To ensure the safety and welfare of our dogs given the recent Canine Influenza outbreak in the U.S., The Canadian Kennel Club recommends that all judges at CKC events ask exhibitors to open the dog's mouth for examination. We advise Judges who choose to open a dog's mouth for examination to sanitize their hands when possible.
Such precautions are being advised by The American Kennel Club, following an increase in reported cases of Canine Influenza in the U.S. In a recently released notice to its Conformation Judges, Tim Thomas, Director, Dog Show Judges at the AKC, offered direction on limiting its spread:
As you may be aware, there has been a recent increase in reported cases of Canine Influenza. In consideration of this fact, and for the safety and welfare of our dogs, Judging Operations strongly advises that all judges should ask the exhibitor to show the bite/open the mouth when conducting oral exams.
This recommendation is consistent with information included in The Rules, Policies and Guidelines for Conformation Dog Show Judges under Evaluating a Dog’s Mouth (page 13), “Many exhibitors prefer to open their dog’s mouth themselves for examination. However, you have the authority to personally open the dog’s mouth.”
We do encourage judge’s as a general practice to ask exhibitors to open the mouth. In addition to sanitary reasons; the exhibitor is familiar with the dog resulting in a more efficient and pleasant experience. If necessary, as the judge you do have the authority to personally open the dog’s mouth. If it does become necessary or you elect to conduct the oral exam yourself, we do advise that you sanitize your hands after examining each dog.
While CKC remains concerned about the Canine Influenza virus, the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association
confirms that there is no reported outbreak of the virus in Canada at this time.
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