection of DNA samples for submission to the Canine Health Information Center DNA Repository. Owners who attend a National Specialty with their dogs can participate in the annual collection clin- ic organized by the Health Committee. Alternatively, blood can be drawn during a routine veterinary check and submitted to the Repository. For several years, eye clinics have been held in which a board certified veterinary ophthalmologist per- forms an eye exam, tonometry (to mea- sure pressure within the eye), and goni- oscopy (to assess eye structure). Th e latter two tests will detect early stages of glau- coma and a predisposition to closed angle glaucoma, respectively. We have also had a heart clinic in which a board-certified veterinary cardiologist o ff ered cardiac auscultation and echocardiogram.

Keeping the PBGV healthy requires funds; thus, the PBGV Health & Rescue Foundation was formed. Th e Foundation is an independent 501(c)3 organization that can accept tax exempt donations and provides funding to support the goals of the PBGVCA Health and Rescue Com- mittees. Th e Foundation sponsors the health seminars and health clinics at the National Specialties. If blood is drawn at a routine veterinary check instead of a health clinic, then the cost of the blood draw and shipping is reimbursed. Th e Foundation examines the research grant portfolio of the AKC Canine Health Foundation and selects grants for sponsorship that are rel- evant to PBGV health. All of these activities require fundrais- ing. Initiatives that have been successful include inserting donation envelopes into Saber Tails , organizing state gift baskets for silent auctions at the National Spe- cialties, 50/50 ra ffl es, and auctioning get- aways at Club members’ vacation homes. Club members are also able to donate used vehicles and leave a bequest in a will or liv- ing trust. In the end, most of the Foun- dation income comes from small dona- tions from PBGV lovers who read in Saber Tails or on the Foundation Facebook page about the good works of the Health and Rescue Committees. WORLD HEALTH COMMITTEE An exciting new development in the PBGV world was the 2014 organization of a Basset Gri ff on Vendéen World Health Committee, spearheaded by the UK BGV Club. So far, this e ff ort has representa- tion from clubs in the UK, US, France,

“IN MARCH 2015, THE ANIMAL HEALTH TRUST LAUNCHED THE FIRST DNA HEALTH TEST FOR CANINE GLAUCOMA, WHICH TESTS FOR THE PBGV MUTATION. IT IS SO EXCITING TO REALIZE THAT THIS DISEASE CAN BE ELIMINATED FROM OUR BREED BEFORE IT BECOMES PREVALENT.”

S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , A PRIL 2015 • 247

Powered by