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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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Donna the leaflet is on this discussion it was put on by Camilla. (I hadn't got the foggiest how to do it) It is open for all to see and it was given out with the ISAE Annual Review, so I would imagine it could be reproduced. I wouldn't know how to print it off but it must be open for reprinting, There are many UK lines in the US, if any of your dogs have got these lines on both sides of their pedigrees then there is a chance that it could be in your dogs as well, all be it a small chance, this is if I have understood the recessive gene thing correctly. And yes prevention is better than cure.
I would like to see the pamphlet too. I can't find the pamphlet anywhere on this forum but maybe I am not looking in the right place. The CERF exam is a basic eye exam by a certified vet specialized in opthamology and does not include an ERG. ERG's are normally only done to confirm PRA, etc. in a dog showing symptoms and are not routinely done. With the late onset of this (I found age 4 - 5 online) and the fact that it cannot be picked up in an eye exam such as CERF (http://www.vmdb.org/cerf.html) this is a problem that could easily get out-of-hand through no fault of breeders. It's a tough one. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.

you will find the brochure on the first page of this discussion under attachments.....at the bottom of the page
Thanks for saying where the leaflet is Catherine....and Wendy yes this is the whole problem, dogs are tested for LOPRA and no the CSNB can't be found, as far as the CERF exam, it is the same as over here, but the girls are clear as far as that exam is concerned, so we are all going to have to be much more observant as to our dogs behaviour. You are also correct in saying that this is probably much more widespread than we can imagine, and again yes it could get very quickly out of hand, and at the moment no fault can be put on any of the breeders, I have tried to emphasize this rite from the beginning. But thanks for reiterating it again,
hi wendy just to let you know my little girl was only 2 and1/2 when she was diagnosed with lopra and shed had for about 18 months before according to the professor that examined her.pra can also be diagnosed by the use of an opthalmascope which is far less distressing to the dog. ive contributed to the blog not to attach any blame to anyone (my breeder has given me 200% support) but to let people know this ugly disease can raise its head at anytime .
CERF is an eye certification examination program here in the U.S. Not sure if they have the same thing available in Canada or not but would assume so since we have such a long border with our Canadian friends. Drops are put in the eyes and they are examined under an opthamoloscope, checking for any eye anomolies that might be present, including PRA which can be seen after the age of 4 months. As adult dogs, they should be examined at least every other year,especially breeding stock. The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals gathers all of the data and has it available on their website as long as the dogs' owners sign a release allowing this information to be made public. The OFA foundation then has a huge database with dogs listed by breed, registered names, registration numbers, what clearances they've had done, etc. It's a marvelous tool for breeders. We can also apply for CHIC status and be listed on the same database, includes BAER hearing test results for English Setters too. Some of the Hip records on the OFA database go back to the early 1970's, some of my earliest Irish Setters are listed on it. Sometimes the names are misspelled in the database so you have to search by partial name and breed but eventually you can find anything that has been certified free of Hip Dysplasia, PRA DNA'd, CERF'd, BAER'd, etc. Do you have something like this in the UK or Europe? It would really be a great tool for breeders if you do have a database like this available to you.

To Barbara 'S' Yes we do have a list, it is printed yearly in the Annual Review of the ISAE this has just gone out. The eyes for the BVA test is done the same way as your CERF test (drops then the visual examination) The other test are DNA tests for CPRA rcd1 BVA/KC eye Scheme HD & CLAD DNA. There is no disclaimer it is published like it or not.
Vivian, yes I agree to a point, but we do need to know which lines carry it now, it has probably come down from many many generations back, (I would think) so no blame can be placed at any feet...but we mustn't get complacent, we need to test, and not just for LOPRA but for CSNB we do need more people coming forward with pedigrees to see if there may be a problem, if people will let me have their pedigrees we can say yes or no to whether or not there is a need to having their dogs tested...Just as a precaution, and we could get closer the having the controls that are needed, then all we have to do is find the affected, then we can get a DNA test to eradicate this problem from our breed, then we can go on to the next problem, there is a DNA scheme being started for LOPRA so that will be two problems out of the way, then we should start on the next, perhaps HD???
Wouldn't it make more sense to test all dogs for now? That way, you get a more clear picture of just how many dogs are affected that their owners have no clue about? Many blind dogs get around just fine in controlled environments and owners can miss the night blindness or even PRA blindness if the dogs are not observed outdoors in really dark circumstances. When you have a good database submitted for review, then you can start putting together the where it came from and what to do now to breed away from the problem. Use the test sort of like the PRA and CLAD DNA test, to build your numbers of clear and affected dogs. Since an eye exam is reqired to find this problem for now, maybe hold eye clinics at your shows, any dog gatherings where more than one or two Irish are together at one time. We hold eye clinics here in the U.S. at all breed shows, PRA DNA clinics at our National Specialty where several hundred Irish come together for a week of fun and competitions. Just a suggestion, I wouldn't necessarily make it mandatory, but, you may find more affected dogs than you can imagine! That would be scarey to me. We found litter mates affected and clear of PRA when we were test breeding 35 years ago, I'm sure your breeders did too. If this is being caused by a simple recessive, it can hide anywhere and everywhere, pop out at any time unexpectedly.

