Profession members owning golden retrievers or Labrador retrievers are being urged to take part in a study to increase understanding of canine atopic dermatitis.

Purebred golden retrievers and Labrador retrievers are being sought by The Itchy Dog Project.

The Itchy Dog Project, launched by veterinary researchers from The University of Nottingham at Crufts 2017, aims to examine the genetic and environmental causes of the condition and develop a strategy to reduce the number of dogs affected by it.

Suffering from allergies

Naomi Harvey, a research fellow from The University of Nottingham School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, said: “We know at least 10% of dogs suffer from long-term skin allergies and it can have a serious impact on their lives, and on the owners’ lives, in dealing with it.

“We need to collect data on both atopic and non-atopic dogs from these breeds so we can look for differences between them at a genetic, environmental and behavioural level, to help us better understand the causes and impact of the disease.”

Only purebred golden retrievers and Labrador retrievers aged three years or older can register with the project.

Great opportunity

Gary England, foundation dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, said the project was a great opportunity for dog lovers to get involved in some citizen science that could have a huge impact on future treatment – and possibly even breeding methods.

The Itchy Dog Project has been funded by Dogs Trust.

For more information, visit the The Itchy Dog Project website.

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