The AHT continued in this research receiving DNA samples from dogs affected by CHC and their unaffected littermates and parents. These samples being just as important to their research as the DNA samples from those dogs diagnosed as affected for CHC.
2012 – 2013
The JMSEF financed the AHT’s Whole Genomes Scan (WGS) for CHC at a cost of £4,600. Unfortunately, the researchers were unable to identify any region of DNA that showed a strong association with CHC within the sample set of 16 ‘affected’ and 16 ‘controls’ dogs ( ‘controls’ being either, unaffected full siblings identified at litter screen or, where there was pedigree information, a parent of the affected dog).
Over the intervening years, several draft sets of rules were compiled incorporating suggestions from the Kennel Club with the constitution finally being approved at all 3 clubs Annual General Meetings. The group now became a committee and the three breed clubs with an interest in Miniature Schnauzers: – MSC, NSC and SCGB referred to as the founder clubs. The signatories for the bank accounts were all the members of the committee that will be required when the JMSEF goes forward to become a charitable trust and the committee members will be known as trustees.
The first meeting of the group took place in the first quarter of 2003.The main aim of the group was to raise funds for genetic research. At this time, DNA could only be obtained from whole blood samples and veterinary surgeons were not allowed to take blood from dogs purely for research. The group therefore adopted an intermediary role between the AHT and those owners that found that they had an affected Miniature Schnauzer with one of the eye conditions in order to facilitate the process for sampling.
As genetic research progressed, buccal swabs were used and could be obtained from the AHT or the JMSEF secretary, these two swabs in the kits have now been superseded by 4 swabs which gather more DNA material from the inside of the cheek of the dog. The scientists need not only a certain quantity of DNA but also they require the quality of DNA that these swabs appear to produce if used as instructed.
Throughout the year, the 3 clubs with an interest in Miniature Schnauzers decided to set up a fundraising group. The main aim of the group would be to raise money to aid the research into the eye conditions that affect this breed. The clubs put a name forward and the general consensus was for the fund to be called the “Joint Miniature Schnauzer Eye Fund” (JMSEF). It was felt that this name encompassed the fact that the 3 clubs would be working together for the Miniature Schnauzer to raise funds for genetic research result into the eye conditions that affect the breed.
The Club’s agreed that the fund’s management would comprise of 2 representatives from each of the three clubs giving a group membership of six people. Each representative would have to be a member of his or her respective club. The chairman of the group would be a person within the group. The group would choose the secretary and treasurer either from within or outside the group.
Three signatories would be required for the bank account in the name of the JMSEF. Initially these were the treasurers of the three clubs. The account was opened by a donation of £50 by the MSC.
Several individuals expressed an interest and met with AHT representatives on the 26th September. The speakers were very interesting with particular reference to DNA research taking place on conditions that affected dogs. Committee members and secretaries returned to their clubs relayed all that they had learnt and heard.
Mrs Herring, the then secretary of the Northern Schnauzer Club (NSC), and Mrs McGrann, the then secretary of the Miniature Schnauzer Club (MSC), contacted the Schnauzer Club of GB (SCGB) to ascertain if they would be interested in working together to raise funds for genetic research into the eye conditions that affected the miniature schnauzer.
The Animal Health Trust (AHT) held various open days and sent out invitations to breed clubs to enquire if they wished to send representatives to attend and listen to various speakers covering a number of topics relating to the work that was carried out by the research establishment and the veterinary hospital.