Author Topic: ARVC Webinar Tuesday night at 9PM Eastern  (Read 6891 times)

Lisa

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ARVC Webinar Tuesday night at 9PM Eastern
« on: October 19, 2010, 01:52:35 AM »
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Dr. Kate Meurs and Washington State College of Veterinary Medicine will be offering a free, live interactive webinar on Boxer Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy accessible from your own computer!  Testing, making breeding decisions and treatment of affected dogs will be discussed. Questions will be encouraged. The webinar (as well as any questions and answers ) will be also be recorded and will be accessible after the seminar for individuals who are not able to attend the live presentation.

I think this will be interesting and definitely plan to watch and listen.  Here is the url to see it, and pre-registering is required:

http://www.vetmed.wsu.edu/ce/webConf/Boxer2010.aspx

I was reading an outline of what will be discussed and saw this:

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32 dogs tested Positive Heterozygotes.
– 5 did not have clinical (phenotype) information –so
we do not know the disease status of these dogs
– 24 of these did have clinical (phenotypic) information
CONSISTENT with ARVC—Fainting (Syncope), >100
VPCs /24 hours or DCM (at least in some cases is
likely a variant of ARVC)

I bolded the DCM part because I'm now wondering if Koda's likely DCM may be due to him being heterozygous for ARVC.

The outline only discusses American and UK Boxers and ARVC, with no statistics on Continental Boxers.  Does anyone know of any Continental Boxers affected with ARVC?  Mukki's breeder told me she nor anyone she has ever discussed it with has seen it or knows about it, except a few Scandinavian dogs with English lines in their background.  She says full German Boxers just never seem to get this disease.  Does anyone have evidence to the contrary?
Artax, male Retriever mix, 11/1/99
Koda, CGC RN TT AD, male brindle, 10/10/08
Mukki, CGC, female fawn, 4/20/10


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Re: ARVC Webinar Tuesday night at 9PM Eastern
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2010, 06:27:47 AM »
Thanks...
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Lisa

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Re: ARVC Webinar Tuesday night at 9PM Eastern
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2010, 10:34:03 AM »
Artax, male Retriever mix, 11/1/99
Koda, CGC RN TT AD, male brindle, 10/10/08
Mukki, CGC, female fawn, 4/20/10


Newcastle

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Re: ARVC Webinar Tuesday night at 9PM Eastern
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2010, 12:59:17 PM »
Continental breeders don't screen for ARVC, generally speaking, so they really don't know where it is or isn't in the breed. I know of a few that have tested positive for the ARVC-1 gene, but of course that doesn't mean they are or will be affected with ARVC. I don't think any Boxer population is free of ARVC, but certainly it could be more present in some than in others. Just as spondylosis is a greater problem in Continental dogs than it is in NA dogs, but it still occurs in NA dogs at times.

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I'm now wondering if Koda's likely DCM may be due to him being heterozygous for ARVC.

Probably not. The research in this country has shown that DCM develops after a dog has been clinical with ARVC for some time, and only in a small percentage of ARVC-affected dogs. The info you quoted is what Dr. Meurs has published about the UK dogs, but it doesn't seem to correlate with what the UK cardiologists are reporting. (I believe a brief report is due out shortly, along with information about the new ARVC study starting in Europe via LUPA.)

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Re: ARVC Webinar Tuesday night at 9PM Eastern
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2010, 01:44:34 PM »
That is a big screen I have come to in the Continental lines.  Even asking when the dogs have died, they do not like to share this kind of information.... They don't understand WHY people want to know!  It is frustrating when you are researching a pedigree!!!

I hope I can make it back from class in time!!!! I better put it in my Blackberry to remind myself!
Kat Medved
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At the Bridge: Corky 11.2.2002-2.2012, Cass 8.6.2005-6.2012 www.fairviewboxer.com

Lisa

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Re: ARVC Webinar Tuesday night at 9PM Eastern
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2010, 05:58:30 PM »
Thanks, Jennifer.  It is my understanding that they don't screen for it because it is so rare or nonexistent in their bloodlines, like we don't normally screen for spondylosis or DCM.  They still have necropsies done on their dogs when they die which would determine if it were from ARVC, and Cathy Markos, with all her connections to German breeders, is not aware of a single full German Boxer who had or died from ARVC.
Artax, male Retriever mix, 11/1/99
Koda, CGC RN TT AD, male brindle, 10/10/08
Mukki, CGC, female fawn, 4/20/10


fairview Boxers

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Re: ARVC Webinar Tuesday night at 9PM Eastern
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2010, 07:31:43 AM »
So what did you all think of the Webinar???  I definitely learned some things, and I definitely saw a little push of a disagreement between UK opinions of the genetic test and the US opinion of it... 
Is Dr. Meurs a geneticist as well as a heart specialist????
Kat Medved
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Re: ARVC Webinar Tuesday night at 9PM Eastern
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2010, 08:12:07 AM »
I was at a kennel club meeting last night so couldn't make this - was anything new discussed?
Kerry
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Re: ARVC Webinar Tuesday night at 9PM Eastern
« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2010, 08:35:43 AM »
Missed it too, but I heard that it will be posted (a link of the webinar) when it becomes available on FB
Claire-Mom to Ollie, Zoe, Phoebe, Willie & Snookie

