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Committee Established: 1981

Committe Type: Board Appointed

Health and Longevity Committee

Duties and Responsibilities

The goal of this committee is to promote health and longevity in the Newfoundland dog.  This involves the collection of data from Newfoundland owners concerning health and longevity.  A prevalence study should reveal significant health problems and help the Board of Directors select appropriate research projects for funding donations.

The committee will collect and maintain a library of printed material on health issues. Submission of articles on canine health to Newf Tide is a committee responsibility.

The committee should make reports on their data gathered available to the owners of Newfoundlands and the Board of Directors for use for the benefit of the breed.

An end of the year report should be submitted to the Second Vice President for Newf Tide publication in January.  Also in January, a projected annual budget should be sent to the NCA Treasurer.

 

 

History & Board Actions

V12.1            02/08/81
Health and Longevity Committee established.
V18.4            11/07/87
New health and longevity proposal presented; Phase I accepted by Board and Phase II tabled for further consideration.
V24.4  08/93 (Mail Meeting)
OFA's research information reports along with a list of newly certified Newfoundlands shall be sent to the Chair of the Health and Longevity Committee to include synopses of important developments in Health and Longevity's Newf Tide column.
V25.3            05/17/94
Health and Longevity information book sale price of $20 approved.
V26.3            04/25/95
Board granted approval to the Newfoundland Club of Great Britain to reproduce and distribute the NCA’s Health Notebook.
V26.3            04/27/95 (Annual Meeting)
Board directed by membership to consider participating in funding a Genetic Marker study (see Newf Endowment for history of study).
V28.2            12/23/96 (Mail Meeting)
Ad hoc committee established on genetic disorder to develop policy on disseminating information on individual dogs identified as affected and/or carriers of various genetic disorders.  (See cross reference to Committee.)
V28.3            03/25/97
Profits from all sales of Health and Longevity notebooks to be allocated to Newfoundland Health Challenge.
V28.4            06/25/97 (Mail Meeting)
Board referred a member’s question regarding establishing an NCA policy on cloning.
V29.1            11/22/97
NCA to participate in AKC’s DNA collection study program.
V30.2            03/02/99 (Teleconference)
Board approved NCA participation in a Purdue University study to identify a genetic marker for Subaortic Stenosis (SAS).  Health & Longevity Committee to facilitate the auscultation and collection of blood samples from Newfoundlands at 1999 National Specialty.  Study objective is to collect samples from 200 dogs.
V30.3            03/24/99
Committee instructed by Board to conduct a Newfoundland Health Survey.
V31.1            10/31/99
NCA to participate in (AKC) Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) whose mission is to provide a source of health information for owners, breeders, and scientists that will aid in breeding healthier dogs.  Four (4) diseases selected were:  Cystinceria, Congenital Heart Defects, Hip Dysplasia and Elbow Dysplasia using semi-open registration.  (Protocol for NCA participation to be written (11/29/99).

AKC/DNA Collection Study Program to be conducted at 2000 National Specialty.  Board to advise committee to make every effort to include dogs of diverse lineage and use dogs from the Stud Dog, Brood Bitch, and Maturity classes.
V31.3  5/2/00
Establish position of Health Liaison to facilitate communication between Newfoundland Health Challenge, Research Advisory Committee and Health and Longevity Committee.

Pre-survey at 2000 National Specialty regarding format, type and depth for upcoming health survey.
V33.1  11/30/01
Ad Hoc committee formed to review the criteria and purpose of the Breeders List, the concept of publishing the list and a Breeder Education Committee.

Include in items to consider by Breeders List/Education Committee the impact of fertility problems on the number of healthy Newfoundlands available from reputable breeders.  Committee should work with Health and Longevity Committee.
V33.1  11/30/01
AKC will now include all breeds in CHIC database.  Newfoundland data from OFA database to include hips, elbows, cardiac and cystinuria data.  OFA now registering cystinuria testing.  All four tests must be done, abnormal results may be included, to be entered into the database.  Board recommend cost of OFA input of cardiac and cystinuria and/or cost for registry be paid by NCA.  NCA will negotiate for reduced fee.  Article to be written for NewfTide to explain CHIC database and policy.

Approved $700 for copying and distribution of final chapter of Health Notebook.

Approve $800 for second mailing of Health Questionnaire to increase response rate and improve statistical findings.
V33.1  12/1/01
Ad Hoc committee established to evaluate the feasibility of holding a Health Class at the National Specialty and/or Regional Specialties.  Committee would work closely with Health and Longevity and Database Committee.

Ad Hoc Committee established to evaluate feasibility of having a Health ROM or other Health Award.

