FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Susan Edmonds
Researchers Report Construction of Genetic Map for Dogs
SEATTLE, Dec. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the James A. Baker Institute for Animal Health at Cornell's College of Veterinary Medicine in Ithaca, New York, are reporting the development of a framework reference map of the canine genome. The article appears in today's issue of Genomics, published by the Academic Press. The ultimate goal of canine genome research is to find all the genes in the chromosomes of domestic dogs and make this information available to others to develop tools to better diagnose disease well before the appearance of symptoms. It is believed that dog genetics offers the hope of discovering the genetic basis of both mammalian development and disease in a variety of species including humans. "The notion of a canine genetic map had been proposed by the genetics community years ago; over the last three years we developed the markers to serve as the cornerstone of the map, and were able to develop efficient approaches for ordering the markers on the individual chromosomes," said Elaine Ostrander, Ph.D., lead investigator and molecular biologist, who is an associate member in the clinical division at the Hutchinson Center. "We were able to provide a number of highly informative pedigrees of dogs that, for several years, had been bred specifically for genetic studies such as these," said collaborator Gustavo D. Aguirre, VMD, Ph.D., director of the Center for Canine Genetics and Reproduction at the Baker Institute. The canine map generated by this collaboration covers most of the canine genome and represents a major step toward the completion of a more comprehensive canine genetic map. It was constructed from 150 highly informative markers, known as microsatellite markers, developed and typed by the Ostrander group and on informative pedigrees developed by the Cornell team. The Linkage panel used included information from 17 three-generation pedigrees with genetically distinct backgrounds, a total of 212 individuals. According to Ostrander, the development of a canine genetic map is of particular importance, not only in solving questions of inheritance in dogs, but in humans as well. Purebred dogs, though all of one species, in practice represent a multitude of closed breeding populations. Many of the genetic diseases that proliferate in inbred dogs also occur in the human population, but are difficult to trace genetically because the high degree of genetic diversity and low number of offspring in human families make informative pedigrees a rarity. These diseases include cancer, epilepsy, retinal degeneration, bleeding disorders, skeletal malformations, and a host of others. Dogs represent a unique genetic resource with each of several hundred breeds exhibiting distinct physical and behavioral traits, and with remarkable consistency among its members. Mapping disease genes in dogs lead to an increased recognition of the role inheritance plays in human disease. In a second paper published in the journal, the two groups describe the construction of a dog-rodent hybrid cell panel to aid in determining the order and spacing of genes and traits of interest on the chromosomes of the canine genome. Both papers, which are featured on the cover of the this month's journal, are the result of an unusual and highly productive collaboration between the two major canine genetics groups in Seattle and Ithaca, each of which brought a unique set of resources and talents to the venture. The Hutchinson Center is one of 28 comprehensive cancer research centers, as designated by the National Cancer Institute. Using basic and applied research, the Center's mission is to eliminate cancer, and other potentially fatal diseases, as a cause of human suffering and death. Advances at the Hutchinson Center in the areas of cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment are coupled with the progress made toward understanding the mechanisms of neoplastic development as well as basic aspects of cellular and molecular biology common to all organisms. In 1951 the James A. Balker Institute for Animal Health established the first laboratory in the world dedicated solely to addressing the health needs of dogs through bask and applied research. The Institute is renowned for its contributions to the control of canine infectious diseases through the development of vaccines against canine distemper, infectious hepatitis, parvovirus, and other diseases. The Institute is part of the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University, established in 1894; the mission of the College is to advance animal and human health through education, research, and public service. The project was conducted by Ostrander and her associates at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, as a continuation of work that she had initiated at the University of California several years ago. Ostrander's team included Cathryn Mellersh, Ph.D. a postdoctoral fellow, Amelia Langston, M.D., a clinical associate, and research associate Neil Wiegand. Aguirre's team at Cornell included Gregory Acland, BVSc, a veterinary ophthalmologist and senior research associate in genetics; and Kunal Ray, MS, Ph.D., senior research associate in molecular genetics. This research was supported by The Canine Health Foundation of the American Kennel Club, the Wellcome Trust The Muscular Dystrophy Association, the Foundation Fighting Blindness, Morris Animal Foundation, the American Cancer Society, and the National Institutes of Health. SOURCE Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research CenterCONTACT: Susan Edmonds of the Hutchinson Center, 206-667-2896; or
Story Filed: Wednesday, November 15, 2000 8:02 AM EST
EXTON, Penn., Nov 15, 2000 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- For most Americans, dogs truly are part of the family -- almost like children in some instances. However, although owners want to provide their dogs with the best possible care, many inadvertently fail to recognize signs that indicate health problems in their pets.
