Friday, December 6, 2013

A New Health Leader for the AVMA and AKC?


Scottie owner, breeder and veterinarian Dr. Joe Kinnarney is the newly appointed American Veterinary Medical Association Liaision to the American Kennel Club.  You can hear what he has to say here , but I have to say this man is an odd choice for this particular slot.

For one thing, Dr. Kinnarney's claim to fame in the world of dogs is that in 1995, his black Scottie, Champion Gaelforce PostScript, (aka "Peggy Sue") was tapped as Best in Show at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

What is left out of Dr. Kinnarney's bio (and this AKC pod cast) is that his own dog was dead from liver cancer at age 5 1/2, about 18 months after her big win. 

This is success in the world of canine health and showing?!

Of course, death at an early age is not very odd for Scotties.  This is a nonworking breed that serves no purpose other than as pet and fashion accessory, and yet it carries a tremendous genetic load.

As I have noted in the past when reviewing the excellent breed health survey produced by Great Scots Magazine publisher and editor Joseph Harvill, Ph.D which I described as "a monument to solid canine research and clear writing":

  • Nearly half of all Scotties die from cancer, and the lifespan of the breed is just 10.15 years.
  • Scottie health issues are very clearly genetic. "Underlying today’s short-lived Scotties appears to be impaired immunity and lack of general genetic fitness as manifested in the breed’s susceptibility (and even predisposition) to cancers."
  • Scottie health is not improving; it is getting worse. Comparisons between the 1995 and 2005 Great Scots Magazine health survey suggest the breed has lost a tenth of its lifespan in the past decade. Harvill notes that "This is an alarming trend ... and may signal the rapid declension in a gene pool which can happen when inbreeding depression reaches critical mass in a small, closed population."
  • Scottish Terrier health risks and issues are breed wide: dogs bred by "good" breeders are not healthier than those bred by backyard breeders or puppy mills. As Harvill notes: "Whether Scotties are ‘well-bred’ or otherwise, on average their morbidity is the same and medical costs are the same, with the non-professionally bred Scottie owners spending an average of $36 less last year ($473 compared to $510). This evidence contradicts the received wisdom that a Scottie from a show breeder assures better health and fewer medical bills. Furthermore, this data shows our health problems cannot be attributed to puppy mills since show dogs manifest the same health risks on average as pet store Scotties, indicating a Scottie gene pool thoroughly homogeneous in terms of morbidity."

Is any of this discussed in the AKC pod cast?  Of course not. 

Instead we get questions and answers, clearly read off of note cards, and without any follow up at all.  The voice reading the cards is less lifelike and animated than that on your smart phone, and far more grating in tone. 

This is the best presentation the AKC staff could do? 

Dr. Kinnarney himself is a little better, but he is only a minute or two into his spiel before he starts prattling on about the "human-animal bond" which is AVMA code for upcoding, bill padding, and selling medically unnecessary services by looking into your eyes and trying to figure out how much fear-mongering and concern-trolling can be done in order to get a client to spring for bunko tests, services and "medicines" for nonexistent problems. 

As I have noted in the past about the AVMA:

The AVMA is fanning the flames of economic predation.

They are appealing to fear -- trying to trigger a visceral reaction in people who are completely ignorant or who have some sort of mental disorder such as phobia, obsessive compulsive disorder, neurosis, or hypochondria.

This is evil. And this is who is representing the veterinary trade in America today.

Lest, you think I am overstating it when I use the word, evil, be advised that the head of the AVMA is Ron DeHaven who gave the Big Wink to puppy mill horror shows when he was head of the USDA's "Animal Care" division.  See the pictures here and draw your own conclusions.

Of course, the AKC is great friends with the Puppy Mill industry, as I have noted in the past.

In fact puppy mill registrations are what subsidize all those blue ribbons at AKC shows, and the AKC has even gone so far as to create a special computerized program and deep discount offer in order to speed the registration of AKC pet shop dogs.

So clearly, the AKC and the AVMA are a match  made in heaven. 

Both are bunko shops. 

One creates diseased, deformed and defective dogs that self-destruct in short-order, and the other sells veterinary services that might help an owner squeeze another costly year of life out of the package. 

Toss a veterinary insurance company into the mix, and you have an entire industry built on economic predation of the ignorant based on the sucking emotional need of humans. 

Is that where this is all going?  It's already there!


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