A Tool to Help Dog Breeders Identify Genetic Risks

Dachshund dog on a lawn

The Approach

Dr. Sophie Carr (Bays Consulting Ltd.) worked with Ian Seath (Chairman of the DBC) to review the quarterly Kennel Club litter registration and  results of the Lafora DNA screening from 2010-2013. As such all puppies bred from both tested and untested parents were included. Sophie created Probability Trees for all known breeding combinations. These  formed the basis for an Excel tool comprising data entry, calculations and results. 

“Brilliant – it makes the predictions of risk visible”

“This will be so useful” - Lafora Screening Coordinators

The Client

The Dachshund Breed Council (DBC) is a community group that works with breed clubs and breeders to improve dogs’ health and welfare.

The Client's Problem

Some Miniature Wirehaired Dachshunds suffer from a form of epilepsy called Lafora Disease. Two DNA tests are available, but are not yet used by all breeders. The DBC wanted a tool to help predict the probability of breeding puppies with Lafora Disease.

The Solution

  • Review the DNA test data and 12 month litter registration statistics
  • Develop Probability Trees for different possible breeding combinations
  • Produce an Excel spreadsheet to predict the probability of breeding Lafora-affected puppies which can be updated as required

The Benefits

  • DBC has a tool which can be used to help raise awareness of the need for Lafora Screening
  • Identifying the probability of breeding affected puppies will lead to more informed decisions being made by breeders
  • The tool can be used to investigate the potential impacts of different breeding strategies, such as removing affected dogs from the gene pool
  • The tool is robust, simple to use and draws on readily available DNA test and litter registration data