Another Montgomery has come and gone, and with it the Trust's annual meeting. The Trust considered a number of areas of current concern, and would like to report to you on some of these areas.
There have been a number of inquiries from members interested in the results of research funded by the Trust. While this author has periodically reported research results here, there has previously been no convenient way to report to you the data we receive from the AKC Canine Health Foundation. The information contained in the reports from CHF was confidential and could only be reported in the briefest possible terms to protect the researcher's data prior to either publication or presentations. A couple of years ago, due to publication of some of these reports sent to some of the clubs, the CHF decided to publish to the Health Trusts a lay report containing only data and information which could be further disseminated as the Trusts felt appropriate. The benefit of this decision was that we can now offer you the entirety of the information we receive from CHF, and the Trust has decided to put this information onto the STCA website as we receive it. Go to the STCA website, and in the health section, there will soon be a list of the various research projects supported by the Trust with CHF's periodic progress reports there for you to read. This is the entirety of the information we have on progress with the various research projects.
There have been a number of inquiries to both Board members and to Health Trustees on the lack of more recent publication of the identities of dogs diagnosed with cerebellar abiotrophy. There are a number of reasons for this. Well over a year ago, Drs. Bell and de la Hunta decided that they would no longer be able to diagnose Scotties with CA for us. We were not informed of their decision, but about a year ago, I had opportunity to observe a dog owned by a friend. I felt that the dog had CA and asked him to videotape the dog, and send it on to Dr. Bell for definitive diagnosis. He did this and was told by Dr. Bell that he could no longer offer this service to owners due to the advancing age of Dr. de la Hunta. This was the first time that we had learned of their decision to stop offering this service to owners and left us scrambling to find an alternative way to help people get their dogs diagnosed. We went to Dr. Natasha Olby, a boarded canine neurologist and the researcher doing genetic work for us, to see if she would be able to help us. She told me that she would be pleased to review videos and to report to owners her opinion as to whether the dog showed signs consistent with the disease.
The decision to list a dog diagnosed as having CA onto the STCA website has always rested with the owner of the dog. This is a personal decision and some owners have, and others have not, chosen to publish the identity of an affected dog. This policy will not change. We will not publish dogs you may have seen which you feel may have CA but which have not had definitive diagnosis of this condition by either Drs. Bell and de la Hunta, or Dr. Olby. The only exception to this policy which we can foresee might be a dog not clinically diagnosed but which has had pathological biopsy diagnosis after death.
To reiterate, the following is the procedure for diagnosis and publication of a dog onto the website:
You will need to videotape your dog performing the following activities:
- walking both toward and away from the camera while exhibiting what you believe is behavior consistent with cerebellar abiotrophy.
- walking across the camera from both sides and allowing a generous opportunity for Dr. Olby to observe the movement of the dog. Follow the movement of the dog with the camera to record this movement.
- both climbing and descending steps while exhibiting what you believe is cerebellar abiotrophy.
- Any other video you feel would be helpful in making the diagnosis.
Send your video with a narrative of the problems the dog is having to:
Dr. Natasha Olby
NCSU College of Veterinary Medicine
4700 Hillsborough St.
Raleigh, N. C. 27606
You should include with your video the identification of the dog, AKC registration if available, age, duration of symptoms, age at onset, and whether the dog has also exhibited cramp in the past.
If, after review of this information, Dr. Olby concludes that the dog does indeed have CA, she will write to you her impression as to whether the dog exhibits clinical symptoms of CA. There is a possibility that she will either need additional information or video of the dog to enable her to make a decision regarding your dog.
Once you have received a letter from Dr. Olby confirming the clinical diagnosis of your dog, you will then need to decide if you wish to publish the dog onto the STCA website. The same applies if you now have a written diagnosis of CA from Drs. Bell and de la Hunta.
Should you decide to publish the dog onto the website, you will need to send your letter confirming diagnosis from either Dr. Olby or Drs. Bell and de la Hunta to:
Michael Krolewski, Health Trustee
18831 140th Pl
Woodinville, WA 98072-5809
We shall assume consent to publish the identity of the dog from your decision to send this information to Mr. Krolewski, and publish your dog both onto the list of dogs already on the website, and onto the Scottish Terrier database owned by Miss Mary O'Neal.
We regret the delay in the publication of some dogs more recently diagnosed and hope that you will work with us to get your dog listed.
Finally, the Trust discussed the upcoming 2015 Health Survey, now in early planning stages. The survey is a monumental task. If you have ideas regarding information you believe should be in this survey, or if you would be interested in participating in the design or execution of the survey, please let us know. We would very much like your input or help with the execution of this very important project.
Louis A. Mitchell, M.D.
Chair, STCA Health Trust Fund