Genetic Research Update - 3/26/2007


Dr. Karen Tobias


I spoke with Dr. Center at NAVC where I received a wonderful update
on her current research.  I believe that, through her studies and those of
a second research group, a genetic marker or markers will be identified for
congenital portosystemic shunts in Tibetan spaniels, Maltese, Cairn
Terriers, and possibly other breeds.  Hopefully these markers will be
similar amongst breeds so that a genetic test will be available, at least
for the small breed dogs with extrahepatic shunts.  I hope that Dr. Center
will receive full support from AKC regarding this endeavor; she has
dedicated an incredible amount of time and effort to the project and has
the facilities and expertise to produce results. Perhaps if several clubs
join to support her work, she will be more likely to receive that funding.

There appears to be some confusion as to what we are doing regarding
genetics of shunts in Yorkies at UT.  Currently, we are following the
recommendations of Dr. Linblad-Toh, one of the scientists that determined
the canine genome.  She has recommended that we process and store blood
samples from Yorkies with shunts and from their healthy siblings that have
normal bile acids.  Once the genetic markers have been determined for the
breeds currently being evaluated by the two research groups, we can have
the stored blood samples analyzed to see if they contain the same marker.
Until that time, we will continue with our other projects on diagnosis and
treatment of shunts.

You are welcome to forward this to any of the Yorkie Groups- the more
support genetic research receives, the faster we'll get an answer.

Karen Tobias


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