First of all, the Trust wants to thank the many individuals, clubs, and organizations who responded so generously with donations to the Health Trust at the time of dues renewal. The Trust depends on your confidence and gifts as we attempt to carry out our programs of research and education aimed at the improvement of the lives of our dogs.
The cramp study, aimed at the discovery of the gene responsible for Scottie Cramp has entered into a sample collection phase, during which it is hoped that we can obtain as many samples from both affected and normal dogs as possible prior to beginning the analysis of those samples. The design of the study is such that affected samples are compared against normals to find that difference in the genetic makeup which represents the gene responsible for cramp. Information on how to enter your dog into this important study may be found at:
Over the past year, the Health Trust Fund of the Scottish Terrier Club of America, in consultation with Door County Scottie Rally, Inc. has worked on an exciting new concept. DoorCounty told us that they would like to see their 2008 donation used to fund educational meetings aimed at increasing the knowledge and abilities of owners caring for their dogs to enhance their dogs’ health and well-being. The Trust discussed this and felt that an umbrella concept of: “Keep Your Scottie Healthy from Puppyhood to Senior Years” should guide the development of these programs. The Trust then went to each regional STCA club across the country and offered to defray a generous portion of the costs the clubs incur for the development and presentation of a full-day educational seminar.
I am pleased to tell you that the STC of Greater Louisville, the Washington State STC, and the STC of Greater New York developed proposals accepted by the Trust and that planning for these meetings is complete. The following report details contact information, venues, dates, and content information for each of the three meetings. All are free of charge to attendees and each promises to make you a better guardian of the well-being of your dog. We were so fortunate to be able to offer courses sited across the United States in the hope that everyone interested might be able to attend one of these meetings. We urge you to contact the coordinators and let them know you will attend.
Washington State STC
When Saturday, February 20, 2009 9:00 AM –3:00 PM
Where KelloggMiddle School. 16045 25th Avenue NE, Shoreline, WA. 98155
Cost Free: includes Coffee/Muffin in the morning and Lunch at noon.
Why, With What and When to Vaccinate: AVMA and AAHA Guidelines.
Identifying Your Dogs: Photos and Microchips
A Winning Combination.
Instruct Yourself and Your Family about First Aid and CPR
When is it safe to treat at home?
Instituting A Disaster Preparedness Plan for Your Family and Animals
Step by Step Designed Plans for You and Your Dog. Why getting involved as a Volunteer is so important.
Temperament, Socialization and Threshold
The role it plays in the raising of an emotionally healthy Scottish Terrier.
What’s bugging you and your Scottie?
A discussion related to common parasites in the Pacific Northwest and what treatment options are best for you and your Scottish Terrier.
The Golden Years: Geriatric Scottie Care
This session will discuss common age-related conditions and how to provide support for the aging Scottish Terrier.
A discussion about common cancers in Scottish Terriers, what to look for, and increasing your dog’s odds of surviving cancer. Discussion topics will include Transitional Cell Carcinoma, Canine Lymphoma, Nasal Carcinoma and others.
Scottish Terrier Club of Greater Louisville
Date: March 7, 2010
Time: 7:30Am- 4:30 PM
Venue: Ramada Inn, Simpsonville, KY
Breakfast and Lunch provided.
TOPICS INCLUDED: Exercise, Nutrition and Basic Care
Behavior and Training
Elevated Liver Enzymes
First Aid for Dogs
The Older Scottie
Bladder Cancer, No. 1 Killer of Scotties
The Scottish Terrier Club of Greater New York
Date: March 14, 2010
Time: 8 AM – 4:30 PM
Venue: Holiday Inn, Somerset, NJ
Breakfast and Lunch provided
TOPICS INCLUDED: Normal Stages of Development
First Aid for the Scottish Terrier
Nutrition and the Scottish Terrier ---The Good and the Bad
Care of the Senior Scottish Terrier
CHIC or Cushing’s Disease
It is our fond hope that many, many people will take advantage of this new opportunity to improve your skills and awareness of health issues in your dog. We urge you to make plans to attend the meeting nearest you. Each is free to the attendee and we are certain you will go away armed with lots of useful information.
