Bird Dog & Retriever News

February/ March 2011 issue page 16

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Feb/March 2011 Now in our nineenth year 

"Mean Seeds" - A Threat To Your Sporting Dog?
 Whether you own
a retriever, setter,
a pointing or spaniel breed, a beagle or one of the coonhound breeds, they all have one thing in common: they are canine athletes bred to perform specific task in what can be a very harsh environment. Your sporting dog may be one that competes in field performance events or is used for hunting or both. You have invested many dollars in training, feeding and veterinary care for your dog, because he/she is worth it, he/she is your hunt
 ing companion. He/she provides countless hours of dedicated service to you as you pursue your hunting passion. And nothing can ruin your day or hunting season like when your dog is injured or becomes sick.
The AKC Canine Health Foundation, the non-profit world leader in funding sound canine health research, has allocated more than $450,000 over the last several years to investigate prevention, treatment and cures for injuries that occur in the field. More than ten grants have been funded to
 study anterior and cruciate ligament rupture and nearly twenty grants have been funded to study various infectious diseases that threaten our sporting dogs including ehrlichia, bartonella, brucellosis, leishmaniasis and leptospirosis, among others.
The most recent grant to benefit sporting dogs investigates "mean seeds" and the role they play in grass awn migration disease. In the sporting dog world, there is a perception among owners that there has been a dramatic escalation in the incidence of grass awn migration disease in the last 20 years.
Grasses occur in a single large plant family that contains approximately 11,000 species (Chapman 1996). Although the grasses share many important characteristics of their reproductive structures, only a portion of the species have awns and an even smaller group possess barbed awns of the type of concern to dogs. The awn is part of the sheath that encloses the grass "seed." The awns extend beyond the seed and those with barbs aid in dispersal of the seeds. One of the ways the seeds disperse is by attaching to things that come into contact with them. Animals and their fur are important ways grass seeds get transported to new locations. From an ecological standpoint, the attachment of grass seeds to sporting dogs is an important natural process. From the perspective of dogs and their owners, it is a danger
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Copyrights Bird Dog & Retriever News March 2011
Do not reproduce or retransmit in any form, and we surf the web, we'll find you.
Maintained by Dennis Guldan e-mail
Bird Dog & Retriever News, 563 17th Ave NW, New Brighton, MN 55112,
Phone 612-868-9169 Adv deadline 1st of the month prior to the issue.