A DNA Test for Shaking Puppy Spongiform LeucoEncephaloMyelopathy (SLEM) in Border Terriers
From the time they begin to support weight and attempt to walk, Border Terriers with SLEM show severe tremors predominantly in the hind limbs creating a characteristic side-to-side shaking sometimes called “rump shaking” or “rocking horse” movements. Most affected pups die at a young age or are euthanized due to quality of life issues, although with extensive supportive care, in some rare cases affected pups can improve with time. Collaborating researchers at the University of Missouri, at the Animal Health Trust, and at Wisdom Health have identified the gene harboring the mutation responsible for this disease. The disease is a recessive trait, which means that affected puppies have inherited a defective copy of the gene from the sire and a defective copy of the gene from the dam. The researchers have developed a DNA test that identifies which dogs are genetically normal (with 2 normal copies of the gene), which dogs are otherwise healthy carriers of the disease (with one normal gene copy and one mutant gene copy), and which dogs suffer from SLEM (with 2 mutant gene copies).
Border Terrier breeders wishing to avoid producing affected puppies in future litters can use the DNA test to ensure that at least one member of a breeding pair has a normal DNA test result. In addition, the DNA test can be used to confirm a diagnosis of SLEM.
On Monday October 9th DNA testing will become available from the University of Missouri (http://www.caninegeneticdiseases.net/ and the Animal Health Trust (http://www.ahtdnatesting.co.uk? ). Testing through a partnership with OFA (www.OFA.org , click the “ORDER DNA TESTS” link in left sidebar) should be available after mid-October. Orders placed through OFA use a cheek swab & barcoded card to collect DNA, and testing is done by U of MO. The OFA staff will send a kit and complete instructions for all orders. See the websites for further details.
The key individuals involved in this research include Dr. Ana Kolicheski and Dr. Gary Johnson (University of Missouri), Dr. Louise Burmeister (Animal Health Trust), and Dr. Oliver Forman (Wisdom Health). This research was possible because of support from the AKC Canine Health Foundation with funds from Border Terrier Club of America Donor Advised Fund, Wisdom Health, and the Kennel Club Charitable Trust. In addition, Marg Pough, Health Chair of the Border Terrier Club of America, deserves special credit for providing the researchers with key samples and persistent encouragement.
BT-SLEM test request for samples already submitted to Missouri or to the CHIC DNA Bank These have been tested already and are at a reduced rate. YOU MUST get the Certificate if you wish to have the results in the CHIC Database (once it is up)
SEARCHING OFA to see if your dog is in the DNA Bank
Go to https://www.ofa.org/advanced-search?search=advanced
Enter [your kennel name] as name and click on “Any part of name”
Scroll down to next area click on Terrier Group on Right
Select Border Terrier on Left
Scroll to where you see
RADIOGRAPHIC Evaluations and in that box scroll down to OTHER
Select DNA Databank
At bottom select Begin SEARCH
You can search for individual dogs that do not have [your Kennel] in their names by name or registration # and just see if they have a DNA Bank #.
The BT-SLEM test-new sample is for those who need results before the OFA swab test. You need to submit BLOOD and also send in the CHIC DNA BANK FORM and send in the fee to Missouri as well as the $20 fee to OFA as the sample will then go into the CHIC DNA bank for ongoing research on CECS, epilepsy, and other disorder
The AKC Canine Health Foundation has APPROVED the ACORN grant to search for the cause of Border Terrier leukodystrophy “shaking puppy syndrome”.
Dr Dennis O’Brien and his colleagues have had the Border Terrier samples in the queue to run the SNP chips just waiting for the go-ahead. Now that they have the funds, they can get that done right away. They will also get working on the whole genome sequence analysis of an affected dog. They have improved the computer algorithm that they will use to dig through that data to find the one change that is the culprit.
If they can identify additional affected pups while they are working on this, it will add power to their study and increase their chances of success. Please contact them (They will maintain confidentiality) if you think you have an affected pup. The more samples, the better.
Dennis O’Brien DVM PhD
Professor of Neurology
College of Veterinary Medicine
University of Missouri
Canine Influenza – 2/2016
Canine Influenza and acute respiratory disease (kennel cough) have been in the news in the past two months. If you have a dog that develops signs of any respiratory disease you should isolate it, and other dogs that have been exposed to it. AKC rules prohibit the exhibition, or the presence on the premises of a show, of dogs that exhibit signs of any contagious illness. Have your dog examined by a veterinarian.
ALL exhibitors should follow routine precautions that they would with any human influenza outbreak, or canine parvovirus outbreak. Wash your hands after handling dogs and before handling a different group of dogs.
- Show the judge your dog’s bite. If handling other people’s dogs, wash hands
- Maintain sanitary conditions at your set-up and on the grounds.
- Keep surfaces clean.
- You should pick-up and dispose of dog feces in appropriate containers.
- Wash your hands before handling other dogs.
There was much panic with the H3N8 Canine Influenza outbreak in 2009, yet
there were no cases reported from dogs at shows, or from handlers with strings of dogs. Animal Shelters, boarding kennels and dog daycare centers were the prime reservoir for that strain of the flu, and appear to be so with this strain. It is believed that the source may have originated from rescue dogs imported from Korea, and the virus then circulated in the US shelters and among rescue dogs in transit.
New Eye Certification Registry!
Visit the OFA website www.ofa.org and find out about the new eye registry (ECR). The site explains what it is and how it relates to CERF. Since the new one is the one supported by ACVO (American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists), ECR is likely to be the one to use from now on.
Want a Way to Donate For Border Terrier Health?
If you want to give a donation for health – a donation to the Border Terrier Club of America Donor Advised Fund at the AKC Canine Health Foundation would be appropriate.
Donations need to be marked for the Border Terrier Club of America DAF – and if they are in honor of or memory of, that can be stated. If in Honor of, name and address of the honoree can be given, and they will be told that the fund has received a donation.
- The BTCA Health Committee makes recommendations to the BTCA Board of directors on those AKC CHF Grants that we feel would best help the health of Border Terriers.
- Our Donor advised fund (DAF) is then used to help fund those grants. AKCCHF is a 501c3 organization and all donations are tax deductible.
- Our DAF is funded from individual donations made by Border Terrier owners and friends, and by the Border Terrier Club of America, and from the Purina Partnership program.
- Our DAF has funded a number of grants, most partially, but some completely.
To donate to the DAF the money should be sent to AKC Canine Health Foundation,
American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation, Inc.
P.O. Box 900061
Raleigh, NC 27675-9061