Meta posted this on one of the Rat Terrier boards, I thought that this may be of interest to some of the breeders on this board as well...
From Liz Hansen @ The University of Mo.
One thing that did catch my eye in the NRTA health survey was the report of over 1,000 dogs with epilepsy. Research to find the mutations responsible for many types of epilepsy in many different breeds has been a large focus of our efforts here for over 10 years. We have identified mutations for several syndromic epilepsies (diseases where seizures are one of several symptoms of the overall condition), and feel we are getting close to finding mutations for idiopathic epilepsy in several different breeds. We collaborate with researchers here in the US, and in Finland, England, and France as well. We would be very interested in samples & information from any epilepsy-affected Rat Terrier. Also very useful would be samples from the normal siblings, parents, and grandparents of these affected dogs. The forms and instructions for sending these samples can be found at our website online - go to www..CanineGeneticDiseases.net, click on EPILEPSY, and then go to SAMPLE SUBMISSION. If you have a way to make Rat Terrier fanciers aware of this research, and encourage them to participate, we would appreciate it very much - and it could lead to discovery of a mutation (or several mutations) responsible for the epilepsy seen in this breed, which would help to eliminate this troubling disease from the breed as well.
Animal Molecular Genetics Laboratory
University of Missouri - College of Veterinary Medicine
321 Connaway Hall
Columbia, MO 65211
I had someone searching for puppies at one time last year who was very concerned about this health issue. Her previous dog died at age 7 due to complications from a seizure. She'd been having seizures of increasing magnitude since she was 1.5 yrs old. She bought the pup from a prominent breeder in the region, and kept in touch with owners of littermates as well. The issue arose in more than her own dog from that line so it's obvious that it's inherited, whatever "brand" of epiliepsy she had.
She didn't end up getting a pup from me this last time, but has kept in touch. (I just haven't had pups in over a year)