A recent survey conducted by Yankelovich Partners for Pfizer Animal Health (1) discovered that 61 percent of senior dogs (age 7 and over) play the role of either friend or child in their families. Just as parents remember key moments in a child's life, 85 percent of owners of senior dogs were able to recall memorable moments in their dogs' lives. But while many regard their dogs as children, many dog owners don't always recognize their dog's signs of aging.
However, 88 percent of respondents said they'd be willing to give their dogs daily medication for pain relief -- and 64 percent said they would consider spending as much as $50 per month (1).
"It's important that people learn to recognize the signs of pain in their pets," says Bernadine Cruz, D.V.M., Laguna Hills Animal Hospital, Laguna Hills, Calif. She notes that dogs enter the senior category around age 7. "Just as parents notice when their children are in pain, dog owners should pay special attention to the signs of pain and aging in their senior dogs and not just accept them as normal."
Osteoarthritis pain affects many dogs
Osteoarthritis is one of the most common canine diseases, affecting more than 8 million dogs in the United States (2). Yet more than half (55 percent) of dogs with arthritis pain go untreated (3). In fact, the prevalence of arthritis in dogs is similar to humans, with one in five dogs experiencing arthritis (4), compared to one in six people (5).
Osteoarthritis is a chronic, degenerative and painful condition that can develop gradually over time. Pain and disability become more severe as joint tissue deteriorates and advances from the early stages into later stages. Arthritis can affect a dog's quality of life, keeping them from activities, such as walking, running and playing.
"Because the incidence of canine arthritis more than doubles in senior dogs (age 7 and older), it's important to learn which signs to watch for before your dog reaches senior citizen status," Cruz adds. "Teaching owners to recognize the signs of canine osteoarthritis pain will help them help their dogs, especially since many veterinarians don't routinely check for osteoarthritis during an exam (6)."
Signs of osteoarthritis pain include tiring easily on walks; limping, lagging behind or appearing stiff after activity; reluctance to climb steps or jump up; or being slow to rise from a resting position. It is important to recognize these signs early and provide pain relief to help keep the dog active and mobile, and therefore less likely to become overweight.
Osteoarthritis awareness leads to action
"Owners also need to understand that arthritis is probably just as painful for dogs as it is for humans," Cruz adds. "Generally, when owners become aware of their pets' pain, they want to do something to relieve the pain."
This is borne out by the results of the Yankelovich survey. It found that 65 percent of survey respondents worry about various physical health concerns that may affect their dogs, and 88 percent of respondents agreed that dogs can experience the same problems as people (1). As in people, proven prescription products for arthritis pain are available for dogs.
Rimadyl(R) (carprofen) offers dogs relief from osteoarthritis pain
Rimadyl, available only from veterinarians, can help relieve arthritis pain and inflammation in dogs. Developed by Pfizer Animal Health, Rimadyl is the number one choice of veterinarians for prescription pain relief in the United States (7). Since it first became available in 1997, it has provided pain relief for more than 4 million dogs (2).
