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Greetings from Toby's Foundation!


Research Update

ImageThere is now a formal written agreement for the sharing of Australian Shepherd and English Springer Spaniel DNA samples and data between Dr. Gary Johnson at University of MO, Dr. Hannes Lohi in Finland and Dr. Ned Patterson at the University of Minnesota . Dr. Patterson has done an outstanding job for us in working to coordinate this effort.

What this news means to us is that there are officially three researchers and institutions sharing data about our beloved Aussie and looking at it independently to insure that nothing is missed or overlooked. It is not too long ago that we did not even have one researcher with a grant to look at the Aussie and now we have three! Dr. Patterson writes that “all three institutions are separately analyzing all SNP data results in order to not miss any possible true areas containing an epilepsy gene(s)”. In addition the formal agreement will allow the researchers “to compare chromosomal areas across breeds – Aussie and ESS (also Vizlas and other breeds) in case there is a shared gene across breeds in which putting the data together might be more efficient in identifying the epilepsy gene.”

Dr. Patterson reports that there are 3 chromosomal areas of mild association from the initial data for the Australian Shepherd but since the association is only mild 50 additional Australian Shepherd samples will be run using the SNP chip. It is hoped that this will confirm or exclude these three areas and find other areas of possible epilepsy gene(s). There is also one area of interest for the English Springer Spaniel that has been observed but this association is only mild so additional ESS samples, cases and controls, will need to be analyzed.

Toby’s Foundation is dedicated to helping to stop one disease – Canine Epilepsy. This is a disease whose time has come… to be eliminated! We will be here until The Australian Shepherd gets a screening test and every other breed that needs one does too.


Thank you for your support of Toby’s Foundation. We ask you to please continue to help us in the fight against canine epilepsy.

At this time of the year we are especially mindful of and thankful for the help, encouragement and support from so many. Please see our current ad (see link below) in both the Australian Shepherd Journal and Aussie Times, “What Are You Thankful For? Toby is Thankful for……"

Thank you to our Donors - individuals, families, clubs, businesses and corporate matching gifts. We couldn’t do it without you! Please see out Donors’ page.

We also thank ASCA for all their efforts to stop canine epilepsy. A special thanks goes out to ASHGI, USASA and USASFOUNDATION who co-sponsor the grant for Dr. Ned Patterson with us through the Canine Health Foundation.

Click here to view our current ad


It is not too late to make a year end tax deductible donation to Toby’s Foundation.

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