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Re: ARVC Webinar Tuesday night at 9PM Eastern
« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2010, 09:04:06 AM »
I am at work now, and without my notes... but, she talked more of the use for the genetic test being good for prevalence in the breed instead of an actual indicator.. (that is how I took it anyhow)... That even a homo positive may not ever be affected, that this gene has a presense in the population of the breed affected, and that it should be bred away from.  I definitely understood the DNA test better because of this webinar, even though it isn't indicative of the disease fully!  I did see some "turmoil" start and some irritability from Dr. Meurs when Dr. Cattanach started asking her questions about the prevalence in the UK lines.. She stated that since she has only test 75 (maybe 76 -again this is off the top of my head) that she can't really see that the prevalence is that different from the NA lines, but that she THINKS the UK lines may have a "marker" preventing the lines from being affected.  I had to leave it early, which I regret, but I did get some good info!  When I get back home, I will post some of the things I personally learned!
Kat Medved
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Newcastle

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Re: ARVC Webinar Tuesday night at 9PM Eastern
« Reply #10 on: October 20, 2010, 10:44:08 AM »
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Cathy Markos, with all her connections to German breeders, is not aware of a single full German Boxer who had or died from ARVC.

That may be true (and I'm not doubting Cathy, but I don't know if a standard necropsy looks for the signs of ARVC. I know when I inquired about Hugo's heart, they weren't sure they'd be able to get it to a cardiologist for necropsy, but I don't know if that's because we knew his cause of death and I just wanted the heart looked at). However, it's a dangerous statement to make, because the gene is present in at least some Continental dogs (I don't recall offhand if they were "pure German") - there is a very real risk of "Euro Boxers don't have ARVC" turning into people flocking to Continental dogs and either a) finding out that while Continental dogs may have or lack a corresponding gene that affects the expression of ARVC, breeding those dogs to NA dogs does not offer the same 'protection' against the disease, or b) increasing the incidence of other problems like spondylosis. (Or, as is potential with dogs from any country, creating bottlenecks and bringing some new, previously uncommon disease like DCM or JRD.) Again, I'm not laying this on Cathy's feet, but I can see an even larger "Euro" fad coming, with the claims that "they don't have heart problems" even though many of the dogs are coming from kennels that don't test, don't perform necropsies, and don't have any idea when the puppies they produce die or from what.

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Is Dr. Meurs a geneticist as well as a heart specialist?

Dr. Meurs' PhD is in clinical cardiology, but her dissertation was on "Genetic evaluation of feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy" so she has some genetic training as well.

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I was at a kennel club meeting last night so couldn't make this - was anything new discussed?

(I should preface this by saying that I suffered a major blow to my idealism not too long ago, and have become extremely disillusioned with the "health community" in this breed; I used to think it was about the dogs, but now realize it's mostly about ego. So my view is a little jaundiced right now; I've tried to remain objective here but you'll probably see a little of my frustration coming through.)

Nothing really unexpected, basically more of the same.  She did note that homozygous dogs are more likely to have bilateral heart disease, but didn't get into the research specifics for that conclusion. There was definitely some conflict between Drs. Meurs and Cattanach (though, again, nothing really unexpected ;) ). Bruce's point was that since in the UK population the incidence of ARVC was higher in the ARVC-1 negative control dogs (42%) than it was in the homozygous positive dogs (23%), and since some of the homozygous positive dogs have produced thousands of offspring that have not shown the disease, perhaps selecting against the homozygous positive dogs based on their ARVC-1 status was not the best approach. Dr. Meurs stated that she did not have enough data to make a determination either way, and that she had no "scientific evidence" of the thousands of offspring so could not comment on that. (She had 72 dogs sent from the UK group, and another 20 sent independently.)

