310: Molecular Genetic Study of Progressive Retinal Atrophy in English Springer Spaniels

Grant Status: Closed

Grant Amount: $25,966.24
Dr. Laurence Galle, DVM, University of Missouri, Columbia
October 1, 2004 - September 30, 2005
Breed(s): English Springer Spaniel
Research Program Area: Prevention

Abstract

Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) is a term encompassing a large group of inherited degenerations of the retina in many breeds of dog. These adult-onset retinal degenerations begin with loss of vision in dim light, but are followed by complete visual loss. English Springer Spaniels (ESS) have been described to have late-onset PRA that appears to be inherited in a recessive manner. Symptoms and typical exam findings of ESS-PRA are only detectable late in the course of the disease, usually after such time that the affected animals have been actively involved in breeding programs, thus perpetuating PRA in the gene pool. Therefore, a genetic test to provide early identification of affected and carrier animals is desirable to minimize expense and time output in establishing breeding programs free of PRA. Using DNA from ESSs already in our DNA bank, and by recruiting DNA from ESS breeding programs known to be affected with PRA, we will attempt to develop a DNA-based test for early detection of this condition. Such early identification of affected and carrier animals would enable breeding practices that may minimize or eradicate this blinding disease in English Springer Spaniels.

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