Canine Addison's Research Project
We have been presented with an important and exciting opportunity. Dr Brian Catchpole from the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons has contacted us regarding a research project he would like to conduct on Addison’s disease in dogs and needs our help.
A grant of £25,000, has already been awarded from The Kennel Club Charitable Trust to allow a veterinary graduate to undertake research training. However, we need to raise an additional £5,000 to support the laboratory research costs to analyse the samples. The grant was given on the proviso that the JBLC on behalf of all the Bearded Collie Clubs raise the other £5,000.
And we have a deadline : 30th June 2016.
All of the Breed Clubs consider this work so important they have donated the first £1000 towards this research project.
And that’s where you come in. We need help from the Bearded Collie community, nationally and internationally, owners, breeders, dog lovers, vets; in fact anyone who is passionate about getting the right treatments and diagnosis in place quickly for dogs that may be suffering from Autoimmune diseases. It’s important our Vets to have the knowledge and tests at their fingertips .
We know any dog can be affected. Some dog breeds, including Bearded Collies, are more susceptible than others. Once Addison's is correctly diagnosed, a properly treated dog can live a normal active life.
So what is it?
Addison’s disease (hypoadrenocorticism) is an autoimmune condition that occurs in dogs when the immune system attacks and destroys the adrenal gland. This leads to a deficiency of steroid hormones that are important for metabolism and regulating electrolyte levels in the blood. The symptoms can be very general which makes it hard to diagnose quickly.
Dr Catchpole and his team conducting the research said, “We have identified some of the genetic risk factors involved and have shown that there are autoantibodies in the blood that react to proteins in the adrenal gland. We are interested in carrying out further research into this disease, to measure these autoantibodies, to see whether they can be used as part of diagnostic blood testing and potentially to identify dogs that have an autoimmune reaction before they develop clinical signs.”
Please help us so we can help them.
All donations will be gratefully received, as we work together to find a solution to this disease.
If you would like to donate with cash or by cheque, please contact me for more details.
And here is why:
The summary of the results from Professor Catchpole were publicized on Club websites, newsletters etc. His research found that Bearded Collies, unlike many other breeds, were not auto-antibody positive to the adrenal autoantigen used in the initial research into several breeds. However the work continues to see if they will react to another adrenal autoantigen enabling earlier
identification of disease onset.
In addition to this research Prof Catchpole is keen to do further research into the genome of Addisonian Bearded Collies. Through the AHT/KC 'Give a Dog a Genome' project the genome of one healthy and one Addisonian Bearded Collie has been sequenced. As Prof Catchpole was already working with Beardies with Addisons it was agreed that the AHT would share the data obtained with him and consequently the GDG team at the AHT would not be analysing it to try and identify any variants that contribute to Addison's Disease in Bearded Collies.
Professor Catchpole recently approached the Bearded Collie Joint Breed Liaison Committee to see if we could fund further DNA analysis so that the genome from five more Addisonian Bearded Collies and one more normal Bearded Collie could be sequenced. The cost of this would be in the region of
£7000 - £8000. Although the JBLC was not able to meet the full cost of this, thanks to the funds we do have, we were able to contribute £3000 to sequence the genome of three more Addsionian Beardies, with Prof Catchpole contributing a further £1000. Prof
Catchpole has now selected the DNA samples and they have gone to Oxford for processing and will then go to Edinburgh Genomics for sequencing, which takes around 6 weeks. So it will be a couple of months before his team has the genomes for analysis.
We are so grateful to all fundraisers but particularly to Liz Gault for her tireless efforts through the making and selling of jams, pickles etc. which has largely enabled us to do this - and of course to you for buying it! It would be great if we could raise the further £3000 or so required to sequence the final three Beardies need for a reasonable
How wonderful that we have not only reached but exceeded our target in less than 14 days. Such an achievement and a true reflection of everyone working together to achieve our goal.
Please continue to share and donate; any money received over and above the required £5200 will be used for research into auto-immune disease in dogs in general. The JBLC will continue to provide an update on any financially supported research.
Many thanks to everyone that has given their support and shared the link to keep the momentum going.
on behalf of the Joint Breed Liaison Committee
We have had nearly 2500 visits to the page so far and if all of these visitors donated just one pound we would almost be at target - no donation is too small!
Please remember this research is not just for Beardies; Canine Addison's affects all breeds (including cross breeds) and any contribution
whether by donating to the fund or sharing to others who you think might be interested will help boost the campaign.
Please continue to like and share the link in the days ahead to ensure that we reach our target by 30th June.
Thank you all on behalf of the Joint Breed Liaison Committee (representing all of the UK Bearded Collie Clubs)
We already have tests in place to tell us if we have a pre disposition to Alzheimer's & Breast cancer & other health problems. We X-ray our dogs to get hip scores & CEA test them wouldn't it be amazing if we could predict a dog/ bitch that was vulnerable to an Auto immune problem, surely this would be a tool every breeder would want