Genetic Research

Your help is requested by the following researchers who are trying to identify
genetic markers for debilitating and life threatening conditions.

HOD Study - Your help requested.

Dr. Alison Starr of Clemson University is beginning a study on Hypertrophic Osteodystrophy (H.O.D.) in the Great Dane & is asking for samples from puppies who currently have H.O.D. _AND_ all dogs still living who had H.O.D. as a puppy. If we are going to solve this puzzling disease, we need the Dane community to step up and help out by volunteering their dogs, please!

If you think you can help, please contact the researcher with your information and/or your questions:

What is needed?
1. BLOOD SAMPLE: 3-5 ml in EDTA (purple top) tube.
2. Veterinary records with a confirmation of diagnosis
(Xrays are ideal but not necessary).
3. Pedigree & family history.
Alison Starr, Ph.D.
Research Assitant Professor
Clemson University
51 New Cherry St; 319 BRC
office: 864.656.0191
fax: 864.656.0393



Drs. Oyama & Meurs, recognized leaders in the field of canine cardiology research, are looking at some candidate genes in the Great Dane they believe may well be vitally important to the disease known as dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). You can help. The researchers not only need to have direct contact with any Danes diagnosed with DCM, they need DNA samples from OLDER VETERAN DANES who are healthy and not affected by heart disease. Data will be shared with the LUPA cardiology project for the breed (an ongoing commitment of Drs. Meurs & Oyama). See the form for details.

Form in .pdf version available here:

Questions? Email or call the H&R Chairman (contact info directly follows).

Best regards, JP Yousha
Chairman, Health and Research Committee
Great Dane Club of America
432-684-8940 (TX)

This would be a great time to mention that if you have a blood draw done  for the gene search consider having a second tube drawn for the

The form can be downloaded here:


The Van Andel Research Institute, a world class human cancer research institute, recently received a Federally fund grant through the National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute, to study five types of cancer that occur in both dogs and humans. The ultimate goal is to develop improved diagnostics and more individualized therapies for both canines and people.
We are requesting the help of purebred dog owners, who may own a dog affected with one of these cancers. The five initial cancers we are studying are:

1) Hemangiosarcoma
2) Lymphoma
3) Osteosarcoma
4) Malignant histiocytosis
5) Melanoma of the mouth or toe

We are requesting fresh (NOT in formalin, NOT frozen) tissue samples from tumors, when pets have biopsies, surgeries such as splenectomies, or are euthanized. Samples may be collected post mortem, as the euthanasia solution does not affect the DNA in either the dog's blood or in the tumor cells.

Additionally, if you have a dog with one of these cancers who has already been treated (splenectomy, chemo, etc), we would still appreciate a blood sample along with a histopath report confirming the diagnosis. We need 3-5 mls of whole blood in an EDTA (purple top) tube. It can be sent priority mail, and blood can be shipped at room temperature. If the pet is scheduled for surgery or, sadly, euthanasia, if you or your veterinarian contact us ahead of time, we can FedEx a collection kit which includes an overnight FedEx return shipping form, along with collection media and containers.

I will be happy to answer any questions I can, as well. Owners, veterinarians and researchers working together will help us to unravel some of the mysteries of these nasty diseases.

Roe Froman, DVM
Senior Veterinary Research Scientist
Van Andel Research Institute
333 Bostwick Ave NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Addison's Disease and Epilepsy

Canine Genetic Analysis Project

Call for Blood Samples for Addison’s and Epilepsy Diseases

We are currently collecting samples (blood and/or buccal) for the following breeds: Bearded Collie, Belgian Sheepdog, Belgian Tervuren, Giant Schnauzer, Great Dane, Leonberger, English Mastiff, Miniature Poodle, Portuguese Water Dog, Standard Poodle, Toy Poodle and West Highland White Terrier

Although we continue to collect DNA from buccal swab samples, newer research technologies require DNA extracted from blood samples.  Thus, we are seeking blood samples from affected and unaffected dogs.  Affected dogs with veterinary diagnosis can be submitted from dogs of any age.  For unaffected dogs, we especially need samples from dogs over the age of 7 years that are free from the disease.  Please consider donating adrenal tissue from Addisonian dogs if euthanasia becomes necessary.

There is no fee for participating in this study although the owner bears the cost of blood collection and shipping of the sample to the laboratory. Some veterinarians may collect and ship samples at no charge for research purposes – please check with your veterinarian.

In the event that your dog’s DNA from the blood sample is used directly in the development of a commercially available diagnostic test developed by this laboratory, the results of the test for that dog will be provided at no cost upon your written request following the availability of that commercial test.

The Addison's work is a collaborative study between UC Davis, Åke Hedhammar in Sweden and Kerstin Lindblad-Toh of the Broad Institute.  We appreciate your continued interest in our study.