The CCAA Health and Genetics Committee has decided to take action and move forward with advancing the health and future of the Cane Corso by working with the University of Missouri to initiate a breed specific epilepsy research study.
university of Missouri canine epilepsy project
EPILEPSY FUNDRAISING CHALLENGE
Donations of $100 or more:
Fritz Wildmoser and Lynn Hawley-Wildmoser
This study will require everyone to work together in hopes of eliminating this devastating disease from our beloved Cane Corso. The goal is to identify the gene(s) responsible for genetic/inheritable epilepsy (sometimes referred to as idiopathic epilepsy). Through identification, the hope is to be able to evaluate Cane Corsos for their propensity to produce epilepsy in their offspring. This is a significant undertaking that will take time, resources and financial support.
What can you do to help?
- If you have a Cane Corso who has seizures, which have been diagnosed as epilepsy, you can submit a blood sample from your dog to the University of Missouri. The University of Missouri does not charge for sample submission, but does request that you fill out some forms with information about your dog, his/her pedigree and specifics about your dog’s seizures. Sample submission will be kept under a strict confidentiality agreement. The University of Missouri will not release any information about dogs who have had samples submitted to anyone other than the owner of the dog and, in some cases (when permitted), the breeder.
- If you know anyone who has a Cane Corso who has seizures, encourage them to submit a blood sample from their dog to the University of Missouri and fill out the appropriate paperwork. Assure them that it will be confidential.
- If you are a breeder and have produced a dog with seizures, the University of Missouri has placed emphasis on the value of sample submission from family groups. Remember, sample submissions are kept confidential. They are specifically looking for:
- Donate funds to support this research! While the University of Missouri does have grants for epilepsy research in dogs, these grants do not guarantee any Cane Corso specific research. The cost to map the genome of a single dog is $2,500, and in order for us to achieve success, we expect multiple Cane Corsos will need to be mapped.
- Donations can be made to the CCAA (see button above and to the left) and will be forwarded to the University of Missouri.
- Donations can be made directly to the University of Missouri using this form (also attached below) and are tax deductible. We have already filled in the appropriate information to assure that donations sent in go directly to the Cane Corso Epilepsy Research project.
How does it work?
As of August 2017, the University of Missouri has already begun by mapping the genome of one affected Cane Corso, though they will need several more. Using their extensive database of information they already have about epilepsy in other breeds, they will then compare that Cane Corso’s genome to the genomes of Cane Corsos with other known and identified neurological diseases in the Cane Corso, such as Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis, to rule out those disorders as the causation for the seizures. They will then compare the areas known to influence epilepsy in that Cane Corso’s genetic map to all of the other Cane Corso samples, which have been submitted, to evaluate trends and commonalities. This is why it is so important that you submit samples of your affected dogs.
Once they have come up with a list of genes that are considered suspicious, they will then begin mapping the genome of a known relative to the original dog and evaluate the two together. The information drawn from this can point them in multiple directions, which may require that they start over or that they continue in the same direction to prove a theory.
This can, and will, take a long time. This explanation is an oversimplification to a very complicated process. What we would like to achieve is identification of the gene or genes responsible, identification of the mode of inheritance and a more simplified test to evaluate dogs for their risk of reproducing this disease.
If you have any questions about this project, please feel free to contact Stephanie Rudderow.