Wednesday, September 27, 2017 12:00 AM

Early Onset PRA Gene Identification and Test

The Portuguese Water Dog Club of America is pleased to announce that Dr. Gustavo Aguirre, Dr. Keiko Miyadera and their lab at the University of Pennsylvania have identified the mutation gene and developed a test for Early Onset PRA that was found in the Portuguese Water Dog breed in the fall of 2012. OptiGen is targeting the end of October to have the test available.

If anyone has submitted a sample from their dog in the past the chances are good that OptiGen still has the sample available for this new test, even if you did not pay for the long term storage.

We would especially like to thank the member breeder that came forward and reported that a dog of their breeding was diagnosed as PRA affected, as well as the owners of the sire for supporting this research from the outset. These breeders collected many of the puppies they had produced and transported them to ophthalmologists for eye exams and to have blood samples drawn and sent to the researchers. Without this support the researchers would not have been able to identify this gene.

We are also grateful to many others that responded when asked to have certain dogs of theirs examined or to donate blood samples.

This has been another successful endeavor in addressing health issues in our breed by the PWDCA, our breeders and owners, and the PWD Foundation in working with our outstanding researchers. The PWDCA made a $15,000 donation to Dr. Aguirre’s research in December 2013.

In 2017 the PWD Foundation covered a $9,200 grant for Dr. Aguirre for the whole-genome sequencing of the non-prcd (early-onset) form of PRA in the PWD. We encourage you to go to the PWD Foundation website where you can learn more about this grant and see how it may help in the future with other research.

Please watch the OptiGen website for testing availability.

Mary-Kay Schroeder
PWDCA President
[email protected]


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