Work with Breeders List/Breeder Education Committee to evaluate impact of fertility problems on the number of health Newfoundlands available from reputable breeders.
V34.4  7/30/02
Use already approved funds to conduct study to determine or verify the cause of dealth, specific cancer type and/or any other missing information for dogs reported in the 2001 Health Survey.
V34.1  11/2/02
Board encourages host National Specialty clubs to hold AKC DNA clinics at National Specialties at a reduced fee offered by AKC.
V34.1  11/3/02
Board approved following health initiatives:

  1. Board officially goes on record to strongly recommend a set of health clearances for all Newfoundland breeders to perform on breeding Newfoundlands including cardiology clearance by Board Certified cardiologist, hips, elbows, cystinuria and eyes.

  2. All Newfoundland breeders are strongly encouraged to perform the five health screening tests on breeding Newfoundlands.  Information regarding NCA’s position should be widely disseminated, eg. AKC Gazette article, contact non-member breeders with entry in stud book, Newf Tide article and article for Regional Club newsletters.

  3. Encourage screening clinics at Nationals and Regionals, eg. Cardiology and DNA testing.

  4. Concepts of other health initiatives approved buy referred to relevant committee with H&L taking lead – breeders checklist, breeder list, subsidizing for using open data base.  Stud book referred to Newf Tide.

V35.3  4/19/04
Put a cap on the number of committee members at the current level of 36.
V35.4  7/8/04: Approve funding up to $2000 for a health clinic at the 2005 National with the direction to H&L and the Health Challenge that summary data, at the minimum, be made available, if possible.  H&L is to investigate the feasibility of the OFA registration rebates as part of how it will spend the amount.
V35.4 7/8/04: Eliminate the requirement of gathering specific information from an amendment to a motion passed at the April 19-21, 2004 face-to-face meeting stating, “If there is to be a rebate or reduced price to the individual NCA members then they must consent to having the data on their Newfs made available.”
V35.4  7/8 04: Pass the Health and Longevity proposal as amended.
11/4/05: Arrange with OFA for NCA members to have the opportunity to submit their cardiology, thyroid, patella and cystinuria test results, along with completed OFA application forms, for batching and submission to OFA at the half-price rate individuals may obtain with quantity submissions.
11/5/05: Assign the motion concerning quantity submissions of cardiology, thyroid, patella and cystinuria test results to OFA to the Health and Longevity Committee to appoint a person to coordinate this.
1/6/06: Accept OVC and PennHip results along with OFA test results for the OFA discount program and to state that utilizing the open registry would be necessary for the discounts.
1/6/06: Health & Longevity Committee will solicit NCA volunteers to mail/receive the paperwork for OFA discounts. The NCA will place the appropriate OFA forms on their web site with a link to the OFA, and ask Regional Clubs to do the same. Newfoundland owners will be notified of the program via the NCA and regional club websites, Newf Tide and regional club newsletters.
9/21/06: The Board accepted the Health & Longevity committee’s recommendation to make a change to the wording in the notice inserted in each issue of Newf Tide as follows:
The Newfoundland Club of America endorses and encourages the testing and release of all results, normal and abnormal, into an oen registry.   The Newfoundland Club of America endorses and encourages the use of the open option for registering all health results..  Owners are urges to provide all health screening results to the OFA.  When using the OFA, please remember to check the “Authorization to Release Abnormal Results” box on the application.  Only by knowing the health status of sires and dams, their siblings and get can we begin to reduce the incidence of polygenic diseases such as hip and elbow dysplasia and subvalvular aortic stenosis.  The future of our beloved Newfoundlands can be improved if we all share necessary information regarding our Newfoundlands’ health.

11/3-5/06: The Board accepted the committee’s recommendation that whenever possible, any health program established by the Newfoundland Club of America will be open to all purebred Newfoundlands provided the program is free of charge to the NCA.  H&L proposals using NCA funds must include a specific plan detailing whether non-NCA dogs and dogs of other breeds may participate.  If so, criteria for their participation must be included. 
            The above proposal is intended to:

  1. Allow all purebred Newfoundlands to participate in future health programs/discounts established by the NCA provided there are no NCA funds involved.

  2. In the case there NCA funds are involved, it is the intention of these policies to ensure that when the H&L committee is developing proposals, priority be given to NCA member Newfoundlands while at the same time allowing for adequate participation to ensure that the program will be viable.

11/3-5/06: The Board also approved H&L’s recommendation that a listing or link to upcoming health clinics be added to each issue of Newf Tide, the NCA website, and sent out to all regional clubs.
4/20-5/1/07: Made Health and Longevity a closed committee with not more than 12 members plus the chairpersons.

