We are very fortunate that Imperial College London has asked Dr Serena Brownlie, the breed's heart research specialist, to join forces and collaborate in a study that aims to identify the gene marker for atrial fibrillation (AF) in humans through identifying it in the Irish Wolfhound first. The breed's small gene pool, long-standing pedigree information and on-going heart testing and research programme makes it well placed to help with this research and may provide a quicker route to identifying the gene or genes that are associated with AF.
For this study, we need older dogs, (8+) that are heart testing free of AF and also those unfortunate cases of young dogs affected by AF. Dogs must have been screened through the IWHG recognised heart testing programme and super veterans, aged eight and over, are currently being subsidised by the IWHG and will be heart tested free, provided they provide cheek swab DNA samples for this programme.
Taking a cheek swab is very simple and there will be help at the heart testing sessions to make it even easier. Each cheek swab sample must be accompanied by an IWHG/Imperial sample submission form and must be supported by pedigree information and any relevant health history.
If your dog is a rescue hound that has been homed through the Irish Wolfhound Rescue Trust, please note this on the form and the trust will provide all the necessary pedigree paperwork for you.
Please don't worry about the paperwork, you will be asked to register through the IWHG and will have help with any paperwork required from the co-ordinator, Maura Lyons.
Please see the heart testing page for details of sessions and dates near you.
As with all our research programmes all results and information remain confidential.
Thank you for helping us with this very exciting research.