Animal Health Trust DNA Samples


A large effort by a number of people went in to help raise the funding for the development of the DNA test for kidney problems.
The funding is now in place for the DNA kidney test to be developed, but the Animal Heath Trust (AHT) have run out of material to work with, unfortunately the material required cannot be bought. Whether it is a pet, show or rescue Bull Terrier, the AHT needs swabs from them, cooperation from Bull Terrier owners can achieve this and we need to encourage people to actively send in the swabs.
Bryan Mclaughlin (AHT) will send as many swabs kits you require free of charge, the most it will cost is the postage to return them to AHT, everything else you need will be supplied.
The following information is exactly what the AHT requires with each sample, it’s very simple but so very important.




The AHT do not need or want the dogs pedigree or registration number – all the information they require is on the cheek swab you submit.


 Information Required with the swab                                                      Example


BREED                                                                                         BULL TERRIER
PET NAME AND AGE                                                                 COLONEL 3 YEARS OLD
OWNERS SURNAME                                                                  HEATH
                                                                                                                               FALKIRK, FK2 0DU
                                                                                                                                 TEL: 01324 720201
CLINICAL INFORMATION                                                      AROPY, INTERDIGITAL CYSTS HYPOTHYROID


This information is required for identification and retrieval purposes when the sample is lodge with the DNA storage bank.


 Cheek swab kits and verification of the above information can be obtained from:


                                                          Bryan McLaughlin  –  01638 751000 ext. 1280
                                                                       [email protected]


 Genetics is a huge complicated subject, so to make things simple we will us the alphabet to help explain why your help with the donation of DNA samples is so important.  Using two alphabets (as genes are paired) to illustrate that this is where the parents pass on the likenesses we see in families, some features from Dad and some from Mum.  Some genes pass on diseases, and for this purpose I am going to stick with the kidney problem.
The first task is to determine the mode of inheritance and Dr Caroline O’Leary in Australia has done this.  We now know that only one of the pair of genes need to be different and carried by only one parent to pass on the kidney problem.  The next task is to find the different (rogue) gene that causes the problem.  This involves collecting a huge amount of DNA material from Bull Terriers, which will be examined at the Animal Health Trust.  They are looking for the gene that is different in the pair and numbers of the different gene to determine if this different gene is indeed the rogue gene……Trawling through hundreds of samples showed a difference in gene K, but with no clinical information on the case history included on the form accompanying the sample, it cannot be concluded if this is the rogue gene responsible for kidney disease.
Then there is a major, major leap forward, an EDTA blood sample taken from a two year Bull Terrier, in the end stage of kidney failure, has been sent to the AHT and this is also found to be gene K.  The real work now starts to confirm that this is correct and for that we need more and more DNA material from normal and affected to get sufficient numbers to confirm that gene K is indeed the rogue gene that is passing on the killer kidney disease.  Once that has been established the AHT can go on to develop the DNA test that will put breeders in a position to enable them to breed out this dreadful disease in our beloved Bull Terrier.

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