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Akita Friends
VKH Forum - Testing
by Jamie Haight, Bea Pitts, Bev Lewis, Dr. Sophia Kaluzniacki, Les Ray
Definition and

VKH Diary







Is there a test for VKH?

Currently there is not a test for breeding stock to determine if they are a carrier. But is is most definitely felt by many experts to have genetic implications.

"Genetic Implications" is a nice way of saying is is passed along but we don't have any idea how and we have no way of finding out who is passing it along.

It is most important not to point fingers and or make people afraid to help. VKH can strike at any time. Do not be complacent. Just because it hasn't hit your line, doens't mean it won't. Scary? You bet. And so it is up to each of us to educate the other, to share the information and to support those who face the battle.

A few years ago Linda Wroth planted seed monies for an ongoing study into VKH. The purpose of the study was to find the DNA marker so that a test could be made available as a tool for breeders.

Thanks to the co-operation and participation of the Akita fancy the study met its goal of 1000 samples. The funding has reached an end but the study at University of Davis has gathered an enormous amount of information which will be shared with other researchers.

No we don't have the answer yet. Yes, that is dissappointing. But the war is not over by a long shot.

It was hoped that this study would extend into other countries. But there has been a slight alteration in the plan. We can all still contribute samples of DNA to UCDavis for the future. Samples will be banked for future study. As our Akitas are not with us long, I urge everyone to continue to participate.

There are new puppies being born all the time and their DNA is very important. And a new very special twist has been put on the samples. They will be used for many more diseases. It was always known that some other afflictions would be studied, but the researchers are firming up direction for those studies too.

It must be very clearly understood that research can take many years and great committment. We need only look at AIDs and cancer research to truly appreciate the overwhelming difficulties of study. But with your continued help and support, a bank of data has been accumulated and will still be gathered.

We'll beat this thing yet. Certainly not today, and maybe not tomorrow but one day.

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