KBS – Switzerland

KBS club presentation

Founded 1907  
Breed Bernese Mountain Dogs
Members 1400
Puppies/year 500
IWG Contact for KBS Martha Cehrs – marthacehrs@bluewin.ch
Website  www.bernersenn.ch

KBS health programs

History of health activities in the KBS
2013 – the delegates assembly decides unanimosly that in future a blood sample must be taken from all puppies born in Switzerland – this blood is to be deposited for future studies at the Veterinary University of Bern.
Michael Klopfenstein finishes his Masters degree with the continuation of the study by Rossetti (see below) both studies at the Veterinary University of Bern
2012 – Introduction of the health booklet. This is a collection of forms containing the identity of the dog but most importantly filled in at every visit by the respective veterinarian stipulating the reason for the visit, the diagnosis and the treatment. This information is provided for the dog throughout his life until death and provides the club with the opportunity to observe on a continued basis the state of health of the population.  The club supports the study and thesis of Franziska Hostettler at the Veterinary University of Bern which determines the cause of death of dogs via CT technology, analysis of tissue as well as autopsies.
2011 – the club’s delegates assembly decides to introduce compulsory x-rays for HD/ED for a statistically significant number of puppies in every litter born. The study Rossetti (see 2010) is accepted as doctoral thesis by the faculty of the Veterinary University of Bern. The club supports a study with regards to the efficacy of the new medication TRIN2755 used in the treatment of dogs suffering from histiocytic sarcoma.
2010 – the health committee of the club decides to commence a scientific study regarding morbidity and cause of death of the BMDog population in Switzerland. Veterinarian Menga Rossetti therefore collects relevant health information from dogs born in Switzerland in  2001 and 2002. From a total population of 1200 dogs information can finally be collected for 400.
2009 – the club introduces the procedure by which once a year (minimum) it is established whether a dog is still alive. This is to get a more informative overview of the longevity and state of health of the dogs born/living in Switzerland. To motivate breeders to provide information regarding health/illness, length of life and reasons for death of puppies they have bred, a label of excellence “the Bäri Paw” was created. This label is given to breeders who regularly provide all that information to the club for sixty percent of the puppies they have bred. 
2008 – The use of the program DOGbase is introduced. This system provides relevant breeding information on all breeding stock and litters born. In addition it is an instrument for the breeders to help them find the ideal stud for their brood bitches with regards to health and longevity. Moreover changes to the breeding regulations are made with regards to keeping the gene-pool as varied as possible. The in-breeding coefficient  is now calculated on five generations and the  maximum number of litters allowed by the same dog and bitch is limited to two for the term of their lives. 
2007 – on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the club a health symposium is organized for the third time. The subject was: Improving longevity of the Bernese Mountain Dog.Glomerulonephritis, an inflammation of the kidneys is more frequent in BMDogs than in other breeds. The club initiates a study, by Simone Eichenberger and Katharina Haug  as well as Bernhard Gerber of the Veterinary University of Zurich. A report on this study (in German) is published in the official publication of the Swiss Kennel Club – Hunde in July of 2007. The topic of whether or not bringing new bloodlines from another breed would improve the health and longevity of BMDogs is discussed at length at a reunion of breeders. The club supports the creation at the Veterinary University of Bern of a bloodbank containing blood of dogs who suffer from ED degree 2 or 3 . 
Screening programs
HD/ED screening is compulsory for all breeding stock as well as a statistically significant number of puppies out of every litter. Breeders have on a voluntary basis also started to test their breeding stock for OCD, DM, susceptibility to HS, longevity prognosis, etc. Estimated breeding values have been established for all dogs for HD/ED and longevity.
Data collection   
Relevant breed data as well as data on HD/ED and longevity on all litters born is collected in DOGbase. The information gathered from the health booklet (i.e. veterinary info regarding every visit, reason for visit, diagnosis and treatment for the duration of the dogs life) will be collected in a separate health data base. This information is critical for the club to observe the state of health, problems of health, longevity and reasons for death on a continued basis so as to detect any important changes in these parameters in a timely fashion.
Another form of collecting information on the BMDogs in Switzerland is by collecting blood. As of 2014 blood is taken from all puppies born in Switzerland and stored in a blood bank at the Veterinary University of Bern. This blood will be used in future tests to e.g. determine the level of presence of disease in the population or e.g. to determine the validity of blood tests under development for certain diseases, etc.
Donations and a percentage of the membership fees is on an annual basis reserved for health matters

KBS events

The annual club show will be held near Aarau on September 6th 2015. Detailed information and enrolment forms to be found on the club’s website www.bernersenn.ch under Klubschau