A couple of points she made that I'm sure the "Medical Mafia" will ignore, but that I found enlightening:

  • Doppler at 12 months of age is all that is necessary to clear a dog for AS. (We have actually known this all along, but the Medical Mafia insist that a dog must be 2 years of age, minimum, and some insist that Doppler must be repeated throughout a dog's life.) She quite clearly stated that they are either born with AS or not, and if they don't have it by a year old they are not likely to ever have it.
  • Holtering at younger than 3 years of age is not going to tell you much about ARVC. Even at 4-5 years you're only going to 'catch' a few affected dogs. Typical age of onset is 6-8 years. She does not recommend holtering before 3 years of age unless you have a reason to suspect ARVC. Even so, in young dogs VPCs are more likely caused by a virus than by ARVC.  (She probably said to go ahead and holter a younger dog that you were wanting to breed, and that it's never a bad thing to holter. My notes are at home.)


She also commented on some of the abnormal beats that are noted on the holter report but are not VPCs - supraventricular ectopy and ventricular escape beats. For supraventricular ectopy, she said unless there are several hundred of them, or they're occuring in correlation with an elevated heartbeat, they are nothing to worry about and she usually notes them but ignores them. Ventricular escape beats are a normal function of the heart (basically, the body's "pacemaker" mechanism) that occur when the heart is beating slowly and the brain needs more blood - it 'kick starts' the heart via the cardiac cells, which can trigger a ventricular beat independent of the normal heart rhythm.  She noted that sleeping dogs' heart rates can get as low as 20 bpm, while an active dog's is around 100-120 bpm, so you most often see ventricular escape beats when the dog is sleeping. These, too, she said are nothing to worry about and she usually notes and ignores them.

She said that (based on the 89 dogs in the published study) penetrance of ARVC is about 70% - which she said means if your dog has the ARVC gene, it has a 70% chance of developing the disease at some level.  (So between 1/4-1/3 of the dogs with the gene will never develop the disease; she aslo said that homozygous positive dogs are at a higher risk than heterozygous.) She is going to start gathering information from owners of DNA-tested dogs, especially heterozygous, to start correlating holters, longevity, necropsy, and DNA. (This, I think, is vital; moreso, I'd like to see a prospective study that follows hundreds of dogs in the different DNA groups and their offspring throughout their lives to determine which develop ARVC, how old they are when they do, how severe it becomes, how many die of it, how they pass it on to their offspring, etc. I don't know how we can call this gene "predictive" or "causative" or say it has "70% penetrance" based on 89 dogs that were pre-selected due to their disease status.)

She did tone down her moratorium on breeding homozygous positive dogs a bit - which was a major sticking point for many. Instead of saying "don't breed homozygous positive dogs except in rare, exceptional cases", she said "ideally don't breed them but if they're great dogs and have a proven history of longevity, they may have a "low penetrance gene" and you could use them carefully, working to replace them over a few generations with heterozygous and then negative dogs". She does recommend breeding them to a negative dog (my comment - since many negative dogs have a family history of ARVC and sudden early death, one would still need to be careful about that!). 

Again, I left my notes at home, but will try to do a write-up in the next few days that also incorporates Dr. Meurs' notes from the PowerPoint presentation.
Jennifer Walker
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Re: ARVC Webinar Tuesday night at 9PM Eastern
« Reply #11 on: October 20, 2010, 11:24:54 AM »
I am surprised then speaking on the genetic subject, that she argues a point with DR. Cattanach about prevalence!!!  Prevalence in either NA or UK lines, actually!!!!  If she only took a snip of the population and is not using dogs from the total populous, but in fact only using dogs from partial populous... how is she able to determine a true prevelence????  That doesn't make ANY sense to me!  If the study isn't about the entire populous, and tracking the breed... what the hell is it about?

I am happy to hear her rendition of homozygous positive, because I think that is a big issue that needs to be cleared up.... Especially with the prevelance not being for an entire populous, but only being from a small populous.... 
I still think it is a tool, but not one to use without holters, lineage, and researched information!!!!
Kat Medved
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Lisa

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Re: ARVC Webinar Tuesday night at 9PM Eastern
« Reply #12 on: October 20, 2010, 11:50:55 AM »
That may be true (and I'm not doubting Cathy, but I don't know if a standard necropsy looks for the signs of ARVC. I know when I inquired about Hugo's heart, they weren't sure they'd be able to get it to a cardiologist for necropsy, but I don't know if that's because we knew his cause of death and I just wanted the heart looked at). However, it's a dangerous statement to make, because the gene is present in at least some Continental dogs (I don't recall offhand if they were "pure German") - there is a very real risk of "Euro Boxers don't have ARVC" turning into people flocking to Continental dogs and either a) finding out that while Continental dogs may have or lack a corresponding gene that affects the expression of ARVC, breeding those dogs to NA dogs does not offer the same 'protection' against the disease, or b) increasing the incidence of other problems like spondylosis. (Or, as is potential with dogs from any country, creating bottlenecks and bringing some new, previously uncommon disease like DCM or JRD.) Again, I'm not laying this on Cathy's feet, but I can see an even larger "Euro" fad coming, with the claims that "they don't have heart problems" even though many of the dogs are coming from kennels that don't test, don't perform necropsies, and don't have any idea when the puppies they produce die or from what.
Surely if they had dogs fainting and dropping dead unexpectedly at early ages they'd be examining hearts at necropsy and finding ARVC if it were there.  Cathy never said German or Euro dogs don't have ARVC, just that in her extensive experience with them she is not aware of a single case of it in a full Continental Boxer without any English lines.  I agree that if German or any other Boxers don't have ARVC, offspring resulting from a cross between them and NA Boxers could still very well result in dogs who develop ARVC, and don't think any knowledgeable breeder would think that because Germans don't have ARVC that they pass on some protection against it to all offspring regardless of what they are crossed with.  It seems also like nearly everyone familiar with Continental lines knows spondylosis is more frequent in them, but at least it's been extensively tested for and so can be bred away from.  As you know, all German breeders must do health testing on their dogs in order to produce BK registered offspring.

