Samples Needed for CHF-Funded Research!

The following research is supported financially by the Collie Health Foundation!

Participation in these studies is essential in shining light on health issues affecting the Collie, and will benefit the future health of the breed. Costs of participation may be covered by the Collie Health Foundation.

Dr. Leonardo Murgiano, University of Pennsylvania

CHF-Funded research at the University of Pennsylvania is aiming to use genetic mapping to identify the region of the canine genome associated with the development of colobomas in dogs with Collie Eye Anomaly. Samples from dogs with colobomas as well as with mild CEA are currently needed for the research to move forward!

Samples from two categories of Collies are needed:

  • “A”: Dogs genetically affected by CEA (m/m) who have only choroidal hypoplasia (mild CEA) in their eye exam.
  • “B”: Dogs genetically affected by CEA (m/m) who have choroidal hypoplasia AND coloboma (moderate to severe CEA) in their eye exam.

Current preliminary results have identified two areas of interest within the Collie genome, but the link is not very strong. To improve analysis results, samples from as many dogs as possible are needed! At least 20 dogs from each category would be hugely significant.


  • Completed Inherited Eye Disease Research Sample form by owner.
  • 5-6 generation pedigree of the dog.
  • Current and any/all previous ophthalmology eye exams on the dog.
  • CEA genetic eye test results from Wisdom Health or Optigen. Both the physical eye exam and genetic exam results MUST be included.

Once all required information is sent to University of Pennsylvania, the Collie Health Foundation will reimburse all costs, including blood draw, shipping, Wisdom Panel and eye exams. To request information, see Coloboma Study Enrollment.

To submit a sample for this study, please see the form below:

>> University of PA Eye Submission Form <<

For more information, contact Lydia Melnyk,

Dr. Bonnie L. Hay Kraus, Iowa State University

The ABCB1-1Δ or MDR1 mutation found in Collies results in an increase in sensitivity to certain drugs, including several drugs used for anesthesia/analgesia.

The purpose of this study is to compare sedation effects of common preanesthetic drug combinations in dogs with and without the ABCB1-1Δ gene mutation to better inform veterinarians regarding dosing recommendations and potential side effects in affected dogs.

Participation in the study will require:

  • 3 hospital visits
    • 1 short 1 hour visit
      • A cheek swab for genetic testing
  • 2 long 6-8 hour visits
    • A complete physical exam and blood workup
    • Administration of 3 common preanesthetic drugs
      • Observation for 6 hours after administration

If you live near Iowa State University and are interested in assisting researchers with this study, please view the form below

>> MDR1 Anesthesia Study Owner Consent Form <<

For more information, please contact Dr. Bonnie L. Hay Kraus

Dr. Leigh Anne Clark, University of Georgia

This research proposes to use DNA sequencing to determine if any regions of the Collie genome are associated with epilepsy. Samples of healthy and epileptic dogs are needed!

Blood samples from epileptic collies and from senior, non-epileptic collies are required.

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For more information, contact Tori Rudolph

Dr. Leigh Anne Clark, University of Georgia

This research aims to investigate any additional gene(s) underlying the development of Dermatomyositis, an autoimmune skin and muscle condition, in collies. Samples are currently needed for the research to move forward!

Blood samples are requested from collies that have been diagnosed by skin punch biopsy. Dogs that have not been diagnosed by skin punch biopsy but are strongly suspected of having DMS may also be eligible. Participants will be provided with DMS risk assessment results.

** Also needed: healthy Seniors 7+ years old with DMS results AA/bb**

For more information, please contact Dr. Clark

Dr. Frane Banovic, University of Georgia

Dermatomyositis (DMS) is a chronic immune disease affecting the skin and muscles. The human version of the disease involved the activation of the Janus Kinase (JAK) pathway, a cellular process known to have influence on the immune response. JAK inhibitors are currently a novel treatment for several autoimmune conditions in humans, including DMS.

Not much is currently known about the development and progression of Canine DMS, seen in Collies and Shelties, and treatments are rarely successful.

This research aims to study Oclacitinib (brand name Apoquel), a safe and well-tolerated JAK inhibitor that has been used to treat allergic dermatitis in dogs. However, its effect on canine dermatomyositis has not been investigated.

This study aims first to identify the mechanisms behind canine DMS by analyzing skin lesions from dogs diagnosed with the condition. Secondly, a 12-week treatment regimen with Oclacitinib will be investigated.

Requirements: samples must come from Collies or Shetland Sheepdogs of any age, body weight or size, with active DMS lesions diagnosed based on currently accepted standards (i.e. compatible history, clinical signs and microscopic demonstration of cell-poor interface dermatitis with vasculopathy, follicular atrophy and fibrosis on previous skin biopsy). To limit the influence of medications on active DMS skin lesions, withdrawal times for all dogs from previous medications will be recommended to the client.

Once the patient is accepted into the study, the primary investigator will be in contact with the clients to organize a one-time skin biopsy collection procedure at a veterinary dermatologist clinic or a primary veterinarian clinic. The primary investigator is responsible for the shipments of all materials. Samples can be sent from other clinics/owners.

If the clients pursue treatment with oclacitinib, the primary investigator will contact the clients directly with clinical scoring materials and the client will be responsible to bring the patient for a clinical visit rechecks to a veterinary dermatologist or a primary veterinarian.

For more information, contact Dr. Frane Banovic