Hunting Dogs and the AKC Canine Health Foundation

I recently attended the AKC Canine Health Foundation's 2013 National Parent Club Canine Health Conference in St. Louis as part of the team and work I do with Paw Print Genetics. The conference is a chance for Canine Health Foundation grant recipients to showcase their research, findings and future endeavors to the various governing bodies of purebred breed clubs.

The Canine Health Foundation supports research that investigates the causes of canine disease; more accurate diagnosis; accurate, positive prognosis; and effective, efficient treatment. Typically, the foundation awards approximately $1.5 million a year in new research projects, and since its inception in 1995, it has approved more than $29 million!

All that money goes to researchers that investigate the big issues in the canine health world, and many of those ailments are common to hunting dogs - such as cranial cruciate ligament ruptures (a $2-BILLION-per-year problem), disease-causing ticks in a field-trial environment (for the purpose of providing effective and cost-effective preventative strategies), regenerative medicine therapy to treat orthopedic injuries (something that has interested me since Kona's diagnosis with degenerative joint disease) and lots of different cancer studies.

With that said, the CHF has produced a series of podcasts, some of which are very pertinent to hunting-dog owners. Check them out:

Hunting Dog Health Concerns and Staying Safe in the Great Outdoors
Dr. Joe Spoo is a recognized expert in canine athlete conditioning, a practicing veterinarian of small animal medicine, and consultant for sporting dog owners and the sporting dog industry. In this podcast, Dr. Spoo discusses health concerns specific to gun dogs, dangers to be aware of when in the woods or field with your dog, and ways that dog owners can be prepared to prevent and treat injury.

Mean Seeds and Grass Awn Migration Disease
Dr. William Lauenroth received his Masters in Botany from North Dakota State University and his PhD in Range Science from Colorado State University. In this podcast he discusses his CHF-funded research that focused on "mean seeds" and the role they play in grass awn migration disease.

Leptospirosis Risk Factors in Dogs
Dr. Janet Foley is a veterinarian and disease ecologist who studies the ecology and epidemiology of infectious diseases in animal and human populations. She completed both her DVM and PhD at UC Davis where she is now a professor of medicine and epidemiology. Dr. Foley was funded by CHF to determine the risk factors for and clinical characteristics of a disease called leptospirosis. In this podcast she discusses this emerging pathogen and her research results that were recently published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Erlichiosis and New Strategies for Tick Control
Dr. Rebecca Trout Fryxell received her PhD in Veterinary Entomology from the University of Arkansas and she is now an assistant professor of veterinary entomology at the University of Tennessee. In this podcast she discusses her new CHF Acorn grant which involves the tick-borne disease, Ehrlichiosis.