The onset of seizures in dogs with epilepsy is typically from one to five years of age. The late onset means that often a dog has already been bred before it is known to be affected.
In some individuals, seizures are well controlled with anticonvulsant medications, but a significant number of dogs have “refractory” seizures needing high doses of medications to achieve control. The severity of seizures may be such that the owner elects to have the dog euthanized.
A genetic test for epilepsy would allow breeders to screen potential breeding animals for this common, frustrating, and potentially devastating disorder prior to making breeding decisions.
We propose to use genetic markers to develop a screening test for predicting epilepsy in these breeds. This approach to identifying the region of the canine genome containing the defective gene will ultimately lead to the prediction of candidate genes that can be characterized to define the precise defect responsible.
Breeds we are recruiting
- Australian Shepherds
- English Springer Spaniels
- Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs