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Unleashed Complimentary

Vol. 9 Issue 2 - Spring 2017

Delmarva

“Marley”

Bark

of the Town

Pooch Palooza Schedule ACL Repairs Canine Genome 1

Partners for Paws Delmarva Unleashed

Early Summer 2017


Enjoy dining right on the bay!

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Vol. 9 Issue 2 Spring 2017

Delmarva Unleashed Publisher Sandy Phillips

6 14 18 22

Bark of the Town ACL Repairs Partners for Paws Canine Development “The Teen Years” 26 What is the Canine Genome? 36 Doggie Socials

Editor Grammerly Creative Farin Phillips creative@grandlivingmag.com Contributing Writers Polly Elliott John Maniatty, V.M.D. Jaclyn Wolinski, D.M.V.

Sales Coordinator Norm Herdegen Advertising Info: (410)726-7334

On the Cover:

”Marley,” proudly owned by Karen Sutton of Ocean City. MD. Delmarva Unleashed is published six times a year; Winter, Spring, Early Summer, Late Summer, Fall, and Holiday. It is circulated throughout Maryland’s Lower Shore, Mid Shore and onto Virginia’s Eastern Shore. The magazine can also be found throughout Delaware and is published by Grand Living Magazine, LLC. Delmarva Unleashed is protected under trademark registration. No portion in whole or part may be reproduced without written permission from the publisher. Copyright 2016©, Grand Living Magazine, LLC. All rights reserved. Content in Delmarva Unleashed is intended to provide information only and is in no way meant to treat or diagnose. Always consult with a specialty professional to address your own personal needs. The company makes every effort to ensure that all information presented is correct, however, we do not make any representations or warranties as to the accuracy of the information, and reliance on information provided, is solely at your own risk.

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Delmarva Unleashed

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Delmarva Unleashed A Canine Lifestyle Magazine From the Publisher

I

t's time once again for Pooch Palooza. The annual dog festival is to celebrate dogs. We wanted them to have a day that's just for them. A special place where they get to do all the things themselves and not just hang with us humans while we do everything. Society dictates that we still be by their side at every moment, but allowing them the opportunity to try new things, and in a place where there are lots of things they can try, has to be just like taking a kid to the Boardwalk. OK, my dogs go to the Boardwalk, but they don't get to ride the rides or play games. After Thrasher's fries or a few licks from an ice cream cone, it's well... all human. There are still so many things we don't have in this part of the state, so it's wonderful to bring new things here. In particular, canine sports that may spark interest, and with enough interest, those things will become a regular part of our

lives. We've been working hard on new "doggie" things, but many have the stipulation requiring us to be a multiday festival with a minimum required attendance; so very much more than the typical, local canine get together. Your attendance and support at Pooch Palooza will allow us to bring in new things, new experiences for our dogs to explore and hopefully, in the long run, more activities to do with your dog on a year 'round basis. Everyone wins. Delmarva Unleashed had the privilege of being asked to host a leg of the East Coast Surf Finals; I did say that "dogs on surfboards," just like in Laguna. And they will bring top dogs to town to compete, including working events, so your dog can try the sport too. At the moment that's still in the future, but on the table! Continue pg. 8


Bark of the Town Canine Fit Bit? Researchers at Osaka Prefecture University, in Japan, have developed a method to detect "real-time stress" in dogs by using a newly developed canine heartbeat sensor. The wearable sensors "transmit signals from dogs’ hearts to gadgets that allow their owners to determine whether they are relaxed or stressed out," said Shunsuke Shimamura, an associate professor of veterinary medicine at the University who heads the team behind the research. His team is developing the device in connection with the Sharp Corp. and aims to have a marketable product available within the next few years. “The device could be used for knowing when dogs are in pain or having health problems,” Shimamura told The Japan Times. “The use of this could lead to early detection of disease or the improvement of medical treatment for dogs.” Scientist know that heart rate fluctuations are indicators of stress in dogs as well as humans. Because of differences in heart rate variability between humans and dogs, it has been difficult to adapt human stress-detection methods for dogs.

