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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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OMG Henk am I reading correctly, or just putting two and two together and making five, that the stud dog has been used SINCE he was diagnosed????
Will the Irish Setter Club of the Netherlands be contacting either Lyn or myself, I think that you have got my email address, if not do ask and I will let you have it???
I do hope so, as you say this needs to be eradicated, and if these animals are being used for stud or brood bitches then we are in real trouble.
And spotting this problem is very very difficult, I really can't emphasise enough that this is horrible for both owner and dog, someone said to me that there are more horrible things that a dog can have, that is correct, but if it is your dog that has this, it is the worst thing possible, no it isn't life threatening, but watching your beloved dog going slowly blind, I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy, (and believe me I could think of some dreadful things to wish on such people)
Thanks again Henk for bringing this to our attention..
No Dee, diagnose of Bradley was according to the coordinator health committee ISCN done at thirteen years of age, one eye showing late onset PRA, the other one cataract.

This was made public in 2004 in Belgium, she said. No action was taken. You can read the pedigree of stud dog Bradley in the Irish Red Setter Pedigree Collection.

You state “if these animals are used for stud or brood bitches we are in real trouble”. Yes above shows what can happen. Lines involved show that this could mean not just a small problem but a worldwide one.

I phoned the coordinator of the health committee of the ISCN, who made mention if this. She is not present here. Lyn and Dee can you send your private e-mail addresses to me Info@Irishsetter.com these will be fwd to her cc-ing to you both.

In this call three ideas were launched: 1) international cooperation to develop DNA-tests; 2) no breeding until five years of age; 3) publication of pedigrees involved. Hopefully these meet fertile grounds.
Quote: In this call three ideas were launched: 1) international cooperation to develop DNA-tests; 2) no breeding until five years of age; 3) publication of pedigrees involved.

That sounds good!
Correct e-mail address is Info@Iersesetter.com

Forgot to say professors Stades and Bedford met eachother last weekend so international cooperation is practised on that level already.
Hi there Henk
Tried to send you email on the last address but it came flying back...any suggestions???
hi henk,
just want to comment on the dog that was diagnosed with pra in one eye and cataract in other at age of 13 years old.im not a vet or a proffesional involved in eye diseases (im just the owner of layla) and im sure this dog must have had pra for a few years before diagnosis and that he must have had pra in both eyes before the cataract formed in one eye.
layla was diagnosed has having it in october 2006 and when she went to see professor bedford in april 2009 she had gone totally blind with secondary cataracts forming on the eyes .the right one especially.we were informed at the time of laylas diagnosis that cataracts could form as its common in dogs that have pra. also vets will not remove them as its not benificial to the dog.
also i agree with dee its such a crying shame seeing the love of your life bumping into nearly everything and with layla i think she has nearly another 10 years of total darkness if she lives as long as our previous setters have.and yes has people say its painless thats the only cosolation we have although i must say layla has adapted very very well to her disability we still walk her off the lead in open spaces and in woods she doesnt go far from our sides and this i want her to keep doing
Yes this information makes one wonder...is it possible that you see blindness that late??? Because if so, the danger for the breed is bigger. In each case, this stud dog documents clearly that it DOES happen, providing an extra warning for those of us responsible for future generations.

The fact that no action was taken after announcement of the problem, MAY illustrate that responsible persons in this case, think/thought these are accidental cases. Reread this topic and this way of reasoning shows up.

The ISCN interviews all owners of pedigreed Irish setters thrice in a lifetime, that is 2, 5 and 8 years. With questions on blindness as well. There were no signs blindness was on the rise judging from answers on these interviews, is what I learned from the phonecall.

I suggested the health-committee to change questions on the interviews and make it more prominent, plus publish a focus in the clubmag. Note: nothing specific was published yet!!! The invitation for the Stades-lecture was very general on all eyeproblems, no information provided that lately more cases have been diagnosed.

Now that Stades has spoken and more cases showed up, more owners remember cases of blindness that was in their eyes due to age. In more cases it meanwhile became evident, that it was not due to age but lopra. Not just Irish setters as pets, but those bred from as well.

There are plans to have all Irish setters in club-events diagnosed for all eye-problems, so that costs can be lower for owners. Fundraising would be great, in case any specialist on that terrain is reading this, please contact the Dutch club. In my eyes it would be great, when this would generate international cooperation, that will make costs lower and be a good start for other initiatives as well.

Dee the e-mail address is correct and works here but why not contact directly this is what the clubmagazine tells on addresses: Health committee Irish Setter Club the Netherlands, Joyce Suyk suyk0011@planet.nl
secretary A. Wapstra awapstra@chello.nl chairman Peter de Haar keijsershof@planet.nl
You all seem unaware of the work that is already in progress.

In 2003, Prof Stades was one of four people at Utrecht who identified the condition in Irish Setters in Holland and produced a scientific paper on LOPRA. The British Veterinary Association (BVA) reported the condition and the work done at Utrecht in the same year in their Journal. Prof Stades & Prof Bedford colaborated. Also in 2003 cases were reported in Sweden and Iceland. The ISAE became involved, they reported LOPRA to all of the UK Breed Clubs & the KC. The condition was put on to the schedule for the BVA KC scheme, eye examiners report to the BVA, if they find dogs with the condition at eye examination clinics. Prof Bedford wrote about LOPRA in the ISAE Annual Review of 2003. The ISAE held a Health Seminar in March 2004, Prof Bedford spoke about LOPRA. Updates on LOPRA have continued to appear in the Reviews, in 2007 a ‘Home Test for PRA’ was published encouraging owners to monitor their dogs eyes yearly, (I have attached the text). LOPRA is a slow advancing condition, early signs can be picked up at 2-3 years of age using the home test, and before the condition is clearly visible by ophthalmoscope. In some dogs their sight deteriorates faster than others, one dog examined at 12 still had partial sight
Since 2003 the Animal Health Trust (AHT) has accepted blood from LOPRA affected dogs in the UK, Sweden, Holland and Belgium for future research and to develop a DNA test. There is some limited research about to start. To help to find affected dogs, since 2004 the ISAE have paid for all dogs entering the Veteran Classes at their Championship Shows to have a free eye test.

With regard waiting until your dogs are 5, to see if they develop the disease, before breeding. This is misguided, the dog may not be affected but it can still be a carrier. Producing the condition would then depend on if you were unlucky enough to mate to another carrier, who again is unaffected.

The groundwork on LOPRA has largely been done, we need to keep sending blood samples to the AHT from all new cases of LOPRA, so that they get to the number they need to start full research. Pedigree evidence is useful, but you still can’t identify the clears and carriers from a suspect litter.

Rosie good info, was it send to all clubs worldwide?

You wrote: With regard waiting until your dogs are 5, to see if they develop the disease, before breeding. This is misguided, the dog may not be affected but it can still be a carrier. Producing the condition would then depend on if you were unlucky enough to mate to another carrier, who again is unaffected

Waiting with breeding until five years of age tested non-affected reduces possibility and numbers of late onset pra. Take a litter of eight. Tested free non carrier x tested free carrier means zero blind pups. Tested free carrier x tested free carrier means two blind pups. It can not be affected x carrier (four blind pups) or affected x affected (all pups blind).

This is of course in case late onset pra is a recessive like it is in most other breeds.

Another advantage of this system: every breeder must test and therefore it opens eyes of breeders who show a blindness for blindness now. Result: more information, more chances of developing a DNA-test more rapidly.
Rosie I was unaware of the work that is already being done.. and I have a dog that is affected by it all, so when was it started..no one has said anything to me about it, well not that I can remember, as I seem to be going senile, don't seem to know much about much these days...
Thanks for the info
Correction there is no question on blindness in the interviews of the ISCN.
I think as I have said before that blindness is really difficult to spot, my girls sister was only tested because Jas seemed to have a problem..her owner had seen nothing wrong with her, it turned out that she had a 50% loss of vision in both eyes, so not reporting a loss of vision could mean that the owner just hadn't noticed it, again in Laylas diagnosis, it was only picked up on when she was at Lyn's daughters house, where she wasn't used to the way things were placed around the house, this has got to be taken in to consideration, it is so difficult to spot that the dog has a loss of vision
(Can't understand what happened with the email, Henk, will try again with the email addresses that you have given Thanks.)




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