Rose Matchen and Dr. Kelley McNair
Genetics Is the Key
Rose Matchen’s enthusiasm for Golden Retrievers is infectious. During her nearly 40-year involvement with the breed, Rose has been a breeder (field trial, field/obedience and triple purpose) and a competitor, and now she is a proud Golden Retriever Lifetime Study supporter.
Over the years, Rose has worked hard to improve the genetics of her dogs and of the breed overall. Her support of the study expands those efforts. Multiple puppies from the same litter are living in different environments, and will provide researchers with beneficial insight into potential genetic and environmental factors related to cancer and other canine diseases.
Also, having dogs from different genetic lines represented in the study will make it possible to determine genetic differences that may influence disease development.
So far, five puppies from one of Rose’s litters are enrolled in the study: Cooper, Harp, Rev, Killian and Kaydyn. Another puppy, Tease, is in the application process. The puppies are living in four different states. Rose is currently working with the puppies’ new owners to get all eight of her latest litter enrolled.
Rose’s veterinarian, Dr. Kelley McNair, is one of the participating puppy owners. When asked what drew her to participate both as owner and veterinarian, Dr. McNair replied, “What I find most exciting about this study is the potential for identifying genetic markers and/or specific blood lines that may help in identifying predispositions to certain diseases. … Might we actually be able to reduce the incidence of certain diseases by identifying these markers long before signs of disease are (found) and hopefully before these dogs have been used for breeding? Could we actually make a difference? I think so.”
Rose and Dr. McNair’s support of the study underscores their shared interest in genetics and how it relates to animal health. With their help, and that of other Golden Retriever lovers, Morris Animal Foundation hopes to learn more about the relationship between genetics and health for this popular breed.
To learn more about Morris Animal Foundation and our other programs please visit morrisanimalfoundation.org.