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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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Thanks Dee for starting this discussion. I reside in the US, so I'm not sure like Wendy how our pedigrees could help you. I do like Wendy's idea of setting up a test area at shows, I know of one location here in Michigan that would be perfect, but haven't seen it listed by AKC or the show superintendent.

Yes Wendy That may be a good idea. As far as some of the other comments, I think that we are 'ASSUMING' at this moment that it is a genetic problem ie a recessive gene, which means both mum and dad must carry the gene, either one or both could be affected, but BOTH must carry the gene. their offspring are kind of divided by three, one third clear one third carriers and the remainder affected. We don't think that this is a one off mutation, as the third dog is only slightly related to the other two, there is a tie-in many generations back, so don't think its a spontaneous mutation. We don't have to do test matings any more because of DNA all we need, is 12 affected and 12 unaffected dogs it doesn't sound much but its getting the testing done, we have 3 affected and I think 4 unaffected dogs some are not related to the 3 affected dogs, so we still need dogs that do not show any signs of the problem. so please share you pedigrees...there is no stigma attached to this.
And as you say most of your dogs in US have UK bloodlines so go ahead and test your dogs, in a very dark place, I can't emphasise enough that it must be pitch black, no residual light at all.
Oh I knew what you meant, Have I done my usual, and said something that might be taken the wrong way, I was actually answering something that Wendy was saying, I totally agree with you, I think that I have said before that we shouldn't 'bash' particular lines, BUT that said, it is carried in lines, (if it is recessive gene,) so we must START by looking at these lines, they are the lines that we know about, (again no blame should be put on any dog or person.) we know which lines our girls are from and we know which lines the third dog is from, so looking at these lines FIRST, to try and get more affected dogs is the way to go, this is unfortunate, but it is the only way to start. Then we can get a DNA test which can be used for the total health of the breed, this is the first stages, it is unfortunate that the two girls are from very popular lines. but because of that we need to get to the bottom of this ASAP, before it gets completely out of hand. I have to add here that we are NOT only looking at the close parentage, but are going back many generations too, So please give your pedigrees!!!
Hi Dee!

Wouldn´t it be easier if you told what lines who are involved, so each and everyone can go through their pedigrees for themselves?
I just caught this discussion and am now up to speed! Any help we, IRWS, can give you with this problem we will gladly.
It has stirred a little note in our database. In 2004 we had a report of an IRWS with LOPRA. IRWS have Posterior Polar Cataract (PPC) which is a condition of variable age of onset and this means that dogs - particularly breeding stock, have to be examined by a BVA/KC Eye specialistl annually. This means, since 1995 when PPC was discovered that a great number of IRWS have been observed and the breed as a whole is a bit paranoid about eyes! In all this time PRA has not been found until the 6 year old dog in 2004 - and no more since. There was also at that time a report of 'the Utrecht IRWS' whose owner was asked to supply a blood sample as he was a LOPRA suspect.... we did not hear any more about this.
3 Irish Setters? 2 IRWS? A true tip of the iceberg? Or a minor hiccup? We will never know unless we investigate. There is NO POINT in being coy, sweeping things under the carpet, blaming anyone - talking about our problems and facing them bravely is the ONLY way.... and just maybe there is not a problem at all that informed breeding cannot solve. Don't panic - act sensibly and together.
Thank you Ann for that very interesting piece, Am I rite in thinking that PPC is where the Cataract is in the back part of the eye and not at the front.????
I haven't talked to your Chairman Bob knapton I have actually known Bob for many many years, (I once was related by dog to him, I sold him his first Irish Setter) It is interesting to note that not only the Irish Red/Irish Red and White, and Gordon have now over the past few years shown problems with their eyes, one of the (I think) AHT geneticists, was asked, how far back do we look at this problem, their answer was ''How long have setters been setters'' or it could just be a 'new' mutation. So perhaps they are all coming up with the same kind of thing at the same time. Who knows....coincidence
Kristina...I can only give out my lines.....they are Caspians, It takes in a lot of the main popular dogs over the past 30 years, but there are another two lines, of a dog that is only a pet. I can't give out that information because it is not mine to give....but I have asked if the people involved will let me put his pedigree on the site. If anyone thinks that there lines may come into this problem, please contact me, I will give my own email address... mayfredsetters@tiscali.co.uk
So please contact me if you think there is a problem.
I have just re read this and I find I have written the last bit the wrong way round It should have read ''if anyone finds that their DOGS have a problem please contact me'' not their lines sorry for any confusion
Hi Dee
PPC is a cataract on the back surface of the lens - as oposed to the usual cataracts that can be seen by the naked eye on the front of the lens. Senile cataracts can be removed surgically, but as far as I know, PPC cannot. The problem is that with a variable age of onset, affected dogs can have been bred from before their PPC is apparent and so PPC continues into the next generation. Research, already paid for by IRWSCGB and the KC Charitable Trust, is happening now and a DNA test anticipated soon - can't be soon enough! IRWS breeders/owners are well clued up about inherited conditions and DNA testing... being a numerically small breed is much easier to reach than big breeds.
Don't give up though!
Incidentally is LOPRA a 'New Eye Problem in Irish?' I heard about it from an American owner of Irish Setters in 2004 and had a conversation about it with Mike Oakley (ISAE) then.
Anyway, let's get on with sorting it out before it becomes a 'big' problem!
Hi Ann
No LOPRA is just a different form of the old PRA RCD1 we only have a genetic test for the RCD1 type, so if you see on a pedigree PRA clear, they are only clear for the RCD1 type NOT LOPRA (Late Onset Progressive Retinal Atrophy) this last type has started rearing its ugly head, and if you look at the comment that Lyn has put on this discussion you will learn how distressing it can be, and just how EARLY late onset can start. No this is probably a type of CSNB (Congenital Stationary Night Blindness) so VERY new, at present only seen in Breards, humans and some breeds of Horses, although when the genetic test was done on the two girls it didn't come up as positive to that particular marker, just because of that it doesn't mean that it isn't CSNB just that it isn't that particular marker.
Some bright news this morning. ISCA is planning to put information on CSNB in the June issue of their Memo to Members. The health committee chair received the leaflet from Crufts and agrees the information should be disseminated. I'd love if she'd join this forum; however, she's swamped with other responsibilities. A step at a time is a step forward. I'm so pleased.

Donna Seigart
Woodglen Irish Setters in Northern California
Oh wow, that is so good, I have said before on this forum that most of your stock over there has come form the UK many many decades ago...(I think) and I know of a couple of dogs that have been exported to US recently, at least in the past 10years, from some of the dogs that are 'in the pedigrees' that we are looking at, don't know if they have been used at stud yet...please keep me informed, and I have just put my email address here on this forum and if she would like to get in contact me, I can give as much info. as I have, (and having one of the three affected dogs that is probably as much info as there is at all...)
You know what they say, every journey starts with the first step.. and we are taking that first steps here..;0))




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