The Kennel Club has approved a new official DNA test reporting scheme for early onset progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) in Portuguese Water Dogs following consultation with the breed’s health coordinator on behalf of the breed clubs. Results will be recorded with the abbreviation “EOPRA”.
Progressive retinal atrophy is a condition that causes the parts of the eye that are sensitive to light to break down.
PRA produces a gradual loss of vision in both eyes, eventually leading to total blindness. Sadly, there is no cure.
There are a number of different versions of PRA, but most of them tend to affect older dogs. Early onset PRA (EOPRA), as the name suggests, affects younger dogs, usually around the age of two to three years old.
A number of breeds are affected by PRA; however, while the clinical effects are usually similar, the disease can be caused by a number of different genetic mutations.
This new DNA test examines one of the mutations causing EOPRA in Portuguese Water Dog.
The disease is described as autosomal-recessive. This means that a dog must inherit two copies of an abnormal gene before its health is affected.
Tested dogs will be recorded on The Kennel Club systems as either:
- Clear: the dog does not have any copies of the abnormal gene associated with the disease. The dog is highly unlikely to be clinically affected and will only pass on a normal copy of the gene to a puppy
- Carrier: the dog has one copy of the normal gene and one copy of the abnormal gene associated with the disease. The dog is highly unlikely to be clinically affected, but may pass one copy of the normal gene or one copy of the abnormal gene on to a puppy
- Affected: the dog has two copies of the abnormal gene associated with the disease. The dog will likely be clinically affected by the disorder and will pass one copy of the abnormal gene on to any potential offspring
To find out which laboratories The Kennel Club is able to record results from for this new DNA test for Portuguese Water Dogs, and which labs will send results direct to The Kennel Club, please refer to their page about EOPRA.
Please note that these listings are not necessarily comprehensive and other labs may offer the tests. To find out which DNA tests are relevant to your breed, visit The Kennel Club website.