The Canine Health Information Center, also known as CHIC, is a centralized canine health database jointly sponsored by the AKC/Canine Health Foundation (AKC/CHF) and the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA). The CHIC database is a tool that collects health information on individual animals from multiple sources. In order for data to be included in CHIC, test results must be based on scientifically valid diagnostic criteria
The CCRCA has established the following health testing criteria specific to Curly-Coated Retrievers, for inclusion in the CHIC database:
This centralized pool of health data is maintained to assist breeders, owners, and scientists. For everyone interested in canine health issues, CHIC is a tool to monitor disease and measure progress.
- For breeders, CHIC provides a reliable source of information regarding dogs they may use in their breeding programs. In the future, breeders can begin to analyze the pedigrees of a proposed breeding for health strengths and weaknesses as well the traditional analysis of conformation, type, and performance strengths and weaknesses.
- For buyers, the CHIC program provides accurate information about the results of a breeder’s health testing. For diseases that are limited to phenotypic evaluations, there are no guarantees. However, the probability that an animal will develop an inherited disease is reduced when its ancestry has been tested normal. Further, as more DNA tests become available and the results are entered into CHIC, the CHIC database will help breeders predict whether progeny will be clear, carriers, or affected.
- For researchers, CHIC provides confidential and accurate aggregate information on multiple generations of dogs. CHIC information will also be useful for epidemiological studies enhancing our knowledge of health issues affecting all breeds of dogs.
A CHIC number is issued when test results are entered into the database satisfying each breed specific requirement, and when the owner of the dog has opted to release the results into the public domain. The CHIC number by itself does not imply normal test results, only that all the required breed specific tests were performed and the results made publicly available.
Test results from the OFA and CERF databases are shared automatically with the CHIC program. There is no fee to enter test results from either the OFA or CERF, and there is no requirement to fill out any additional forms. To enter results into CHIC from another source (e.g., PennHip), there is a one time per dog fee of $25.00, with the exception that when entering results on an affected animal from a non-CERF/OFA source, there is no charge. To enter results from any of these organizations, a copy of the test results, the fee, and a signed note requesting the results be entered into the CHIC database should be sent to the OFA.
The CHIC website is located at www.caninehealthinfo.org. The website contains basic information on CHIC such as its mission and goals, and maintains a listing of the participating breeds and approved breed specific test protocols.
The OFA website provides a search engine to look up the results of all tests performed on the dog, including its CHIC status.
Ways You Can Help Curly-Coated Retrievers
Glycogen Storage Disease (GSD) IIIa Screening
A link to reported GSD screening results can be found in an associated website. (Click here)
Glycogen Storage Disease IIIa (GSD) results from a deficiency of glycogen debranching enzyme activity, which leads to abnormal glycogen accumulation in the liver and skeletal muscle. Curlies affected with GSD have very mild clinical signs early in life and begin to demonstrate lethargy, exercise intolerance and occasional collapse as adults. Because the disease was recently identified, the progression of the disease is not known. However, extrapolating from the disease in other species, Curlies affected with GSD will likely go on to develop liver failure, and potentially heart and neurologic disease as well.
Glycogen Storage Disease IIIa is an autosomal recessive trait, which means that two copies of the gene must be present for the dog to be clinically affected. Curlies with only one copy of the gene are carriers of the disease but do not demonstrate clinical symptoms. There is a DNA based test to identify carriers as well as affected Curlies. Selective screening of breeding stock should be performed to identify which offspring need to be screened further. For example, if a sire and dam of a litter are both clear for GSD IIIa, there is no need to test the offspring of those parents. However, if one or both of the parents are carriers of GSD IIIa, all offspring should be tested so that carrier offspring can be identified to prevent future carrier-to-carrier breedings.
To screen for GSD IIIa, send two (2) cheek brush samples, a 5-generation pedigree, and a check made out to Michigan State University for $85.00. If you need to order the brushes, make your check out for $90.00. The check will be cashed when the brushes are returned. Frozen semen from deceased Curlies and blood samples can also be screened. Contact for instructions.
