The GPRA-project November 2007

The scanning which has been done with the PRA-blood tests has unfortunately not given the information we hoped for. To be more specific it has given information, but it vary from PRA-dog to PRA-dog, from PRA-family to PRA-family.

The reason for this can be variously, and we know that the only 100% secure diagnoses test is an ERG-test.

The reason for the variation in information can mean that one or more dogs have:
1. Wrong diagnosis
2. Retinopati and not PRA (Retinopati also leads to blindness)
3. None of these two above mentioned diagnosis, just wrong diagnosis

What we need now to have full exploitation from the blood material we have collected, is blood tests from 1-2 new secure reliable PRA-diagnosis. If we have that we can use the results of these tests to compare the results we already have. That will show which PRA-families we can continue to concentrate on in the research.

It is therefore of the greatest importance that when the next dog with PRA-diagnosis appears a blood test is taken as soon as possible, and also do a double check by another authorized eye specialist. It must be no doubt about the diagnosis.

We hope that all breeders will take this seriously and contribute with the knowledge to help the PRA research to have information enough to crack the PRA-code. Unfortunately we have missed blood from a few PRA-dogs lately because the breeders have not been cooperative or the dog has been put to sleep before a blood test has been taken.

The PRA-committee in NSSC has got information along since we started the research. Most of the information has been passed on to the public but some information which has come to our knowledge has been kept confidential because we have not been allowed to pass the information further on. This gives no inspiration and are not desirable as we thought it was in the interest of everybody to have the PRA-gene identified.

It is still breeders who do not want to give information when PRA appears in their breeding. It is fully understandable, and a chock and desperation when a dog in its breeding program have a PRA-diagnosis, but is it ETHICAL CORRECT to the breed to keep this as a secret - and is it ETHICAL CORRECT to keep on breeding and selling offspring from "secret PRA-lines"?

· We KNOW for sure that if a dog get a PRA-diagnosis both parents is certain carriers of PRA.
· We KNOW that the PRA-gene goes through several generations until it meets another gene pool with PRA-carriers. That is the case when a dog get PRA.
· We KNOW that at least 90% of all shelties in Scandinavian goes down from English lines.
· We KNOW that PRA has been in shelties for years.
· We KNOW that PRA-dogs has been diagnosed in England to day and in earlier days.
· We KNOW that it is breeders who not want known PRA-cases to be official.

From the first day the PRA-research started it has been published world wide. It has been put in a great deal of work on gathering all the blood tests. The sad thing is that it seems that everybody want the PRA-gene to be found, so we can test our dogs and find out if they are carriers or not, but at the same time it seems that we can find a double moral which prevent information to the public.

This leads to make unsuspectingly breeders do combinations which not should find place.

Unfortunately the PRA-gene in shelties is not the same as in other breeds which has identified their PRA-gene. If so had been the case it would have been enough with blood from only one PRA-sheltie to find the gene and a test method for PRA in shelties.

We are dependent of breeders who have knowledge which can supply the PRA research with valuable information, actually gives this information to the PRA-committee in Norway. Information kept back does not serve anyone - now or later.

The question the PRA-committee ask breeders in Scandinavian, England and the rest of the world is:
Do we want to find the PRA-gene in shelties, and who can supply the research with useful information?

The Norwegian Shetland Sheepdog Club's PRA-project

Account number to the PRA-project in Norway:
Address for bank transfer from abroad:
The PRA-Project, Norsk Shetland Sheepdog Club
Den Norske Bank, Farmannsgaten 2, N-1600 Fredrikstad, Norway
Account number: 5010.05.65517 - Swift-address: DNB ANO KK FRE

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