CHFlogoGrant Amount: $119,268
Dr. Karin Allenspach, DVM PhD, Royal Veterinary College, University of London
October 1, 2014 - December 31, 2015
Sponsor(s): American Shih Tzu Club, Inc., Chow Chow Club, Inc., Collie Health Foundation, English Setter Association of America, Inc., Gordon Setter Club of America, Inc., Great Pyrenees Club of America, National Shiba Club of America, Portuguese Water Dog Foundation, Tibetan Terrier Club of America/Tibetan Terrier Health & Welfare Foundation, Treeing Walker Breeders & Fanciers Association, Versatility in Poodles, Inc.
Breed(s): German Shepherd Dog
Research Program Area: Immunology and Infectious Disease

Abstract: Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is a group of disorders in which the intestinal tract has become invaded with the dog's own white blood cells leading to inflammation. Over time, this inflammation causes the intestine to become less efficient at absorbing nutrients from digested food and weight loss, and vomiting or diarrhea often result. IBD can be controlled, but not cured. The cause of IBD is poorly understood, but it appears that genetics, diet, intestinal bacteria, and abnormalities of the dog's immune system all play a role. Dr. Allenspach has recently identified genetic markers known as SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms) which she believes contribute to disease susceptibility. Beyond genetics, this research group has mechanistic data showing one of the putative mutations contributes to the inflammation seen in the intestine of dogs with IBD. In order to find all underlying genetic factors that could contribute to disease, they propose to perform a genome-wide association study. This study will lead to the development of new diagnostic and therapeutic avenues for canine IBD as has already been the case in people with IBD.

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agsdcf_logo_smallThe American German Shepherd Dog Charitable Foundation, Inc. is a non-profit organization devoted to funding research projects that improve the health of the German Shepherd Dog.

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