The new technology can detect subtle changes in heart rate. The research team discovered that "as dogs get tense, the intervals become more and more regulated. When dogs relax, the intervals fluctuate greatly." According to Shimamura, once the new tracker is released it will make stress assessment in dogs much easier.


FDA Cautions Pet Owners and Caretakers Not to Feed Certain Evanger’s or Against the Grain Canned Pet Foods Due to Adulteration with Pentobarbital The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is advising pet owners and caretakers not to feed their pets certain lots of Evanger’s canned Hunk of Beef or Against the Grain, Grain Free Pulled Beef with Gravy canned dog food after unopened cans from both brands were found to contain pentobarbital, a barbiturate. Pentobarbital is a drug that is used in animal euthanasia. It should not be in pet food and its presence as detected by the FDA in these products renders them adulterated. The FDA was unable to determine from available records whether any other Evanger’s or Against the Grain products made with beef contain any of the beef that went into the recalled products. Additionally, the agency concluded an inspection of the manufacturing facilities on February 14, 2017, and noted numerous significant concerns with conditions found at both the Wheeling, IL and Markham, IL plants. These are initial observations and do not represent a final agency determination regarding the firm. Following discussions with the FDA, Evanger’s initiated a voluntary recall on February 3, 2017, of certain lots of its 12-ounce Hunk of Beef canned dog food: 1816E03HB, 1816E04HB, 1816E06HB, 1816E07HB, and 1816E13HB, all with an expiration date of June 2020. In the course of the investigation, the FDA tested two cans of Against the

Grain brand canned Grain Free Pulled Beef with Gravy dog food manufactured in the same facilities as Evanger’s products and using beef from the same supplier: these samples also tested positive for pentobarbital. On February 9, 2017, after conversations with the FDA, Against the Grain voluntarily recalled lot 2415E01ATB12 BEST DEC 2019 of this product. The company issued a public notice about its recall on February 13, 2017. To date, the FDA is not aware of any pet illnesses associated with the Against the Grain product. The FDA began investigating Evanger’s Dog & Cat Food Company Inc. when it learned about five dogs in a single household that suffered acute neurological symptoms shortly after eating the product. One dog was euthanized after secondary complications, and three others recovered after receiving veterinary care. One of the dogs treated remains on seizure medication, and the fifth dog that ate the least amount of food recovered with time. The stomach contents of the deceased dog and an open can of the product were tested by an FDA Veterinary Laboratory Investigation and Response Network lab, and unopened cans of the product from the pet owner and retailer that sold the products (from the same production lot), were tested by FDA’s lab. All of the samples tested positive for pentobarbital.

Delmarva Unleashed

Early Summer 2017

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In its recent press release announcing a limited product recall, Evanger’s Dog & Cat Food Company, Inc. stated that the beef for its Hunk of Beef product came from a “USDA approved” supplier. However, the FDA reviewed a bill of lading from Evanger’s supplier of “Inedible Hand Deboned Beef - For Pet Food Use Only. Not Fit For Human Consumption" and determined that the supplier’s facility does not have a grant of inspection from the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service. The meat products from this supplier do not bear the USDA inspection mark and would not be considered human grade. USDA-FSIS regulates slaughter of animals for human consumption only. Testing by USDA-FSIS of Evanger’s Hunk of Beef confirmed that the meat used in the product was bovine (beef). The investigation by the FDA is ongoing and includes examination of the suppliers of beef to Evanger’s and Against the Grain to determine a possible cause for the presence of pentobarbital. The FDA is also coordinating with the USDA to address any possible areas of shared jurisdiction at the suppliers. Oral exposure to pentobarbital can cause drowsiness, dizziness, excitement, loss of balance, nausea, nystagmus (eyes moving back and forth in a jerky manner), inability to stand, coma and death. Consumers who notice these symptoms in their pets should consult their veterinarian. Consumers with cans of product subject to the facilities' voluntary recalls should refer to the firms’ respective press releases for information about returning the product.

