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AKCCHF grant #305

Samoyed enrollment for this study is closed.  SCARF wishes to thank the efforts of many Samoyed owners for contributing to this research study.  We are now anxiously awaiting the results of this research to share with you.


Autoimmune Disease:  Histocompatibility Alleles Conferring Susceptibility to Canine Diabetes, Immune-Mediated Thyroiditis and Immune-Mediated Hemolytic Anemia

Alaskan Malamute Club of America, Inc., American Belgian Tervuren Club, Inc., American German Shepherd Dog Charitable Foundation, American Spaniel Club Health Foundation, Australian Terrier Club of America, Borzoi Club of America, French Bulldog Club of America Rescue League, Golden Retriever Foundation, Health & Rescue Foundation of the Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen Club of America, Irish Wolfhound Club of America, Inc., Keeshond Club of America, Kerry Blue Terrier Foundation, Pekingese Charitable Foundation, Plum Creek Kennel Club of Colorado, Rottweiler Health Foundation, Samoyed Club of America Education & Research Foundation, Westie Foundation of America, Inc.

Wayne Potts, PhD, University of Utah

If your animal is a potential candidate (carefully read the participation criteria below), please print out a copy of the printerconsent form, have it filled out by your veterinarian and returned to:   

Wayne Potts Canine Health Study
Department of Biology
University of Utah
257 South 1400 East
Salt Lake City, Utah 84112

The investigator will review your consent form, and if your dog is deemed qualified for participation in this study, you will be sent a home DNA sample collection kit.  Click here for more information about DNA sample collection. 

printerPrint out a copy of a letter to take to your veterinarian explaining the participation criteria as shown below.

Note: You will need Adobe Reader to view & print our .pdf files (FREE download).

Your dog must be purebred and have a positive diagnosis for one of the following diseases:
Immune mediated hemolytic anemia:

Your dog must test positive for the disease for EACH of the following three tests:

  • Auto Agglutination of RBC
  • Direct Coomb’s Test
  • Spherocytosis of RBC
Immune mediated thyroiditis:

Your dog must be positive for the disease state for BOTH tests.

  • Low Total/Free T4 by ED; positive result is indicated by a LOW value
  • Thyroglobulin auto-antibodies

It is possible that your dog has been diagnosed with thyroiditis with out having been tested for thyroglobulin auto-antibodies. The presence of thyroglobulin auto-antibodies is the definitive test for immune mediated thyroiditis. Because this disease can have multiple causes, for the purposes of this study we can only accept participants that have tested positive for thyroglobulin auto-antibodies; indicating that the disease is immune mediated.

Diabetes: Your dog should have a high fasting blood sugar. The normal range for this test is 70-120μg/ml, values of 110 – 120 are considered borderline. To participate in this study your dog must have a fasting blood sugar measurement in excess of 120μg/ml.

Abstract from the AKCCHF website:
"Autoimmune diseases cause significant amounts of mortality and debilitating disease in dogs. In humans many autoimmune diseases occur only in individuals expressing one of the few predisposing histocompatibility genes. For example, all cases of type I diabetes in humans are associated with only a few of the many alleleic forms of class II histocompatibility genes. Consequently, if the frequencies of these few alleles were reduced by half, the incidence of diabetes would be reduced by half. Here we propose to characterize histocompatibility susceptibility alleles for three major, heritable canine autoimmune diseases - diabetes, immune-mediated thyroiditis and immune-mediated hemolytic anemia. If any of these three debilitating (or lethal) autoimmune diseases have a restricted number of susceptibility alleles it will allow: (1) development of diagnostic tests for identifying individuals at risk for prophylactic therapy and research and (2) reduction of he incidence of the disease by selective breeding of individuals carrying the predisposing histocompatibility alleles. For each of the three autoimmune diseases, we propose to collect DNA samples from approximately 100 purebred dogs diagnosed with the disease. Histocompatibility genes will be cloned and sequenced for each dog for a total of approximately 1100 sequences. Histocompatiility alleles will be tested for significant associations with each of the autoimmune diseases."





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