Addison's Disease - MHC Study
Addison’s disease (also referred to as primary hypoadrenocorticism) is an immune-mediated disease in dogs and humans in which the body attacks the outer layer of the adrenal glands, which are small organs near the kidneys. This leads to a deficiency in key hormones (cortisol and aldosterone) which regulate responses to stress and water/electrolyte balance. Dogs often present with waxing and waning gastrointestinal signs, a finicky appetite, or generalized lethargy. In some cases, dogs present to veterinarians in a shock state, which can be life-threatening if the consequences of Addison’s disease are not recognized promptly and treated. Therapy for Addison’s disease is available, but requires lifelong commitment by owners with hormone replacement therapy (typically a monthly injection and daily pills).
Dr. Steven Friedenberg and the Canine Genetics Laboratory at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine are working to identify whether any variants in the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genes are associated with Addison’s disease in Standard Poodles. The MHC genes are the most diverse genes in animals, and because of their key role the immune system, they are associated with many different autoimmune diseases across species.
For this study, we are only enrolling Standard Poodles at this time.
- 5 years of age or older
- Clinically healthy
- No history of Addison’s disease, or any other autoimmune disease (for example, sebaceous adenitis, hypothyroidism, immune-mediated thrombocytopenia, diabetes, immune-mediated hemolytic anemia)
- Your willingness to donate a cheek swab from your dog for genetics research
How to Participate
Please contact Gabriel Fisch ([email protected]) if you are interested in having your dog donate a cheek swab for this study. If your dog qualifies, we will send you three cheek swabs in the mail, as well as prepaid return shipping label. We will also send you instructions regarding how to collect the cheek swabs from your dog, as well as a study consent from.
When you send us the cheek swabs, please enclose a signed copy of the study consent form, as well as a copy of your dog’s pedigree if you have it (not required).
About the investigator
Dr. Friedenberg is a board-certified veterinary critical care specialist and a geneticist, and is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine. He became interested in genetic diseases while working for Dr. Rory Todhunter at Cornell University as a vet student, and developed a particular interest in autoimmune diseases during his residency training at The Ohio State University. He holds a PhD in genetics from North Carolina State University, and is very interested in computational biology and its applications to finding better ways to diagnose, prevent, and treat genetic disorders.
Canine Genetic Testing
- 2,8- Dihydroxyadenine Urinary Stones
- Alaskan Malamute Polyneuropathy
- Exercise Induced Collapse
- Hereditary Calcium Oxalate Urolithiasis, Type 1
- Inflammatory Myopathy (Myositis)
- Leonberger Health Panel
- Neuronal Degeneration
- Persistent Müllerian Duct Syndrome
- Saint Bernard Laryngeal Paralysis & Polyneuropathy
- Sarcoglycan Deficient Muscular Dystrophy
- Toy Manchester Terrier / English Toy Terrier Health Panel
- Ullrich Congenital Muscular Dystrophy
Canine Genetic Research
- Addison's Disease - Autoantibody Study
- Addison's Disease - Genetics Study
- Addison's Disease - MHC Study
- Atypical Seizures / Paroxysmal Dyskinesia
- Border Collie Collapse
- Calcium Oxalate Urinary Stones
- Idiopathic Epilepsy
- Immune-Mediated Hemolytic Anemia (IMHA)
- Leonberger Polyneuropathy / Laryngeal Paralysis
- Pulmonary Fibrosis
- Whippet Exercise Induced Hyperthermia