from the Publisher continued

We are also working to bring in Canine Weight Pulling, Flyball and so much more. Ideas and suggestions are always welcome here, and just a phone call away. Lure Coursing will be available this year. This particular course will be hosted by the Charles County Humane Society and all monies raised from Coursing will go back to that shelter. The set up is an excellent opportunity for your dog to try Lure Coursing, in case they have been hiding their talent. The Agility at Pooch Palooza is another venue for your dog to explore. Not set up for competition, it's sole purpose is to see if your dog has the interest in the sport. While we can train our pups to do oodles of things, if they just plain dislike something, it's a difficult road for everyone. Explore! We hope you will join us for the weekend or at least for a day. It's all about our dogs, allowing them to be center stage, and just have fun. Humans are welcome!

Sandy


Reprinted by request...

Holistic Flea & Tick Spray Looking for an alternative to “spot-on” treatments? Try this holistic preparation. Be sure to spray your dog daily for best results. 2 lemons sliced 1/2 cup of dried Lavender (We found a great selection of modestly priced lavender on Amazon.) 2 cups boiling water Combine all ingredients and let steep for at least 8 hours before use. Strain through a paper towel or cheese cloth and transfer to a spray bottle. Keep refrigerated. So you don’t forget, consider spraying your dog at his morning meal.

Homemade Holistic Shampoo As the weather warms there will be lots of baths in your dogs future. Spring tends to be “mud-season” here on the shore and while there are now numerous holistic and all natural shampoos on the market, this is an easy recipe you can make at home. Be sure to purchase quality oils and never apply them directly to your dog. Essential oils can be very strong and even one drop can be an irritant to the skin. Avoid contact with the eyes too. Make your initial batch in a glass jar and once the mixture is complete you can transfer it to a plastic bottle, particularly if you want to take it outside.

12 ounces of bottled water 1 tsp. of shredded Castile’s soap 2 drops each of the follow essential oils: Lavender Oil Peppermint Oil Eucalyptus Oil Rosemary Oil Shake your bottle well before each use. Lather your dog with a generous amount and be sure to rinse with lots of clear water.


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Pooch Palooza April 22 & 23 Frontier Town, Berlin, MD

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h Palooz c o a Po Dog Festival

2017 Schedule of Events Note: Times are subject to change, however, activities will not change days! This schedule will be updated as more information becomes available. Visit us on Facebook at Delmarva Unleashed for the most up to date info.

Ocean City, MD

Saturday April 22 Sunday April 23 9:00

Gates Open

9:30

Model Search Opens Canine Photobooth Opens DockDogs Big Air Wave 1

Gates Open DockDogs Big Air Model Search Opens Smart Pups - Canine Ed. Canine Photobooth Opens

10:00 FastFetch Qualifier

Costume Contest

11:00 Fido Academy - Trick Training 11:30 Model Search Breaks DockDogs Big Air Wave 2

Pie Eating DockDogs Big Air Model Search Breaks

11:45 Lure Coursing Breaks Agility Breaks 12:00 Helio Ball Drop 12:30 1:00

Canine Carnival Opens Costume Contest Lure Coursing Resumes Agility Resumes Model Search Re-Opens DockDogs Big Air Wave 3

DockDogs Speed Retrieve/All in One

2:00

FastFetch Cup Final

2:30

Smart Pups - Canine Ed.

Fido Academy - Trick Training DockDogs Big Air Finals

3:00

Pie Eating

3:30

Model Search Closes Canine Photobooth Closes DockDogs Big Air Wave 4 Festival Closes

1:30

4:00

All Weekend-

Model Search Re-Opens

Model Search Closes Canine Carnival Closes Canine Photobooth Closes Festival Closes

Lure Coursing Agility Exploration

Dog Park

Shopping


Anterior Cruciate Ligament Repairs

T

by John Maniatty V.M.D.

