00438-A: Collection of Baseline Data for the Australian Cattle Dog Project 2020

Grant Status: Closed

Grant Amount: $3,266
William Ballard, PhD; Iowa State University
October 1, 2004 - September 30, 2005

Sponsor(s): Border Collie Society of America, English Springer Spaniel Field Trial Association Foundation, Epil K-9 Foundation, Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Club of America, Inc., Irish Setter Club of America Foundation, Keeshond Club of America, Otterhound Club of America, San Joaquin Kennel Club, Vizsla Club of America Welfare Foundation, Welsh Springer Spaniel Club of America

Breed(s): Australian Cattle Dog
Research Program Area: Ophthalmology
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In a unique and innovative collaboration this team seeks to develop a set of teaching tools for University of Iowa students. The core of this innovation is the use of domestic dogs to study inheritable diseases and genetic variation within species. A focus of the pioneering project is to study a common eye disease of Australian Cattle Dogs (ACD). Over 22 percent of ACD's have reduced vision late in life due to progressive rod-cone degeneration. As the breed was developed to herd cattle and act as watchdogs over their herd the loss of vision is highly detrimental to their job as a breed. The long-term goal of the study is to develop a web-based tool to test alternate strategies for selective removal of the eye disease from the breed. These alternate strategies can then be discussed in the classroom and debated by members of the ACD community in America and worldwide. The immediate goal is to learn whether the disease is associated with any morphological, behavioral or genetic traits of interest. The investigators will develop educational materials for teaching undergraduate students and educating dog breeders and owners.

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