The test for Congenital Stationary Night Blindness is an ERG (electroretinogram - sp?) apparently the dog has to be anesthetized for this procedure so it wouldn't be possible to do this at show eye clinics. It's also very expensive. robably only dogs that are suspected of having the condition are ever ERG'd. The pamphlet on this site describes how to test a dog's night vision. This and owner observation seem to be the only practical way to detect that there is a potential problem. If they can get 12 affected dogs apparently DNA research can proceed. The Briard test for CSNB didn't work for these three Irish Setters apparently. The only practical screening tool now is the night vision test described in the pamphlet, but the future may hold a DNA test, if it proves to be a genetic condition and the markers can be found.

Oh well done Wendy, you have grasped the problem....Have you got any suggestions as to where we go now...I must say that the 'home test' is just a tool, it is not infallible, but it gives us a guide, it is also a good 'tool' to find out if there may be a problem with 'LOPRA' All three of us involved had been looking at pedigrees, and we have 'earmarked' a few lines that we think are 'probable possible' for this, if, as you say, it is a simple recessive gene. Testing ever dog would be great, in an ideal world but very unnecessary, we think that there are certain lines that may have this in them. Perhaps people could give us their pedigrees at least three generations four would be better, and we could give an idea if there is a potential problem?????? Give it a try........anyone willing???..........Privately of cause.
Only suggestions I would have is to find enough affected dogs (if there are more) to start the DNA research and in the meantime get breeders involved and start marking pedigrees. Before DNA testing for PRA breeders used test-matings and marked pedigrees. If a condition is genetic then it is likely to affect others within family lines and beyond (wherever the original carriers/affected dogs were used - bear in mind this could be a mutation of recent origin which would explain why this problem has not been identified previously). Of course not every dog in the family is affected nor would it be likely that every dog is a carrier (this is all assuming this is an inherited condition). The ultimate goal, should this prove to be an inherited condition, would be to identify affected dogs (probably need to be removed from a breeding program) and to identify carriers and clears so they can be included in a breeding program with care taken not to produce any affected offspring in future generations. I know some would brefer to remove carriers from breeding programs too, but we need to keep as many dogs within the genepool as we can, and carriers can be bred responsibly. In time the defective gene(s), if indeed this is a genetic condition, can be removed from the genepool without a huge reduction in the number of dogs maintained in the genepool.

I would have no problem having the pedigrees of my dogs being reviewed if there is a chance that there could be CDNB within the family, but they do not have any UK dogs in the immediate pedigree so would be difficult to make the connection with current dogs in the UK. It's important to keep in mind that all Irish Setters in North America go back to UK imports so if this is a long-standing genetic problem, we could have the problem over here too. Would be easily missed since the dogs can see during the day and learn to adapt at night. The great thing is that IS folk are responding immediately and trying to get on top of the problem as quickly as possible. Hopefully thye problem can be contained, but if not, getting everyone involved will lead to other affected dogs being identified and hopefully a DNA test. It's all good when people work together.

Oh, and one other idea would be to set up a dark room at shows to run dogs through. Owners could partake of the test vountarily and I am sure most would do so. Many dogs could be assessed quickly this way, and the set-up would be novel for the dogs. It's not that easy to find a very dark and novel place to test your dogs. I know I would appreciate an opportunity to run my dogs through when everything is already set-up, Would be so convenient. I better others would feel that way too.





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