, April 24, 2024

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Consequences of Dog Inbreeding

  •   4 min reads
Consequences of Dog Inbreeding
by Mariana Burgos

After winning the approval of show judges, excellent breeds are always in high demand for stud services or offspring.

Dog breeds are distinguished by their distinct body shape, size, coat color, head type, and behaviors, all of which are shared by members of the same breed. Unfortunately, dog breeds differ in their susceptibility to disease. The majority of dog breeds are highly inbred, which contributes to a lifelong increase in disease and health care costs.

Inbreeding occurs when two related dogs mate in order to produce offspring, according to Dr. Rajesh Singh in his article, “Dog Inbreeding: Consequences & Risks Mitigation Strategies.” It is a useful method for breeders to fix traits in a breed—the pedigrees of some exhibition dogs show that many of their forefathers are closely related.

Is inbreeding the same as linebreeding?

The mating of “closely related” dogs, such as mother/son, father/daughter, and sibling/sibling matings, is referred to as inbreeding. Linebreeding is a type of inbreeding in which dogs are distantly related but still breed. As Dr. Singh explains, this method alleviates some of the concerns about inbreeding, but it can also be complexly harmful.

Dr. Singh tells us that inbreeding and linebreeding in dogs is a two-edged sword: it is an efficient tool for producing consistently high-quality specimens, but is also a sure way to pass on deleterious alleles. Technology Networks Neuroscience News and Research said “Alleles are different versions of a gene, which vary according to the nucleotide base present at a particular genome location. An individual’s combination of alleles is known as their genotype. “

A dog may eventually be the ideal specimen for a particular breed, but it may also suffer from a number of serious medical conditions and have a shorter lifespan.

How does the genetics of inbreeding work?

If two of the same breed mates with desirable traits are paired together, they can produce excellent quality pups. Even if the two are related, exceptional genes can be passed down the lineage with each litter, says Dr. Singh.

There are, however, bad combinations where there are good combinations. Dr. Singh tells us. Genetic conditions can be “bred out” of a breed, only to be reintroduced by the presence of two copies of the same negative trait.

According to Dr Singh, there are three types of gene mutations: recessive, dominant, and additive. Dominant genes are the ones that are most common and they can be seen in large litters. These genetics are strong, and they show up in every litter.

Additive genes are those in which two or more genes contribute to the puppy’s genetic make-up. As a result, they get along well. And if they don’t, these issues are easier to identify.

Recessive genes are more difficult to understand. Consider recessive genes to be reserve players who sit on the bench at a game and wait to be called up. It is as if a blue-eyed child was born to brown-eyed parents or 2 white-skinned parents having a black-skinned child. The gene is dormant in the bloodline until the right combination occurs, claims Dr. Singh.

Recessive genes can cause serious inbreeding problems because they can produce two damaged copies of the same gene. An unwanted genetic condition may resurface, congenital disabilities may occur, and other issues may arise.

What is the ‘coefficient of inbreeding’ (COI)?

There is, actually, a way that may help avoid the negative probable outcome with inbreeding. You just need to do some math and they call this the ‘coefficient of inbreeding’ or the COI.

According to Dr. Singh, there are several methods for calculating the coefficient of inbreeding (COI). The COI involves pinning markers to determine the mathematical probability of inbreeding based on the genome.

Closely related family members are at a much higher risk of getting two bad copies of a gene. For example, when a mother gives birth, she passes on an even 50 per cent (%) of her genetics to each of her puppies. Dr. Singh claims that would mean each pup has a 50% chance of inheriting a bad gene from the mother.

One of the males in the litter would be at risk of carrying a faulty copy. If a mother and son are bred, there is a 25 per cent ( %) chance that the litter will be born with copies of broken genetics.

The percentages decrease as you progress down the line, but all it takes is the correct combination of genes to cause health problems or unfavorable breed standards, says Dr. Singh.

According to Dr. Singh, the COI entails pinning markers to determine the math probability of inbreeding based on the genome.

It increases the chances of a pup developing by inheriting an allele from both the mother and the father used in breeding. When deciding on suitable mates for future litters, this calculation gives breeders the knowledge of a probable good or bad offspring.

A desirable COI is one with a value of less than 5 per cent (%). Anything above that level is considered high and should be avoided when pairing, says Dr. Singh.

So, as you now know, there isn’t much veterinarians can do about it other than educate pet owners before getting a dog that may have health issues due to inbreeding. At this point, it is more about raising awareness about the problem, and the solutions are extremely difficult.
Sometimes, there is nothing wrong with the owner’s care for their pet dog. It is more of a genetic issue.

This article also appears in the Manila Standard

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