* HRCC Report - October 2008

  For the period June - October 2008

Plans for 2010 Health Owner Breeder Survey (Dr. Jim Hulbert)
The Health Survey 2010 committees of both Canada and the United States have been reviewing the surveys of other national breed clubs, including the report graciously shared by the Swedish Cairn Club.  We are also grateful to Joan Blackstaffe, president of the Cairn Terrier Club of Canada (CTCC), for her continuing suggestions of websites to review and her general enthusiasm for the two-nation collaborative Health Survey 2010 project.  Communication between the survey committees of the two countries will be made easier because at least one member, Jim Hulbert, is a member of both the Canadian and US committees.

Portosystemic Vascular Anomaly (PSVA) and Microvascular Dysplsaia (MVD) – formerly referred to as Portosystemic Shunt (PSS) (Becky Stamps): Dr. Sharon Center’s research project to identify a genetic marker for PSVA and MVD to ultimately develop a test is progressing.  This research is supported by a two year AKC CHF grant as well as financial support from the CTCA Foundation, the Cairn Terrier Club of Canada and other national breed clubs.  Her research includes Cairn Terriers, Havanese, Maltese, Shih Tzu, Tibetan Spaniels and Yorkshire Terriers.  She is doing genetic mapping though use of microsatellites and SNP’s from DNA blood samples of Cairn Terriers and other breeds.  Dr. Center has discovered a link between PSVA and MVD with markers on one chromosome in four breeds. 

Dr. Center continues to request bile acid test results and DNA blood samples from Cairn Terriers which have been clinically diagnosed with PSVA but have not previously been sent to Dr. Center.  If anyone has dogs which meet these requirements, please contact me at marqueecairns@netexas.net   I will mail you the collection test tubes and instructions to enable them to be sent to Dr. Center.

I continue to send multiple test kits to breeders for bile acid tests and DNA collection to send to Dr. Center.  I have received about 12-15 calls since last year from breeders with questions and/or wanting to know how to test and/or how to understand test results.

Additional breeds periodically contact Dr. Center about affected animals in their respective breeds.  Her list of breeds that have PSVA is continually growing.
      CMO: (Vicki Havlik)  Two inquiries – one for a Norwich or Norfolk puppy and another from a Cairn breeder.
    Ocular Melanosis
(OM) (Linda Heiner) Dr. Simon Petersen-Jones ACORN grant was approved and funded by the AKC CHF late in 2007 and reports on the research come in every 6 months and are reported in the CTCA newsletter.
    Dr. Simon Petersen-Jones 2 year proposal to the AKC CHF for $73,681 to continue research in this area was approved by the CHF in September 2008. His research will focus on completing genome analysis to identify genomic loci of interest to help select candidate genes.  However the funding for this project was cut by over 30% despite sponsorship of $20,000 by the CTCA Foundation.  Dr. Petersen-Jones cannot execute the research he projected with reduced funds so he will have to limit the scope of the research or see if additional funding can be obtained from other sources. 
    Blood samples, eye exam results and pedigrees on dogs with OM or who are related to dogs with OM continue to be collected by Dr. PJ.  Especially needed are any eyes removed due to OM for this research.  Dr. Petersen-Jones is currently drafting “Eye Donation Registry” paperwork to distribute to owners of Cairns with OM.  The idea being that when their Cairn has to have an OM affected eye removed or they die, that that owners have considered and agreed to donate their dogs OM eye(s) for this research.  
    Six eye inquiries received include: missing tear ducts (1), dry eyes (2), cataracts (2), PRA (1)
(Linda Heiner) 7 inquiries for itching (4), hair loss (2) and “extremely loose sin that tears like tissue paper” (1)  I have also received several inquiries about dogs skin that appears to be affected with Staph Pyoderma.  This may be a condition that is on the rise in our breed and in other breeds.

Renal Dysplasia/Aplasia
(Jackie Sowards, Joyce Adams-Taylor and Devon Allen) Update from Joyce.  I had one inquiry regarding renal dysplasia and the person was directed to University Of Penn to have their dog evaluated. The Cairn had an ultrasound of the kidneys and blood chemistry performed and it was determined that the dog did not have renal dysplasia.  However, the Cairn was diagnosed as having MVD.

Five of the pups that have been followed by the University Of Penn for renal dysplasia and placed on low protein diets—have had no changes in blood chemistry and no changes to kidney ultrasounds (which is good).  We continue to recommend that ultrasound be used to rule out renal dysplasia.  Some cases are so very mild that dogs will not exhibit any outward signs.   Even very mild cases should not be used in a breeding program.  We look forward to Dr Rhodes Education presentation on “Renal Dysplasia/Aplasia” at Montgomery Co this year.  
    Despite all other reports of a lab test to detect dogs affected by RD or RA, ultrasound diagnosis at 16 weeks of age by a board certified radiologist is still the best screening tool at this time. 
  Health (Genetic) Manual
: (Cheri Eagleson): When the Health Manual is updated it will be posted on the CTCA HRCC section of the website.  Hard copies of it will be available upon request.
  Heart and Gastrointestinal Diseases
(Laurel Harpel): No Update
(Kydee Sheetz):  Nothing new to report.  Very few information requests regarding orthopaedic issues have been received
(Beth Wilder Wilson) No reports.
Minimal Health Screening Protocols (Linda Heiner)  A subgroup of the HRCC discussed this topic in an August conference call.  The 2005 Health Survey clearly showed that 72% of cairn breeders/owners want the national club to recommend a set of testing standards.  More information to come in 2009.
  Orthopedic Foundation of America/Canine Health Information Center (OFA/CHIC) (
Joan Eastman)
There is continued interest in the CTCA participating in this program.  In her conversations with OFA, they advise us to select 3 or 4 baseline tests to start the process.  The information for participation in the program is on the OFA website at http://www.caninehealthinfo.org/chicinfo.html   The mission of CHIC is to provide a source of health information for owners, breeders, and scientists, that will assist in breeding healthy dogs. Two clubs have contacted Joan for information on how to set up multiple heath testing  clinics to be held in conjunction with their shows since October 2007 and a review of the CTCA newsletter clearly shows that many more regional clubs are sponsoring a variety of health testing clinics.
  Devon Allen has had 3 inquiries on seizures, Linda Heiner has had 1 inquiry on hydrocephalus (water on the brain) in a 6 week old puppy, 1 inquiry on pancreatitis and 2 inquiries on tracheal collapse.
  HRCC Goals for 2009

Respectfully submitted,
    Linda Heiner, Chair
  Members: Devon Allen, Joyce Adams-Taylor, Kevin Durkin, Joan Eastman, R.N., Vicki Havlik, Laura  Harpel, DVM, Dr. Jim Hulbert Ph.D., Linda Heiner, R.N., Dr. Kydee Sheetz, Cheri Eagleson, Becky Stamps, Beth Wilson, Jackie Sowards