The RD paper…

is now online. It will be 15 years in June since Gabrielle was diagnosed with Renal Dysplasia, beginning our quest for knowledge and our dedication for a useful tool for breeders.

Novel Allelic Variants in the Canine Cyclooxgenase-2 (Cox-2) Promoter Are Associated with Renal Dysplasia in Dogs

Peer-reviewed and published online at the Public Library of Science, I am very proud to be one of the co-authors on this paper.

Mary H. Whiteley1*, Jerold S. Bell2, Debby A. Rothman3

1 DOGenes Inc., Peterborough, Ontario, Canada, 2 Department of Clinical Sciences, Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, North Grafton, Massachusetts, United States of America, 3 American Lhasa Apso Club, Conifer, Colorado, United States of America


Renal dysplasia (RD) in dogs is a complex disease with a highly variable phenotype and mode of inheritance that does not follow a simple Mendelian pattern. Cox-2 (Cyclooxgenase-2) deficient mice have renal abnormalities and a pathology that has striking similarities to RD in dogs suggesting to us that mutations in the Cox-2 gene could be the cause of RD in dogs. Our data supports this hypothesis. Sequencing of the canine Cox-2 gene was done from clinically affected and normal dogs. Although no changes were detected in the Cox-2 coding region, small insertions and deletions of GC boxes just upstream of the ATG translation start site were found. These sequences are putative SP1 transcription factor binding sites that may represent important cis-acting DNA regulatory elements that govern the expression of Cox-2. A pedigree study of a family of Lhasa apsos revealed an important statistical correlation of these mutant alleles with the disease. We examined an additional 22 clinical cases from various breeds. Regardless of the breed or severity of disease, all of these had one or two copies of the Cox-2 allelic variants. We suggest that the unusual inheritance pattern of RD is due to these alleles, either by changing the pattern of expression of Cox-2 or making Cox-2 levels susceptible to influences of other genes or environmental factors that play an unknown but important role in the development of RD in dogs.


We wish to thank J. Kassis for careful review of the manuscript. The authors wish to dedicate this work to the late Dr. John B. Armstrong, canine geneticist and poodle fancier. He gave much of his time to educate the breeders and owners of purebred dogs about the importance of genetic diversity. His careful analysis of Poodle and Lhasa apso pedigrees with respect to RD were invaluable in the inception of this research. The authors pay tribute to Chiata, a Lhasa Apso who opened the door to discovery. We are grateful to the many dog owners who submitted DNA samples for this study.

Chiata’s page.

Sign, sign, everywhere a sign

Sign Sign everywhere a sign
Blocking out the scenery breaking my mind
Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign

Who remembers that song? Who remembers Five Man Electrical Band?

One of the arctic freeze days last week Mitch must have been bored. I got home from work and there were lots of fun signs waiting in my inbox. This one is funny…or not. It’s so true!

Mitch lives at the top of a mountain. I mean the top! There’s a 360-degree view. There’s no way but down, right Vickie? When you approach his house he has a bunch of signs…like ‘Forget the dog, beware of owner’. Here’s another for his collection…


Really, I haven’t forgotten the blog! Counting down to October 27th…after that life will surely be less hectic. Right?

Too Cool!

As a long time lover of corded poodles – and the second person in modern times to have corded one, I loved seeing this…

Something completely different

David Taylor’s quilts!

Following The FlyLady’s Flight Plan for Friday, I decluttered my purse. And found a treasure, a raffle ticket from The Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum. Since the drawing is long over, the treasure was a note on the back of the ticket. Sally at the Window.

It’s as though he paints with fabric. It is incredible to see his quilting up close and personal. Check out his gallery. You can click on each photo to see a more detailed image.

My grandpa with his chickens

Here’s the photo I mentioned a few days back…

Time, time

Where does it go? My good intentions can be found right along side. I suppose working five days a week (last week six days) and three out of five weekends filled with dog shows could be the time-theft culprit. I could go on….and on and on…wasting time. I considered sharing a bullet list of the things I intended to do and did. Such a list would make me feel better, surely bore you, never mind the time to make it.

I am almost done with my Library of Memories organization and tagging of digital photos. This is a class I’ve taken three times in the last three years. Stacy lets alumni retake it for free. Each year things get tweaked and adjusted, keeping up with modern technology. The crux of this not-so-much-a-bullet is the next step will be updating the galleries and pedigree pages. I’m really excited to get going on this, which I’ve talked about for ??? years.

The current brain teaser I’m working through is getting the Twin Cities Lhasa Apso Club’s website functional, via its domain name. Think I now understand the problem and want to have my part of the project done this weekend. If what I think is the problem isn’t, then I’ve found a friend that can help me ‘at the computer’.

A couple of months ago Shannon, my nail lady, mentioned Fly Lady. It might sound lame, but she’s really helped me. I like her motto:

You are not behind! I don’t want you to try to catch up; I just want you to jump in where we are. O.K.?

Gawd, I’ve probably just managed an cyber-faux-paux. If I use her cartoon, with her link, on a blog post, does that mean I’ve violated ‘all rights reserved’? I’m singing her praises. Does that count?

Before I trek down the kennel to feed the dogs and go on about my day, here’s a note and photo from Ana The Dog Trainer taken last Friday.
Hey Debby.

Thank you so much for taking such great care of my babies!  They look and smell beautiful.  As soon as we got home they immediately went into the full-on rowdy wrestle-mania mode that they do after baths.  Thanks for making Tatonka’s first experience with grooming a great one.
See you soon.