| ous threat. (AKC Canine
Health Foundation Grant Application)
The barbed grass awns, or "mean seeds," attach to a
dogs coat and pierce the skin or are ingested or inhaled. Once
in a dog's body, these mean seeds tend to migrate, leaving a
trail of infection behind. These infections cause illness that
is difficult to diagnose, and can even be fatal.
It is suspected that the increase of grass awn migration disease
is due to inclusion of problem grasses such as Canadian Wild
Rye and Virginia Rye in the approved lists for Conservation Reserve
Program (CRP) lands. The CRP was first described in the 1985
Farm Bill and it has been reauthorized in each subsequent Farm
Bill. The first land was enrolled in 1986. The most important
feature of CRP is to encourage farmers to convert their marginal
cropland acreage to perennial vegetation
that will protect the land from
wind and water erosion (Farm Service Agency 2010). In addition
to the protection against erosion, hunters and sportsman have
seen the favorable response from wildlife to the CRP habitat
improvements. In a large number of contracts the perennial vegetation
planted consists of a mixture of grasses. Country wide there
are more than 31 million acres in active CPR contracts in 2010
(Farm Service Agency 2010). (AKC Canine Health Foundation Grant
David Hopkins, AKC Delegate for the English Springer Spaniel
Field Trial Club of Illinois and Chair of the Delegate Field
Trial and Hunting Test Committee was instrumental in bringing
this concern to the attention of the AKC Canine Health Foundation's
grants committee. Mr. Hopkins worked with Dr. William Lauenroth
of the University of Wyoming and principal investigator for the
study to submit the application to the AKC Canine Health Foundation
The primary goal of the study is to determine the frequency with
which these barbed seeds are planted, so that sporting dog owners
and field trialers can begin discussions with the US Department
of Agriculture to modify their recommended list of grasses to
| be planted on CRP lands.
Dr. Lauenroth stated, "If it can be determined that there
has been a dramatic increase in both the incidence of the disease
and the quantity of barbed seeds planted in CRP lands, such determination
would surely factor significantly into improvements in veterinary
diagnostic and treatment protocols, overall education for dog
owners, and preventative or remedial measures for the U.S. Department
of Agriculture's approach to CRP plantings."
This important research has been sponsored by the Golden Retriever
Foundation, English Springer Spaniel Field Trial Association,
English Springer Spaniel Field Trial Association Foundation,
National Amateur Retriever Club, Labrador Retriever Club, Spinone
Club of America, German Shorthaired Pointer Club of America Boykin
Spaniel Society and the AKC Humane Fund.
For more information about this and other research the AKC Canine
Health Foundation has funded or how you can help fund additional
research visit www.akcchf.org/research.
For more information about research on the "Mean Seed"
article above, please contact Cathy Lewis at firstname.lastname@example.org
or by phone at 262-215-1910.