Addison’s disease (also referred to as primary hypoadrenocorticism) is an immune-mediated disease in dogs and humans in which the body attacks the outer layer of the adrenal glands, which are small organs near the kidneys. This leads to a deficiency in key hormones (cortisol and aldosterone) which regulate responses to stress and water/electrolyte balance. Dogs often present with waxing and waning gastrointestinal signs, a finicky appetite, or generalized lethargy. In some cases, dogs present to veterinarians in a shock state, which can be life-threatening if the consequences of Addison’s disease are not recognized promptly and treated. Therapy for Addison’s disease is available, but requires lifelong commitment by owners with hormone replacement therapy (typically a monthly injection and daily pills).
Dr. Steven Friedenberg and the Canine Genetics Laboratory at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine are working to identify gene mutations responsible for the development of Addison’s disease in dogs. Our goal is to use this research to better understand the disease mechanism and disease triggers, and also to develop a test that can help breeders decrease the incidence of the disease.
- We are currently recruiting both affected and unaffected English Cocker Spaniels and Standard Poodles
- We are also actively recruiting affected dogs of any breed, but are particularly interested in samples from affected Labradoodles and Goldendoodles.
Requirements to participate
Thank you very much for your interest in our genetic study – we genuinely appreciate your assistance with this important research!