Assessment of inherited disorders and disorders related to breed standards in pedigree dogs and cats.
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Concerns about dog breeding within closed populations and thus inevitable inbreeding leading to health issues aren’t new but have taken a flight in the last decade. The Dutch media eagerly pays attention and adds to the growing awareness by means of television and the Internet. Especially unhealthy breed characteristics are getting more and more attention. For the Dutch purebred population valid scientific data are to date not available. In order of the Ministry of Economics a large study has been started that basically wants to answer the pressing questions: Are purebreds really less healthy than crossbreeds? Is there a difference even between a purebred with pedigree and its look-alike without? And, consequently, what can be done if so. Our study is a pilot part of that larger scale study and four breeds (three canine, one feline) have been selected to research the main question: To what extend occur harmful breed characteristics and heritable disorders in The Bernese Mountain Dog, The Dutch Shepherd Dog, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and the Maine Coon Cat in the Netherlands. To answer this question we first extensively studied literature to get quantitative information and form an initial idea of the problems occurring within these breeds. We categorised those in three lists. Secondly, we analysed information collected from the clinical database of the University Clinic for Companion Animals (UKG) in Utrecht, the Netherlands, which provide us with qualitative information. In result we combined the two to form a final A-list: a list with the most important disorders for this breed in the Netherlands.