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   WSAVA Bulletin
              November 11th, 2020            
This edition of the Bulletin highlights the work of the WSAVA Hereditary Disease Committee (HDC).  We thank all HDC members for their important contribution to companion animal veterinary care.
   WSAVA Clinical Updates

Understanding Mixed-Breed and Purebred Populations

Keen to understand more about mixed-breed and purebred populations and how they relate to genetic disease in your patients? Watch this lecture given by WSAVA HDC Chair Dr Jerold Bell at the virtual 2020 AVMA Convention in August.
Watch Dr Bell's lecture

Top 5 Genetic Diseases of Dogs

Check out this article from our official practice journal Clinician’s Brief. It is authored by WSAVA HDC Chair Dr Jerold Bell.

Genetic diseases, common in crossbreed and purebred dogs, are typically associated with evolutionarily ancient disease-liability genes that preceded the separation of breeds and are dispersed in the domestic dog genome. In the past century, the most common diseases in dogs have resulted from infectious, nutritional, and environmental causes. As clinicians have learned to manage the causes of these diseases (eg, through vaccination and proper diet), genetic predisposition has become a more frequent cause of disease. Frequency of common genetic disorders varies among breeds and may be caused by random changes (ie, genetic drift), popular sire syndrome, selection for aesthetic traits linked on chromosomes to disease-liability genes, or anatomic or conformational aspects that can alter disease liability. 
The hallmark of inherited disease is predictability of onset and progression. Recognizing predictable triggers and modifying factors that influence the expression of genetic disorders can help improve diagnosis, treatment, and control.
Read the full article
Check out these updates on hereditary disease from our Educational Partners:
Top 5 Genetic diseases of cats
Find out more
Effect of breed as a risk factor for humeral condylar fracture in skeletally immature dogs
Find out more
Cerebellar hereditary ataxia
Find out more
   Introducing the WSAVA HDC
Introducing the WSAVA Hereditary Disease Committee (HDC)
Working to help all cats and dogs live healthy lives.

Many of the characteristic breed traits and genetic diseases and predispositions seen in veterinary practice today have a heritable basis so the ability to diagnose and manage hereditary disease plays an ever more important role in veterinary medicine. But with more than 900 hereditary diseases and genetic predispositions recognized in dogs and a further 200 in cats, it can be difficult for clinicians to keep up with rapid advancements in clinical genetics and testing and the latest information on treatment and control.
The WSAVA HDC aims to help clinicians to support veterinarians and improve the health of dogs and cats by:
  1. Maintaining a database of hereditary diseases, genetic [...]
Read the full article
 Important updates from the WSAVA HDC
The WSAVA/PennGen Canine and Feline Hereditary Disease (DNA) Testing Laboratories Database – a free resource to support healthy breeding
Your ‘go to’ for a comprehensive review of the DNA tests available to help you diagnose hereditary disease
Find out more
Recent White Paper: ‘Review of the Current State of Genetic Testing - A Living Resource’
A ‘must-read’ for WSAVA members, says the HDC
Find out more

Interested in feline genetic medicine?
If so, check out these articles entitled Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Testing for Domestic Cats and Precision/Genomic Medicine for Domestic Cats co-authored by HDC member Dr Leslie Lyons and Dr Reuben Buckley. You can access them here:

Article 1 - Article 2

Do you know what HGTD can do for you?
Check out this open-access resource to help you and your clients improve the health of dogs
Find out more

 Meet the Committee
A team of experts from around the world!
Dr Jerold (Jerry) Bell chairs the HDC.  Jerry is an internationally known clinical genetics consultant and lecturer and owner of Freshwater Veterinary Hospital in Connecticut, USA. Dr Bell is also Adjunct Professor at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University and a member of the Board of Directors of the OFA, and the AKC Canine Health & Welfare Advisory Panel.  
He says: “We see genetic disease every day in our practice, both in mixed-breed and purebred dogs and cats. A recognition of genetic disease as chronic disease that requires lifelong treatment enables us to be better veterinarians and to provide a better service to our clients. In dogs, allergic skin disease is the most common hereditary disorder.  In cats, it is inflammatory bladder disease and feline urological syndrome.”  [...]
Find out more
 Meet the Breed

Meet the Australian Shepherds – Not, in fact, Australian!

‘Aussies’ were developed in the USA and first registered in 1957. Many people are attracted by their beauty but Aussies are renowned for their herding ability and athletic prowess at activities such as flyball. These active, intelligent dogs need to exercise both mind and body. Populations are stable in many countries, but the breed is seeing an increase in popularity in some countries, e.g. France, USA.
Find out more
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