We believe that your Health Trust is a living, breathing organization hungry for your input and eager to provide those services and research efforts your dogs need for a healthier, happier future. We earnestly want to give you those services you and your dogs need toward that end. If you have a problem or suggestion, do not hesitate to contact a Trustee and discuss it.
Louis A. Mitchell, M.D., Chair, STCA Health Trust Fund
Lisa Kincheloe, CPA, Treasurer
Helen Prince, Secretary
Pam Hendrickson, D.V.M., Trustee
John T. Leith, Ph.D., Trustee
Nan Barcan, Trustee
Darle Heck, Trustee
Bagpiper 2009 #4 Health Trust Newsletter
The Health Trust Fund has been busy in recent months. This report is wide- ranging in terms of the topics covered, but we need to share lots of good news with you.
Over the past year, the Trust, in consultation with Door County Scottie Rally, Inc. has worked on an exciting new concept. DoorCounty told us that they would like to see their most recent donation used to fund educational meetings aimed at increasing the knowledge and abilities of owners caring for their dogs to enhance their dogs’ health and well-being. The Trust discussed this and felt that an umbrella concept of: “Keep Your Scottie Healthy from Puppyhood to Senior Years” would guide the development of the programs. The Trust then went to each of the regional clubs across the country and offered to defray a generous portion of the costs the clubs incur for the development and presentation of a full-day educational seminar.
I am pleased to tell you that the STC of Greater Louisville, the Washington State STC, and the STC of Greater New York developed proposals accepted by the Trust and that planning for these meetings is well under way. As of this writing, this is what I can tell you.
The WashingtonState meeting will be in February, 2010 and is chaired by Nancy Warfield. Among the topics: “What’s Bugging You and Your Scottie?”, a discussion related to common parasites in the Pacific Northwest and what treatment options are best for you and your Scottie.
The Greater Louisville meeting will be Saturday, March 6, 2010, and the chair is Dr. Dana R. Leab. Among the speakers will be Ms. Patty Bonney, Clinical Trials Coordinator at the Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine, who will speak on “Elevated Liver Enzymes.”
The STC of Greater New York meeting will be on Sunday, March 14, 2010, coordinated by Joanne Orth and Nan Barcan. Among the topics: “Care of the Senior Scottie.”
Each of these meetings promises to be filled with wonderful and useful information of relevance to any dog owner, and the Trust is hopeful that they are a huge success. Please mark your calendars with the date and plan to attend one. There are no fees to attend these meetings.
Trustees had their annual meeting on October 2, 2009. Among the things we discussed was the selection of grant proposals to fund in the coming year. We have recently funded a preliminary grant for purposes of sample collection and better characterizing Scottie cramp in preparation for a major thrust aimed at discovery of the gene or genes responsible for this disorder. Understand that the cramp project will take a long time, and that we will need your help in terms of locating and collecting samples from affected dogs.
