Monday, May 30, 2016

UC Davis' Crawl Into Infamy, Or, It's Hard To Find What You Don't Look For

Okay, this:
A new study by researchers at the University of California, Davis, indicates that mixed breeds don’t necessarily have an advantage when it comes to inherited canine disorders.
Oh? Whatever did the study say?
“Overall, the study showed that the prevalence of these genetic disorders among purebred and mixed-breed dogs depends on the specific condition,” said animal physiologist Anita Oberbauer, professor and chair of the Department of Animal Science at UC Davis and lead author of the study.
Tell us more!
The researchers evaluated records for more than 90,000 purebred and mixed-breed dogs that were examined at UC Davis’ veterinary medical teaching hospital between 1995 and 2010.

From this group, 27,254 dogs were identified as having one or more of 24 genetic disorders, including various types of cancers, heart diseases, endocrine-system ailments and orthopedic problems, as well as allergies, bloat, cataracts, epilepsy, an eye lens problem and a liver condition.

The 24 disorders were selected for the study because they can be diagnosed accurately, are highly prevalent in the overall dog population and are debilitating to the extent that owners would seek veterinary care for the animal. In addition, the selected disorders represent a variety of different locations and physiologic systems in the dog’s body.
Oh, so in other words, genetic disorders common among all dogs were not more common in purebred dogs. Wow, color me surprised.

This crap has circulated for three years now, and has been used as an excuse for failing to look for certain problems (cough, cancer) within well-known populations. UC Davis' pussyfooting here is both true and embarrassing, in that the AKC could be guaranteed to slobber on anyone pointing away from their institutional rot.

Update 2016-05-31: How could I omit Carol Beuchat's rejoinder? She lays out the cases much more convincingly using graphs. Also, Christopher Landauer's playful retort.

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