Study of Dog Diseases Seeks Purebreds

Researchers studying dog genes are looking into genetic and environmental causes of dog diseases.

A team of international researchers led by the Dog Disease Research Group at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, and supported in part by the American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation, are looking for purebred dogs to take part in several studies.

The researchers recently found the genes for two dog traits — the ridge in Rhodesian Ridgebacks and Thai Ridgebacks and white coat color in Boxers and Bull Terriers — and are now turning to diseases that often involve multiple genetic and environmental causes, such as cancers and autoimmune disease.

Blood samples can be drawn by a veterinarian and sent to the Broad Institute Dog Disease Research Group in Cambridge, Mass.

The Canine Health Foundation is also looking for samples for studies on osteosarcoma in Rottweilers, Greyhounds and other larger breeds; hemangiosarcoma in Golden Retrievers and other breeds; degenerative myelopathy in Boxers and Corgis; and renal dysplasia in Boxers.

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