here are several types of anterior cruciate ligament repairs, and more are coming out every few years. For the sake of this article, we will cover the three main repair techniques: Lateral imbrication, tibial plateau leveling osteotomy (TPLO), and tibial tuberosity advancement (TTA). They each can be effective, and there are positive and negatives associated with each. All three techniques start the same by going into the stifle joint to remove the remnants of the broken anterior cruciate ligament, any bony fragments, smooth out roughened areas, and if the meniscus is damaged remove the damaged portion. Then close the joint capsule. From here the three techniques vary. 12

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Lateral imbrication is the oldest of the three techniques and is being tweaked 'till this day. It replaces the anterior cruciate ligament with a monofilament nylon suture. This is accomplished by passing the nylon suture behind the lateral fabella, a small bone on the back of the stifle joint at the level of the distal femur. The nylon suture is passed just below the patella tendon and brought back through a hole that is drilled in the tibial tuberosity. The stifle is then placed in normal position for standing, and we secure the nylon suture by either tying a knot or using a crimp clamp. By doing this, we prevent internal rotation and also keep the tibia from being able to slide forward. This gives the stifle increased joint stability.

Early Summer 2017


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Delmarva Unleashed

Early Summer 2017


The positives of this technique are the lack of need for specialized equipment which keeps the price down; the patient can return to full function in 6 -12 months and minimal bone manipulation means less chance for fractures. The negatives can be a failure in the nylon suture, rupture of the fabella ligament, which decompensates the whole repair, and infection. Which is not great for very large dogs, and studies have shown greater osteoarthritis later in life compared to TPLO/TTA. TPLO is the next oldest of the techniques and has been around for about 24 years (1.) This technique is based on the fact that the tibial plateau has a natural slope and when the ACL is ruptured forces push the tibia forward, and the femur slides down the slope caudally. The meniscus along with some other tendons and ligaments help prevent it from totally sliding off. The TPLO surgery makes an arc cut in the tibia rotates it to level the tibial plateau and places a specialized plate to hold it in place. By doing this forces are now directed up and down and not cranially or caudally. Before doing the surgery, radiographs are required to calculate the proper rotation needed and size of the curved cutting blade. The positive of this technique, according to some studies, is a faster return to function over lateral imbrication. Others say they are equal (2,3), and better for larger dogs, however, this technique can be performed on almost any size dog. The negatives here include the need for more specialized equipment needed, (higher price) bone cancer associated with the hardware used (i.e. plates and screws), infection and fracture of the bone. 14

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TTA is the newest of the three techniques having come out in the 2000’s and is still being modified. This is why you may see TTA and TTA2 referred to in literature. The principle of the TTA/TTA2 is to alter the angle of the patella tendon that then stabilizes the joint and removes tibial thrust, even in the absence of an ACL. The patella tendon is repositioned by making a cut in the front of the tibia over the tibial crest downward. Then inserting a premeasured box that holds the bone fragment in place, away from the body of the tibia. In the original TTA, it was cut away, and a metal plate was used to reconnect it to the tibia. In the TTA2, it is never fully cut, so the distal end is still connected. By doing either of these techniques the patella tendon is placed at 90 degrees to the slope of the tibia and the tibia is no longer pulled forward by the patella tendon when contracted, and thrust is removed. The positives of this technique offer a faster return to function over lateral imbrication and possibly equal to TPLO. This is a simpler procedure than TPLO and can be done on most size dogs. The negatives include a need for specialized equipment, greater expense than lateral imbrication, plate failure, bone cancer secondary to the plate, infection due to implant, fracture of the bone, and miss calculation, so the patella is not in proper alignment. Each of these procedures can be successful when chosen correctly. Judgment needs to be based on patient size, activity level, and comfort of the technique by the surgeon. Complications can occur with any surgery and postoperative rehabilitation and follow-up visits to monitor progress help in the overall outcome.