Rimadyl is the only canine arthritis medication available in chewable tablets as well as regular caplets. The chewable, liver-flavored tablets make providing arthritis pain relief a pleasant experience for dogs and owners alike. In fact, studies show that dog owners prefer administering chewable medications over conventional pills (9). In Rimadyl Chewables palatability studies, 100 percent of tablets were freely accepted by small dogs, and 99 percent were freely accepted by large dogs (8). Because the flavor of this veterinary-prescribed medication is so appealing to dogs, extra care should be taken to store Rimadyl Chewables out of pets' reach to prevent them from accidentally consuming more than the recommended dose.
As with other pain relievers in this class, signs of Rimadyl intolerance may include appetite loss, vomiting and diarrhea, which could indicate side effects involving the digestive tract, liver or kidneys. Some of these side effects, like those of many other NSAID-class medications, may occur without warning and, in rare situations, may be serious, resulting in hospitalization or even death. In field use, the reported rate of all side effects for Rimadyl has been less than 1 percent. If these signs occur, discontinue Rimadyl therapy and contact your veterinarian. See the important Information for Dog Owners section of the full prescribing information.
Veterinarians can help dog owners decide if Rimadyl is right for their dogs. Pet owners can take the OA IQ quiz for their dog on the Rimadyl Web site at http://www.rimadyl.com . More information is available on the Rimadyl Web site or by calling 800-720-DOGS.
Story Filed: Tuesday, November 07, 2000 11:58 AM EST
SANDWICH, England, Nov 7, 2000 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Pfizer Global Research & Development - Veterinary Medicine will host the first International Symposium on the discovery of new medicines for companion animals and livestock, from November 20 to 23, at the Pfizer research campus in Sandwich, Kent, UK.
Some of the world's foremost experts in veterinary medicine, from academia, government, and industry will discuss their work in the rapidly-changing field of veterinary medicine research. "Newly available technologies and areas of scientific inquiry, including advances in molecular biology and automation technologies, are transforming veterinary medicine research," says Dr. Alex Goudie, Senior Vice President of Pfizer Global Research & Development, Director of Worldwide Veterinary Medicine, Intellectual Property and Licensing. "The Veterinary Medicine Discovery Symposium will give scientists an unprecedented opportunity to share new developments in their search for cures for animals' unmet medical needs."
Speakers will discuss current veterinary medicine research in antiparasitics, vaccines, new treatments for chronic and age-related ailments, and new drug discovery technologies. "These research areas reflect veterinarian, pet and livestock owners' strong interest in finding new medicines to improve companion animals' quality of life and preventive approaches to animal diseases," says Dr. Chris Dutton, conference organizer and Pfizer senior principal scientist.
Nobel Laureate Dr. Peter Doherty of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee, will give the Symposium's keynote address. Highlight presentations during the week will include discussions of future directions in veterinary medicine by Professor Robert Michell, Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, and Dr. Michelle Haven, Pfizer Global Research & Development - Veterinary Medicine. Addressing the topic of canine cancers, Dr. Brian Catchpole of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons will discuss his work in dendritic cell vaccination for the treatment of canine malignant melanoma. Dr. Barbara Kosztolich of the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, will present her research on the treatment of canine mammary tumors. Dr. David Argyle of the University of Glasgow, will talk about the development of gene-based medicines for canine and feline cancers and arthritis. Dr. John Major of Astra Zeneca will discuss the impact of high-throughput screening on drug discovery.
Livestock and poultry presentation highlights will include Mr. William Donachie's work at the Moredun Research Institute, Edinburgh, on the development of iron-regulated protein vaccines against pasteurellosis in sheep and cattle, and Pasteurella vaccine research in cattle and water buffalo by Mr. T.O. Jones, veterinarian. Dr. S.C. Burgess of the Institute for Animal Health, Compton, Newbury, Berkshire, will present a model system to protect against Marek's Disease in chickens.
Pfizer Inc discovers, develops, manufactures and markets leading prescription medicines, for humans and animals, and many of the world's best known over-the-counter brands.
