Toller Diseases

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers (NSDTR) are frequently affected by a Systemic Lupus Erythematosis (SLE) related disease and Steroid responsive meningitis-arteritis (SRMA).

Systemic Lupus Erythematosis (SLE) related disease: Tollers with the SLE-related disease display stiffness, fever, joint and muscle pain and in rare cases, the liver and kidneys may be affected. The disease typically starts when animals are between 2 - 6 years of age. The majority of these dogs have a high serum concentration of anti-nuclear antibodies (ANA), indicating that they display an ANA-positive reaction. These patients are usually treated with corticosteroids.

Steroid responsive meningitis-arteritis (SRMA): Dogs affected by the other variant of Toller disease, meningitis SRMA, display strong neck pain, fever and stiffness. These animals usually develop acute clinical signs before one year of age and they are usually ANA-negative. Dogs affected with SRMA are also treated with corticosteroids. There is most often a dramatic improvement when the treatment is started in these dogs.

Latest Research Update: We have identified regions in the genome of the NSDTR breed that has a connection to the disease. Right now we are trying to identify the exact changes that cause the disease ant understand the disease mechanisms.

Please find here a statement concerning the genetic basis for the immune-mediated rheumatic disease and steroid-responsive meningitis arteritis disease complex in Nova Scotia duck tolling retriever dogs

Breeds: Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever

Main collaborators: Göran Andersson, Helene Hansson-Hamlin and Maria Wilbe (Swedish University of Agricultural Science, Sweden) and Hannes Lohi (University of Helsinki)

Publication: Wilbe et al. Genome-wide association mapping identifies multiple loci for a canine SLE-related disease complex (2010) Nat Genet. 42:250-4

Main contact: Maria Wilbe, and Helene Hansson-Hamlin,