Home for Irish Setter Lovers Around the World
Epilepsy can be a problem in our breed.
Thanks to a post on this site some months ago, the Swiss Setter & Pointer Club got in touch with the Finnish study group at Helsinki University. Their aim is to collect enough blood donations from Irish Setters so as to research epilepsy in the breed.
Last weekend at the Swiss Setter & Pointer Club show 30 dogs donated their blood for the study.
It was due to Exclusively Setters that word spread fast and we were able to take action. More Swiss Irish Setters will hopefully be donating blood during the next months and since the Vetsuisse Faculty of Berne is now also involved, posting of samples to Finland has become a lot easier.
That is great news! I know blood donation is more problematical for you in the UK with animal welfare rules being somewhat restrictive in that respect. So good to hear you have found a way to go ahead.
I done a swab from Abbie for them a few month ago.So anyone thinking of doing one, I can say it is so simple no bother at all and cost only £3 to send by airmail. The form takes a while if you donn`t have dates at hand. Hope they get more than they expect so a to get a better picture.
Irish Red & White Setters were also asked if we would like to take part in the research. We were very willing, but unfortunately - or rather fortunately - we do not have enough Epilepsy cases to be of use and so were declined by Helsinki.
However, I do wholeheartily encourage Irish Setter owners to join in this research. The donation of DNA is a vital contribution to solving this distressing condition. Blood sample or buccal swab are equally acceptible.
Go for it, Irish Setters!!!!
I fear there will be no quick answers or easy tests for this complex disease but if we can help them gather as many samples as possible of affected dogs and of healthy controls then we are helping the breed.
As Angela said it is so much easier if you can use swabs. But from what I have heard blood donations make it easier to extract the DNA for research.
For those of you with a 'scientific mind' here is a link to research done by this same Finnish group for the Belgian Shepherd Dog (Groenendael). This makes it clear what a very complex disease this is! Unfortunately findings in one breed do not necessarily match the findings in another...
Full info on the UK support for the study can be found here:
see link dated 20 June 2013
That is good news Susan!