Early Summer 2017


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Partners for Paws

by Polly Elliott

C

anine philanthropy comes in many forms. People will donate to shelters either monetarily or with bags of food, blankets, toys, etc...There are "memorial funds" that can be set up at vet offices for people who can't afford critical care for their dogs and many other options for supporting pets in need. Kate Hungerford, of Partners for Paws, has a wealth of shelter volunteer experience, and her style of giving back adds yet another dimension. Having grown up in the "foster" system, moving from home to home, Kate says she feels a connection to dogs that find themselves suddenly at a shelter. She tells Delmarva Unleashed, that after six years of volunteering that "you can clearly see dogs that are very grateful for getting out of situations where they are unwanted, neglected or abused." She continues saying that "it's a very confusing and 16

Delmarva Unleashed

frightening time for them. The upside is that animals are very forgiving, despite whatever they have been through. Given time and help, they are willing to trust humans again and give and receive love." Kate's 5013C non-profit organization offers assistance to shelters in a wide array of formats. Partners for Paws holds food drives at grocery stores and pet stores. "We are also lucky enough to have a benefactor who donates pet food to us," she says. Once the food is collected, Kate contacts rescues offering the food on hand. What food the rescues cannot use is put into a Pet Food Pantry for the community. "If the only thing standing between someone keeping their pet in their home or relinquishing it to a shelter is a bag of food, then I want my rescue to provide that bag of food. I am in the process of setting up a mobile Pet Food Pantry.

Early Summer 2017


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Since Sussex County is so large, not everyone can make it to one location to pick up food. I would like to be able to transport the food to locations where the community can access it. In three months we collected 3,375 pounds of dry pet food, 555 cans of wet pet food, 55 boxes of treats and 275 pounds of cat litter. Other funds Kate raises are used for vaccines and microchips. To date, 175 vaccines have been provided in Sussex, and they plan to host low-cost vaccine clinics throughout the Sussex County community. Twenty microchips were donated to Saved Souls Rescue. Twenty five shelters were built at a workshop where Partners for Paws and Sussex TNR were able to keep outdoor cats out of the winter weather. Monies have been donated for the care and rehabilitation of neglected dogs in the Millsboro area.​"We organized five animal rescues, where 23 volunteers and 90 traps were set on National Feral Cat Day. We went to six different feral colonies and trapped 56 cats. Two were kittens and not big enough for spay/neuter, so they were put into foster. Two friendly cats were also put into foster care and later adopted, including a blind boy we named Binx," says Kate. "Our rescue helps with intake and assisting cats after surgery at the Brandywine SPCA Mobile Spay Clinic in Dagsboro and more." Kate tells us that the most important thing she would like you to walk away from this article is this: "According to the ASPCA, approximately 7.6 million animals enter shelters nationwide. Sadly, approximately 2.7 million are euthanized. We have to get that number down. Don't wait for "someone else" to help the homeless pets; you are that "someone else."

If you are looking for a pet, please adopt. If you are unable to adopt, foster. If you are unable to foster, volunteer. If you are unable to volunteer, donate no matter how large or small the amount. If you donate locally, the money gets to the animals and is not spent on commercials, mailings or dog shows! No matter how much of your time and resources you give to homeless pets, it is always appreciated by them." Be sure to visit Partners for Paws at Pooch Palooza where you will be able to gain information on resources available in Delaware. Kate will have information on how to donate, volunteer and adopt with her organization. Partners for Paws will also have information on State assisted $20 spay/neuter certificates if your pup or family cat needs the service.

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Canine Development “The Teen Years” by Amanda Abresch B.S., ABCDT, APDT, CPDT-KA

I

f you have (human) children, you know how trying the early years can be. That is until you get to the teen years, at which point some parents question everything they have ever done. It seems as though kids this age they revert to childish behaviors but also have this expanded sense of independence- a tenacious combination. Oddly enough, your dog goes through the same period in her development. I see a lot of people with adolescent dogs between 4 months and two years of age who seems to suddenly exhibit unwanted behaviors, either returning to old ways or trying out new ways to confuse and frustrate their people. Contrary to popular belief, these dogs are not trying to be “dominant” or assert themselves as the “pack leader”; they are simply being adolescents and learning about how they can affect the world around them. It can be helpful to understand what your pup is going through during this time; not only so you know what to expect, but what you can do help alleviate tension and problems. Juvenile Period: 3-14 Months Now we are talking about a dog who are getting older and exploring more. They are learning about how they fit in the world and how they can effect their world. Puppies this age are easily 20

