2031: Investigation of Candidate Loci for Progressive Retinal Atrophy in the Old English Sheepdog and Papillon Breeds of Dog

Grant Status: Closed

Grant Amount: $134,149
Dr. Simon M. Petersen-Jones, DVM PhD, Michigan State University
July 19, 2000 - September 30, 2002
Sponsor(s): American Belgian Tervuren Club, Inc., Belgian Sheepdog Club of America, Inc., Collie Health Foundation, Old English Sheepdog Club of America, Papillon Club of America, Tibetan Terrier Club of America/Tibetan Terrier Health & Welfare Foundation
Breed(s): Tibetan Terrier, Collie, Papillon, Old English Sheepdog, Belgian Tervuren
Research Program Area: Prevention

Abstract

Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) is a common cause of blindness in purebred dogs. It is an inherited disease and there are several different forms resulting from defects in different genes. Most forms are due to a defect in a single gene and are inherited in an autosomal recessive manner. PRA has become a problem in the Old English Sheepdog and Papillon breeds. In both these breeds, dogs develop the disease in middle-age and slowly and progressively lose vision. We have identified a number of different genes that could cause PRA, and we wish to investigate these genes in the Old English Sheepdog and Papillon breeds of dog. If we identify the gene defect that causes the disease in one or both breeds we will develop a DNA test for the defective gene that can be used to predict which dogs will get the disease and identify dogs that are carriers of the disease (carriers do not get the disease themselves but can pass it on to their offspring). Such a test will be very valuable in allowing breeders to eradicate PRA from their breed.

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