Saturday, January 22, 2022

Inbreeding Dogs to Death

Danika Bannasch, a veterinary geneticist at the University of California, Davis, has done a genetic analysis of 227 breeds and found an average inbreeding rate of nearly 25%. 

That's the equivalent of sharing the same genetic material with a full sibling. 

The findings were published online Dec. 2 in the journal Canine Medicine and Genetics

The inbreeding values within dog breeds were very high, with the mean being 0.24, just below the coefficient of inbreeding obtained from breeding full siblings. The breeds with low inbreeding included recent cross breeds (Tamaskan Dog, Barbet and Australian Labradoodle) and landrace breeds (Danish-Swedish Farmdog, Mudi and Koolie), supporting the notion that high inbreeding is a result of closed stud books or small numbers of founders or both. It also demonstrates that it is possible to have consistent breed type without inbreeding. 

Similar to another recent study, brachycephalic dogs require more veterinary care than non- brachycephalic dogs. In addition, we identified that FCI group 2 breeds required the highest average number of veterinary care events. This group includes the larger molossoid dog breeds which others have previously identified as having higher mortality. The primitive FCI group 5 breeds had the lowest average morbidity of all the groups, which has not been reported previously, except for the Norrbottenspitz breed. This may be, in part, due to the large number of primitive breeds for which there is insurance data available in our data set, while other studies may not have had health data available for these breeds...

One must consider that the majority of dog breeds displayed high levels of inbreeding well above what would be considered safe for either humans or wild animal populations.

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