Project Description

Working with Ian Seath of Improvement Skills Consulting we developed an Excel model to investigate the risks of breeding dogs with a form of epilepsy (specifically Lafora Disease which affects Miniature Wirehaired Dachshunds)

Two specific tests are available to determine if a dog carries the autosomal recessive mutation, however, not every dog is tested.  As such, a dog can belong to one of four populations: tested; untested; clinically affected (i.e. showing symptoms) and clinically not affected. Undertaken as part of an OR Pro Bono project, the aim was to develop a simple, robust approach to support informed decisions about which pairs of dogs could breed whilst minimising the number of puppies with Lafora disease. The results of the model will be used in an education programme to help breeders understand why DNA testing for Lafora Disease is so important. The results have been presented in the IFORS News, December 2014 (pages 19 and 20 in the interactive magazine found here)