SOURCE Pfizer Inc
CONTACT: Betsy Raymond of Pfizer Inc, 860-715-2662 /Company News On-Call: Pfizer's press releases are available at no charge through PR Newswire's Company News On-Call fax service and on PRN's Web Site. For a menu of Pfizer press releases or to retrieve a specific release, call 800-758-5804, extension 688250, or http://www.prnewswire.com on the Internet. /Photo: A free corporate logo to accompany this story is available immediately via Wieck Photo Database to any media with telephoto receiver or electronic darkroom, PC or Macintosh, that can accept overhead transmissions. To retrieve a logo, please call 972-392-0888. /Company News On-Call: http://www.prnewswire.com/comp/688250.html or fax, 800-758-5804, ext. 688250 URL: http://www.pfizer.com http://www.prnewswire.com (C) 2000 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. KEYWORD: England INDUSTRY KEYWORD: MTC SUBJECT CODE: PDT
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Story Filed: Thursday, September 21, 2000 4:27 PM EST
Washington, DC, Sep. 21, 2000 (FedNet via COMTEX) -- We are amending our regulations concerning the importation of animal semen by eliminating importation requirements for all canine semen from anywhere in the world and for equine semen from Canada. We believe these changes are warranted because canine semen and equine semen from Canada pose no threat of introducing diseases to U.S. livestock. This action will reduce regulatory requirements for the importation of semen while continuing to protect the health of U.S. livestock.
AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.
ACTION: Final rule.
Copyright © 2000, FedNet Government News, all rights reserved.You may now print or save this document.
Story Filed: Tuesday, October 03, 2000 11:00 AM EST
NEW YORK, NY, Oct 03, 2000 (INTERNET WIRE via COMTEX) -- It's a great time to be an American pet ... or is it?
Anew survey shows that while pet owners are lavishing unprecedented affection on their dogs and cats, their perceptions of animal health, welfare and behavior issues are significantly out of sync with reality.
The State of the American Pet, a national survey of dog and cat owners, was conducted by Yankelovich Partners on behalf of the Healthy Pets 21 Consortium (HP21), a think tank initiated by the Purina Pet Institute that includes some of the foremost leaders in the pet health and welfare community.
The research makes it clear that owners are very committed to their animals. They take their dogs and cats shopping, to restaurants and on vacation. They give them respect, love and hours of attention.
But other findings prompt concerns for America's 120 million dogs and cats:
Owners see their pets' health as good, yet veterinarians report there may be disparities.
Though owners say their pets are well behaved, when probed further, they cite numerous behavioral issues ranging from scratching furniture to soiling in the house.
Pet owners are concerned about pet overpopulation, yet many do not act consistently to help reduce the problem.
Check Up and Check Out The Scale
While 97 percent of owners describe their pets' overall health as very or fairly good, 56 percent of dog owners and 51 percent of cat owners list specific health problems they experienced with their pet. And when their pets have a health problem, only one out of three owners take their pets to the veterinarian for treatment.
Moreover, though obesity among dogs and cats is a leading nutritional disease with potentially serious health consequences, more than 80 percent of pet owners think their pets are the right weight or underweight. However, veterinarians report at least 25 percent of the pets they examine in private practice are overweight. This has the Healthy Pets 21 Consortium wondering if pet owners are attuned to their pets' proper weight.
"Most pet owners think a few extra pounds on a dog or cat is nothing to worry about," says Aine McCarthy, DVM, HP21 Consortium representative from Ralston Purina. "In reality, two extra pounds on a standard-size cat is like 20 extra pounds on a 120-pound human. Extra weight on pets may be dangerous and can lead to heart, digestive and respiratory problems."
Who's In The Dog House?
Pet owners report their dogs and cats are well behaved, but are they turning a blind eye? Almost all pet owners (97 percent) say their pets are very or fairly well behaved. However, when asked about specific behavior problems they experience, 85 percent of dog owners and 82 percent of cat owners list issues ranging from jumping on people or growling to scratching furniture or soiling in the house.