At the meeting in Pennsylvania, the following grants were selected for funding in cooperation with many other dog health groups and the AKC Canine Health Foundation:
Dr. Jaime Modiano VMD PhD: Genetic Background and the Angiogenic Phenotype in Cancer. This is an effort to look at gene expression profiles in three breeds and to define how targeted therapies may effectively control this cancer. While the Scottie is not one of the study breeds, the outcome information is relevant to any breed affected by this common malignancy. $5000.00
Dr. Lin Kauffman, DVM: Detection of Brucella canis DNA in canine urine, semen and vaginal cells via qPCR Analysis. Brucellosis is a reportable disease. This is an effort to develop a new assay that may allow earlier detection of the disease and allow avoidance or shortening of quarantine and enhance safety of buyers of dogs. $500.00
Dr. William J. Murphy, PhD: Characterization of the Canine Y Chromosome: Identifying genes that cause Male Infertility. An attempt to develop future molecular diagnostic assays that will detect male infertility. $2500.00
Dr. Cynda Crawford DVM, PhD: Understanding the Dynamics of Canine Influenza Virus Transmission in Dog Populations and Intervention Strategies for Reducing Transmission Canine Influenza, which is a newly emerging and highly contagious respiratory infection of dogs. This study is an effort to guide development of policies for the control and prevention of this infection. $2500.00
Bold spending, great anticipation and hope for a better day for the dogs! Recently I was asked how we could embark upon a third investigation aimed at discovery of a gene responsible for a problem in the breed. Keep in mind that each of these efforts is likely to cost in excess of $100,000.00. My response was simple. It is possible that these quests could take ten years. How can we fail to begin? Donors have always responded to our needs. How can we fail to begin?
In Pennsylvania, we were notified that the Board of the STCA has selected Darle Heck to be our newest Trustee. Darle brings new skills and perspectives to us and we are pleased to welcome her. Joanne Kinnelly will be leaving the Trust this fall. Joanne provided us with tremendous knowledge both from the perspective of a long time breeder, a founding Trustee, and a wonderfully talented human being with deep passion for canine health. We were the better as a body for her presence and I am saddened that she is leaving.
Mr. Bill Berry, a constant supporter of the Trust for many years, donated an important book, Marguerite Kirmse’s “Dogs” to us for purposes of a fund-raiser. I am pleased to report that so many people responded so enthusiastically that the book raised $1820.00 for the Trust. The winning ticket was drawn on Friday evening and the winner was Doreen Pichette. Many thanks to all who supported this raffle. Would that we had many copies of this wonderful book and that all who contributed could have taken one home!
Recently we received progress reports on three of the grants we have underway. I will summarize the results here.
Grant 1147: Identifying Mutations in Genes Associated with Canine Hemangiosarcoma. Based on preliminary data, the researcher believes that some of the susceptibility to hemangiosarcoma is due to germ-line mutations in the regulatory regions rather than the coding regions of many of the genes and that multiple genes are responsible for the increased risks of developing hemangiosarcoma
Grant 927: Gene Discovery in Hereditary Cerebellar Abiotrophy of Scottish Terriers. This work is continuing. They have performed a genome- wide screen with microsattelites, followed by linkage analysis that has revealed one possible region of interest with a significant LOD score > 2 that they are investigating further. They intend to continue to map the region with the promising LOD score using additional markers and additional families of dogs where possible to determine whether this is a statistically significant finding. If it is they will fine map the region using SNPs to focus down to possible candidate genes.
Grant 768: A Collaborative Study by Veterinary Oncologists, Pathologists and Diagnostic Laboratories to Enhance the Detection, Diagnosis and Treatment of Canine Lymphoma. They have shown that canine lymphomas can be accurately defined using the WHO classification system designed for humans and based on disease subtype. They are working to detect specific genetic alterations in the canine genome associated with one subtype of lymphoma that can then be searched for in human cancers.
All of these and other projects are ongoing, and are made possible by your support. These are fundamental investigations into many of the most important problems faced by our dogs, and many offer hope for progress in human disease that you and I may face at some point in the future. You see, we are all in this together, and there is the strongest evidence that progress we make for our dogs has relevance for the human condition as well. The Trust is most grateful for your support.
Louis A. Mitchell, M.D.
Chair, STCA Health Trust Fund
Bagpiper 2009 #3 Health Trust Newsletter
The Trust has several exciting new projects to report. All are in planning stages and the information presented here is preliminary, but all have great potential interest for readers who are interested in the health of the Scottish Terrier.
