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Wednesday, December 04th 2013

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Proposed Research Projects


Baer Testing of Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dogs

George Strain, Ph.D.

Research Study to be preformed at Louisiana State University

More on Baer Testing of Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dogs

George Strain, Ph.D.

Most opinion on the danger of deafness in dogs carrying the merle gene are based on a very limited study performed on a small group of dappled dachshunds years ago. Unfortunately, several national breed organizations have begun changing breed standards to eliminate merle based on this old data. However, recent evidence makes it clear that the impact of the merle gene on hearing in dogs varies from breed to breed. Now that a DNA test is available to determine without question whether a dog is heterozygous or homozygous for merle, it is possible to correlate hearing status with merle genotype. Beginning this summer I will be performing BAER hearing tests and collecting DNA cheek swabs from as many merle dogs as possible, from as many breeds as possible. The BAER test and genotyping will be performed at no charge to the owner. With data collected from sufficient numbers of dogs it should be possible for us to better appreciate the deafness threat - or lack thereof - of merle in dog breeds, so that breeders can make decisions with a better understanding of what is involved.


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