Breeds: Alaskan Malamute, Keeshond, Pomeranians, other breeds

Researchers at the University of Missouri, Columbia are seeking samples from dogs with the above disorder as well as from relatives of affected dogs. The preferred sample is blood in an EDTA tube. For sampling instructions and forms, see our Website -- Click on any project link, then on SAMPLE SUBMISSION.

For additional information, contact:

Liz Hansen

University of Missouri

College of Veterinary Medicine

Columbia, MO 65211

Phone: (573) 884-3712


Breeds: All Breeds

Autoimmune diseases cause significant amounts of mortality and debilitating disease in dogs. In humans many autoimmune diseases occur only in individuals expressing one of the few predisposing histocompatibility genes. For example, all cases of type I diabetes in humans are associated with only a few of the many allelic forms of class II histocompatibility genes. Consequently, if the frequencies of these few alleles were reduced by half, the incidence of diabetes would be reduced by half. Here we propose to characterize histocompatibility susceptibility alleles for three major, heritable canine autoimmune diseases - diabetes, immune-mediated thyroiditis and immune-mediated hemolytic anemia. If any of these three debilitating (or lethal) autoimmune diseases have a restricted number of susceptibility alleles it will allow: (1) development of diagnostic tests for identifying individuals at risk for prophylactic therapy and research and (2) reducing the incidence of the disease by reducing the breeding of individuals carrying the predisposing histocompatibility alleles. For each of the three autoimmune diseases, we propose to collect DNA samples from approximately 100 purebred dogs diagnosed with the disease. Histocompatibility genes will be cloned and sequenced for each dog for a total of approximately 1100 sequences. Histocompatibility alleles will be tested for significant associations with each of the autoimmune diseases.

We need samples from purebred dogs that have confirmed diagnosis of one of these three autoimmune diseases: diabetes, immune-mediated thyroiditis or immune-mediated hemolytic anemia. If your dog has been diagnosed with one of these three diseases please take a consent/diagnosis form (or print one from our website: Fill it out completely, including the diagnosis criteria signed by your veterinarian and return to us. We will then send you a DNA collection kit, which only requires cheek swabbing your dog and returning the swabs to us in a pre-stamped envelope.

University of Alaska, Fairbanks (University) Completed Grant No: 2447

University of Alaska, Fairbanks (University) Completed Grant No: 2447:

Breed(s): All (non-specified), Bulldog, Flat-Coated Retriever, Golden Retriever

Sponsor(s): American Boxer Charitable Foundation, American Miniature Schnauzer Club, Inc., American Spaniel Club Health Foundation, Bull Terrier Welfare Foundation, Bulldog Club of America Charitable Health Fund, Inc., Collie Health Foundation, Flat-Coated Retriever Foundation, Golden Retriever Foundation, Great Dane Club of America, Rhodesian Ridgeback Club of the United States, Scottish Terrier Club of America Health Trust Fund


George Happ, PhD


Canine hypothyroid disease is very similar to Hashimoto's disease in humans, which has been shown to be associated with human MHC genes. If we can show in hypothyroid dogs a similar association with canine MHC genes, these could provide useful genetic markers for selective breeding to reduce disease incidence in dogs. Hypothyroid disease is the most common endocrinopathy of dogs, and represents a significant veterinary problem. Definitive diagnosis is difficult since good clinical diagnostic tests are not available. The disease is characterized by low levels of thyroid hormones, but these may result from other diseases and it appears that primary hypothyroid disease is characterized by the presence of autoantibodies to thyroglobulin. It is thought that only 50 percent of dogs with hypothyroid disease have these autoantibodies. We have recently developed an assay to measure thyroglobulin autoantibodies, which will allow us to identify animals with primary disease. There is a clear genetic component to canine hypothyroid disease, and a number of breeds are thought to be more susceptible. The proposed study could lead to a better understanding of this condition and offer new approaches to its reduction in certain breeds.

University of Pennsylvania (University) Completed Grant No: 2458:

Molecular Genetic Characterization Breed(s):  Bulldog, Bullmastiff, Mastiff, Scottish DeerhoundDisease(s): Kidney Disease

Sponsor(s): American Bullmastiff Association, Bulldog Club of America Charitable Health Fund, Inc., Mastiff Club of America, Scottish Deerhound Club of America


Paula S. Henthorn, PhD

Abstract:  Cystinuria is an inherited disease that has been long recognized in dogs and has been documented in nearly 70 breeds. Our previous studies made significant progress with a form of cystinuria that is clinically manifested at an early age such that we can go from seeing an affected animal in the clinic to a DNA-based test in a matter of weeks. We now have access to sufficient pedigrees to make similar progress for cystinuria that presents at a later age, and probably represents a more common form of the disease. Genetic testing is even more important for a disease that has a later age of onset.

