The dog genetics group in University of Helsinki
Autoimmune diseases have to do with an individual’s defense mechanisms. In an autoimmune disease the body’s immune system attacks its own tissue considering it harmful. These diseases often have a hereditary component and there are several different types of them. The most common autoimmune diseases in dogs include allergies, atopy (atopic syndrome), hypothyroidism, diabetes, Addison’s disease, thrombocytopenia, immune-mediated hemolytic anemia, rheumatism, autoimmune meningitis and various intestinal disorders.
Dr Hannes Lohi leads the dog genetics group in University of Helsinki.
Their group have been collecting blood samples from dogs for years and in their genebank there is over 40 000 samples from dogs in different breeds. There is over 70 samples from Japanese Akitas and about 150 samples from American Akitas.
As it is said above Dr Lohi’s group also do research with AI-diseases and SA is one of them. At the moment they need more blood samples from diseased dogs and also their pedigree information. They also need samples from healthy dogs and all samples are very welcome! They have many studies going on where they need samples and one is also study about Akita’s genetic diversity.
Dr Lohi’s group have make progress with many difficult studies, epilepsy study is one in the long list. Here is list about their publications http://www.koirangeenit.fi/in-english/publications/
How to help?
If you want to take part on these studies and help Akitas, you just need to send your dog’s blood sample and send it to the group. Remember to fill information form about your dog and send it with the blood sample!
Here is more information how to work and you can download the sample form.