About the Atlas

The Canine Embryonic Atlas (Canine Atlas) was developed by Dr. Vicki Meyers-Wallen, a faculty member at the Baker Institute for Animal Health. When Dr. Meyers-Wallen first began her research career in the 1980’s, she had no expectations of creating a canine atlas, but ended up doing so as a necessary tool for her research on abnormal reproductive tract development in dogs.

Unfortunately there are many inherited disorders in dogs that are present at birth, or in young dogs, that adversely affect health, or are even lethal. Other inherited disorders affect health later on, but they still originate during gestation while specific organs are undergoing development. Therefore, we need to know more about what is happening during gestation and when it is happening in order to figure out when these disorders begin, what genes and mutations are involved, and how we might intervene so that we can increase the number of normal dogs that are born and decrease the number of dogs born that have inherited disorders.

Developmental staging information for other species has enabled researchers to pinpoint the stage and gestational age at which a particular event occurs in the development of any body part for that species. In particular, for molecular studies of inherited disorders, knowledge of developmental stage allows a researcher to pinpoint the correct stage at which one may identify the first abnormal step in development of an affected body part. This is the first crucial step in creating methods to prevent, treat, or cure the abnormal development.

The Canine Atlas also provides a structure in which to accurately compare the developmental stages of dogs to those of humans and mice. In this way, information known about how and when an organ develops in one of these species can be compared to the analogous developmental stage across all three species.

Our long term goal is to provide an online resource for canine development and gene expression that is comparable to widely used resources for other model systems, such as The Anatomical Basis of Mouse Development (Kaufman and Bard 1999) and the Edinburgh Mouse Atlas Project. At this point, the Canine Atlas is intended to be an initial resource that makes our data on canine development and gene expression widely available, forges links with other online resources, and begins to establish a user community.

Ethical guidelines

All the images shown in the Canine Atlas were obtained in studies conducted according to NIH guidelines for the Care of Vertebrate Animals used in Testing, Research, and Training. All animal care and experimental protocols used in these studies were approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee at Cornell University.

Terms of use

Note that all digital photographs (.jpg) and tables can be downloaded for educational or research purposes. We ask that neither be altered and that attribution to the Canine Embryonic Atlas website is included in any medium in which the downloaded information is shown. The correct attribution text is: Canine Embryonic Atlas, Baker Institute for Animal Health, Cornell University, https://www2.vet.cornell.edu/canine-atlas