RESEARCH SAMPLES NEEDED FOR PRA and CATARACTS
FREE TESTING FOR PRA-AFFECTED PUREBRED DOGS
Who qualifies? Any purebred dog that has been examined by a board certified veterinary ophthalmologist (ACVO, ECVO) and that has been diagnosed with PRA is eligible for review for possible inclusion in the Free Testing program. Status of "PRA suspicious" or "atypical PRA" does not qualify.
Here's how it works:
1. You mail, email, or fax a copy of the eye exam report (CERF report or other) plus a copy of a 4-5 generation pedigree for PRE-APPROVAL before sending a blood sample. If possible, provide an email address for a reply.
2. Wait for a response from OptiGen to learn if your dog has a diagnosis that qualifies for free testing.
3. Once you’ve received the PRE-APPROVAL notification from OptiGen, send a blood sample - at least 3 ml of unclotted blood - according to standard instructions (Ship Sample). Cheek swab samples are not suitable for most research purposes; a blood sample is greatly preferred. Print out and complete all details of the standard Request Test form (ignore any payment questions). Send this order form with the notation “Approved for Research” clearly printed on the first page. Including a copy of email correspondence noting the prior approval by OptiGen is helpful.
What happens next?
OptiGen will test the sample from your PRA affected dog for the known and/or likely causes of the disease in that breed. For those samples that represent breeds where no PRA mutations have yet been identified, personal communications on test results will be issued from OptiGen as the research is conducted. OptiGen frequently relies on the expertise of two veterinary ophthalmologists, Dr. Gustavo Aguirre at the University of Pennsylvania and Dr. Gregory Acland at Cornell University. With the assistance of their consultations and academic research efforts, OptiGen strives to help advance the understanding of inherited eye diseases in dogs.
Modeled on our PRA research program, these projects are aimed at identifying the genes and mutations responsible for specific cataracts found in certain breeds. There are many types of cataracts but we are studying only 2 types at this time:
· Bilateral, Posterior Subcapsular type that develops between 1.5 yrs and 3 yrs of age in the following breeds: Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, Rottweilers, Bernese Mountain Dogs, and English Springer Spaniels
· Bilateral Posterior Cortical type that develops between 1 yr. and 3 yrs of age in the Siberian Husky, Samoyed and the Alaskan Malamute
The 3 steps for submitting cataract samples for research are the same as those for submitting PRA research samples (as described above).
SPECIAL NOTE TO VETERINARY OPHTHALMOLOGISTS
OptiGen greatly values any research input from the diplomats of American and European Colleges of Veterinary Ophthalmologists. We would like to encourage the submission of any samples that you deem affected with the eye diseases described above as well as any other samples that might represent inherited diseases of research interest. Examples of the latter might include: choroidal hypoplasia in breeds not previously identified as having Collie Eye Anomaly, optic nerve colobomas, microphthalmia, multi-focal retinopathy in breeds not yet recognized as having CMR mutations, etc. Although we appreciate being contacted prior to submission, prior approval is not required for samples being sent directly from a veterinary ophthalmologist.
Our staff will be happy to help you with any questions on how to submit these research submissions.
OptiGen frequently relies on the expertise of two veterinary ophthalmologists, Dr. Gustavo Aguirre at the University of Pennsylvania and Dr. Gregory Acland at Cornell University. With the assistance of their consultations and academic research efforts, OptiGen strives to help advance the understanding of inherited eye diseases in dogs.