Internal Medicine Service

Research on genetic diversity in dogs

Members of the medicine team, working alongside colleagues in both the HfSA and the Roslin Institute, have recently published a study which has examined genetic diversity in UK dogs.

The study examined genetic diversity among 13 popular dog breed groups in the UK. The study found that Boxer and West Highland white terrier breeds showed the lowest heterozygosity (differences in genes), while the Jack Russell terrier group had a level of heterozygosity comparable to crossbred dogs. The least genetically distinct group contained crossbred dogs. In summary, our study showed that the registered breeds are subject to a 'breed barrier' which promotes reduction in genetic diversity.

The study was one of a number of active collaborations between the medicine team and scientists in the nearby Roslin Institute. This highly collaborative approach ensures that we are very well placed to undertake important clinical research which advances our understanding of the biology of diseases diagnosed in dogs and cats.