ERBEKEES-KEESHONDEN


BREEDER OF COMPANION KEESHONDEN


CHIC


CHIC INFORMATION



The Canine Health Information Center, also known as CHIC, is a centralized canine health database jointly sponsored by the AKC/Canine Health Foundation (AKC/CHF) and the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA).



Mission Statement



To provide a source of health information for owners, breeders, and scientists, that will assist in breeding healthy dogs.



CHIC Benefits



Once in place and accepted within the dog breeding community, the CHIC program offers benefits to breeders, buyers, parent clubs, and researchers.


路For breeders, CHIC provides a reliable source of information regarding dogs they may use in their breeding programs. In the future, breeders can begin to analyze the pedigrees of a proposed breeding for health strengths and weaknesses as well the traditional analysis of conformation, type, and performance strengths and weaknesses.


路For buyers, the CHIC program provides accurate information about the results of a breeder's health testing. For diseases that are limited to phenotypic evaluations, there are no guarantees. However, the probability that an animal will develop an inherited disease is reduced when its ancestry has been tested normal. Further, as more DNA tests become available and the results are entered into CHIC, the CHIC database will be able to establish whether progeny will be clear, carriers, or affected.


路For parent clubs considering establishment of health databases on their own, CHIC provides the answer with no upfront investment required by the club. The CHIC infrastructure is supplied and maintained by the OFA. The data is maintained in a secure environment by trained staff. The services are not subject to the time, technology, and resource constraints that parent clubs might face on their own. This frees parent clubs to focus on their core strengths of identifying health concerns, educating their membership, and encouraging participation in the CHIC program.


路For researchers, CHIC provides confidential and accurate aggregate information on multiple generations of dogs. CHIC information will also be useful for epidemiological studies enhancing our knowledge of health issues affecting all breeds of dogs.


路For everyone interested in canine health issues, CHIC is a tool to monitor disease prevalence and measure progress.



CHIC Policies and Guidelines



The CHIC database is a tool that collects health information on individual animals from multiple sources. This centralized pool of data is maintained to assist breeders in making more informed breeding choices, and for scientists in conducting research. In order for data to be included in CHIC, test results must be based on scientifically valid diagnostic criteria.


Breed Specific


Core to the CHIC philosophy is the realization that each breed has different health concerns. Not all diseases have known modes of inheritance, nor do all diseases have screening tests. Some screening tests are based on phenotypic evaluation, others on genetic testing. With all these variables, a key element of CHIC is to customize or tailor the CHIC requirements to the needs of each breed. These unique requirements are established through input from the parent club prior to the breed's entry into the CHIC program. Breed specific requirements typically consist of the inherited diseases that are of the greatest concern and for which some screening test is available. Each parent club also drives specific screening protocols. As an example, one parent club may allow cardiac exams to be performed by a general practitioner. Another parent club may require the exam to be performed by a board certified cardiologist. A club may also use the CHIC program to maintain information on other health issues for anecdotal purposes. Later, as screening tests become available, the disease may be added to the breed specific requirements.



Identification



Regardless of breed, each dog must be permanently identified in order to have test results included in CHIC. Permanent identification may be in the form of microchip or tattoo.



Informed Consent



CHIC operates an informed consent database. All information regarding test results remains confidential unless the owner specifically authorizes release of the information into the public domain. Owners are encouraged to release all test results realizing it is in the ultimate health interests of the breed and the information greatly increases the depth and breadth of any resulting pedigree analysis. For those not quite ready to accept open sharing of information, there is still value in submitting their results. All test information entered into the database is available in aggregate for research and statistical reporting purposes, but does not disclose identification of individual dogs. This results in improved information on the prevalence of the disease, as well as information regarding progress in reducing the incidence of the disease.



CHIC Numbers and Reports



A CHIC number is issued when test results are entered into the database satisfying each breed specific requirement, and when the owner of the dog has opted to release the results into the public domain. The CHIC number itself does not imply normal test results, only that all the required breed specific tests were performed and the results made publicly available.


A CHIC report is issued at the same time as the CHIC number. The CHIC report is a consolidated listing of the tests performed, the age of the dog when the tests were performed, and the corresponding test results. As new results are recorded, updated CHIC reports reflecting the additional information will be generated. For example, if a breed requires annual CERF examinations, an updated CHIC report will be generated every time updated CERF results are entered. Another potential example is as new DNA tests are developed and added to the breed specific requirements, updated CHIC reports will be generated as the test results are entered.


Once included in the CHIC program, the breed specific requirements are dynamic. As health priorities within a breed change, or as new screening tests become available, the breed specific requirements can be modified to reflect the current environment. If the breed specific requirements are modified, existing CHIC numbers are not revoked. Again, the CHIC number is issued to a dog that completed all required tests at a given point in time.


CHIC will provide the parent club quarterly reports consisting of both aggregate numbers and specific dogs who have been issued CHIC numbers.




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