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Perianal fistulas consist of inflammation, ulceration and development of tunnel-like lesions that can extend into the rectum and colon. The disease is a significant welfare problem for affected dogs and often is challenging to treat. Some breeds, including German shepherd and Leonberger dogs, are at high risk for developing perianal fistulas, suggesting that genetic factors are likely involved. Researchers will analyze whole genome data from affected and non-affected German shepherd and Leonberger dogs with the aim of identifying genetic factors contributing to susceptibility to the disease. Information may help inform the development of genetic screening tests and new approaches to improve early treatment and care of dogs with perianal fistulas.

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The Royal Veterinary College
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United Kingdom
Brian Catchpole, BVetMed MSc PhD FRCVS
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