Is there a color connection?

This is the main focus of the research underway by the Canine Epilepsy Research Consortium. Some of your questions may not have clear answers at this time, but ask them anyway!

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Is there a color connection?

Post by whippetsrus » Sat Aug 06, 2005 2:59 pm

Is there a connection between color and epilepsy? in whippets or greyhounds?

I've just learned that a second pup in a litter sired by my dog has shown signs of epilepsy. He's now had two seizures. He is blue.

The other pup from the litter who has seizures is also blue.

The dam of this litter is blue. One of her littermates (also blue) reportedly has "episodes". (That's how it was relayed to me by a third party during a discussion of epilepsy.)

From her first litter, at least one pup, and possibly a second, have had seizures. They are both blue.

None of the fawn pups she has produced in either litter have had any seizures.

Is it possible that the epilepsy is somehow connected to the black/blue gene? If it is, would that suggest it is autosomal dominant and that the fawns in her litters are not carriers?

There is no history of seizing in the pedigree of my dog. I only know the lines of two of the four grandparents behind the dam; there is no history of seizing there either. However, one of the dam's grandparents I am _not_ familiar with is black.

Thanks for any information.

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color gene and epilepsy

Post by naumh » Mon Aug 08, 2005 3:36 pm

Many of the idiopathic epileptics have inherited epilepsy: epilepsy caused by a mutation in a specific gene which they inherited from their parents. Dogs with idiopathic epilepsy frequently begin seizing at between one and three years of age, and certain breeds are predisposed to develop epilepsy. A few breeds have proven hereditary epilepsy, while in most it is just a strong suspicion. One of the goals of the Canine Epilepsy Project is to identify genes responsible for epilepsy in dogs. This will allow us to positively diagnose the hereditary form and take steps to decrease the incidence of epilepsy in dogs.
I copied the above directly from the Canine Epilepsy Basics. Although there are breeds in which it has been proven to be hereditary, they are suspicious that it is hereditary in most breeds. (They just need to prove this.) It appears that teh Canine Epilepsy Network is trying to do genetic research to validate this connection. (You may want to write to the researchers directly to see if they have any preliminary reports that specifically link color to epilepsy. However, I suspect that your question cannot be answered at this time.)

You didn't mention the age at which the pups are but I am assuming that the pups you are speaking about are between 1-3 years of age. If so then the two puppies, sire and dam you mentioned in your post are an excellent source of "genetic" information on idiopathic epilepsy. Only people like YOU can provide this information to the Canine Epilepsy Project. I think you should seriously consider providing samples (see CEN website) and help in the advancement of overcoming this terrible disorder. When people like you provide valuable genetic information to "research", one day in the future we can all be rid of epilepsy. (Remember, any and all research will help in the research of human disorders.)
Malachi's Mom

First Seizure 01/27/2005
Last Seizure 7/12/2006

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Is there a color connection?

Post by bree » Tue Oct 18, 2005 8:42 pm

Not sure if this confuses the issue but I have a fawn IG who has had seizures since the age of 2 and a blue who has never had a seizure so that seems to work against your theory...I wish it were that simple to figure out! :-(

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