FAQ Fit2Breed

Frequently asked questions for the first test results Beta version November 2022

Polymyositis risk assessment
I have had a risk assessment done for my bitch via Dr Leegwater. With the requested combination I got the result: “Low risk for polymyositis in offspring“. I now enter the same combination in Fit2breed and I get the warning: “This combination is not advised because it increases the spread of PM in the breed“.
How is it possible that there is a difference in this?

Answer: The risk assessment received by Dr Leegwater gives an estimate of low or high risk for obtaining the disease polymyositis for the direct offspring.

With a low-risk rash, the offspring have a low risk of developing polymyositis. Possible combinations of parents with this rash are homozygous mutant (MM) x homozygous free (WW); heterozygous (WM) x homozygous free (WW); and homozygous free (WW) x homozygous free (WW). Which of the two low-risk genotypes (WW or WM) the offspring may have cannot be deduced from this risk assessment. The genotype of the parents cannot be deduced from this either.

Results that would lead to high risk (MM) (for part of) the offspring were not given. The combinations of homozygous mutant (MM) x homozygous mutant (MM); homozygous mutant (MM) x heterozygous (WM); and heterozygous (WM) x heterozygous (WM) were avoided.
With a risk assessment in Fit2breed, you can enter any desired combination via the test mating button; you will then see a risk assessment for the potential puppies on the right side of the screen.

The warning: “Combination not advised because it increases the spread of PM in the breed” is given if only heterozygous animals (WM) are born from a combination.

For the combination heterozygous x homozygous wildtype you will receive a warning that it is advised to test all puppies in a litter. (50% of animals may be heterozygous). From this litter, puppies can be chosen that are homozygous wild type (free) to continue breeding with.

The fact that a dog is heterozygous does not have to be a problem to use this dog for breeding. Dogs that are heterozygous themselves have a 1% chance of getting sick themselves.

However, if only combinations are made of which the offspring are heterozygous for the PM mutation, there will be more heterozygous dogs within the entire kooiker population. This is undesirable because it limits your possibilities to make a good combination for the future.

In the risk assessment it is always possible, even very desirable, to use a heterozygous dog (WM) for breeding but in combination with a homozygous wild type (WW). As a result, all offspring have a low risk of developing PM themselves.

Update Fit2Breed

From January 2023, all results of the new polymyositis tests will be specified: The results will be accompanied by the following explanation:

WW: Homozygous wildtype
The dog is free of the DNA variant that is involved in the development of polymyositis in the Kooikerhondje. This means that the risk of the disease is extremely low.

WM: Heterozygous
The dog has one copy of the DNA variant that is involved in the development of polymyositis in the Kooikerhondje. This means that the risk is limited; it is estimated that the probability of the disease is 1%.
Combination with another heterozygous or a dog that is homozygous for the risk factor leads to increased risk for some of the offspring and is strongly discouraged. The dog can be combined with a dog that is free (WW). The advice is to test all offspring for the PM risk factor, in order to be able to select animals that are free for the next generation.

MM: Homozygous mutant
The dog is homozygous for the risk factor and has two copies of the DNA variant that is involved in the development of polymyositis in the Kooikerhondje. The dog therefore has an increased risk of getting polymyositis. This probability is estimated at a minimum of 10%. We advise you to have the CP (= CPK) level in your dog’s blood measured during routine visits to your veterinarian. An increased content may indicate polymyositis. Clinical signs that may occur include difficulty swallowing and difficulty walking, with a short, stiff stride.
Combining your dog with a Kooikerhondje that is free of the risk factor (WW) will result in a limited risk for all offspring, but does contribute to the spread of the mutation in the breed (because all offspring will be carriers). Combination with a dog that is not free is strongly discouraged.

In Fit2breed, with a new update of the page “Summary page”, the PM status of a dog will be visible under the heading “DNA test results complex diseases”, if the owner has given permission to share the results in Fit2Breed. A risk assessment for a combination of animals via Fit2breed remains necessary.

In Fit2breed, the summary page of the dog will be adjusted. At the page “By disease” you will find

  • monogenetic disorders: VWD and ENM
  • complex genetic diseases: PM

There is a possibility to print the risk assessment via Fit2breed and save it as a PDF file. For a breeder it is important to make a risk assessment for each litter. and With this PDF file it can be demonstrated that at the time of covering a certain combination indicates a low risk score and the breeder has used the most up-to-date information available. The breeder can save this PDF file himself but also send it to zooeasy@kooikerhondje.nl to upload this file at the relevant litter (after birth and registration). The risk assessment can change over time, for example if more information becomes available from the dog or family members.

Urgent procedure

Can I have my puppies tested for PM already in the litter?

Antwoord: Especially for breeders who already want a PM test in the litter to decide which puppy they want to keep. For more information about this procedure mail ecgg@uu.nl. A manual for this emergency procedure and swabs are sent to the breeder. Puppies can have swab taken at the vet at 6 weeks, if chip is present. Within 2 weeks the owner will receive the PM result by e-mail.

