In January 2016, our Health Panel was tasked by the SBCA Board of Directors to recommend health studies that the Charitable Foundation could fund to the benefit of our Saint Bernard breed. We are pleased to report that our recommended funding projects have been approved and our “investments” have been the Osteosarcoma Initiative of the Morris Foundation. A brief description of these projects is included in this report.
The SBCA Health Panel’s mission statement is to effectively chart a course for the overall health and well-being of Saint Bernards. To accomplish this goal our strategy is to:
• Identify major Saint Bernard health issues.
• Research, analyze, and recommend to the SBCA Board of Directors scientifically valid studies on Saint Bernard diseases and health issues.
• Communicate to the Saint Bernard Fancy sound veterinary medical knowledge or advice.
• Encourage and support breeders in keeping good health records; and to help them participate in scientifically valid studies.
MISSION STATEMENT PROJECTS
The SBCA Health Initiative becomes the recipient of our mission statement projects. For example, in the summer of 2014, a health questionnaire was sent to the SBCA membership. The results revealed that diseases of extreme importance to our breed include:
• Gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV) Bloat
• Seizures (Idiopathic epilepsy)
• Osteosarcoma (OSA)
• Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM).
We have invested more than $50,000 via our foundation and donor advised funds in the GDV-Bloat AKC Canine Health Foundation studies since 2013. $10,000 in Epilepsy funding for the multi-year AKC CHF programs since 2014, and in 2017 we added $15,000 funding to three promising epilepsy studies: Identification of Genetic Risk Factors for Canine Epilepsy, Investigating a Ketogenic Medium Chain Triglyceride (MCT) supplement for the treatment of Drug Resistant Canine Epilepsy and Its Behavioral Comorbidities, and Identification of a Novel Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy (JME) Gene and Its Underlying Disease Mechanism.
NEW FUNDED RESEARCH
The investment of $5,000 AKC the study: A Cancer Vaccine for Canine
Osteosarcoma, and the investment of $25,000 from the SBCA CF in the Morris Animal Foundation’s Osteosarcoma Initiative. The studies include: Evaluate the effectiveness of drugs to delay the onset of metastatic disease, Look for New Targeted Therapies for Osteosarcoma in Dogs, Understand Why and How Canine Osteosarcoma Tumors Spread, Understand Why and How Canine Osteosarcoma Tumors Spread, Predict chemotherapy drug response for dogs with bone cancer, and Establishing a standard-of-care control group for osteosarcoma treatment studies.
We are currently evaluating studies where our investment of CF funds will make a significant impact on the heart disease “dilated cardiomyopathy’, particularly as it pertains to our breed.