I found it interesting that the webinar last night didn't mention Continental Boxers, only NA and UK.
Artax, male Retriever mix, 11/1/99
Koda, CGC RN TT AD, male brindle, 10/10/08
Mukki, CGC, female fawn, 4/20/10


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Re: ARVC Webinar Tuesday night at 9PM Eastern
« Reply #13 on: October 20, 2010, 12:51:49 PM »
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Surely if they had dogs fainting and dropping dead unexpectedly at early ages they'd be examining hearts at necropsy and finding ARVC if it were there.

Maybe - but if they're convinced they don't have it, why would they bother looking for it?  (This is hypothetical - I'm not at all saying this is the attitude of Continental breeders.)  I know of several dogs that have died at young ages, with no cause of death given; they could very well be from completely different issues, but we saw similar things in the States before we started holtering regularly. (A number of well-known dogs died of "bloat" and "bee sting" in those days....)

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don't think any knowledgeable breeder would think that because Germans don't have ARVC that they pass on some protection against it to all offspring regardless of what they are crossed with.

No, but as you well know there are far more "unknowledgeable" breeders than there are knowledgeable ones, and 100 times as many uninformed buyers who will believe the party lines that "Euros don't have ARVC" so "Euro lines are free of heart disease" (and, as a result, worth 2-3x as much as well-bred, tested NA lines....).

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As you know, all German breeders must do health testing on their dogs in order to produce BK registered offspring.

Yes - but Germans breeders who don't produce BK registered offspring are not required to do health testing, and many of those breeders are the ones selling dogs to the US. Again, I'm not talking about the breeders on this site or the ones we promote, but sadly those breeders are in the minority, and with the "Euro fad" going the way it is, I can easily see the fact that well-bred Continental dogs don't seem to be experiencing sudden early death from ARVC being exploited.

Anyway, this is getting off the topic so I'll stop now. :)

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I found it interesting that the webinar last night didn't mention Continental Boxers, only NA and UK.

Very few Continental Boxer owners have sent in samples, and the ones I know of were sent by (or paid for by) people here in the US that owned or were interested in buying/breeding to Continental dogs. (Which makes sense - if they don't have ARVC on the Continent, why would they bother testing for it?) The UK discussion only came up because the Breed Council has been researching ARVC in their dogs recently, so they sent in some samples to see how the gene correlated to their disease incidence - and when it didn't, they sent in even more samples to try to make sense of the situation.
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Re: ARVC Webinar Tuesday night at 9PM Eastern
« Reply #14 on: October 20, 2010, 01:17:53 PM »
k, going to preface this by saying this is OT as i haven't had a chance to listen to the webinar yet.  this is on the german and cont. thing..

Having a German dog, it makes me absolutely insane when people (from all over), make the statement that "our lines don't have this".   ::) You don't know what you don't test for, and while people think holtering is not available outside of the states, it only takes 1 person to spend $500 (or less if they dont' buy from Alba), to have a holter monitor, and $25 (ok, maybe ad $5 for postage), for the tapes to be read.  It bothers me EVEN MORE that people in the states w/ german or continental boxers are not utilizing the holter because they have this idea in their head that "it's not my problem".  It is SO easy these days to get hands on a holter here, why not just do it??  :wall:

SO...... while i am still not sold on the ARVC gene test, I will continue to holter my dogs, whatever their country of origin. 

and to get further off topic... there are tons and tons of crap "euro" breeders coming up from every which corner of the states, and some advertise their holter results as their heart test... *BIG ROLL EYES*  clearly these people don't know much about testing, and the people they are selling their big money puppies to know even less, it's sad and frustrating to say the least.  (k, i'm looking for the ladder to get off this damn soapbox)
« Last Edit: October 22, 2010, 09:24:52 AM by Newcastle »
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