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Current Replies for Preferred Stock Kennels for english springers
4/24/2010 7:27:03 PM
Posts: 2
I have an ESS from the Preferred Stock Kennel who has PRA. The state vet school stated that to have PRA both parents have to be afflicted/affected with the gene. This ESS is out of Preferred Stock's "jane." When you buy a puppy from this kennel, that you make sure their eyes have been cerfed. The designations will be "afflicted but not affected," "affected," or clear.
4/25/2010 8:47:13 PM
Posts: 137
I'm sorry for your problem, but I think you're getting your eye testing information mixed up.

To the best of my knowledge, CERF does not have such designations. The CERF form has an area to colour in that indicates whether the problem is seen or suspected in either the right or the left eye, and another area to mark if the eyes were graded as "normal".

I think the designations you are talking about must be for a DNA test. I think that some breeds have DNA testing for PRA, but that is a different kind of test from the CERF exam.
4/26/2010 5:01:56 AM
Posts: 1904
Some breeds have DNA tests for PRA, ESS might be one, ergo a designation, but a CERF exam is simply that, an eye exam, so would only be able to show a dog is AFFECTED, or NOT in that you are correct.

Serena Galloway
IGCA rescue Colorado

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4/26/2010 8:18:54 AM
Posts: 137
I think it's worth noting that CERF eye exams are to be recommended for many breeds before breeding, but that it's still not a guarantee that the parents won't produce any eye problems in their offspring. A CERF exam may be able to tell you what a particular dog has or doesn't have, but it doesn't tell you what they might carry.

That's where DNA testing comes in. And, as mentioned, DNA testing is available for certain problems within certain breeds. If it is available within the breed that you're interested in, you should make sure the breeder has done it and provides proof.
4/26/2010 4:49:27 PM
Posts: 2
You are absolutely correct in that I got my certifications wrong. I thought about that after I posted my message. It is DNA testing and there is one for ESS which classify "afflicted" etc. The cost is relatively inexpensive too. I also agree that it is extremely important to get both done. DNA testing for PRA doesn't necessarily prevent eye problems but good breeding would suggest that it should be done along with certif of parents for eyes and hips. I also realize that there are other qualities that also should be taken into effect i.e. good temperament, soundness,etc. and that good can outweigh bad.
4/27/2010 2:28:51 AM
Posts: 137
This is somthing you should tell your breeder? or disucss this with the breeder? Any dog purchased should have a CERF exam before sale.. good to suggest this..
PRA in springers is a difficult one..

A CERF exam will ONLY tell you if the dog is CLINICAL for PRA.. and for PRA actually not the most accurate test.. a Retinogram is actually the best test.. untill the diease progresses it may or may not be noted on a CERF exam..

it does not tell carrier status.. only CLINICAL status..on that day.. and for ONE year only.. Although CERFS are not perfect..they must be used.. unfortunaly although there are some eye issues that a dog is "born" with so if they do not have it never will.. there is a LONG list of eye issues that have diffrent variable age of onset. so annual checking is needed.. and why a cerf exam is only good for ONE year..

So make sure your breeders does eye exams annually..

What the vets told you is "only" kind of true.. In some breeds the gene is dominant.. one parent and only one HAS to have it to produce a dog affected.. in some breeds it IS a true ressesive.. "Both" have to have at least one copy to produce a dog that is affected.. it takes 2 copies to produce a dog affected.. this is "true" in Springers.. but here is a big problem..

In springers ok here is a a DNA test.. OH,, but it is only a RISK factor test, unlike other DNA test for PRA in other breeds..
It was found.. many dogs testing as having 2 copies never develop PRA (onlike some other breeds) and 80% of the popualtion have AT LEAST one copy.. with only 20% of the dogs testing a clear..

95% of the dogs that HAVE CLINICAL PRA.. do have 2 copies.. so the test can be used as a Risk factor test.. but because so many dogs have at least one copy, and many of the dogs with 2 copies do not develop PRA.. breeders are faced with the fact that one cannot just not breed dogs without the mutation..unless they also want to either not breed springers anymore.. or forget about other things like temperment, working ability, other health concerns.. epilepsy, cancer, allergies, just to name a few..

so somtimes.. in some breeds a across the board judgement on breeding a dog baised on a DNA test does not always apply to another breed.. and somtimes althoug DNA testing is great.. does not supply a breeder with a simple solution,,, but a TOOL to be used in addition to other selection criteria in a LONG term goal to reduce a undesirable trait..

that being said in this breed, one would want to see the DNA test status on both the parents.. and several CERF exams showing the dogs if they have 2 copies are also still clear.. Ideally see similar testing on the granparents and great granparents too..
A CERF exam on the puppy should also be done by the breeder before sale.. but unless the breeder is making a effort to reduce the number of Affected dogs with use of both DNA testing and family history so (if they do also use dogs that carry 2 copies.. they use dogs from a family that may have the mutation.. but do not DEVELOP PRA).. a clear Cerf exam on a pup, may not give you any indication if that dog will develop eyes sight problems later in life.. and even the DNA test will only tell you that pup "may" develop clinical PRA..