Research

Ongoing Research Studies

CATARACTS

The Animal Health Trust in the UK has identified a gene responsible for most Aussie cataracts and will soon develop a screening test. They are now trying to determine the reason for the considerable variation in age of onset and progression of our hereditary cataracts and are seeking samples and data on affected dogs. ASHGI is coordinating sample submission in North America and Australia.
Contact: ASHGI ca@ashgi.org
559 485-2136
European contacts here: http://www.ashgi.org/research.htm

HYPOTHYROIDISM AND OWNER-DIRECTED AGGRESSION

This project’s goal is to establish whether thyroid replacement treatment is helpful in treating behaviour problems. They need dogs exhibiting owner-directed aggression and may provide testing if thyroid status is unknown.
Contact: Nicole Cottam
Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine
508 887-4802
Nicole.cottam@tufts.edu

HYALOID ARTERIES

This project seeks to determine if these are hereditary and why a few of them will be associated with cataracts.
Contact: Kylie Munyard, PhD
Curtin University of Technology, Australia
K.Munyard@exchange.curtin.edu.au

EPILEPSY

Canine Epilepsy Network – The goal of this project is to develop a screening DNA test for the disease.
Special needs:
1. Unaffected full siblings and parents of previously-submitted affected dogs.
2. Completed/updated seizure surveys on all affected dogs. Survey is on website (below) enter at bottom of Sample Submission page.
University of Missouri, Liz Hansen
573 884-3712
hansenl@missouri.edu
www.canine-epilepsy.net

EFFECTS OF MDR1 ON ANTI-SEIZURE MED EFFECTIVENESS

The study’s goal is to determine whether the MDR1 mutation makes epileptic dogs less responsive to seizure control medications. Samples (cheek swabs and a blood sample) needed from purebred Australian Shepherds with epilepsy who are currently being treated with anti-seizure medications.
Contact: Julie Osborne, Study Coordinator
Julie_Osborne@ncsu.edu
919-513-6812

NEURONAL CEROID LIPOFUSCINOSIS (NCL)

NCL is a lethal neurological disease. Symptoms can include vision problems, loss of coordination, loss of training, personality changes (e.g. increased aggressiveness), movement problems (e.g. loss of ability to jump up onto an elevated surface or falling over), and seizures. They are interested in Aussies that are exhibiting any of these symptoms.
http://www.caninegeneticdiseases.net/CL_site/basicCL.htm
Contact: Liz Hansen
573 884-3712
hansenl@missouri.edu

CANINE BEHAVIOURAL GENETICS

The study is currently focusing on problem behaviours with long-term goals of determining the genetic basis for a wide variety of canine behaviours. Understanding the genetics of these traits can aid breeders in the proper rearing, training and homing of puppies and dogs. They are collecting data via questionnaires and DNA cheek swabs. They would
especially like samples from family groups where several members exhibit the same behavioural trait but some do not. Sound shyness would be a trait of this type common in Aussies.
http://psych.ucsf.edu/k9behavioralgenetics/
Contact Maria Bautista
K9BehavioralGenetics@lppi.ucsf.edu
415-476-7898
Or use automated kit order system:
http://psych.ucsf.edu/k9behavioralgenetics/kits.html