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excited, ready to play, and starting to experiment with independence. It’s a time of growth, learning, and (for puppy owners) frustration. If you wait until this age to start any training, you will probably experience more frustration. Anywhere between 5 and 14 months, this period ends when the pup reaches sexual maturity, but this pup is not at all socially mature by 14 months. Additional Fear Periods: 4-11 months Many dogs will go through different fear-imprint periods that can last for up to three weeks during this age. Though not explicitly documented by data, anecdotal evidence of this has been found. That is, breeders and dog owners have noticed that dogs in this age range seem to experience new found fears at random, even to familiar objects. If this happens to your pup, it is best to enlist the help of a certified trainer to work on counter conditioning and desensitizing to teach your dog not to fear things like flags, hats, or plastic bags. Adolescent Period: This age range is hard to pinpoint since there can be such a range between breeds. Essentially, once a pup has gotten through puberty and is also socially mature, they have finished with this stage in their lives. Just like human adolescents, this stage is all about exploring their environment and learning how they can have an impact on it. It can be frustrating to owners to see a pup of 10 months who knows all the commands at home to apparently have amnesia when there is something more interesting than it’s humans around. To have a dog who looks like an adult and seems to act like one at

times can make normal adolescent behavior extremely frustrating, but it’s completely normal. The good news is that you and your pup can survive this stage and will have a lifetime of happy memories. With an adolescent puppy especially, it is important to provide mental and physical stimulation to keep them occupied in good ways! Things like exploring a new park, nose work activities, learning new cues, tricks, and games are all great ways to further develop your bond with your dog and use up excess energy. That way, you and your pup can relax together! Reference: Small Animal Pediatrics, by Michael Peterson and Michelle A. Kutzler. Pages 191193

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What is the canine genome? A dog's body contains trillions of cells. Most of these cells contain a

nucleus (red blood cells do not have nuclei). Each nucleus has 38 pairs of chromosomes, formed during conception when 38 individual chromosomes from each parent come together to form the new offspring. DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid), the "molecule of life" is the chemical which makes up each of these chromosomes. Every cell contains chromosomes made from DNA, the building blocks of life. The 38 chromosomes are made up of thousands of genes, which define the traits and characteristics passed down from parental DNA. The term "canine genome" refers to all of the genetic code, including all of the genes found in the canine. There may be anywhere from 20,000 and 200,000 canine genes, and so far only a few hundred have been identified. Genes are difficult to locate because they are found hidden in the DNA across the 38 pairs of chromosomes. Inside the cell nucleus, genes are used in cells to make proteins and it is 24

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these that define individual characteristics. They are the instructions which lead to a black coat color, or a brown coat color; long ears or short, and in some cases, whether a dog is susceptible to diseases such as cancer and immune disorders. DNA itself is made up of very small chemical components called "nucleotides" or "bases" of which there are only four different types, labeled A, C, G, and T (abbreviations for adenine, guanine, cytosine and thymine). All species use this same four-letter code and dogs have about 3 billion pairs of nucleotides in each cell. A gene, which may be as short as a few hundred bases, or as long as a million, is simply a string of these nucleotides (GGAAACCTGGTATA is an example). The number and length of this sequence of bases determines how the gene will function in the body. It is a very precise code, and a mistake in even a single letter of the DNA code can have disastrous consequences in the health of your dog.

Early Summer 2017


FastFetch Cup Qualifier

Pooch Palooza

Frontier Town Western Theme Park & Campground April 22, 2017 Berlin, MD

Can Your Dog Play Fetch?

If the answer is yes, then they are invited to the qualifiers! Rules can be found online at FastFetchCup.com, click Pooch Palooza.


