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For the study, Luisa De Risio, clinical research and excellence director at Linnaeus and a co-investigator, is collaborating with neurology specialists and primary care vets at Linnaeus practices to recruit cases.
Luisa said: “Canine idiopathic epilepsy is a disease that is common in many breeds of dog and can significantly impact the quality of life of both affected dogs and their owners.
"However, there is limited knowledge concerning the role of genetic factors in susceptibility to the disease in most breeds.
“The overarching aim of this large-scale collaborative study is to identify the genetic factors contributing to the risk of developing idiopathic epilepsy as this could help develop tools to lower the incidence of the condition in future generations.
“The study will initially focus on the Border Collie and Italian Spinone, as they can suffer from a particularly severe and life-limiting form of epilepsy, before expanding the study to other breeds in the future.
Dr Sally Ricketts, the geneticist leading the study at the Kennel Club Genetics Centre in the Department of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Cambridge, said: “We are very excited about this collaboration, which will facilitate our sample collections to enable study of this debilitating disease.
For more information on the study, visit www.canine-genetics.org.uk/research/epilepsy.
Photo: Sally Ricketts, senior research associate at the Kennel Club Genetics Centre, Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Cambridge; Luisa De Risio, clinical research and excellence director at Linnaeus and Christopher Jenkins, research assistant at the Kennel Club Genetics Centre, Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Cambridge.
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