Send to: John C. Fyfe, D.V.M., Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics
Laboratory of Comparative Medical Genetics
2209 Biomedical Physical Sciences
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824-4320
Voice: (517) 355-6463 ext 1559
Fax: (517) 353-8957
To submit your results to OFA for the CHIC registry, download a copy of the DNA Based Genetic Database application from OFA's website and send a copy of your GSD report with the application.
Canine Epilepsy Study
Canine epilepsy is a complicated and little understood disease and is one of the most emotionally devastating problems facing dogs, their owners and breeders today. A project is currently underway to study epilepsy in dogs, funded by grants from AKC’s Canine Health Foundation (AKC/CHF) and the National Institute of Health (NIH). The NIH is involved because epilepsy is so little understood in humans, yet it is easier to do research on dogs than on humans.
A consortium of researchers from the University of Missouri, University of Minnesota, Ohio Sate University, and the Animal Trust (England) are currently doing DNA research to try to locate the mutation(s) responsible for causing epilepsy in dogs. The genes controlling seizure problems in dogs are not well understood, but this project is attempting to find the marker(s) or mutation(s) responsible. When these can be identified, a blood test will tell if an individual dog is a carrier, clear, or likely to become affected (even before symptoms begin). Using this information, breeders can choose breeding partners who will not produce additional affected puppies. Researchers working on this project need information from affected dogs and their families. Specifically, what is needed is a 3- to 5-generation pedigree of the litter where an affected dog (or dogs) appeared, and blood samples from the affected dog(s), full siblings, parents, and when possible, the grandparents. If an affected dog has been used for breeding, the offspring and mates should also be sampled. Distant relatives are potentially useful, but the most important samples are from the affected dogs and immediate relatives. Family groups are important so that the genotype of the affected dogs can be compared to that of close relatives who are not affected, and allow researchers to decipher how these genes are inherited from one generation to the next. An affected dog with little or no family available may also be of some use.
There is no cost to participate, other than a vet fee for drawing a blood sample (many vets are doing this at a reduced cost to support the research) and overnight shipping charges to the lab ($15-$35 from most places in the country via FedEx, UPS, or US Mail). Participation in the project is confidential - the names of dogs and owners who participate in the research will not be revealed. When markers are identified, individual owners will be able to request test results on their participating dogs.
More information about the project, about epilepsy in general, and forms for submitting samples is available on the CEP website, located at http://www.canine-epilepsy.net.
If you have any questions, or need additional information, please contact:
Coordinator of Veterinary Information
Animal Molecular Genetics Lab - Dept. of Vet. Pathology
321 Connaway Hall - College of Vet. Med.
University of Missouri
Columbia, MO 65211
573-884-3712 (office phone)
573-884-5414 (department fax)
Also see links to the CCR Epilepsy Database from on the left sidebar, above.
Canine Health Foundation (CHF) CCR Donor-advised Fund
The American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation (AKC/CHF) supports research on canine health issues through grants to approved research projects. The Curly-Coated Retriever is a rare breed, and very little research or dollars have been devoted to studying the health issues that affect them. Sometimes, discoveries in research on one breed can be projected onto other breeds of dogs, but very often a genetic marker found to be implicated in one breed is not found to be at fault in another, so findings are not always "transferrable".
Being a rare breed, the owner base of CCRs is small, and thus it is difficult to raise the type of funds needed to kick off and support these studies. Breeders of course want to bring healthy lives into this world. The better equipped breeders become with knowledge about health issues affecting their programs, the better the breeding choices they can make to enhance the dogs' lives that they produce, and the lives of the families the dogs become members of.
Donations can be made to the CHF to be earmarked for studies specifically benefitting the CCR via a “Donor Advised Fund.” In order to ensure your donation is deposited into the correct account, in a cover letter accompanying the donation - and in the check's memo line - specify that the funds are to be "restricted and directed to the Donor Advised Fund for the Curly-Coated Retriever". The AKC/CHF is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and all donations are tax deductible.
Send to: Erika Werne
P.O. Box 37941
Raleigh, NC 27627-7941