Addison’s Disease in Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers

We are currently collecting DNA samples and medical histories from Tollers, performing computer statistical analysis for the mode of inheritance, and examining seven candidate genes which have been linked to Addison’s disease in some human patients. Should it be determined that these candidate genes are not the cause in Tollers, a genome scan approach will be taken. Ultimately, we hope to provide a genetic test and counseling to help Toller breeders eliminate this devastating condition.

The study continues to accept DNA samples from Tollers, particularly from dogs affected with Addison’s disease and their relatives. It is vital that we collect as many of these samples as possible so that our search for a genetic cause is not limited by too few individuals.

If you have any further questions or would like to participate, please see use the sample ID form and blood collection instuctions below or please contact:
Dr. Danika Bannasch (

Angela Hughes DVM (MS student Genetics, Veterinary Genetics Resident),
Dr. D. Bannasch, Dr. T. Famula, Dr. R. Nelson and Dr. A. Oberbauer

Funding provided by the UC Davis Center for Companion Animal Health

Addison’s disease is caused by destruction of the adrenal glands resulting in decreased production of vital hormones. The clinical signs of Addison’s disease can be non-specific and include vomiting, diarrhea, decreased appetite, weight loss, and slow heart rate. This disease is typically found in young to middle-aged dogs; however, it appears that some Tollers are developing signs at a very early age. The disease is usually manageable by administering the missing hormones to the dog, but it can be fatal. Thus, identifying the cause and, hopefully, eliminating this disease is extremely important to the Toller community.



PDF: Sample ID

PDF: Blood Collection