Funding offered for Border Terrier research

Border terrier

New funding has been made available to support research into a condition that particularly affects Border Terriers and certain other breeds of dog.

Gallbladder mucocele (GBM) occurs when the gallbladder becomes enlarged due to the accumulation of an excessive amount of mucus that has formed into a solid mass, or a mucocele. As well as being painful, the condition can lead to rupture of the gallbladder, causing biliary peritonitis which can be fatal.

The underlying cause of GBM in dogs is not yet known, but there seems to be a genetic predisposition with Border Terriers as well as Cocker Spaniels, Shetland Sheepdogs and Miniature Schnauzers at increased risk. It is also seen in other breeds including Pomeranians and Chihuahuas, as well as mixed breeds.

To help find out more about the condition, the British Small Animal Veterinary Association has announced a grant of up to £30,000 — including a £17,000 donation from not-for-profit organisation Border Terrier LifeLine — to support the study of GBM in Border Terriers.

“We knew through social media, friends and contacts that many Border Terriers have suffered from, and many have lost their life to, GBM and that is what makes this so relevant,” said Border Terrier LifeLine founders Andrew and Wendy Mooney.

“Such a large percentage of dogs presenting with this condition at veterinary surgeries are Border Terriers. What has really motivated us to donate this sum is why should it affect a disproportionate number of Border Terriers; is there some way of reducing the number of Borders succumbing to GBM and, when they do, can we improve their chances of survival and living a good quality of life after?”

They added: “We hope that by donating this sum of money, that the research on this can be taken forward, either by a different route or expanded on findings already produced.”

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