Project Description

DACHSHUNDS AND DATA

“How can we minimise the chances of breeding Dachshunds with epilepsy?”

We developed an Excel model to help educate dog breeders on the significance of DNA test results. The developed tool was handed over to the Dachshund Breed Council and used to review litter registrations to support awareness and communication of Lafora disease.

Working with Ian Seath of Improvement Skills Consulting, we developed an Excel model to investigate the risks of breeding dogs with Lafora disease. A form of epilepsy which affects Miniature Wirehaired Dachshunds.

Two specific tests are available to determine if a dog carries the autosomal recessive mutation but not every dog is tested. As such, a dog can belong to one of four populations: tested; untested; clinically affected (i.e. showing symptoms) and clinically not affected.

We undertook this project as part of a Pro Bono OR project. Our aim was to develop a simple, robust approach to help breeders make informed decisions about which pairs of dogs could breed safely.

The results of the model will be used in an education programme to help breeders understand why DNA testing for Lafora Disease is essential. The results have been presented in the IFORS News, December 2014 (pages 19 and 20 in the interactive magazine found here).