First, we want to tell you about an educational opportunity coming to a location near you. Door County Scottie Rally, Inc. has been an abiding supporter of the Trust for many years. As I talked with Michelle Geiger-Bronsky and the Health Trustees, over the winter and spring a vision of a full day educational experience focused on maintaining the health of the Scottie from puppyhood to senior years began to evolve. Chock full of information aimed at helping the owner maintain the best possible health of their dog, this seminar should be of interest to every dog owner. We then contacted each regional club, asking that they develop a proposal for consideration by the Trust and offering to defray a generous portion of the expense incurred by the club in putting together an essentially free seminar. The emphasis here is to be basic information on a range of topics- something the pet owner might use to maintain their dogs, as opposed to highly advanced, technical or scientific information which might be of interest only to a narrow group. From a breeder perspective, this seminar should appeal to your puppy owners and we would like your help in getting this information to as many people as possible.
To date, the Trust has received lovely proposals from the STC of Greater New York and also from the Washington State STC, both of which have been accepted. We are aware of a third club in the central region of the country also preparing a proposal which should allow a venue closer to owners in that part of the country. From the discussions we have had with the clubs involved, we anticipate that most of these meetings will be finalized and scheduled for presentation in early 2010. We will bring you further detail as soon as we possibly can, and encourage you to make plans to attend one in your area.
The next thing we want to tell you about is a very exciting, major research initiative which will be aimed at discovery of the gene or genes responsible for one of the most vexing problems in the breed. Scottie Cramp is a wide-spread and distressing problem for thousands of dogs and for their owners as well. I could tell you that it has been here since the earth cooled, but it only seems that way! But, it is a very old problem in the breed, the first reports in the scientific literature appearing in the 1940’s. This has been picked at off and on with little impact on it’s incidence and with little meaningful effort at satisfactory control of symptoms in the affected animal.
The sequencing of the canine genome and the evolution of fine mapping of that genome within the past ten years has now given us a powerful tool which offers hope for discovery of the gene responsible for this problem, and a test for the carrier and affected dog. This is our best hope of reducing the incidence of this problem. There is tough news too- it is probable that it is going to take a while, we are going to need to be patient, and it is going to be expensive. Scottie Cramp actually appears in Cairn Terriers and West Highland White Terriers as well, and there is some possibility that these health arms may have interest in joining us in this battle.
So many of the research proposals we see affect many, many breeds, and the financial contribution sought is small. It is likely that this problem, while not confined to our breed, will not be of interest to that large number of clubs and this means that our cost to obtain this solution will be much higher. But, it is a challenge we want to take on. Near term, we will be coming to you looking for affected dogs and for their DNA to enter into this study. It is likely that we will be looking for affected dogs whose movement disorder can be documented fully for our researchers- perhaps in person, perhaps on tape, or perhaps by a neurologist closer to you. It is crucial that the correct dogs be included in this work if we are to succeed. More information and details will be coming soon.
Since you will be reading this near the time of Montgomery, remember that the Trust will be offering those registry testing initiatives at LuLuTemple on Friday as we have for the past several years. Subsidized by the Trust, we urge you to take advantage of these. Dr. Hendrickson is only able to fly in for that one day and we need to make her proud!
We, continue to seek DNA samples from both normal elderly dogs and any affected dogs with TCC and any dog affected with cerebellar abiotrophy. We also urgently need samples from offspring, siblings, and parents of affected CA dogs. You can make a difference in the future of our breed. The need is great; the cost is small. Make a difference.
Finally, there is a raffle! Another wonderful human being and constant supporter of the Trust, Mr. Bill Berry, has donated a copy of Marguerite Kirmse’s book, “Dogs,” published in 1930 by the Derrydale Press in an edition of 750 copies and containing a genuine Kirmse etching as the frontispiece, to the Trust. Beautifully illustrated with her published etchings as of that time, this book is rarely seen and usually commands $1,000.00 when a copy appears for sale. We are so very thankful to Bill! I urge you to come to see us that Friday and see the book and purchase your tickets at our table near the entrance. The winning ticket will be drawn at the banquet Friday evening.
