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IRWS are in a different dimension from Irish Setters. Posterior Polar Cataract was discovered 16 yeaers ago and breeding stock, at least, has been regularly examined for eye problems ever since and is, in fact, a requisite for putting ltters on the Breed Puppy List.
PRArcd1 has not been found.
Money has been raised to finance a DNA test for PPC - but there is a significant lack of cases which hampers progress. However, as 'control' samples from older dogs are required, a big effort is made to get old dogs examined (to the tune of the breed Club paying for the eye test) This particular cohort provides important information on the status of the eyes of aged dogs.
Three cases of PRA have been discovered in old dogs. Unfortunately, the first case was broadcast on the internet, with its attendant 'panic stations' WITHOUT the knowledge of the owner - who had already reported the condition to the Genetic Sub-Committee of the Breed Club. When the other two cases were found, the owners reported them too. It has never been the policy of the IRWSCGB to reveal information without owners' consent but the three owners were vigorously advised to name their dogs. The hysteria and nastiness that had errupted, and still carries on, since the first 'announcement' prevents the owners from naming their dogs - although a great deal of work has been done in tracing and informing the few related dogs still alive. If only the 'internet informant' had contacted the Breed Club before launching this 'hot news', this situation would not have occurred. PRA in IRWS would have been handled in the same way as CLAD and vWD.
The advent of PRArcd4 gave us hope, soon to be dashed as the 3 IRWS PRA dogs are NOT rcd4 - they along with 3 Irish Setters and 2 Gordon Setters are, at the moment, PRArcd?.
We need more dogs examined... although the clinical signs of PRA are not always visible or don't manifest until old age, a collection of DNA samples gives scope for investigation. DNA tests are the only way to identify some as yet non-clinical affecteds and the carriers. So what do you do?
If you are lucky enough to have a DNA test use it wisely - without panic, recriminations or throwing your babies out with the bathwater.
If you have no DNA test yet - work hard until you have
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