Helen, a good friend of mine, a vet from Norway, showed me a couple of months ago a video that was viral in Norway. A video trying to inform and “sensitize” owners about the possible problems that brachycephalic breeds of dogs have. You can watch it by just clicking the following link:
Indeed, certain breeds of dogs and cats are prone to difficult, obstructive breathing, because of the shape of their head, muzzle and throat. This pathological syndrome is known as “brachycephalic syndrome” and can lead to severe respiratory distress. According to ACVS (https://www.acvs.org/small-animal/brachycephalic-syndrome), “the term Brachycephalic Syndrome refers to the combination of elongated soft palate, stenotic nares, and everted laryngeal saccules.
So one obvious question someone could have is:
- Should breeders reproduce animals of brachycephalic breeds the same way they have been doing till today?
And not only that! In our modern “fast” world, several questions, concerning Ethics and small animal reproduction, arise:
- Should we spay or not dogs and cats?
- Which is the most suitable age to spay a dog or a cat?
- Why retained testicles are so common in dogs and cats?
- Which way can we avoid inherited diseases?
And further more:
- Should we choose sex in fetuses?
- What about cloning of small animals?
- Cryopreservation of small animal embryos?
- etc etc etc
And finally, who is leading and who should lead research on reproduction? Big pet-food companies? Pharmaceutical companies? Maybe breeders? Our clients? And is there any place for Ethics? What is the role of Education?
Hot questions! Impossible to answer all of them! But here are the good news: In the forthcoming 20th International Congress of Small Animal Reproduction that will be held in Vienna (Austria) from June 29th to July 1st 2017, the opening speech is exactly what we are talking about: “Ethics in Animal Breeding”, by Prof. W. Farstad! An excellent professor, vet, and breeder as well! This congress is organized by the European Veterinary Society of Small Animal Reproduction (EVSSAR), the largest society for small animal reproduction in Europe (and maybe in the world). EVSSAR aims to support continuing education of veterinarians and to promote research. More details about EVSSAR can be found here: http://www.evssar.org. The scientific program of the congress, in case you are interested, can be found here: http://www.evssar.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/20th-EVSSAR-program.pdf.
So at last, something seems to move… I will be back on the question above soon!
Oh I forgot: HAPPY EASTER!!!