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Health

Research Hips and hip dysplasia (HD)
Elbows and elbowdysplasia (ED) Eyes and eye disorders
Inbreeding Inbreedingcoefficient

Introduction

As at other breeds, also within the breed Spanish Waterdog there are some health problems. Some of these problems are or can be hereditary; transmitted from parents to children.
Known genetic diseases or disorders are hip dysplasia (HD), elbow dysplasia (ED) and eye problems such as retinal degeneration (PRA), retinal dysplasia (RD), cataract, entropion and ectropion. Fortunately, not every dog suffer from these diseases. And not every condition has the same adverse effects. For instance, heavier breeds deal with more problems with HD than medium or small breeds. And sometimes, certain hereditary diseases do not occur within a breed at all.

Research
Research on inherited diseases can provide insight whether and to what extent a disease occurs within a breed. It is therefore in the interest of a breed that as many dogs as possible are examined or tested. Many people don't  let their dogs test because they believe it's not important, it costs money (the investigations are unfortunately not completely free) or because they do not want to know if their dog has a genetic disorder.
A breeder lets the parent dogs often tested for certain genetic diseases or conditions when he makies a choice which parent dogs he will use. Also,sometimes the newly born puppies are tested for hereditary eye diseases eg. But sadly, most genetic diseases or disorders will reflect later in life. Breeders can not test all diseases or conditions. Just like humans, nobody is 100% healthy. Breeders are therefore often take into account a number of common and familiar disorders or diseases. But to make a choice from the many hundreds of known genetic diseases or conditions (a large part is not even known yet), research is very important. Knowing which diseases or conditions occur in a race, give a helping hand to the breeder what these tests can be done. This allows future generations to certain genetic disorders or diseases in any case be avoided.

Underneath some hereditary diseases and disorders that are known to occur at the Spanish Waterdog are explained. Also, inbreeding is discussed, which is often a cause of the occurrence of hereditary diseases within a breed. The degree of inbreeding can be expressed in the inbreeding coefficient. With the help of an example is explained how to determine the degree of inbreeding of a dog.


Hip dysplasia

Hip dysplasia (HD) is a failure in the development of the hip joints, caused by hereditary factors and environmental influences. Hip dysplasia is subdivided in 5 gradations from  no Hip dysplasia to very serious Hip dysplasia; HD A, HD B, HD C, HD D and HD E (Previously HD A to E, was also known as HD -, HD tc, HD + / -, HD + and HD + +). With a cause genetic or non-hereditary cause, HD is a troublesome condition that cannot be prevented completely. What can be done is testing the parents. And choose the parents with care. Most breeders have their parents tested for HD, and will take into account to breed a dog with HD B or C only with HD A. Excluded are dogs with result HD D or E. To prevent a dog gets HD by non-genetic cause, an owner can protect them, like in example prevent overload. Walking up stairs and long walks can cause problems on the hips of puppies. It is therefore recommended that in the first year a puppy does not walks on stairs often, not too many long walks and do not spend hours playing with a puppy. Using an X-ray of the hip joint a veterinarian can determine whether and to what extent a dog suffers HD. In the Netherlands, the captured x-ray image is sent to the HD panel, Department Health, Behaviour and Welfare (GGW) of the Dutch kennelclub. This panel reviewed the photographs and give the final result. The GGW also keeps a database of all results. For more information about HD check the website of the Dutch Kennelclub (only in Dutch).


Elbow dysplasie (ED)

As with HD, Elbow dysplasia or ED can be caused by both genetic and non-genetic factors. ED is a developmental disorder of the cartilage in the elbow joints. Also as with HD, x-rays can be made by vets and the GGW of the Dutch kennelclub judges the photos and  register these in a database.
For more information about ED check the website of the Dutch Kennelclub (only in Dutch).

Eye disorders
In dogbreeds, various eye diseases occur. The best known are:
Retinal Degeneration and Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) is a disease of the retina where it is afgerboken. It is usually a congenital defect that occurs in many breeds and leads to blindness. The most common form is prcd-PRA. The prcd prefix stands for progressive rod-cone degeneration.

The European College of Veterinary ophthalmologist (ECVO) has developed a standardized clinical examination developed by members / vets in the Netherlands is carried out. The list of member veterinarians can be found at the site of the Board of Directors.

It is also possible to use a DNA test to determine whether a dog free, carrier or sufferer of a particular genetic disorder. By a sample of the buccal mucosa (with a cotton swab from the mouth out) to steer clear can be given for such prcd-PRA. More information at
Laboklin.

Inbreeding

 For breeding, inbred can give important benefits. When an animal is homozygote in a large amount of genes, all these genes were given to the offspring of the animal. This means that there will be a high predictability what the genes of the offspring of this animal will have. This predictability will grow when this offspring is breed with animals with also the same predictable genetic material. By breeding this way, in time a large amount of breeding purity, and with purity a high level of uniformity is acquired. Inbred is the base of directed breeding to uniformity and a high predictability for physical marks. Not only the breeding method mentioned above could be a cause inbred. Also the composition of dog breeds can cause inbred. In particular national and regional breeds consist of a small amount of animals used for breeding. As long as breeding purity is a goal for these breeds, it is practically not possible to prevent related animals to breed with each other. Inbred can cause inbred depressions in time. 