University of Tennessee (University) Pending Grant No: 726-A:

Pharmacokmetics of Topically Applied Ciprofloxacin in Canine Tears  Breed(s): All (non-specified), Bulldog, French Bulldog, Lhasa Apso, Pekingese, Pug, Shih Tzu

Disease(s): Eye Disease

Researcher(s): Diane Hendrix, DVM

Abstract: Ulcerative keratitis (corneal ulceration) occurs very commonly in dogs. Corneal ulcers usually occur secondary to trauma, but may also occur secondary to lack of tear production, eyelid abnormalities or nerve damage. While corneal ulcers occur in all breeds of dogs, brachycephalic breeds such as Pekingese, Lhasa Apsos and Shih Tzus, have a higher incidence of ulceration. Additionally, corneal ulcers in brachycephalic breeds are more likely to become infected than ulcers in mesocephalic or dolicocephalic breeds. The anatomy of brachycephalic dogs with prominent, frontally placed globes leads to corneal exposure. Often concurrent eyelid abnormalities, abnormally low tear production, and increased tear evaporation slow healing, increasing the chances of corneal invasion by bacteria. Infected corneal ulcers can develop rapid stromal dissolution leading to globe perforation and iris prolapse. When this occurs surgery is required to restore globe integrity, but even with prompt surgical intervention, blindness may still occur. Appropriate antibiotic usage is paramount in the prophylactic treatment of non-infected ulcers and for the treatment of infected ulcers where rapid killing of the bacteria helps prevent worsening of the ulcer. No studies have been done to evaluate the pharmacokinetics of ophthalmic antibiotics in the tear film of dogs. Studies in normal humans, rabbits, and horses have shown that ciprofloxacin maintains a concentration greater than the MIC for most bacteria longer than 4 hours. We would like to evaluate the pharmacokinetics in the tear film of normal mesocephalic and brachycephalic dogs.

Active Grant No: 639:

Cystinuria    Breed(s): Bulldog, Bullmastiff, Cardigan Welsh Corgi, Dachshund, German Shorthaired Pointer, Irish Setter, Mastiff, Parson Russell Terrier, Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Saluki, Shih Tzu

Disease(s): Kidney Disease

Sponsor(s): American Shih Tzu Club, Inc., Bulldog Club of America Charitable Health Fund, Inc., Cardigan Welsh Corgi Club of America, Dr. William Newman, Mastiff Club of America

Researcher(s): Paula S. Henthorn, PhD

Abstract: Cystinuria is an inherited disorder of amino acid transport in dog, man and other animals and has been documented in over 60 breeds of dog. In humans, mutations in the SLC3A1 and SLC719 genes are found in affected individuals. While human cystinuria was originally thought to be inherited as an autosomal recessive trait, more complex inheritance patterns, and their molecular origins, are currently being elucidated. Based on previous work, which developed tests to detect dystinuric, carrier and normal Newfoundlands and Labrador Retrievers, researchers recently identified a third mutant allele in the SLC3A1 gene that may lead to stone formation when present in only a single copy, and they also hypothesized a more complex etiology for cystinuria in breeds where stone formation occurs later in life. Researchers will focus efforts on experiments that will apply the new information concerning human cystinuria to the canine disease.

Washington State University (University) Completed Grant No: 2416:

Canine Pyometra    Breed(s):All (non-specified), Bulldog

Disease(s): Reproduction

Sponsor(s): Bulldog Club of America Charitable Health Fund, Inc., Chow Chow Club, Inc., English Setter Association of America

Researcher(s): Boel Fransson, DVM, MS

Abstract: Early recognition and aggressive treatment of the Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (SIRS) is imperative to avoid a fatal outcome. SIRS is not a disease in itself but is considered as the overwhelming response of the body to a cascade of inflammatory mediators, released after major trauma, pancreatitis, snake bite, heat stroke or bacterial infection of different organs. Pyometra, a common disease in intact female dogs, is considered associated with SIRS. Our cooperation with the Swedish University of Agricultural Science in Sweden, where female dogs are not routinely spayed, gives us an unique opportunity to receive large numbers of samples from dogs with pyometra. Blood samples from 50 dogs have been successfully transported to WSU. Detection of SIRS today is limited to recognition of clinical criteria, defined for SIRS, such as temperature, heart rate, and white blood cell count, but these criteria are not very specific. The proposed study will test if cytokine and acute phase protein levels in the blood are more specific detectors of SIRS than clinical criteria, which could lead to a more accurate and rapid detection of this syndrome. Rapid recognition would enable institution of aggressive treatment earlier in the disease, likely leading to reduced suffering and mortality of these dogs.