2015: Development of a Genetic Marker for Idiopathic Epilepsy in the Belgian Tervuren and Belgian Sheepdog

Grant Status: Closed

Grant Amount: $40,000
Anita M. Oberbauer, PhD; University of California, Davis
December 4, 2000 - December 31, 2002

Sponsor(s): Cardigan Welsh Corgi Club of America, Mastiff Club of America

Breed(s): Belgian Tervuren, Belgian Sheepdog
Research Program Area: Epilepsy Initiative
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Idiopathic epilepsy affects nearly 30 different dog breeds and in a 1999 survey is considered one of the top canine health issues identified by the AKC Parent Clubs. Preliminary studies in the Belgian Tervuren indicates that although this is a heritable disorder governed by many genes, there exists a single gene of very large effect on the incidence of epilepsy. The epileptic condition influenced by this particular gene is inherited as an autosomal recessive. The specific objective of the project is to develop a genetic marker associated with that locus in the Belgian Tervuren by utilizing the emerging canine genetic map. Such a genetic marker will permit the identification of carriers of epilepsy in Belgian Tervuren, and possible other breeds as well, with the end result that breeders can make informed health-based breeding decision.


Belanger, J. M., Heinonen, T., Famula, T. R., Mandigers, P. J. J., Leegwater, P. A., Hytönen, M. K., Lohi, H., & Oberbauer, A. M. (2022). Validation of a Chromosome 14 Risk Haplotype for Idiopathic Epilepsy in the Belgian Shepherd Dog Found to Be Associated with an Insertion in the RAPGEF5 Gene. Genes, 13(7), 1124. https://doi.org/10.3390/genes13071124

Belanger, J. M., Famula, T. R., Gershony, L. C., Palij, M. K., & Oberbauer, A. M. (2020). Genome-wide association analysis of idiopathic epilepsy in the Belgian Shepherd. Canine Medicine and Genetics, 7(1), 12. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40575-020-00091-x

Oberbauer, A. M. (2003). The Genetics of Epilepsy in the Belgian Tervuren and Sheepdog. Journal of Heredity, 94(1), 57–63. https://doi.org/10.1093/jhered/esg010

Oberbauer, Anita M., Belanger, J. M., Grossman, D. I., Regan, K. R., & Famula, T. R. (2010). Genome-wide linkage scan for loci associated with epilepsy in Belgian Shepherd Dogs. BMC Genetics, 11, 35. https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2156-11-35

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