Following FB 54, I am happy to announce that despite a blip, the blood samples for the ARVC trial arrived safely and in apparently good shape in Toronto. The blip was missing a transport connection in Canada which delayed their arrival by a day. It is just as well we used a large box with 30 Kg of dry ice. Work starts on them almost immediately, and I’ll report the results if they arrive before I go on holiday next week. One trouble for me is that I don’t know what to expect; I don’t know whether the bio-marker marks the start of ARVC or only a secondary but early consequence of the disease. The test did not work perfectly in humans, but the dog disease and controls are much more clearly defined, so I have wild hopes for a 100% distinction between the two groups, although I am absolutely sure nobody else has such expectations. We’ll see.
FB 54. As I said in my last note, collecting blood samples for the ARVC trial has not been easy but, finally, samples from some 25 dogs were submitted to me for shipment to Canada. But what a palaver! This time the research group wanted me to take every possible precaution for safe transport. The list included creating a partial vacuum in every tube using a syringe and needle, sealing with parafilm and then wrapping each tube in its own plastic bag so that any leakages could be rescued. This morning with all finally achieved, the 60 plus tubes were loaded into a very large polystyrene traveling box filled with dry ice at -80 degrees centigrade and delivered to my old lab for collection by Fedex. What a relief to be rid of them, but now I wait in trepidation for the results. Will the test work and, more importantly for me, will my selection of dogs be correct? But I think this is the last time for me. I have had enough and it seems pretty clear that UK breeders have had enough too, as maybe also their vets. Regarding the latter, most have been very good and have collected the blood without charge. True, some have charged a standard surgery fee, but I have heard that one vet that wanted £100 for collecting from a single dog; and this exercise is for research, not for the owner. I was irate enough about this to write to the Chairman of the Veterinary Ethics committee. It is not right that owners have to pay to help research and, to be fair, neither is it right that vets should sacrifice time with their paying patients to facilitate this work. Something more formal needs to be organised. However, maybe on behalf of the various research groups involved I could thank all the breeders, owners and vets around the world who have done all that they can to help this and the other ARVC and JKD projects. Now let’s hope that the researchers can succeed in their quests for finding the Boxer ARVC and JKD genes and get this pre-clinical test for the ARVC successfully trialed.
Communication posted through Facebook