The 2017 National Parent Club Canine Health Conference was held in St. Louis, August 11 to 13. Presented by the AKC Canine Health Foundation and Nestle Purina Pet Care, the conference was a gathering of scientists, veterinarians, AKC parent-club representatives, fanciers and veterinary students from around the world. They received cutting-edge information and research on various topics geared to the AKC’s mission of education and the improvement of canine health and welfare.
Since 1995, the AKC/CHF has partnered with parent-club organizations, and with the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, AKC, Zoetis, and Purina, to drive more than $46 million dollars in innovative research and educational programs to improve and advance canine health
This year, under the guidance of CHF Chief Executive Officer Dr. Diane Brown, the conference presented studies with such topics as:
• Oncology (Canine Lymphoma and Epigenetics; Chemotherapy and Probiotics; Flow Cytometry being used in expanding the understanding of canine lymphoma to improve proper diagnostic and prognostic determinations)
• Genetics versus Infections (Predispositions to Infections, such as Avian Tuberculosis in Dogs; Harmonization of Genetic Testing for Dogs)
• Diet and its ever-expanding role in our dogs’ health and possible relation to epilepsy management (Effects of Omega-3 Fatty Acid-Rich Diet with Rehabilitation; Exploring the Gut Microbiome in Epilepsy; Epilepsy and Nutrition)
• Infectious disease, a rising concern in animal and human health (Tick-borne diseases, Lyme’s, Ehrlichia, Bartonellosis, Brucellosis)
• Canine Cognition, a Neuropsychological Approach
• Reproduction (Theriogenology) (Semen Evaluation; Canine Pyometra)
This year, the AKC/CHF was pleased to introduce the recipient of the Asa Mays DVM Award to one of the conference presenters, Dr. Edward B. Breitschwerdt, for his many years of innovative research into vector-borne diseases. His presentation this year on Bartonellosis was eye-opening and provocative.
A highlight this year was the attendance of 32 veterinary students from 20 universities. Sponsored by the OFA and AKC, their presence was welcomed by seasoned fanciers and breeders. Having young vet students in a room alongside breeders of many years’ experience was a unique opportunity for all to share, learn, and enjoy. These type of cross-generational and professional gatherings are essential for the betterment and growth of our sport, the veterinary profession, and the health and betterment of not just purebred dogs, but of all dogs.