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I have been trying to think of a way to post this...I have been banging on, on this site, about breeders and owners, 'putting their hands up' to a ''new problem'' or even a problem that has been around for a while. So I am putting my ''hands up''
Some people will have see the Blog placed by Carol Gill (thank you Carol for posting this) called ''Crufts 2009'' in this blog it states that there is a leaflet supplied by ISAE with reference to a 'new eye problem' in Irish setters. It does not say which lines, or who own the dogs, this problem has been found in..Carol asked me if I knew!! (all three people involved have stated that ''If asked we would not lie'' we would say who we were).
I have one of the 3 ''affected'' dogs, 3 doesn't sound much but when you think that only 7dogs have been tested then this number is quite high.
The dogs have what we think is akin to or is CSNB (Congenital Stationary Night Blindness) which is found in Breards only, at the moment, THIS IS NOT PRA.
The dogs in question have the problem in varying degrees Jas being the worst one affected, she is clinically blind at night.
People have already said that they feel that this comes down a particular line, and named the dog...
PLEASE LETS NOT START SLINGING MUD AT DIFFERENT DOGS, OR ABOUT DIFFERENT BREEDERS. although my bitch and her sister (the other affected bitch) do have many famous dogs, in there lines the THIRD dog has a very different male line, so NO MUD SLINGING PLEASE I am putting this on this site, to get a conversation going, and to see if there are people who have noticed a problem, which I have to say is VERY difficult to see, I have heard of people with totally blind animals that didn't know their dogs were blind, if it happens slowly the dogs adapt to their surroundings, and these, affected dogs, CAN see during the day...
I must reiterate that a breeder CAN NOT legislate against something that they do not know about, and this comes from very diverse lines. If you feel that your dog has any kind of vision problem please ask, where ever you are, this could be a very widespread problem.
Lets now discuss this and see if we can get to the bottom of it ASAP....lets not let it linger and spread through this lovely breed, it isn't PRA, or something painful like Bloat, but it must be very distressing for the animal and I know that it is distressing for the owner involved. We all love this breed or we wouldn't be on this site, and this site is so good to ''get the word out'' and lets see if you can get this eradicated.

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Thank you, Dee, for raising this issue. Until you posted, I had never heard about either LOPRA or this potential new problem. Camilla's very helpful articles gave us a fun hour last night testing our dogs in the dark! (Thankfully, no problems found! But I will continue to test them every year, just to make sure.) It is good to see so many people willing to do whatever it takes to ensure our breed remains healthy and problem-free.
Thank you all for the comments on this subject, Unfortunately the two types of eye problem DEFINITELY need testing for.
As far as testing is concerned, there are many lines that need to be looked at via an ERG. this problem although it is said to be a ''potential problem'' it is not ''potential'' as far as my dog, her sister and close relative is concerned, they HAVE it, we, as a breed need 12 dogs that are affected and we need 12 dogs that are unaffected (this does not mean that they don't carry a recessive gene) but they do NOT show the symptoms. We are asking for anyone who may think that their dog may have a problem, to please contact me or the ISAE or Meg Webb, to ask if their pedigrees are connected with any of the three dogs that are affected. Or that there dogs has a problem when they go somewhere strange, and it gets dark, and they get a little disorientated, it may be very small subtle things. We need the dogs for testing and then we can, we hope, get a DNA test, to get rid of this problem..We should always remember that it is the dog that matters.
I personally am not here to help myself, that has never been my thing, I am hoping that I can stop anyone else from having this affect there beloved dog, this CSNB and LOPRA I know that it isn't a painful problem for the dog but being blind for a dog like an Irish Setter must be shear hell for the dog, my girl is so much luckier than Lyn's girl at least Jas has sight during the day Layla doesn't even have that pleasure. There are many problems that this breed has, lets all get together and try and stamp them out one thing at a time....Complacency isn't an option. Or it shouldn't be. Talking among ourselves is a start, not just to make us feel better, but to help the dogs. And please lets all work together, not fight amongst ourselves. We have this site on our side many people form all around the world, surly we can work together to help the breed. Bloat had a chance, one of the top geneticists tried to help, but people just didn't seem to want to help them, so lets all pull together and get at least one problem out of the way, and maybe LOPRA may be helped as well....Lets try and nip this in the bud before it gets any worse..
Dee, you have chosen to be open and I have congratulated you on this already.

Advice is to spread this, under more to make chances of enough candidates for a testing scheme higher. Try to cooperate with professor Bedford and the ISAE in making a press release and send it to all breed clubs in the world for publication in their clubmagazines. Attach pedigrees of setters involved as well.

Contact breed clubs in the Netherlands and the IRWS of the UK, as they have a health inquiry system in first case with formulars send to owners three times in their setters lifetime. Just a clear question on this kind of blindness could work. There are people active in the Dutch health system on this site as well.

In case you are irritated by some opinions don't forget: friends tell you the truth, whether you like it or not.
I am sure of that Henk...I have no illusions.... Different dog owners different dog breeders. Prof Bedford wants the dogs to be tested via the ERG and with a general anaesthetic, this is causing problems £350, the ISAE have been very quick in bringing this out, I think that at that point it was kind of taken out of our hands, (The other two people and myself)
I was talking to someone else earlier and the COI came up then, and yes I do agree with you as far as that is concerned. I personally feel that a limit should be put on both COI and stud dog usage. But I wonder if it would be 'too little too late'
I will however put the suggestions to the other two people concerned and perhaps we can get the ball rolling on some of the suggestions that you have put forward.
Again my compliments Dee.

