Without quality scientific research, we will never have better diagnosis and treatment for canine disease, nor will breeders have better tools to reduce the incidence of genetic disease. ASHGI works to achieve these goals through both by sponsoring research grants and facilitating sample collection for studies focused on Australian Shepherds.
Research Funding – ASHGI supports grants administered by the AKC Canine Health Foundation, Morris Animal Foundation, and Toby’s Foundation. If you would like to support projects aimed at improving our Aussies’ health, please consider donating to ASHGI for research.
Sample Submission/Participation – Without samples, research can’t go forward. If Aussie owners and breeders aren’t willing to provide samples we can’t expect results that will benefit our dogs. Every study has its own specific needs, so sample donation may not be a one-time or one-size-fits-all event. Please make your dogs available for sampling if they qualify for health studies.
Please be aware that clinical (treatment) studies frequently require geographic proximity to the study location. To find more information on active research projects seeking samples or participants you can also visit the websites of the American Veterinary Medical Association and the AKC Canine Health Foundation. ASHGI maintains a list of studies seeking Aussie samples/participants: Current Studies Seeking Samples or Participants.
AN IMPORTANT REMINDER: If you or your vet’s office plan to ship blood or tissue samples it is vital that they be sent by overnight service, packed in an insulated container with cold packs. In hot weather extra packs may be necessary. Phone ahead to advise the recipient that the shipment is on the way. Otherwise your sample may be useless when it arrives.
Long-term Sample Banking – ASHGI encourages participation in the CHIC DNA Repository. This OFA program banks multiple samples from many breeds, including the Australian Shepherd. While CHIC will accept cheek swabs, ASHGI strongly recommends that you submit a blood sample; the DNA on cheek swabs is limited and blood provides an almost limitless supply. In addition, if you submit blood a portion of the DNA is available to you to should an important DNA test become available after your dog is gone.
Because blood samples are by far the best source of DNA, ASHGI has established a trust fund with OFA to cover the CHIC fees for blood samples from purebred Australian Shepherds. Be sure to include your dog’s registration number on your CHIC application and print “ASHGI Trust” on the credit card line.