Three Excellent Resources for Info on Canine Genetic Disorders
February 06, 2012
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By Dr. Becker
There are three terrific free online resources I thought I'd share with you today.
These databases are used by vets, geneticists, breeders and dog owners to access a wealth of information about inherited disorders in dogs.
Canine Inherited Disorders Database (CIDD)
The goal of the Canine Inherited Disorders Database (CIDD) is "… to reduce the incidence of inherited disorders in dogs by providing information to owners and breeders, and to facilitate the best management possible of these conditions by providing current information to veterinarians."
The CIDD is a good resource for:
- Dog owners with a pet diagnosed with an inherited disease
- Prospective dog parents who want to learn about the inherited conditions of certain breeds
- Breeders looking for information on avoiding inherited diseases in their dogs
- Veterinarians who need up-to-date information on diagnosis and treatment of genetic disorders
The database is organized by breed (see menu on left margin of home page).
For each breed there are links to information about the most common inherited diseases, less common disorders with increased incidence in the breed, conformation (breed standard) disorders, and conditions that may or may not be inherited.
You can also research diseases by body system. This information is linked in the lower half of the home page.
Inherited Diseases in Dogs (IDID)
The Inherited Diseases in Dogs (IDID) database is provided by the University of Cambridge Veterinary School.
You can search the database from the home page by selecting a breed or genetic anomaly (inherited disorder), or by typing in a keyword. This database also contains references to peer-reviewed scientific literature for further research.
If you select Airdale Terrier from the breed list (as an example), you will next see a page which (currently) lists six genetic diseases with brief descriptions, and a link to more info on each. If you want to learn more about a specific disease listed, you can click on the More Info link below the brief description.
If you want to learn which breeds are more likely to inherit a specific disease, you can select the condition from the genetic anomaly list and you'll get a list of breeds in which the disease is most often seen.
If you want to search by keyword, simply type in a word like 'cancer' and click Search. You'll see a list of breeds with a genetic predisposition for cancer, along with information on what types of cancer most often occur in each breed.
Online Mendelian Inheritance in Animals (OMIA)
The Online Mendelian Inheritance in Animals (OMIA) database is hosted by the National Institutes of Health and includes all animals, not just dogs. However, dogs are the best documented of all the animals found in the OMIA database.
This database is considerably trickier to navigate than the other two unless you're already familiar with it.
As an example, if you type in hip dysplasia at the top of the home page, next you'll see a listing of types of animals with the disorder. From that list, you'd select Hip dysplasia in dog, which will return a page of information with the following sections:
- Prevalence and Control
- Human genes and disorders that may be related to this trait
- References, which in this instance is an incredibly comprehensive list of published studies relating to canine hip dysplasia
However, if you search for Cushing syndrome, you'll get a 'No items found' message. But if you type in simply Cushing, you'll get results.
So of the three databases I've listed, I'd use the OMIA last unless you're already familiar with it.
I also don't recommend trying to search this database by dog breed.
Hopefully, you'll find these free online tools useful when you have questions or want to learn more about the health challenges of certain dog breeds.