Genetics of Idiopathic Epilepsy in Border Collies

Idiopathic epilepsy is a complex disease that defies simple inheritance. The
underlying genetic defect does not appear to determine the disease, but
rather to predispose dogs to recurrent seizuring. Thus, some dogs with the
genetic defect might never show clinical signs of seizures.

The complexity of epilepsy in dogs necessitates a unique approach, one that
emphasizes distantly related dogs that are definitively affected. If a
sequence of DNA is shared identical by descent among all affected dogs, but
is present at a much lower frequency among unaffected control dogs, then the
DNA is likely to harbor the defect causing epilepsy.

To discover such a region, our laboratory is currently collecting blood
samples from as many Border Collies as possible. We have collected blood
from both affected and unaffected dogs, but additional samples are needed to
improve the statistical power and the mapping resolution. Toward this end,
we invite breeders and owners to participate by contributing a blood sample
from any registered Border Collie. As with all academic research, complete
confidentiality is strictly maintained.

To include a dog in our study, we must obtain at least 3 mls of blood. This
can be shipped directly to our laboratory at our expense using the Federal
Express account number and address provided below.

Please direct any inquiries to Dr. Mark Neff at (530) 752-1381.

Federal Express Account # 2527-7516-1 (Please send STANDARD overnight)

Most veterinarians have been most helpful and are willing to waive blood
draw charges for a research project, but if payment is necessary please
contact us we may be able to reimburse up to $15/draw.

Send blood sample to:
c/o Katy Robertson
DNA Collection
Center for Veterinary Genetics
UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine
Davis, CA 95616-8744

Please refer to the BCSA web site, for permanent club information: