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Very good news that you will soon have a DNA test for LOPRA in Irish Setters. And it would be excellent  if the same test works for IRWS, as LOPRA was found in IRWS for the first time last year

its brilliant news and i do hope all setter owners will give dna for to check against lopra.my red setter age 7 years was diagnosed with lopra at 2 1/2 years old (shes dna  clear of the rod cone 1 type) ans she has been totally blind since she was 5 years old.

only last week i had a lady contact me from cornwall devasted that shed been told her 3 year old girl has it its heart breaking and the sooner we can get this horrible horrible disease out of the dogs the sooner the better.

i know this disease is painless like its been said before but its so upsetting seeing a beautiful dog like setters been restricted to just walking by your side .

just adding to my previous post my girl is a very happy dog even though she is blind.shes brilliant how she walks about without bumping into things its as if she mapped it all out before losing her sight all together. i dont think anyone would have noticed the blindness before but now she has cataracts which is a secondary complaint with pra dogs (the vets dont remove them as its not beneficial to the dog) 

she really enjoys going away in our caravan and going on the beaches where  she can  run free and its fantastic to see and it makes me soooooooo HAPPY .

when she was first diagnosed i could see no light at the end of the tunnel and i grieved for 18 months about her going blind and laylas proved to me that they adapt to blindness and accept it much better than their owners. 

We are being told that in IRWS "late onset" means older dogs of nine, ten years or older, and that LOPRA doesnt show up before then. I have had doubts about this , as LOPRA seems to show up much earlier in some dogs and some breeds. Malcolm Davidson, one of the Scottish BVA eye specialist panel says symptoms can appear be recognised in four and five year old dogs, and in Lyn's case it was certainly quite early onset

we were told by professor bedford when layla was 2 1/2 years old and he said shed probably had it some 12 to 18 months beforehand so it was very early . i also know a couple of dogs that have been 7 or 8 when lopra was diagnosed. 

this margaret is why i cant stress enough as to the importance of eye testing in dogs my dog didnt have a problem at home (shed already adapted i think) it was when she stayed with my daughter = different surroundings made her very disorientated and she had normal eyes as far as we were concerned .how wrong we were 

Hi Lyn

I am also curious as to the age Layla diagnosed. Is she affected by the same type of PRA that affects the Gordon Setters? PRA rcd4? So far I thought this could not be seen by an ophthalmologist until dogs were between 6 and 8 years of age sometimes later.


I've recently had three of mine tested, aged 5 1/2 yrs 8 1/2 yrs and 11 years. Fortunately all are clinically unaffected.


I agree that all breeding stock should have eye tests done regularly.

I believe in Labradors the first signs of LOPRA can sometimes be diagnosed when the dog is quite young, even if blindness doesnt happen until the dog is older

We are told the cases of LOPRA diagnosed in IRWS are older dogs, but the owners and the breed club are still refusing to make known who the dogs are or their pedigrees, so very little is known so far

As I understand it there are may different types of PRA depending on what breed we are speaking of. There are also many other eye diseases that are known to be of genetic origin. All the more reason for having all breeding stock examined.

However, we must remain aware of the fact that we can not afford to reduce the gene pool any more by 'disposing' of all good dogs due to them being carriers of one recessive gene (most PRA afflictions seem to be recessive). We'd narrow down the gene pool even more. And that is not something we can afford doing in Irish Red or Red & Whites...

hi susan layla had 2 visits to an opthamologist before seeing mr bedford and there was evidence of bilateral retinal degeneration ( their comments most likely gpra as both her parents were hereditry clear )
a few weeks later when we had the second opinion with the support of my dogs breeders (they were a tower of strenghth to me and my husband then and even to this day and ill always be greatful to them for that) the comments were bilateral extensive retinal degeneration and "age problem" was in the gpra coloumn .i couldnt understand why she had the late onset form of the disease with her only been 2 1/2 years of age.
im so pleased your dogs have all been given the all clear for this horrible disease .
I thought that type one  Rod-cone dysplasia ,if that is the same thing,showed itself in Irish Setters when they were puppies and they would be blind within a year or two.It is an awful disease and my sympathy to anyone with a dog suffering in this way.

Just today I received the newsletter from the ISAE 'Setter Shot' with various health updates inclduing an update on PRA rcd-4. I'm afraid my scanner is out of order but maybe some other member could scan the acrticle and put it on here?





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