For my own dog I get the warning: “This dog is not genotyped“. However, I did take blood for VWD and ENM examinations and the results are known to the VHNK.

Answer: “This dog is not genotyped” means that and in this version there is no data with regard to SNP genotyping of the dog. SNP genotyping refers to genetic markers of, for example, MyDogDNA, EMBARK, Wisdom or Illumina.

  • If only blood is taken for VWD / ENM and / or PM, this does not automatically mean that the dog is also genotyped. Genotyping examination is a different examination than the regular blood tests for ENM/VWD/PM.
    To obtain a genotyping of your dog, an EMBARK profile can be made via the Expertise Center in Utrecht using the form below: Request EMBARK-profile.
    An application for a EMBARK swab can be made with this form. This swab is sent from the expertise center Utrecht to the owner. The invoice will be received by the owner after the results are known (costs are 110 euros ex VAT). The owner has this swab taken from a veterinarian after the chip has been checked and sends the swab himself to EMBARK in the USA. After about 3-4 weeks the owner receives the result and if the survey is completed correctly and data can be shared (‘informed consent statement’) for Fit2breed, the genotypings become visible in Fit2breed.
  • It is possible that in the past a SNP profile (= genotyping) via Wisdom health or EMBARK was made of the dog via swab or blood. Results are already with the owner but the data are not yet visible in Fit2breed. The reason for this may be that no informed consent statement has been given (= declaration of consent for sharing data to Expertise centre genetics). If no explicit permission from the owner for sharing data Wisdom of Embark has been given, the data will not be shown in Fit2breed. It is then desirable to still give this informed consent statement via the survey. Withthe next update of the data, this will be visible in Fit2breed.
    You can give permission to have the data included in Fit2breed by filling in this form: https://survey.uu.nl/jfe/form/SV_7NUPAwrKYiJsvkO

In the course of 2023, there will be the possibility to have EMBARK profiles purchased during events of the VHNK. For the current state of affairs about this, you will be informed on the website.

Health results
I do not see all the results listed in my dog while they have been passed on to the VHNK or are available in Dutch Dog Data.

Answer: This is related to the frequency of data update of data. At the moment, the pedigree data and data from Zoo-easy are synchronized 2 times a year. There is always new that: the data of the latest updates can be found in the bottom gray bar in the screen.
An example of this are the eye results: The ECVO results are currently not automatically read, so that the most recent eye examination may not be visible and a notification will appear. For the most up-to-date eye rashes, consult the ZooEasy database or Dutch Dog Data.
We are working on an automatic import of all eye rashes available in Fit2breed.

How can I compare inbreeding in Fit2Breed with ZooEasy?

Answer: Fit2Breed uses all known ancestors of the dog over all generations to calculate the COI based on pedigrees. The calculated value is displayed on a scale from 0 to 1. This makes the values different from the inbreeding coefficients calculated with ZooEasy, because a percentage scale of 0 to 100 is used there. The average inbreeding coefficient for Kooikerhondjes over all generations is 0.33 in Fit2Breed, which would correspond to 33% in ZooEasy.

With every combination I enter with my bitch, I get the warning: “This combination has higher kinship than the breed average“. How is this possible?

Answer: The kinship/relationship is calculated over the entire population after the population analysis. This is different from inbreeding. Kinship indicates how related the animals in the population are to each other. Many kooikerhondjes are very related to each other, which is why this report will occur often.

Log on Fit2Breed
I can’t log in with my details

Answer: For all people who have requested an account, an account has been created on the Fit2Breed specifically for the VHNK: vhnk.fit2breed.nl. Logging in to other Fit2Breed sites is therefore not possible. Therefore, first check whether you are logging in to the correct site if logging in is not possible.
If logging in to vhnk.fit2breed.nl also does not work, it could be that the entered login details are not 100% correct. You can only log in with the exact details as they were sent via e-mail (subject Fit2Breed Account). Also pay specific attention to uppercase letters, lowercase letters and (extra) spaces, in password and username. The easiest way is to copy this data from the mail, then there is less chance of typos.
Still can’t log in? Please contact l.vree@uu.nl, and we will try to help you further!

Sign up Fit2Breed
Another breeder would also like to sign up for the beta version of Fit2breed. Where can he sign up?

Answer: : You can register by applying via https://survey.uu.nl/jfe/form/SV_efDR6TExWl8JmCO
After the application, there will be a check on membership of VHNK or affiliated sister association. If everything is correct, accounts will be created and login details will be sent. This can take about 14 days.
Feedback on this beta version can be given via: https://survey.uu.nl/jfe/form/SV_1B8R1BA0rrrker4

Remaining questions
My question is not yet answered, where can I go?

Answer: All other questions that remain after reading this document that cannot be asked substantively within the feedback form may be emailed to ecgg@uu.nl or to e.deleeuw@kooikerhondje.nl