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CHIC's DNA Repository is open for submissions from Akitas.  We are very excited about the possibilities this opens for future research into Akita health issues and urge you to participate as soon as possible.  You can download the submission forms here or at the CHIC website

Why Bank DNA?

Without some kind of DNA banking system, it's very hard to match up researchers and affected dogs or from unaffected dogs as experimental controls.  The presence of banked DNA makes samples readily available to legitimate researchers when they need it.  Having these samples handled by an organization like the OFA ensures confidentiality for the owners at the same time it provides data to researchers. 

Through the Canine Health Information Center (CHIC), OFA can provide pedigrees and health certification information on individual dogs.  Owners will be asked periodically to update the health status information provided at submittal.   

What Does It Cost?

CHIC has negotiated very reasonable fees for DNA storage.  The amount depends on which type of sample you submit:

Blood collection could involve an additional fee from your veterinarian.  The highest quality and quantity of DNA is provided by blood samples, so, if possible, we urge you to use this method.

 

What Kind of Paperwork is Involved?

You begin this process by ordering either a blood or swab collection kit from CHIC using their Application Form (PDF format) with an accompanying check.  With the returned sample, you will need to submit:

  • A pedigree (three generations minimum, four is better) if one is available.
  • Health Survey (PDF Format)

What About Confidentiality?

We offer the forms on this website for your convenience; we have no role in processing applications or supplying materials.  Everything is done through CHIC.  They treat all personal information, pedigrees on banked dogs, and all specific health information as private and privileged. 

Researchers receive samples and information in such a way that the individual dog and owner are not identified.  To further protect anonymity, any follow-up contact required will be done through CHIC. 

All this is clearly stated in the release on the application form. 

Who Owns the Samples?

Samples are actually owned by CHIC.  When you sign the Application Release you relinquish all rights to and all ownership of the banked DNA to CHIC for health research purposes only.  With each collection kit, however, CHIC provides an extra DNA swab for self-storage, so you can keep your own sample.  These can be effectively preserved for at least a decase in low-humidity conditions.

Where Are Samples Stored?

Cheek swabs are stored by the Veterinary Genetics Lab at the University of California-Davis.  DNA from blood samples is handled by the Animal Molecular Genetics Lab at the University of Missouri. 

Is This Used By AKC For DNA Registration?

The DNA submitted to CHIC is for health research purposes only.  Arrangements for AKC DNA collection for registration purposes must be made with AKC. 

What Information Does ACA Receive?

The ACA might receive general information about participation, such as the number of participants during a time period, number of samples from dogs affected with certain diseases or their apparent incidence.  We would never be provided specific information about any individual dog or owner.

What If I Need Help?

While the GHC is very interested in banking DNA from affected dogs, we recognize that not everyone is in a position to get this accomplished.  If special arrangements need to be made, we may be able to help on a case-by-case basis.  Please contact us for this.  The GHC members also respect the privacy and confidentiality of all communications.

Updated on 09/18/2008