Currently Embark Veterinary Laboratory is looking for participants in a Hamiltonstovare DNA research study. The cannot be closely related (sire, dam, littermates, offspring) of Alice or Rolo. This is the first US based DNA study on Hamiltonstovare. They are offering FREE DNA studies to participants in this research project and that includes all of their health studies. This is basically like doing a 23andMe study for your dog. This offer is only open to US residents at this time but it is open to rescues.
DNA is a wonderful tool that can be used for so many things and the ability to participate in any study is a privilege. Currently all of the dogs at Oceania are taking part in the Darwin's Dogs DNA study with UMASS on trying to link behavior and DNA. The Darwin's Dogs project is a long-term project and they are always looking for new participants.
Breeders over the past decade or so have started to utilize DNA as a tool to improve health. Currently the best candidates for those tests are genes that are the simplest form of DNA and operate on the basic principles of genetics. The ideal tests that have been done are PLL (Primary Lens Luxation, which is a common disease in many terriers), DM (Degenerative myelopathy, which has been described as ALS but in dogs, it can be found in any breed), Von Willebrands (a blood disease that is found in many breeds), and many others.
Hamiltonstovare as a rule are a very healthy breed and many of the DNA tests are not applicable to the breed at all. We did a test for DM for Raven as a peace of mind because Alice's dam suffered from an unknown paralysis not long after Alice was born, but recovered. Raven thankfully is completely normal and I am sending her information off to the OFA this week.
I expect the results for Alice and Rolo with Embark by the end of May, once I know then I will blog about it.
Please note that some things cannot be tested using a simple DNA swab. Hip displaysia, elbow displaysia, some eye conditions, heart conditions, and thyroid conditions must be evaluated by a vet, as those diseases can have genetic AND environmental causes.
For more information about Darwin's Dogs, please visit their website.
If you wish to participate in the Embark Hamiltonstovare DNA study, please email me.