When owners were asked whether their pet's greatest behavior problem was solved, just 21 percent of dog owners and 30 percent of cat owners said their pet's negative behavior was resolved.
The Healthy Pets 21 Consortium worries these results might indicate that pet owners overlook negative behavior because of the close bond they share with their pet. Or, perhaps they accept bad behavior because they don't understand proper pet behavior.
For whatever reason, owners are passive about their pets' behavioral issues. In fact, 18 percent of dog owners and 24 percent of cat owners said they did nothing about their pets' negative behavior, and only one out of every five dog owners has ever taken their dog to obedience training. In addition, of those who have surrendered a pet, 14 percent of dog owners and five percent of cat owners have done so due to behavioral problems.
"First owners need to recognize their pets' unwanted behavior as a problem and understand that the negative behavior can be improved or prevented by consulting with knowledgeable trainers, behaviorists and veterinarians," says R.K. Anderson, DVM, HP21 Consortium representative from CENSHARE. "This is essential not only because unwanted behaviors fracture the bond between owners and their pets, but they also can signal a health problem for which owners should see their veterinarians. Animals seek our approval and it is the responsibility of owners - and a sign of their compassion - to help their pets learn how that approval can best be earned."
Dr. Anderson also notes that while many people are reluctant to train their pets, requiring appropriate behavior actually strengthens the human/animal bond.
"Not only can the unwanted behaviors fracture the bond between owners and their pets, but they also can signal a health problem for which they should see their veterinarian," says Anderson.
Practice What You Preach
Perhaps the most surprising contradiction between pet owners' perceptions and reality is their concern for our country's pets. More than half of dog owners (56 percent) and nearly two-thirds of cat owners (64 percent) rank the pet overpopulation problem as their greatest concern. Unfortunately, it appears some pet owners don't practice what they preach. Although three out of four pet owners said their pets are spayed or neutered, twenty-five percent report they have not had their pets fixed and fewer than 15 percent acquired their pets from shelters.
What is even more surprising among those who have not had their pets spayed or neutered, is the top reason cited by one in three owners -- "they simply haven't bothered to do it yet."
"We applaud those pet owners who have adopted pets from shelters and spayed or neutered their pets. Their actions play a critical role in reducing the number of animals that are homeless, living in shelters or euthanized each year," says Jane McCall, HP21 Consortium representative from the Society of Animal Welfare Administrators. "A cat or dog who has babies, and whose babies have babies, can be responsible for the birth of 50 to 200 kittens or puppies in just one year."
Setting the Pet Health Agenda
The Healthy Pets 21 Consortium is an initiative of Ralston Purina's newly formed Purina Pet Institute. Its mission is to champion improved health and well-being for our nation's dogs and cats, and the quality of their relationships with people. Based on the survey findings, the Healthy Pets 21 Consortium has established an agenda addressing issues in the areas of pet health, behavior and welfare. The Consortium will specifically look into research, education and public policy to promote responsible pet ownership; raise awareness of pet issues; communicate the benefits of relationships between people and companion animals; and promote a more pet-friendly society.
The Consortium's charter members are the AKC Canine Health Foundation, American Animal Hospital Association, CENSHARE (Center to Study Human-Animal Relationships and Environments), Delta Society, Society of Animal Welfare Administrators, University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine and Ralston Purina.
Share Your Pet Point of View
Pet owners can compare their views to those of other pet owners and learn more about The State of the American Pet by logging onto www.purina.com.
Yankelovich Partners, Inc., a premier international market research firm headquartered in Norwalk, Connecticut, conducted the survey with a nationally projectable sample of pet owners consisting of 1,001 dog owners and 1,000 cat owners. This sample did not include dog or cat breeders; veterinarians; or animal hospital, kennel or shelter employees. The telephone interviews were conducted via random digit dialing between August 3 and August 23, 2000.
CONTACT: Amy Horsley Golin/Harris 312-729-4366
Kerry Lyman Ralston Purina 314-982-2094
Copyright 2000 Internet Wire, All rights reserved.