An inbred depression is marked by two groups of symptoms: symptoms of homozygote for not wanted characteristics and symptoms of loss of vitality and fertility. In the pedigree do breeds, it is very common to breed with related animals. If with these related animals is bred, a defect gene that lies with the common ancestor, can be given to the offspring by fathers genes or by mothers genes. When both genes are given to the offspring, the offspring will be homozygote for this defect gene and so for the not wanted characteristic. An important part of these defect genes, also named hereditary failures, within the dogbreeding, is caused by this homozygote for defect genes. Loss of vitality and fertility is noticed by slow growing, short life expectancy, lower resistance against decease, lower sexual instinct for male dogs, irregular and delayed heat for bitches, smaller litters and decreasing mother care and a general loss of frankness and animal spirit in behaviour.     

Symptoms of inbreeding depression can be neutralised by breeding with completely non-related animals, heterozygote will return in this case. Heterozygote means that an animal has two different genes for a singular mark or characteristic." 

If a defect gene is wide spread within a population, this means that a stronger selection would be very drastic because a great percentage of the dogs in the population will drop out for breeding with. It is better to use carriers of defect genes for breeding carefully, in this way a larger amount of genes of other characteristics will be saved for the population (Willis, 2002).

Dog breeders, clubs, experts and governments don’t want unwanted of harmful characteristics for dogs. That can be obtained by in example adapt the breeding standards for a breed, and force back inbreeding. This to achieve an as big as possible amount of genetic variation (Council for animal issues / Raad voor Dieraangelegenheden, 1998).

Inbreedingcoefficient

The Dutch Kennelclub has the limits of breeding and inbreeding set on the following parameters concerning the use of parental combinations that are not allowed in the Netherlands:

For one Spanish Waterdog, the complete pedigree and the inbreeding coefficient is given below.

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

 

 

 

Manolo

 

 

 

 

 

 

Relampo de Ubrique

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 (fathers father)

Chica Rubia

 

 

 

 

Camaron de Ubrique

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 (father)

 

 

 

Moro

 

 

 

 

 

 

Manolo- Moro

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Turca

 

 

 

 

 

Rizos de Ubrique

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Manchi

 

 

 

 

 

Petaca de Ubrique

(fathers mother)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marquez

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ronda deUbrique

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chica Rubia

 

 

 

perro X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moro

 

 

 

 

 

 

Berron de Ubrique (mothers father)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marquez

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gastor de Ubrique

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chica Rubia

 

 

 

 

 

Alfa de Ubrique

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moro

 

 

 

 

 

 

Manolo-Moro

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Turca

 

 

 

 

 

Negra

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Manchi

 

 

 

Bruja zur Femlinde (mother)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moro

 

 

 

 

 

 

Manolo-Moro

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Turca

 

 

 

 

 

Rizos de Ubrique

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Manchi

 

 

 

 

 

Lago de Ubrique

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marquez

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ronda de Ubrique

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chica Rubia

 

 

 

 

Betis de Ubrique

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moro

 

 

 

 

 

 

Manolo-Moro

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Turca

 

 

 

 

 

Poli de Ubrique

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Manchi

 

 

 

 

 

Dana de Ubrique

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marquez

 

 

 

 

 

 

Diana de Ubrique

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chica Rubia

 

 

 

Kio de Ubrique (mothers mother)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moro

 

 

 

 

 

 

Manolo-Moro

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Turca

 

 

 

 

 

Morena

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Manchi

 

 

 

In this pedigree, the founder ancestors of the Perro de Agua Español population are easy to find. Some of the ancestor fathers are Manolo, Marquez, Monolo-Moro, Moro and Rizos de Ubrique. Some of the ancestress are Chica Rubia, Manchi, Diana de Ubrique, Turca and Ronda de Ubrique. 

The ancestors are the dogs, that has been used by breeders about 30 years ago to start with breeding the PDAE (look at history) and the dogs that, for their special characteristics and qualities, have been used for breeding in Spain. One advantage of using a small amount of ancestors is that it is very fast and easy to create a uniformity within the breed. In other words, the animals will look like each other. Disadvantage is: when less attention is given to the selection of breeding pairs, the inbreeding coefficient can rise quickly.

In the figure below, the inbreeding coefficients of the Dutch bred Spanish Waterdogs are given. Vertically, the amount of dogs is given, horizontally the inbreeding coefficient is given.

.

Figure: graphic of the inbreeding coefficients of 101 Spanish Waterdogs, listed in the Dutch pedigree studbook

The inbreeding coefficient varies between the 0 % and the 18.26 %. The average of the 101 dogs is 5,14 %.