Whippet Mitral Valve Disease Research Project

Dr. Joshua Stern, Assistant Professor, Medicine & Epidemiology,
Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis

Dr. Joshua Stern submitted a research proposal to the Canine Health Foundation (CHF) on Whippet mitral valve disease. The proposal was forwarded to the Whippet Health Foundation (WHF) for funding consideration. The American Whippet Club was then contacted to see if they would be interested in contributing to this research proposal. It has been decided that both the WHF and AWC will fund the project.

Dr. Joshua Stern is leading a genetic investigation into mitral valve disease of Whippets. Dr. Stern has partnered with Dr. Rebecca Stepien and Virginia Luis Fuentes to investigate the genetic aspects of this condition, which the team has been studying for many years. This partnership has already led to great research progress. After the Whippet National in 2014, the group successfully identified chromosomal locations in the Whippet that may harbor mutations associated with development or progression of this condition. The team is now starting this newly funded study to complete whole genome sequencing of severely affected whippets along with normal Whippets to identify genetic differences that they hope will lead to development of a mutation screening test. This work aims to help reduce the prevalence and severity of mitral valve disease in the Whippet breed and it would not be possible without the support of the Whippet Health Foundation and the American Whippet Club. Dr. Stern’s research builds upon Dr. Rebecca Stepien's Whippet Cardiac Research Project, incorporating her results and specifically investigating the genetics of MMVD in Whippets.

Questions about the study can be directed to Dr. Stern (Joshua Stern, DVM, PHD, DACVIM; University of California Davis; 2108 Tupper Hall; One Shields Ave; Davis CA 95616; jstern@ucdavis.edu; 530-752-2475). For more information about Dr. Stern, go to http://www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/faculty/results.cfm?fid=21351