Exploring the Genetics of Steroid Responsive Meningitis Arteritis in A Population of Dogs in North America
Steroid responsive meningitis-arteritis (SRMA) is a common inflammatory neurologic condition of dogs, but there is limited published information on the disease in North American dogs. The overall aim of this AKC Canine Health Foundation (AKC-CHF) funded study was to characterize SRMA in a population of dogs in North America. Specific objectives were to explore whether breed differences exist in the clinical course of disease and response to treatment, and to evaluate pet owners perception of the effect of SRMA on quality of life (QoL).
Study cases were identified through an AKC-CHF survey and a medical records search at NC State Veterinary Hospital. Owners of dogs that met eligibility requirements were asked to complete an online survey developed to assess QoL. Sixty-one dogs were included in the study (29 cases provided by the AKC-CHF survey and 32 cases diagnosed at NC State Veterinary Hospital from 2003-2017). Owners of 52 dogs (85%) completed the online survey. The breeds represented most often included the Golden Retriever, Bernese Mountain Dog, Wirehaired Pointing Griffon, Boxer, and Beagle, with the study population being comprised of 6 or more dogs from each of these breeds. Data analysis was performed to identify any breed differences with respect to onset or severity of clinical signs, findings of CSF analysis, response to treatment, and likehihood of disease relapse after remission. Information obtained from the online survey was used to evaluate if a dogs QoL, as judged by it’s caregiver, changed at different stages of the disease (diagnosis, treatment, remission and relapse).
This study is the first to identify a predisposition to SRMA in Golden Retrievers and Wirehaired Pointing Griffons. Detailed study findings will be presented at the 2018 Forum of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine in June 2018.
Based on these results, the AKC-CHF is supporting an ancillary project to investigate the heritability of SRMA in the dog breeds for which a predisposition was demonstrated, including the Beagle, Bernese Mountain Dog, Boxer, Golden Retriever, and Wirehaired Pointing Griffon. Details of this project and the study consent form can be found in the accompanying document.
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