History shows how important communication is. The reason that whole kennels in the USA became empty in the seventies was lack of contact with the UK-scene. You can by spreading facts prevend a lot of misery. Pedigrees will tell in a glimpse what risks are taken considering coefficient of inbreeding.

Good luck in trying to get the ball rolling on suggestions. You will not become popular doing so but knowing you might prevend a lot of health misery happen is your price in this.

Fight for breeds future, forget about the rest - good luck!!!!
Oh believe me I know that I am probably not popular now, but I have always 'banged on' about doing the rite thing, and putting your hands up, if there is a problem, and I am just practising what I preach, although I came across this problem, by default. I came out of Irish because of Bloat, many years ago. I came back to my first 'love' and ended up with this problem, I think fate has a way of finding you. I do hope that we can get to the bottom of this, but it is finding the other dogs to test, our pedigrees are easy to find in others, look at your pedigrees and really observe your dog, one of the other dogs owners didn't know that there dog had a problem, until the ERG, and then she found that her dog had lost 50% of its night vision.
I was watching a program on TV and there was a woman there that thought that her dog was clumsy, and a bit stupid, it took a while to retrieve its toys, it turned out that the dog was completely blind. IT IS DIFFICULT TO TELL if your dog is blind let alone partially blind
hurrah for this site i am a member of the ISAE but have only learned of this through this site, well done to Dee for trying to turn what is a negative for her into a positive for the breed. I would like to ask members their views on the DNA testing for PRA (rcd-1) and also clad. How far down a pedigree can we quote hereditarily clear. I had my bitch DNA tested for both she was clear and the certificate she was issued with stated that she was clear and that HER offspring would be hereditarily clear it did not say that her grandkids or great great grandkids would also be clear, my vet feels that the every 3rd generation should hold their own certificate, what are your views, has anyone asked the AHT their recommendations, genes do mutate is it really to safe to go 4 + generations down a pedigree qouting hereditarily clear?
From what little I know of DNA it does seem to me that although we should take it as read that this test is clear for your bitch, if the dog isn't tested or clear then surly the puppies aren't genetically clear, they may or may not be. But that said we should have our dogs tested each year for LOPRA and if you read Lyn's input even the LOPRA can affect a puppy at a very young age Layla IS genetically clear for PRA RCD1 but she has LOPRA. and I think that I am correct in saying that she is now blind, or very close to it.
The AHT has agreed to try and find the gene that is responsible for this (?) CSNB. Although the two girls have been genetically tested for the 'marker' that is in Breards for CSNB. They were negative for that particular marker, it seems that they still might have CSNB but with a different marker, apparently it doesn't have to be the same marker for each breed. Don't quite understand it but am learning fast.
Perhaps it would be a good idea to ask the AHT if we do need to re-test the clear dogs, or just test at eye clinics, (there is going to be one held at Wales.) again as to the hereditary clear bit, it must be stated that it is only for RCD1 nothing else. I think that a lot of people think that it is final, ie that they will definitely not ever have a problem, ever. This is wrong they could still have a problem.
As far as not knowing about the 'new problem', have you had your 'Annual Review' yet?? The leaflet is supposed to be in it...
Personally, I would re-test every 3rd generation for PRA. Even the test breedings years ago were not 100% guaranteed. The only way your bitch's offspring would be genetically clear of PRA is if the sire of the litter is also DNA'd clear of PRA. CLAD is not currently a problem in the U.S. or Canada but a few breeders are going ahead and clearing their stock of CLAD at the same time they are drawing blood for the PRA DNA test. Prevention is the better part of the cure I always say! I think this is a smart thing to do here in the U.S. Being aware of problems in a breed and doing something about it is for the betterment of the breed in the long run.

Barb Simpson, Rustwood Irish Setters and Borzoi in N. TX, USA
hi kirsty
my little girl was hereditry clear and is clear herself of rcd-1 pra yet she still has the late onset form of the disease.Her certificate also stated her children would be clear.that will never happen theres never going to be any babies.
Hi Dee, Sorry you have this problem to face. Thank you for bringing it out into the open and if it makes you unpopular with anyone then it is because they either have something to cover up or are not honest people. I know how you feel as I had a bitch in whelp in 1997 to a dog that was very likely a CLAD carrier and it was only found out after I had mated her. I had to sell my litter of puppies not knowing if my bitch was a carrier or not and it was a big worry every time the phone rang wondering if it was the new owners of my puppies ringing to report they had a problem. I was very honest to each and every prospective buyer explaining to them in detail everything I knew and giving them literature to read. Do you know, not one person blinked an eyelid. Thankfully all the puppies were fine and my bitch was tested clear eventually when the DNA test was available. The dog was also tested and it was confirmed he was a carrier. Only two puppies were tested and both were carriers and none of that litter were every bred from. In reply to Kirsty's question I do believe a few Irish Setter breeders are having their stock actually tested for PRA rcd-1 and CLAD and I have thought about getting my youngest bitch tested even though she is hereditarily clear as she is 3 generations away from the bitch I had tested. I also have all of my dogs eyes tested at an eye clinic as recommended in the ISAE documentation at least every other year, even the old one who has never been bred from. I make sure anything I mate has had a clear eye test within the last 12 months. I havn't done the torch test on any of mine yet so I am hoping they will be ok.
Thank you Dee for posting this discussion. I believe we all need to open about any problems that may effect our breed. How else will we learn and grow. Having a dog and loosing him to a horrible illness that our breed is known for is very heartbreaking as you know. There is not alot of information about SLE that would of helped me understand what Scout went through. Hopefully this discussion will open up other areas also.




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