By: Patti Strand  Date: 01/9/2012 Category: | Canine Issues |

Two institutions funded by the AKC Canine Health Foundation are in need of samples to continue their research. If you have two or more dogs in a family in which a clinical diagnosis has been made for the following diseases, you can help.

Samples needed for epilepsy, hip dysplasia and skin disease research

The University of Michigan needs samples from nuclear families (parents and/or related offspring) for epilepsy and hip dysplasia research. Breeds for which samples are being sought for epilepsy include Australian Shepherd, Beagle, Collie, Dalmatian, English Springer Spaniel, Irish Setter, Shetland Sheepdog, and Viszla.

Breeds for which samples are needed for hip dysplasia include Airedale Terrier, Alaskan Malamute, Bernese Mountain Dog, German Shepherd Dog, Golden Retriever, Labrador Retriever, Mastiff, Newfoundland, Old English Sheepdog, Portuguese Water Dog, Rottweiler, and Samoyed.

Contact Dr. George Brewer at 734-669-8440 for information.

The University of Missiouri needs samples from Keeshonden and Pomeranians for a skin disease called adult onset alopecia. This condition is characterized by a loss of hair on the back of the legs, followed by hyperpigmentation and the skin turning dark. Hair loss can also progress over the body. Pedigrees and samples from nucluear families are needed to continue this research.

For more information contact Dr. Gary Johnson at 573-882-6723.

DNA samples needed at UC-Davis

The Veterinary Genetics Laboratory at the University of California-Davis is presently involved in an ongoing genetics research project funded by the AKC Canine Health Foundation. Chow Chows, Keeshonden, Jack Russell Terriers, Papillons, Pugs are needed for the study.

The primary goal of this project is to establish panels of microsatellite markers which are in total representative of the 39 linkage groups (one X and 38 autosomal chromosomes) of the canine genome. The secondary intent of this project is to determine allele frequencies for each of 21 breeds, representing at least three breeds from each of the seven AKC recognized groups. The database for each breed will consist of a minimum of 50 dogs unrelated within the first generation.

Currently, DNA samples are still needed from the above recognized breeds of dogs. Sampling is simple and harmless, requiring only a cheek swab of your dog. Any information associated with the samples is held in the strictest confidence and is solely used to determine the genetic profile of the breed as a whole. Animals in this study are not analyzed individually and no data will be available on specific dogs. Your breed can directly benefit by participating in this research project.

Once a genetic profile of your breed exists, researchers will be in a position to begin looking for markers linked to a specific disorder. At that point, they would simply need pedigrees to confirm that the trait is of genetic origin and to collect additional DNA from affected dogs. For more information or to request a free DNA sampling kit, visit the web page of the Veterinary Genetics Lab at: or e-mail: or call 530-752-8312.


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