I had the pleasure of hanging out with Patty for an hour or so at the NAVC recently and won't ever forget the snippets of conversation I caught between Patty and Betsy Saul (the founding goddess of Petfinder) regarding the topic of eating animals (Patty just happened to throw out into the conversation that she'd be happy to eat dog meat while Betsy, an avowed vegan, was explaining the conundrum of the farmer that rented her fields to keep cows. A rare moment...)
But I digress...
Patty blogged yesterday about her frustration over genetic conditions in purebred dogs. Patty has been writing articles on geneic conditions for the Embrace pet health section. To put it in her own words:
After spending 600 carefully chosen words describing the basic devastations of each genetic disease I profile, I inevitably arrive at a section titled, “Prevention.” Here, I always detail the ways we can mitigate the condition’s overall impact on canine and feline health. And it almost always goes something like this:
“There is no direct mode of prevention for X disease. Consequently, genetic counseling to advance the sterilization of affected animals and their first degree relatives (parents and siblings) is a fundamental approach to limiting the inheritance of the genetic material responsible for this disorder.”
She goes on to point out the obvious...
Indeed, there’s only one way to prevent genetic disease and that’s to use our "superior" human brains to accomplish the obvious: breed it out of them. Which is why I‘ve taken to adding the following brand of statement to my “Prevention” sections:
“Breeders should be counseled to abandon entire breeding lines when a trait this deleterious arises. Moreover, X extreme conformation should be eliminated from breed standards to minimize the inheritance of diseases directly associated with it.”
Much good work has been done by some breed clubs on certain genetic conditions (feel free to add some examples in the comments) Patty has a point - genetic conditions can only be "cured" by selective breeding.
Check out the rest of the article over at Dr Khuly's blog Dolittler...