February 28, 2018
The Pupscan Project was set up to research the factors leading to abnormal hip/elbow development in dogs. The project aims to separate predominantly genetic from the many acquired conditions that damage joints. The Pupscan Project has forged an innovative partnership with the Irish Kennel Club. It has also agreed a collaboration with University College Dublin (UCD) which will see Ireland as the academic centre of excellence for the project.
The project is headed by Ms. Pamela McKenzie-Hewitt CEO and Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon Mr. Gordon E.
Maclellan MB BS FRCS, who are supported by a highly experienced team. Using the most modern diagnostic Ultrasound technology, and a precise measurement analysis of the whole hip a non-invasive imaging technique has been
developed to evaluate puppies within the early months of life to establish the presence or absence of normal healthy joint development.
Following 3 years of research 43 breeds and over 3000 hips have to date been scanned, particularly the 6 most at risk breeds.
An integral part of the project is the longitudinal study during growth and development. This will be done in consultation with the UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science and the School of Veterinary Medicine. Prof Alan Fahey in UCD will head the genetic and data analysis from the data gathered accompanied by Prof Vivian Gath who will lead in environmental, nutritional and anatomical influences.
Following a presentation by Ms McKenzie-Hewitt and Mr. Maclellan to the Board of Directors of the Irish Kennel Club, Mr. Sean Delmar, IKC President said “The Irish Kennel Club are delighted to be associated with The Pupscan Project. The concept of early, non-invasive tests by scanning, with ability to diagnose can be so important in controlling the health of dogs. This allows for early intervention with corrective procedures or protocol for malformations caused by trauma, environment and other circumstances that are not genetic. The gene pool is so small in some breeds, that the removal of dogs from the gene pool, based on current tests without a diagnosis when they are adults, is a disaster.”
Speaking on the new relationships, Ms. McKenzie-Hewitt first thanked all the breeders and clubs who had donated and pledged their support for the Pupscan Project. She stated it was a credit to the breeders that this project was able to succeed.
It is with our heartfelt thanks to them all that we are now able to move to the next phase of the Project.
We are very proud and honored to be partnered with the Irish Kennel Club which will lead the way in introducing a truly evidence-based screening method for healthy hip and elbow development. In consultation with University College Dublin and Pupscan, the Irish Kennel Club will set a new ethical standard and will be the first Kennel Club to assist breeders in making an informed decision that is based on anatomy and physiology rather than a score.
University College Dublin, which is ranked in the top 1% worldwide, will safeguard the projects advancement in genetics and medicine. With the assistance of Prof Alan Fahey, Animal Breeding, School of Agriculture and Food Science UCD and Pof Viv Gath BSc, MVB, PhD., School of Veterinary Medicine, UCD, the Pupscan Project is assured support and progression.