2447: Genetic Determinants of Susceptibility to Hypothyroid Disease in Dogs

Grant Status: Closed

Grant Amount: $60,473
Dr. George Happ, PhD; University of Alaska, Fairbanks
October 1, 2003 - September 30, 2004
Sponsor(s): Medallion Rottweiler Club, Rottweiler Health Foundation
Breed(s): -All Dogs
Research Program Area: Prevention

Project Summary

Canine hypothyroid disease is very similar to Hashimoto's disease in humans, which has been shown to be associated with human MHC genes. This study proposed to determine if hypothyroid dogs has 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. There is a clear genetic component to canine hypothyroid disease, and a number of breeds are thought to be more susceptible. This study generated data on the incidence of hypothyroidism in a variety of breeds. Identified in which breeds (Dobermans, Rhodesian Ridgebacks and English Setters) that a higher frequency of the DLA-DQAI *00101 allele was associated with hypothyroidism. The increase in risk was estimated as 1.97.


- Kennedy LJ, Quarmby S, Happ GM, et al. Association of canine hypothyroidism with a common major histocompatibility complex DLA class II allele. Tissue Antigens 2006;68:82-86. - Kennedy LJ, Huson HJ, Leonard J, et al. Association of hypothyroid disea

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