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9. CONCLUSIONS

Corresponding to the aims of the study, the following final conclusions can be drawn:

  1. Respondents from all key groups -- veterinarians, dog breeders and dog owners -- in canine health programme share a positive attitude to programmes and are well motivated to participate in them. However, lack of knowledge and limited effectiveness of different information sources can decrease their motivation and limit their ability to understand the importance, goals and possibilities of health programmes. Especially dog breeders and owners considered inherited diseases to have a major effect on canine well-being, veterinarians -- supposedly because of their broader clinical experience -- find other diseases to have more importance.

  2. Current health programme was not able to show clear economic benefits in dog breeding, and its effectiveness in disease prevention has also been very limited. On the other hand indirect economic or health benefits in the form of better performance or well-being are difficult to measure. Also, it is impossible to estimate what the situation would be without the programme. The most important drawbacks of the current programme are the lack of individual within-breed modifications and efficient programme evaluation. The programme is focused in collecting information, but advanced and effective use of this information in breeding programme is lacking. The present data management system of the FKC is very difficult and laborous to convert to formats that are easily used for statistical analyses.

  3. In order to reach the full potential of the health programme it should be breed-specific with clearly defined goals and objectives. All key groups should participate in planning and evaluation. The most advanced methods in veterinary medicine and animal breeding -- such as predicted breeding values and DNA-techniques -- should be used.


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