CURRENT RESEARCH PROJECTS
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Hello Great Dane owners!
We are pleased to announce some exciting news! The Great Dane Club of America and The Great Dane Club of America Charitable Trust, together, are joining Dr. Stuart Meyers of the University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine in his research of canine reproductive health, specifically Great Dane stud dogs. The future of our beloved breed depends on healthy, fertile breeding stock, able to reproduce consistently. Danes have previously been underrepresented in studies of this type.
Currently the parameters we use to measure fertility are sperm motility and numbers, while other more detailed aspects, ie. cell membrane, sperm cell metabolism, and DNA integrity, may correlate with infertility as well.
Dr. Meyers, along with his assistants and graduate students, will be working to develop new methods to assess male fertility, and to develop new semen additives and methods to cryopreserve dog semen. The expanded use of artificial insemination in breeding necessitates our understanding of how sperm function can be optimized for storage and for maintaining stud dog fertility.
We are asking you, Dane owners, to help us in this research by donating a sample of your dog’s semen. Dr. Meyers will be at the GDCA National Specialty to collect samples, answer questions, and interact with the Dane community. You can also contribute samples collected by your own veterinarian who can ship it to the Davis facility following their suggested protocol. Of course your participation and results will be kept confidential. The samples will be stored for future DNA analysis by UC Davis geneticists to support and tandem with Dr. Meyers’ research.
You can benefit not only our dogs of today, but those in the future as well, by choosing to support this research. We hope you will give it serious consideration and then move forward with us!
Registration/participation forms will be available on line at GDCA.ORG , then click on Charitable Trust, and they will also be available at the National.
Fertility Study in Great Danes
Your Trust has recently voted to financially support a two-year Theriogenology (reproductive health) research project to determine the factors that result in optimal sperm production and function in male Great Danes of varying ages. Dr. Stuart Meyers of University of California, Davis, along with his graduate students and assistants, will be working to develop new methods to assess male fertility and to develop new semen additives and methods to cryopreserve dog semen. The expansion of the use of artificial insemination in breeding of pure-bred and purpose-bred dogs has necessitated a new understanding of fundamental metabolic processes by which sperm function can be optimized for storage and for maintaining stud dog fertility. This project will specifically benefit Great Danes as our breed has been under-represented in the limited studies done on sperm function to date. Findings in this study will very likely apply to many other dog breeds, hence, the AKC Canine Health Foundation will be watching and looking into collaborating at a later date as Theriogeneology (Canine Reproductive Health) is one of the objectives of the CHF in 2019. The knowledge obtained from this study will be essential to reproductive management and understanding the complex nature of male fertility, benefiting our dogs today as well as in years to come. More information to follow about how you, too, can participate in this endeavor!!!
Great Dane Semen Quality and Fertility Research Study
We are grateful for the Great Dane Club of America and the Great Dane Charitable Trust support of our research program in male fertility at UC Davis!
In recent years, the use of artificial insemination (AI) and frozen semen for dog breeding has been expanding in veterinary clinical practice and these techniques are highly desired for genetic improvement of elite breeding stock. In our previous work on canine semen quality, we used advanced measures of semen analysis including laser flow cytometry and computer-assisted sperm motility analysis (CASA) to determine that aging Labrador retriever males showed elevated reactive oxygen species (ROS) that was associated with declines in sperm motility.
In this newly funded research, we will utilize new technology that measures oxygen usage as well as traditional measures of sperm fertility. This method has never been used in canine sperm and we expect to determine the best conditions for dog sperm to efficiently produce energy. In this way, we will determine if ATP production and sperm motility can be generated without excessive oxygen free radical formation. Our results will be used to determine if aging and cryopreservation methods for Great Danes will have detrimental effects on sperm quality and will provide a mechanism for us to understand how to optimize sperm production of ATP and motility.
We are very excited to be attending the 2019 GDCA National Specialty for the purposes of collecting semen for this study. We plan to collect from 20-25 males (each day) over a three day period, 10/9, 10/10 and 10/11. Please visit the GDCA Northeast Division Store for details on signing up. There is no charge for this clinic. The only requirement is signing a consent form to participate.
My lab at UC Davis welcomes your participation and we look very forward to helping to understand male-based fertility problems in Great Danes.
Stuart A. Meyers, DVM, PhD, American College of Theriogenologists
Cancer Infusion Therapy Research
The Great Dane Club of America Charitable Trust has donated $25,000 to research a new cancer infusion therapy for the treatment of Osteosarcoma in dogs. Based on our support the research group has committed to using great danes in one of their trials. This therapy could cross over into use in humans if it is successful in dogs. Please consider participating in this trial if you have a Great Dane who meets the guidelines. If you have any questions please feel free to contact Gary Nice at the email listed below, any Trustee or Dr. Neil O’Sullivan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Canine Infusion Therapy Trial is looking for Great Danes with Metastatic & Non-Metastatic Osteosarcoma. Trial is being conducted in Longview, TX (128 miles east of Dallas TX). Treatments will be twice a week either Monday and Wednesday or Tuesday and Thursday for four weeks and can start very quickly. Best candidates should be within driving distance of Longview, TX. For further information, please contact Gary Nice at email@example.com. In order for a candidate to enter the trial, we must have all documents verifying a diagnosis of the cancer including x-rays and pathology report. Complete health records also will need to be supplied.
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