Category Archives: General Information

A survey of risk factors for digit injuries among dogs training and competing in agility events

Debra C. Sellon DVM, PhD; Katherine Martucci DVM; John R. Wenz DVM, MS; Denis J. Marcellin-Little DEDV; Michelle Powers DVM, MS; Kimberley L. Cullen PhD

Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164. (Sellon, Martucci, Wenz); Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27607. (Marcellin-Little); Massachusetts Veterinary Referral Hospital, 20 Cabot Rd, Woburn, MA 01801. (Powers); Institute for Work and Health, 481 University Ave, Ste 800, Toronto, ON M5G 2E9 Canada. (Cullen)

Dr. Marcellin-Little’s present address is Department of Surgical and Radiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California–Davis, Davis, CA 95616.

Address correspondence to Dr. Sellon (

OBJECTIVE To identify potential risk factors for digit injuries in dogs training and competing in agility events.

DESIGN Internet-based, retrospective, cross-sectional survey.

ANIMALS 1,081 dogs training or competing in agility events.

PROCEDURES Data were collected for eligible animals via retrospective surveys distributed electronically to handlers of dogs participating in agility-related activities. Variables evaluated included demographic (handlers) and signalment (dogs) information, physical characteristics of dogs, and injury characteristics. A separate survey of dogs competing in similar agility-related activities but without digit injuries was also administered. Multivariable logistic regression was used to develop a model for assessment of risk factors.

RESULTS Data were collected from 207 agility dogs with digit injuries and 874 agility dogs without digit injuries. Factors associated with significantly increased odds of injury included Border Collie breed (OR, 2.3; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.5 to 3.3), long nails (OR, 2.4; 95% CI, 1.3 to 4.5), absence of front dewclaws (OR, 1.9; 95% CI, 1.3 to 2.6), and greater weight-to-height ratio (OR, 1.5; 95% CI, 1.1 to 2.0). Odds of injury decreased with increasing age of the dog (OR, 0.8; 95% CI, 0.76 to 0.86).

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results should be cautiously interpreted because of potential respondent and recall bias and lack of review of medical records. Nevertheless, results suggested that retaining healthy dewclaws, maintaining lean body mass, and trimming nails short for training and competition may decrease the likelihood of digit injuries. Research to investigate training practices, obstacle construction specifcations, and surface considerations for dogs competing in agility activities is indicated.

Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy (BPH)

Submitted and written by CCLRC member Autumn Davidson DVM

What is the prostate?

The prostate is the only accessory sex gland in the male dog.  The gland secretes a fluid that aids in the transport of sperm.  It is located near the base of the bladder, just below the colon and surrounds the urethra.  Your veterinarian is able to feel the prostate to assess its size, symmetry and texture while performing a rectal examination on your pet.

What is benign prostatic hypertrophy?

This is a condition that is commonly seen in older dogs.  The cells in the prostate get larger and multiply.  They may also form small pockets of fluid within the gland.    Due to its association with hormones secreted by the testes, this condition is only seen in intact male dogs.  BPH is a natural consequence of aging and many dogs have it without showing any clinical problems.

How will I know if my pet has this condition?

Blood in the urine, a bloody discharge from the penis that is not associated with urination, straining to defecate, producing ribbon-like stools or infertility may be signs that your pet has prostatic disease.  Benign prostatic hyperplasia usually does not cause straining, small stools or pain.  Your veterinarian will be able to perform a rectal examination and assess whether the prostate is enlarged.  Radiographs may also indicate that the prostate is enlarged.  An ultrasonographic examination and additional tests such as a urine culture, semen evaluation, or prostatic aspirate, will give further information as to whether the enlarged prostate appears to be due to some other disease process such as infection or cancer.  Fluid from the prostate can be attained and assessed under the microscope to help rule out other causes of prostatic enlargement.  

What is the treatment?

The permanent treatment for this disease is castration.  Studies have shown that the size of the prostate decreases 70% nine weeks post castration.  If castration is not an option, there are some medical ways to manage the disease.  However, many of these medications have significant side effects and are not permanent solutions or nearly as effective at decreasing the size of the prostate.  Finasteride, a human drug for prostatic enlargement, is one effective treatment that does not impact fertility.



Events for Everyone

There are many events on the club calendar for the first half of 2016. Specialties, Hunt Tests, etc. Scheduling for our annual WC/WCX is in progress. If you know about something else that I should add, please let me know. We want to have something for everyone.

New CCLRC Website

We are excited to announce the launch of our new CCLRC website.  The fresh design brings a new user experience with some modern technology conveniences.

There were several goals with the new design:

  • Modern look
  • User Friendly Interface
  • Distributed Web Maintenance/Authoring to allow more people to update content
  • Mobile friendly
  • Online store integration to allow payment for membership renewal, Club Spirit-wear, etc
  • Easy to use event calendar
  • Members only section for content restricted to club members
  • Integration with social media

With the new website, we are also launching a new public facing Facebook Page and a Twitter feed.   These will act as extensions of the website to promote the club to the public.

The original Facebook Group will continue to be used as it has been for discussion purposes.

The website has new content and we have ideas for additional content to be added soon.

Club members will need to register in order to see the restricted content.

We hope you enjoy the new website.  If you experience any issues, please send an email to our web administrator.