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Regular vaccination for pets may endanger their health, study claims
Pet owners who have their animals regularly vaccinated may be killing them
with kindness, according to a British survey.
Research by Canine Health Concern shows higher than normal levels of
distemper, allergic reactions, epilepsy and even brain damage in dogs which
have annual injections.
The survey involving 4,000 dog owners found that of those dogs which became
ill, two-thirds did so within three months of having a vaccination.
Ms Catherine O'Driscoll, the group's founding member, began her research
after losing her three healthy dogs after their regular booster injections.
These contain a number of vaccines to combat different diseases, some of
which are no longer a major threat to pets in the UK, she said. An earlier
survey by Ms O'Driscoll, involving more than 2,000 dogs, convinced her that
vaccines could cause long-term damage.
She tells tonight's World in Action on ITV: "We have phone calls every day
from people crying and sobbing or asking how they can get help for their dog
which has epilepsy or cancer. Sometimes it takes me an hour to open the post
from people concerned about their dogs, cats or horses who are ill and
suspect the vaccines."
However, Mr Ted Chandler, president of the British Veterinary Association,
tells the programme he believes the risk is minimal. "The level of reactions
we get to vaccines is incredibly small," he says. "We are talking about
something in the region of 00.01 per cent, one in many thousands."
People should not be scared or worried about side-effects of vaccines on the
pets, he adds.
On the same programme, a leading British veterinary scientist says that
feeding pets processed foods can also lead to health problems.
Many vets recommend a diet of tinned and dried processed foods, a business
worth (pounds) 1.5 billion sterling in the UK each year.
Ms Sue Penman, founding president of the British Veterinary Dental
Association, says it can cause huge problems.
She tells the programme: "What we're tending to find now in the developed
world where people and their pets are eating a processed food diet is that
there's a disgusting increase in cancer, heart disease, diabetes and
arthritis - all those things that we describe as degenerative diseases."
World in Action also reveals the ingredients which, it is claimed, have been
used in some pet foods made in Britain. Ground-up teeth, straw, feathers,
animal heads complete with ear tags, feet and bones have found their way
into British pet foods, according to their evidence.
From the CDC http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/q&a.htm
West Nile virus cause illness in dogs or cats?
A. There is a published report of West Nile virus isolated from a dog in southern Africa (Botswana) in 1982. There are no published reports regarding cats, but West Nile virus was isolated from a dead cat in the New York area epidemic. A serosurvey of dogs and cats in the epidemic area showed a low infection rate.
Q. Can infected dogs or cats be
carriers (i.e., reservoirs) for, and transmit West Nile virus to humans?
A. West Nile virus is transmitted by infectious mosquitoes. There is no documented evidence of person-to-person, animal-to-animal, or animal-to-person transmission of West Nile virus. Veterinarians should take normal infection control precautions when caring for an animal suspected to have this or any viral infection.
Q. How do dogs or cats become
infected with West Nile virus?
A. The same way humans become infected, by the bite of infectious mosquitoes. The virus is located in the mosquito's salivary glands. During blood feeding, the virus is injected into the animal. The virus then multiplies and may cause illness. Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on infected birds, which may circulate the virus in their blood for a few days. It is possible that dogs and cats could become infected by eating dead infected animals such as birds, but this is unproven.
Q. Can a dog or cat infected with
West Nile virus infect other dogs or cats?
A. No. There is no documented evidence that West Nile virus is transmitted from animal-to-animal.
Q. How long can a dog or cat be
infected with West Nile virus ?
A. The answer is not known at this time.
Q. Should a dog or cat infected
with West Nile virus be destroyed? What is the treatment for an animal infected
with West Nile virus?
A. No. There is no reason to destroy an animal just because it has been infected with West Nile virus. Full recovery from the infection is likely. Treatment would be supportive and consistent with standard veterinary practices for animals infected with a viral agent.