Locating Genes by "Gene Mapping" Of course, if were able to find these mistakes in genes, we must first find which genes control what, and even before that, we must know where they are. But where to start? You see, not every piece of DNA in the canine genome encodes a gene. Some of it is so-called "junk DNA" sequences of DNA that are disposable and do not encode for proteins - which is scattered throughout the genome, blending in with the important gene-encoding DNA. The first task of scientists then, is to find the positions of the genes which are used to make proteins, and to ignore all the non-coding pieces. In 1971, when scientists devised a method to cut large pieces of DNA on each chromosome in to smaller, more manageable pieces, the job got a lot easier. Within each of these smaller pieces, scientists were finally able to locate the regions containing genes. As the position of more and more genes were found, a "genetic map" was constructed which showed the positions of the genes relative to each other, and relative to the ends and center of the chromosomes. The science of locating these genes is called "Genetic Mapping" and although we now know the location of many genes, the map is far from complete. The Canine Genome Project is working to fill in the holes, to produce a complete map of the canine genome. Sequencing the Genome Gene sequencing gets right to the heart of the genetic code, deciphering

the exact sequence of lettered bases which compose a gene. As we mentioned earlier, there can be millions of these bases in a gene and so in the past, this process has taken a number of years to find the code for each gene. But over the past 30 years, scientists have made some remarkable advances in gene sequencing technology. The methods are the same as they were in the beginning, but now it is possible to determine genetic sequences using machines. These automated sequencers allow scientists to learn more about canine genes, faster than ever before. And now, because of these advances in technology, scientists around the world are working towards a day when every gene, on every chromosome will be sequenced. This is one goal of the Canine Genome Project. Finding Genetic Mistakes After a genetic sequence is known, the road to a better world seems simple. Find out which dogs have mistakes in their genetic sequence, and then correct the mistake! But in most cases, we don't know how the gene works or what kind of protein it makes. Most genes control a number of functions within the dog. And more often than not, how one gene is expressed (turned "on" to make proteins) can have a direct effect on how other genes function. To make matters even worse, some mistakes in the code may be disastrous, and some may have little or even no consequences. It is a complex puzzle to solve. With the diversity of the canine genome, different breeds may have different chances of genetically hav-


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ing a disease state. Understanding these differences in disease profiles can aid the discovery of complicated genetic puzzles as many breeds have known disease likelihoods and known multi-generational pedigrees. One goal of the Canine Genome Project is to better understand these "inter-breed" relationships so that we can more quickly find genes and genetic code effecting disease states. Genes and Cancer Cancer is a genetic disease, but not all genetic mutations are passed from parent to child. Throughout a lifetime, the cells in your dog's body are capable of undergoing genetic mutations in their DNA. Over a lifetime, these genetic mutations can build up. If a single cell gets enough of them and if they are located within a few very sensitive genes, it may begin to grow out of control, and stop performing the function it was supposed to perform. A cell like this represents the beginning stages of cancer. Typically, when a dog is diagnosed with cancer, this single cell has grown into a mass of perhaps millions of cells, all of which contain the genetic mutations of the original. They may move to other areas of the body to metastasize and cause a tumor in a totally different organ. Modern cancer therapy aims to rid the body of every single one of these mutated cancer cells, no matter where they lie, since a single remaining cell may well cause the cancer to recur at a later time. Radiation treatment is usually used as a "local therapy", that is directed at killing cells within the tumor site itself. In a similar vein, surgery is often used to remove the tumor itself. Chemotherapy, however, is known as a "systemic therapy", because it aims to kill those cells which have wandered from the original tumor site, whether residing in the blood-

Early Summer 2017


stream or lodged within another organ. And while there are numerous cancers where these methods of treatment are highly successful, there is still hope that we can do a better job. Genetic science hopes to augment and ultimately replace current cancer treatment protocols. Indeed, one of the most exciting possibilities lies in the prevention and detection of cancer. Once we know what the mutations which lead to cancer are, all we have to do is find out if a dog has them. And initially knowledge of specific dogs with cancer and/or dogs carrying cancer genes will allow breeders to modify their breeding programs so that these dogs are no longer passing on their genetic information. And someday, it may be possible to use gene therapy to replace disease genes with normal genes.

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