02187-MOU: Investigating Symmetrical Lupoid Onychodystrophy in Bearded Collies

Grant Status: Closed

Grant Amount: $9,072
Anita M. Oberbauer, PhD; University of California, Davis
July 1, 2015 - June 30, 2016

Sponsor(s): BEACON for Health

Breed(s): Bearded Collie
Research Program Area: Immunology and Infectious Disease
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Symmetrical lupoid onychodystrophy (SLO) is a chronic problem of the toenails that is seen in a number of dog breeds and is believed to be autoimmune in origin. It is the second most common autoimmune disease in the Bearded Collies as per the Bearded Collie BeaCon's Open Health Registry: approximately 3.5% of dogs with information posted are reported as having the condition and of those, 88% were diagnosed before the age of 8 years. Affected dogs display loose nails, bleeding at the nail beds, loss of nails, splitting nails, and significant pain. The condition is difficult to treat showing variable response to treatment. In all cases the nails must be removed when the condition first presents. Some dogs show complete recovery (rare) whereas others require sustained treatment with immune modulators, whereas others show remission followed by recurrence with nails needing to be removed again. The precise cause of the condition remains unclear with numerous factors potentiating expression of the disease although a genetic component is strongly suspected. In this study, a genome wide association study will be used to identify genetic regions that underlie SLO in the Bearded Collie. The ultimate goal is to develop diagnostic tools to aid in reducing the incidence of SLO through genetic testing.

Funding for the research is provided through the efforts and generosity of the Bearded Collie Foundation for Health. The AKC Canine Health Foundation supports the funding of this effort and will oversee administration of funds and scientific progress reporting.


Gershony, L. C., Belanger, J. M., Hytönen, M. K., Lohi, H., & Oberbauer, A. M. (2021). Whole Genome Sequencing Reveals Multiple Linked Genetic Variants on Canine Chromosome 12 Associated with Risk for Symmetrical Lupoid Onychodystrophy (SLO) in the Bearded Collie. Genes, 12(8), 1265. https://doi.org/10.3390/genes12081265

Gershony, L. C., Belanger, J. M., Hytönen, M. K., Lohi, H., Famula, T. R., & Oberbauer, A. M. (2020). Genetic characterization of Addison’s disease in Bearded Collies. BMC Genomics, 21(1), 833. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12864-020-07243-0

Gershony, L. C., Belanger, J. M., Short, A. D., Le, M., Hytönen, M. K., Lohi, H., … Oberbauer, A. M. (2019). DLA class II risk haplotypes for autoimmune diseases in the bearded collie offer insight to autoimmunity signatures across dog breeds. Canine Genetics and Epidemiology, 6(1), 2. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40575-019-0070-7

Gershony, L. C., Belanger, J. M., Hytönen, M. K., Lohi, H., & Oberbauer, A. M. (2019). Novel Locus Associated with Symmetrical Lupoid Onychodystrophy in the Bearded Collie. Genes, 10(9), 635. doi.org/10.3390/genes10090635

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