266: Canine Epilepsy: Mapping the Genes and Developing a Linkage Test (Continuing Studies)

Grant Status: Closed

Grant Amount: $108,000
Dr. James R. Mickelson, PhD, University of Minnesota
October 1, 2004 - September 30, 2007
Sponsor(s): American German Shepherd Dog Charitable Foundation, Inc., German Shepherd Dog Club of America
Breed(s): Keeshond, Otterhound, Beagle, English Springer Spaniel, Border Collie, Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, Samoyed, Welsh Springer Spaniel, Irish Setter, Vizsla
Research Program Area: Prevention

Abstract

We seek to continue our molecular genetic studies to develop a screening linkage test for predicting epilepsy in Beagles, English Springer Spaniels, and Vizslas and to institute new studies in Welsh Springer Spaniels, Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs, Irish Setters, Otterhounds, Samoyeds and Keeshonden. Preliminary results of our genetic marker studies indicate that we will be able to find linked markers and the chromosomal segment containing the epilepsy gene given sufficiently large and informative pedigrees. The late age of onset of seizures in dogs with epilepsy means that a dog has often already been bred before it is diagnosed as affected. In some individuals, seizures are well controlled with anticonvulsant medications. However, a significant number of dogs have ""refractory"" seizures needing high doses of medications to achieve control or the severity of seizures may be such that the owner elects to have the dog euthanized. Our genome mapping approach to identifying the regions of the canine genome containing the defective genes will ultimately lead to genetic tests for epilepsy that would allow breeders to screen potential breeding animals for this common, frustrating, and potentially devastating disorder.

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