Researchers at Washington State University are looking for DNA samples from Rottweilers with a diagnosis of Subvalvular aortic stenosis (diagnosed by Doppler echocardiogram) as well as DNA samples from Rottweilers that have been proven clear of the heart birth defect (as cleared by a cardiologist). The samples will be used to advance research in identifying a gene for the disease.
The Rottweiler is one of multiple large breed dogs that are affected with this congenital heart disease, said Joshua Stern, DVM, who is performing the study with Kathryn Meurs, DVM, Ph.D.
Dogs that have a mild form of the disease may live a normal life span, but dogs that are moderately or severely affected are at a great risk of sudden death and have been shown to have an average life span of 19 months in one study, according to the researchers.
“We are looking into the familial nature of this disease and hope to discover a genetic mutation responsible for its development,” Dr. Stern said.
The researchers need DNA samples—1 ml to 2 ml of blood in an EDTA tube—from 20-30 affected dogs and 20-30 clear dogs. As of late July, the researchers had collected about half of the necessary samples, although it is always helpful to have additional samples, Stern noted.
Click here for sample collection requirements.