Objective—To estimate the heritability of atopic dermatitis in Golden and Labrador Retrievers.
Animals—429 dogs related to 13 dogs with atopic dermatitis.
Procedure—Atopic dermatitis was defined on the basis of the type and frequency of clinical signs recorded in the clinical records, and each dog was classified with atopic dermatitis or probable atopic dermatitis or as nonatopic. By use of data from atopic and nonatopic dogs, regression analyses of parental status on offspring status were performed to estimate heritability.
Results—There was no difference in the frequency of atopic dermatitis between sexes or between breeds. There was a marked association between the atopic status of the parent and that of the offspring, particularly for sires. By use of data from 32 litters in which the status of both parents was known and considering only those dogs classified with atopic dermatitis or as nonatopic, the heritability (± SE) of atopic dermatitis was estimated to be 0.47 (± 0.17).
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Atopic dermatitis has a strong genetic component, and breeding of dogs with clinical signs of atopic dermatitis should be discouraged. ( Am J Vet Res 2004; 65:1014–1020)