Applying Breed Specific Wellness
This is how we currently apply breed specific wellness:
1) Breed specific dentistry
We have always spent 2 or 3 times as long discussing dental disease with a smaller dog than with a larger dog. The smaller amount of bone leads to more rapid loss of teeth if preventative steps are not taken. We need to be much more proactive in these small breeds to prevent disease and tooth loss. Greyhounds have a known genetic predisposition to severe periodontal disease. Brachycephalic (short nosed) breeds have a much higher incidence of missing and possibly un-erupted teeth, crowded teeth and resulting periodontitis. Knowing this at an early age can prevent much in the way of severe damage to the bone and associated tissues 10 vital components of a dental care program
2) Breed specific nutritional supplements
Perhaps more of a specificity for a breed grouping like the retrievers, sporting breeds and agility breeds than just one breed a nutritional supplements like joint supplements are more important to some breeds than others including our active sporting breeds and large and giant breeds like Labradors, Golden Retrievers, German Shepherd Dogs, St Bernards, Great Danes, Newfoundlands. They need the benefit of high quality joint supplements as well as appropriate levels of EPA & DHA (fish oils) than other breeds to help combat the higher risk of Cranial Cruciate Ligament (CCL) injury Evidence based supplements
3) Ideal weight
Our Ideal Weight contests & programs over the pat 4 years have shown that certain breeds are overrepresented. Obesity prone dogs likeBichons, Beagles, Labradors, Golden Retrievers, Dalmatians and Pugs have outnumbered all others. We feel it is VERY important to see that coming and take steps to prevent it. The new Mars test promises to give an ideal predicted weight. Stay tuned to see how accurate and useful that might be. Any guess towards a dog’s true ideal weight is good guess in the right direction! Here is a link to our Ideal Weight for Pets Facebook Group Page Lots of great photos, tips and scientific links to help!
4) Tick related disease in Labradors & Golden Retrievers
Information presented at the WVMA meeting in October 2009 presented by world renowned DVM’s indicates that both Golden Retrievers and Labradors are more prone to the tick carried diseases both Anaplasmosis and the fatal complication of Lyme nephritis than other breeds especially if they are infected with both. Knowing that these breeds are at increased risk will allow us to emphasize that and hopefully get more specific protection in place via vaccination or optimal tick prevention in the form of topicals. (Year round use is now strongly advised.)
5) Breed and lifestyle specific vaccination
Also at the Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Association conference this past week a Dr Richard Ford a world renowned vaccination expert acknowledged that certain breeds like Dachshunds are more likely to have vaccine reactions because of their size and possible underling genetic predisposition. We will be taking steps like separating out certain vaccines to avoid complications when the same might not be at all necessary for a Labrador puppy. As stated above for a Labrador or Golden Retriever puppy coming to our practice a Lyme vaccination discussion is going to more important than another breed based on emerging evidence.