Most Scottish Terrier owners and breeders are very aware of the disorder called ‘Scottie Cramp’. This is an episodic genetic disorder that causes dramatic spasticity of the muscles (‘cramping’) with excitement and exercise. A more complete description of the disease is available on the genetic health issues page.
The STCA Health Trust is pleased to announce that Dr. Olby’s research team is starting the first phase of trying to identify the genetic cause of this disease. The AKC Canine Health Foundation, together with the STCA Health Trust has funded a project to collect DNA from both affected and normal Scottish Terriers. A second grant to perform the genetic analysis is anticipated, once there are enough samples in hand.
Dr. Olby anticipates that her team can move forward relatively quickly because of the work they have already done with Scottish Terriers that have Cerebellar Ataxia. She will be able to combine genetic data already generated in the Cerebellar Ataxia project with the new data generated in this Scottie Cramp project to increase their ability to detect associations with each disease. As you all already know, the road to finding mutations and genetic tests can be long, but the tools available to researchers improve all the time. The STCA Health Trust hopes that you will support this project and are happy to answer any questions you may have.
What Can I Do?
If you believe that you have a Scottie who may have Scottie Cramp, please use the links at the bottom of this page to access detailed instructions on how to contact Dr. Olby’s team, how to videotape a Scottie Cramp episode and the protocol for obtaining a blood sample for the DNA research.
Dr Olby's Research Team
The research team includes Dr. Natasha Olby, a veterinary neurologist and Associate Professor at North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Ganokon Urkasemsin, a veterinarian who is now completing her PhD in Dr. Olby’s laboratory, working exclusively of genetic diseases of Scottish Terriers, and Tonya Harris, a technician who works in Dr. Olby’s laboratory. The laboratory telephone number is 919 513 7235.