 

 

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Projects of the Health & Longevity Committee

2011 Health and Longevity Committee Annual Report
by Jennifer Zablotny, DVM, Chair


Committee members:  Gaby Cohen, Denise Hatakeyama, Andre Lapeyre, Diane Lynch, Tamzin Rosenwasser, Pam Rubio, Mary Jane Spackman, Bruce Willoughby
2011 was a moderately busy year for H&L.  Most of our activities were centered around the National.  As always, the DNA clinic was the main event.  125 Newfoundland samples were added to the CHIC DNA Repository.  Dr Kienle performed cardiac exams, including Doppler studies for two days and a CERF clinic was also offered.  A new addition to National activities was the Health Education Expo.  It was housed in the Rotary building next to the Kern Pavilion and just outside of the show ring.  The Health Expo featured educational exhibits, Living Legends and research information provided by Morris Animal Foundation and the AKC Canine Health Foundation.  H&L also had an entry in Decorative Carting that received an honorable mention.
We continued to offer the OFA discount to NCA members.  NCA members can record the results of soft tissue health tests in the OFA database for a discount if the dog already has an OFA orthopedic record.  Abnormal results (such as cardiac results) are always recorded for no charge whether you are an NCA member or not.  This is an attempt to encourage the recording of all results of health testing in a public database.  Sharing results, normal or not, is very important when trying to control diseases where phenotypic testing is all we have.  We don’t have a genetic test for hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia or aortic stenosis (yet).  It is important to know the test results on all Newfs for these diseases, not just show or breeding dogs.  We will be revisiting this discount in 2012 to see if it is reasonable to continue to offer it to members.
Along those lines, H&L is helping the NCA Charitable Trust to recruit samples for the aortic stenosis research being conducted by Dr Katherine Meurs at North Carolina State University.  DNA samples are needed from normal and affected, unrelated Newfoundlands.  Dogs must have had an echocardiogram performed.  Send a copy of that report along with a 3 generation pedigree with 2-3cc’s of blood.  Blood does not need to be sent overnight or on ice.  If you have a deceased dog with an echo confirming SAS and DNA stored with CHIC, please contact me if you would like to include your dog in the study.  For more information please contact me or visit the website:  http://www.cvm.ncsu.edu/vhc/csds/vcgl/newfoundlandcardiacresearch.html
H&L continues to budget for Regional club DNA collection clinics.  The response from the Regional clubs, however, has been underwhelming.  Penn Ohio Newfoundland Club offered a clinic in conjunction with their Regional in December.  8 new Newfs were added to the Repository.  Great Lakes Newf Club will offer a clinic in conjunction with their Regional in May in Michigan.  Fortunately, response to these clinics tends to be low because many dogs attending these shows have already donated DNA at a National.  It is likely that dogs from the eastern half of the US are overrepresented in the repository because of the location of the National for the last 5 years.  If any Regional clubs, especially those west of the Mississippi, would like to hold a DNA clinic, but aren’t quite sure how to go about doing it, I would be happy to help you.  There is also the DNA Clinic Manual available for download from the Health section of the NCA website.  It is a comprehensive guide to what is needed to hold a DNA clinic.
H&L projects for 2012 include a revision to the health section of the NCA website, continued analysis of the 2010 Health Survey results, DNA clinic and cardiac clinic at the National and continued recruitment of samples for all research studies involving Newfoundlands.  As always, if you have questions or suggestions for the committee, please feel free to contact any committee member with your ideas. 
Respectfully submitted,
Jennifer Zablotny DVM

 

DNA Submission to the CHIC Database

Instructions to submit DNA Samples

To update Health History on submitted dogs, email: chic@offa.org

REBATE PROGRAM ANNOUNCED


The NCA Charitable Trust announces a rebate program to subsidize the submission of DNA to the DNA Repository.


The rebate of $20 per dog, which is the current cost, is for blood samples only; cheek swab submissions are not eligible. In addition, the program is limited to purebred Newfoundlands, registered with the AKC or any official registry recognized by the AKC, and to the first 500 rebate requests.


To apply for a rebate, duplicate the certificate sent by CHIC that verifies receipt of the blood sample. Send this copy, along with a self-addressed stamped envelope, to Kathy Paxton, 3101 Benjamin Drive, Taneytown, MD 21787-2755. Rebate checks will be issued to the owners listed on the certificates.
This program was proposed by the Health and Longevity Committee and is being funded by the Newfoundland Health Challenge.

OFA Discount Program for NCA Members

Information on OFA Discount Program

The NCA is promoting health testing on all Newfoundlands and the open reporting of results in the CHIC database that is administered by the OFA. To encourage NCA members to have their dogs' health status evaluated AND recorded, the NCA has entered into an agreement with the OFA to reduce the submission fee for cardiac, cystinuria and thyroid results IF the dog already has an OFA number. In most cases, this will be from a hip or elbow evaluation, but some members have submitted their early cardiac evaluations and received an OFA number. This would also qualify them for the discount on cystinuria and thyroid evaluations.

Read More Details about OFA Discounts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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