Clinical Investigation Center

Genetic determinants of hyperlipidemia in Miniature Schnauzers


Current Status:  Active and enrolling.

Principal Investigator: Eva Furrow, VMD, PhD, Dipl ACVIM

Contact: Dr. Eva Furrow  Phone: 612-625-7493 Email:

Primary/familial hyperlipidemia, high blood lipid levels, is a common problem in Miniature Schnauzers, affecting more than 75% of the breed by age 10. The disorder has been associated with pancreatitis, gall bladder mucoceles, lipid deposits in the eyes, and neurological abnormalities in dogs. We are investigating genetic risk factors for hyperlipidemia. We recently identified a mutation in a major lipid metabolism gene. Our goal is to determine if this mutation increases risk for hyperlipidemia and/or has other negative consequences. We also aim to discover additional mutations that contribute to hyperlipidemia in the breed. Ultimately, we hope to obtain information that will aid in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of the disease.

We are seeking purebred Miniature Schnauzers that are at least 8 years of age. They cannot have hypothyroidism, diabetes mellitus, Addison's disease or Cushing's disease, though we may be interesting in recruiting your dog for a different study if one of these conditions is present. They also cannot be on steroid medications (prednisone, prednisolone, methylprednisolone, dexamethasone, etc). Dogs will need to be fasted on the morning of the appointment.

All study participants will receive a thorough health screening consisting of a biochemistry panel, complete blood count, triglyceride (lipid) level, thyroid level, urinalysis, and urinary protein determination. There is also $50 compensation per dog for participating in the study. Study enrollment is anticipated to run from January - December 2015.

If you are interested in the study, please contact Dr. Furrow at 612-625-6222 or