This updated information is provided by SHCA's Health/Genetics Committee to keep the fancy apprised of current research and studies which will benefit the Siberian Husky.

Juvenile Cataracts
UPDATED INFORMATION: In correspondence with Sally Ricketts, PhD, researcher at the Animal Health Trust: "Yes, we are definitely still in need of samples from both cataract-affected dogs and older clear dogs. We are just about to send off a new batch of samples as part of a second genome scan for cataracts in the Husky, but we need samples to follow up on if we find anything in this scan. It would be really good to have a large sample set on which to validate anything we might find. If people require swab collection kits they can contact Bryan McLaughlin at the address or phone number below."

An important study that may have a profound effect for our breed is being done by the Animal Health Trust (AHT) of England and the University of Helsinki which are looking to identify the gene(s) responsible for juvenile cataracts in Northern breeds. It is estimated that juvenile cataracts may affect up to 6% of the Siberian population. DNA samples are being sought from affected dogs as well as their close relatives. Samples from American dogs can be donated - to participate, contact Bryan McLaughlin at the AHT by e-mail at by phone at +44 (0) 1638 751000 ext 1280.

Call for Samples! Samples are needed for an on-going cryptorchid study. The investigator looking for the gene(s) responsible for undescended testicles (cryptorchidism/ monorchidism) is in need of more DNA samples for his study. Samples from BOTH affected and non-affected unrelated Siberians are needed. Please donate a small sample of your dog's DNA for this study. All it takes is a simple cheek swab and shipping through regular mail. Please help this worthwhile study. If you would like to become involved in this study please contact the lab conducting the research at either or Deadline for submitting samples is November 2011.

Retained Testicles (Cryptorchidism)
This study is looking at cryptorchidism (retained testicles) in Siberian Huskies, hoping to identify the gene or genes responsible. According to the Siberian Husky Health Foundation s (SHHF) 2005/2006 health survey, cryptorchidism affects approximately 14% of the males in our breed. Dr. Max Rothschild at Iowa State University is the chief investigator for this study. They are currently looking to enroll affected individuals and related family members  to participate send an e-mail to or call (515) 294-6114. (Please note that samples from neutered dogs are acceptable.)


Ectopic ureters
VKH (Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada like syndrome)

Dr. Mark Neff at the University of California at Davis (UC-Davis) is heading up two studies. Both studies are looking for DNA samples from affected dogs. One study is hoping to find the gene or genes responsible for ectopic ureters. Ectopic ureters is a congenital defect that causes the affected dog, most commonly females, to uncontrollably leak urine and is usually noticed in early puppy hood. While this condition affects only a small percent (.25-.5%) of Siberians, for those affected it means a lifetime of treatments and for some euthanasia. The other study being done at UC-Davis is looking at the genetic cause of Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada like syndrome (VKH), an auto-immune disease that causes uveitis (a severe inflammation of the eye) and depigmentation of skin. Oftentimes unless caught early and treated aggressively this disease can lead to blindness. To participate in either study you can contact Dr. Neff at

Investigators at the University of Minnesota have concluded sample collections for their study of breed-specific thyroid levels and the results for our breed is currently being analyzed with the results to be released in early 2008. They have also begun a study looking at following a dog's various thyroid values over time to see if any values may predict which dogs may develop hypothyroidism in the future. Those wishing to participate may contact Dr. Rebecca Davies by e-mail at or by phone at (612) 626-0168.

Lend a paw if you can and support important research for our dogs and while you re at it consider donating another sample to the CHIC DNA Repository to help future research.

Last update of this page: 07/25/2011.

© 1996-2011 Siberian Husky Club of America, Inc., All rights reserved

 Siberian Husky Research News