Sunday, 22 April 2012

Let's sing Carol's praise...


Many, many congratulations to cavalier campaginer Carol Fowler (picture above, centre) who last weekend won the CEVA Pet Lovers Welfare Award  - given to "outstanding individuals who have gone the extra mile to improve companion animal welfare".

The award is in recognition of Carol's efforts for Cavaliers and also for the hundreds of unpaid hours she has put into setting up the Dog Breed Health website which aims to provide puppy-buyers with the information they need to make the right choices.

Carol is pictured above with top neurovet Clare Rusbridge, Carol's guest at the event and, on her left, Dan O'Neill from VetCompass, who nominated Carol.

“Carol’s caring, focused and determined approach to improving the future of British dog breeding has been outstanding," says Dan.  "Her time has been spent helping owners to recognise hereditary disorders affecting UK dog breeds, giving helpful advice to many owners.  Carol should be recognised for her sterling efforts to improve pedigree dog welfare."

It's a fantastic achievement - and the Dog Breed Health website goes from strength to strength with those with grass roots experience in individual breeds helping to refine the information. Please take a moment to read what the site says about your breed and, if you have input, to contact Carol and let her know.

Carol has also recently added pages for the Labradoodle and Cavapoo in an effort to provide health information for 'designer' crossbreeds, too.

Meanwhile, there's great news from VetCompass - the UK health surveillance scheme based at the Royal Veterinary College. The scheme has now enrolled 250,000 companion animals - over 126,000 of them dogs - and is about to release its first data. I've had a sneak preview and it's fascinating... Watch this space!

20 comments:

  1. That's wonderful news! Congratulations to Carol!

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  2. Congratulaions Carol. Thank you for you work. Just checked my dog's breed (English toy terrier) on your coefficient of inbreeding tool and was sorry to see the average of 13%! And I had thought they were relatively un-inbred :(
    Thanks for your website and work

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    1. If you look through you will find there is a awful lot of inaccuracies on there and alot of plucking figures from thin air.

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    2. Perhaps you'd like to furnish us with examples, Anon, and then make the effort to contact Carol and offer corrections (as she invites people to do), rather than bitch from the sidelines?

      Jemima

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    3. Sadly ETT's have a very limited gene pool indeed. There's a strong argument for looking at outcrossing to the Manchester although it might be simplier to use the Min Pin as some judges seen unable to tell the breeds apart!

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    4. No not bitch from the sidelines, i offer plenty of help and info regarding welfare issues in my breed i just don't claim to be all knowing and then stick misinfo on a webby, hell my breed isnt even on there and it's not exactly a rare breed.
      Things like saying a samoyed coat is a welfare issue and that it is not a breed for families is ridiculous but whatever trevor obviously you all know best with you encyclopidic knowledge of ALL breeds.

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    5. You're misquoting Carol. Her website says the Sammy may not be the right dog for a busy family because the coat needs a lot of care - and that it's a welfare issue if not groomed.

      Which is exactly what the British Samoyed Club says:

      http://www.british-samoyed-club.co.uk/index.php?name=Grooming

      Jemima

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    6. He is a large dog with a prodigious coat which needs a great deal of specialised grooming. For this reason he is not a suitable dog for a busy family. He is high spirited, needs to handled firmly and can be rather vocal. Ideally he needs to live in a house with a garden and be given plenty of exercise.

      No not misqouting it its the way most people will interpret this and no i dont agree it needs specialist grooming either a good brush once a week is hardly specialist and yes i know cos i have a double coated breed.

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    7. Congratulations, Carol!

      P.S. Why isn't anyone discussing outcrossing the Cavalier with some other breeds to dramatically increase genetic diversity? If ever a breed called for it.....Especially since no one can pretend it's an "ancient naturally created" breed.

      Cross in some Basenji, some Tibetan Spaniel, Some Puffing dog, whatever (on a large scale) then breed to maintain diversity.

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  3. Where does Vet Compass get its funding from Jemima?

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    1. Several sources, Anon. The RSPCA provided much of the seed money to get the project up and running (initiated by Paul McGreevy at the University of Sydney), and sponsors now inc the RVC, Pfizer, RXWorks (the vet practice software) and the Biotechnology + Biological Research Council.

      The KC Charitable Trust has recently committed funding to VetCompass, too, for a project called 'Disease Surveillance in Kennel Club registered dogs in the UK'. Presumably to tease out the relative health of KC reg dogs and non-KC purebreds. Should be interesting!

      Jemima

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  4. Congratulations to Carol. She has been the untiring tip of the spear dealing with syringomyelia in the cavalier King Charles spaniel. Hopefully, as goes the UK, so will go the USA on this issue. We really need a Carol over here. Fortunately, Dr. Rusbridge's impact has been international. -- Rod Russell, Orlando, Florida USA

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    1. Margaret Carter22 April 2012 23:56

      Never was an award more deserved. Congratulations Carol.

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  5. If there's anyone with experience of these things how about slipping Carol's name before the board that awards honours. A MBE minimum -- while Jemima waits for her damehood! :-)
    That was serious point by the way!

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  6. Odd how the website states for each breed "Ask the breeder about the medical history of the parents, grandparents and great grandparents. Consider carefully whether to purchase a puppy if some of these or other diseases are in the family line." yet make no mention of it for cross or designer breeds....do they not count or does the auther think that no information is good information. Feel it should also be corrected the the COI is only for KC regostered dogs as that is where the information has come from NOT for all pedigree dogs

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  7. If there is a heaven, then I think Carol Fowler deserves priority when she gets there

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  8. Very well deserved award to one of the most caring people I have ever met.

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  9. Hello Jemima, been a lurker here from the States for about a year. I am impressed with Carol's campaign on the Cavilier. I wanted to share with you about a group of breeders here in the U.S. who broke away from their parent club of the AKC to promote the health of their breed--the Havanese. In their effort to breed away from health problems plaguing the Havenese they now have what they believe is a breed phenotypically and genetically different from the Havenese. They now call this "new" breed the Havana Silk Dog. Long story short, they pissed off alot of folks in the Havenese Club of AMerica for their efforts at stringent health testing and the registration of only health tested breeding stock. You can find more information on their website: hsdaa.org. I'm not a breeder, don't have a dog in this fight, could care less about the whole world of dog shows and dog clubs, and have only a rudimentary grasp of genetics. I would be interested in what you think of their efforts.

    By way of background, I saw your PDE film on PBS as I was researching small breeds as a companion animal for my daughter. We've always had mutts from shelters so the idea of a purebred dog was completely foreign to me. I became interested in the Havenese as it met what I was looking for as a small companion dog. I couldn't find any at the local shelters and then started hesistantly looking at breeders. That turned into several months of research and I came across the Havana Silk Dog Association of America. I was so impressed by their efforts. I ended up obtaining one of these pups from one of the handful of breeders here in the states. They have a small stock of animals, though, so I have no way of knowing how "in bred" they might be. Perhaps you might like to do some research?:-)

    I enjoy your blog and thank you for all you do.

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  10. Just a huge "well done Carol" from me, wish there were more like you x

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  11. Should the RSPCA really use money for anything else but direct animal welfare? it seems they liek tou court publicity more than they shoudl ever need.

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