Louis A. Mitchell, M.D.
Chair STCA Health Trust Fund
Bagpiper 2009 #2 Health Trust Newsletter
In recent months, the Health Trust Fund received a wonderful donation from Door County Scottie Rally, Inc. As many of you know, DoorCounty has been a major supporter of the Health Trust for many years. After discussion with their board, it was decided to use the funds for a series of weekend health seminars aimed at helping owners increase their knowledge in the area of maintaining health from puppy-hood to the senior years. Additionally, the emphasis in the presentations will be on gearing the discussions to the level of the pet owner.
A letter has been sent to each of the regional clubs offering monetary support to help defray costs of presentations, a venue, printed materials, and other miscellaneous costs necessary to put together a meeting. The Trust hopes that at least three one-day seminars will come of this offer, hopefully geographically accessible to a large number of people across the country. It is hoped that these meetings will increase interest and knowledge in this important facet of dog ownership. As details become available, please consider attending an event, and please tell every Scottie owner you know to come with you! We are excited to share news of this project and hope that it will be of great interest to the fancy.
It has been recognized for a long time that only a small fraction of Scotties are owned by the membership of the STCA and that the vast majority are owned by non-members whose interest in and love of their dogs is no less intense than that of our members. It is easy to forget that we live in a genetic era and that it is highly likely that the bulk of research going forward will involve genetic material. Thus, it is essential that we try and involve each and every Scottie owner in what we do. In a very fundamental sense, we are all in this together and the breed is far better off when there is the broadest possible involvement and investment in what we do.
Louis A. Mitchell, M.D.
Chair, STCA Health Trust Fund
Bagpiper 2009 #1 Health Trust Newsletter
As I write this on December 31, 2008, the passing hours signal the end of a tumultuous year. Who might have guessed, a year ago, that the United States would have an African American president in whom so much hope for a better future has been placed. And who could have imagined the stresses we have witnessed to our financial system? Yet when we and our dogs are in good health, we enjoy almost everything we need.
And, for those of us focused on improving the health and well-being of our beloved dogs, there is much reason for hope and optimism. In early October, those of you who attended the HTF presentation were as thrilled as I when Dr. Elaine Ostrander shared the news that identifying the gene responsible for the epidemic of transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder (TCC) is near. Similarly, the work on finding the gene responsible for cerebellar abiotrophy (CA) is progressing well, and I anticipate solutions to both of these problems are within reach. Think what it will mean! Availability of a test for these despicable afflictions means that it will be possible to avoid the birth of CA dogs, and that we will have a tool in hand that will allow us to begin to conquer the epidemic of TCC.
Neither these goals, nor any of the other research initiatives we are pursuing at the moment would have been possible without the countless donations of suggestions, ideas, blood and money from all who love the Scottish Terrier. Mind you, all of the resources mentioned in the last sentence are essential to progress, and are not listed in any particular order of importance. We enjoy extraordinary access to the most talented researchers around the world, whose imagination will continue to bring us the breakthroughs we seek. Less than ten years ago, the canine genome had not been sequenced, and many of the solutions we need were simply not possible. But this is not the case today, and we can look forward with confidence to a steady stream of problems solved (but never as quickly as we would wish).
The Trust today enjoys the dedicated services of a wonderful group of talented people whose only aim and hope is to offer you a healthier companion. Balance is crucial in this small group and today we have such diverse talents represented that it is thrilling to be a part of it. But all of you are, in the larger sense, a part of it as well. It is important you know that when we ask for a donation of a specimen, that the specimen is the essence of success in what we do. There will come a day, not far away, when we can say to you with confidence that the one specimen banked in a central bank, will suffice for not one, but for a nearly unlimited number of projects. I cannot wait for that day!
The entire Trust thanks each and every one of you for your unbounded kindness to us and for your dogs. Because, you know, it is about the dogs.