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By Amanda Kelly


This is a very exciting time for the heart study as we move toward publication of several important articles and papers while also tran- sitioning to a brand new study coordinator. So, let’s start there!


New Study Coordinator We are extremely happy to welcome Michelle Barlak to the Study Team. Many of you will already know Michelle as she and her mother, Kris, have bred Toy Manchesters under the Bleu Springs prefix for many years. Professionally, Michelle is currently a Sen- ior Public Relations Associate with the Seeing Eye, a non-profit organization that breeds, raises and trains dog guides for people who are blind and visually impaired. With five years experience in public relations for the American Kennel Club, Michelle has also worked closely with organizations like the Canine Health Foundation.


Michelle will focus on (1) furthering ongoing work to collect genetic material from affected dogs and their close relatives and (2) strengthening available data on TMT heart function by increasing physical screening. Individuals wishing to submit information on deceased puppies have several options. They can contact Michelle at michelle@bleusprings.net or 585-329- 4317. As always, necropsy results can also be submitted anonymously by contacting Dr. Shannon Martinson, Diagnostic Pathologist at the Atlantic Veterinary College (smartinson@upei.ca or 902-566-0864). Welcome, Michelle!


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Genetic Analysis Complete In this issue of Black & Tan magazine you will find the results of our eight-month study into the genetic basis of cardiomyopathy. Dr. Hare and Ms. Weaver’s work has provided compelling evidence based on objective information that the disease is most likely genetic and they have also provided advice on useful breeding strategies. At the risk of editorializing, I believe one additional strategy we must employ is the maintenance of some “cardio-free” lines. While it is certainly smart to breed dogs who are related to cardio producers to non-cardio lines in order to reduce the risk of producing the problem, this approach will only work so long as there are such lines to go to. It may behoove us to think about how we might be able to accomplish both goals in a sustainable way.


BLACK & TAN | FALL 2010


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